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DIY Chrome Paint

Updated June 20, 2018

Chrome is an essential element in mid-century modern and contemporary design. From bathroom fixtures to lamps to furniture, chrome was and still is the first choice of many designers. However, when redecorating your modern home you'll find that most chrome pieces are not budget friendly. Fortunately for the do-it-yourself decorator, the designer look is easily replicated with chrome spray paint. Painting a simple, used vase is an easy beginner's project that allows you to practice spray painting with chrome.

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  1. Prepare your vase by cleaning the entire surface with dishwashing liquid and water. Allow it to dry completely.

  2. Scuff the surface of the vase. Use superfine grit sandpaper and lightly sand the entire surface. Wipe with a tack cloth to remove all dust.

  3. Spray a light coat of primer onto the vase. Shake the can until the ball rattles freely, then spray the vase. You don't have to cover the entire surface on the first pass. Wait two or three minutes, then spray again. Allow the primer to dry completely, according to the package directions.

  4. Shake the chrome spray paint thoroughly. Spray in quick, light coats, stopping to shake the can frequently. Do not rush. If the paint starts to run, use a small artist's paintbrush and quickly smooth the paint. Allow it to dry for a few minutes between coats. Once the vase is painted, let it dry overnight.

  5. Spray with a clear coat paint to protect the chrome. Use a gloss finish to intensify the reflective quality of your "new" vase. When it's completely dry, buff the vase with a soft cloth.

  6. Tip

    The best results depend on the surface preparation of your vase. The shiny chrome finish will accentuate any chip or scratch. Many paint manufacturers produce chrome spray paint.


    Use spray paint outside. The fumes are bad for your lungs. Paint in a sheltered and shady location; otherwise, the sun will dry the paint too quickly. Wind may bring dust and grit, marring the glossy finish.

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Things You'll Need

  • Ceramic vase
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Sandpaper, superfine grit
  • Tack cloth
  • 1 can primer spray paint
  • 1 can chrome spray paint
  • Small artist's paintbrush
  • 1 can gloss clear coat spray paint
  • Soft cloth

About the Author

With degrees in fine and commercial art and Spanish, Ruth de Jauregui is an old-school graphic artist, book designer and published author. De Jauregui authored 50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden, available as an ebook. She enthusiastically pursues creative and community interests, including gardening, home improvement and social issues.

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