Removing Paint from Chrome!

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Removing Paint from Chrome!

Postby mattbs1977 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:55 am

Morning everyone,

The bumpers and window chrome trims have been painted with black paint at some point on my '71 Viva HC. I'd really like to remove this and get it back to wonderful shining chrome! Could anyone give me an indication what would the best product to remove the paint. Looks like its been there a while and spoils the look I think.

I'm told it was a popular 'upgrade' in the 1980's??

I've had a few suggestions from standard paint remover, to cellulose thinners to oven cleaner! I'm keen to take the time to get this right and not risk damaged either the chrome or the surrounding paintwork!

Thanks, Matt
1971 Vauxhall Viva HC, 1159 cc, Deluxe
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Re: Removing Paint from Chrome!

Postby droopsnoot » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:03 am

It all depends on the paint used, and what the surface underneath was like - for example your bumpers might have been painted because the chrome finish was damaged, and it was easier and cheaper than having them re-chromed. Cellulose thinners will help soften cellulose paint, but if it's been done with something else, probably won't help. Paint stripper can be good, but it's a shadow of what it used to be due to having most of the good bits removed "for safety reasons" - I am told the stuff made by "Starchem" and available on line is pretty good though.

As always, if you can't remove the bits you need to strip, then protect the surroundings and be very careful about how you spread the stuff about - there's maybe more chance that the body is painted in cellulose and the modified bits in something else.

Sometimes you can just scrape paint off chrome if the chrome is good, because paint doesn't stick all that well to it. But you do have to be careful not to mark the chrome surface.

On the plus side for the bumpers at least, there are plenty around if you do need to replace them, or re-plating is an option. Can't say for the window surrounds, mine are painted and most of the others I've seen are polished stainless finish rather than chromed.
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Re: Removing Paint from Chrome!

Postby mattbs1977 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:13 am

Thanks for that.

The window surrounds almost look like they've been painted in gloss?! I'm a bit nervous about working around here due to the proximity of the surrounding bodywork but I'll take plenty of time taping off and protecting before I do.

The bumpers don't appear to be in anything particularly hard wearing and I'll be taking them off so might just test a couple of areas and see what I can do. From what I can feel the backs of the bumpers feel ok so am hoping I can keep the original bumpers on. Otherwise I'll do some digging for replacements.

Does anyone know the current type of costs for re-chroming if that becomes appropriate? And if anyone can recommend in the North West (Manchester/Lancs areas) someone who re-chromes?

Cheers.
1971 Vauxhall Viva HC, 1159 cc, Deluxe
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Re: Removing Paint from Chrome!

Postby droopsnoot » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:54 am

I've used Niphos in Crewe, but not for a very long time. More recently I've been using Chrome Restoration Services in Coventry, who are much less costly but out of your area.

On the bumpers, you could try removing from underneath where it's not so visible if you do mark a bit of chrome.
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Re: Removing Paint from Chrome!

Postby mattbs1977 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:24 am

Thanks for that. Coventry is a bit of a trek but wouldn't rule it out for the right place!

Cheers, Matt
1971 Vauxhall Viva HC, 1159 cc, Deluxe
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