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Alclad Chrome


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#1 slant6

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 06:52 PM

I just tried re-chroming for the first time, I used this,

Posted Image

and was very disappointed. Am I doing something wrong? I sprayed a base coat of flat black, I could have sworn I read that on here somewhere, even though the directions on the bottle said gloss black. Granted I haven't had to much practice with my air brush, but overall it came out well, except that this is not chrome. This is what I got.

Posted Image

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I like the color and the finish, but that is not a chrome bumper.

#2 randx0

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 07:35 PM

try it with gloss black it's the key to the whole process. also Treehugger Dave just posted some pointers on the use of this product .I don't know how to do links to other threads so you'll have to check out his topics.

#3 Pete J.

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 07:37 PM

Gloss black! Absolute must! The alclad chrome is dependent upon a perfectly glossy surface. Flat would definitely kill it. The better the base the better the chrome. I have used a lot of different gloss blacks and like the alclad base coat best. It is easy to use and gives a really nice finish. Good luck with your next try.

#4 cruz

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 02:40 AM

Flat black????? :blink: :blink: Did you say flat black???? :unsure: :unsure: I think I know what went wrong!!! :blink: :blink:

Edited by marcos cruz, 13 April 2009 - 02:41 AM.


#5 MrObsessive

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 02:42 AM

Ditto what was said................Gloss black is an absolute must!! Also I've found that the gloss black needs to be completely dry to minimize rubbing off when handling. I use a dehydrator to speed things up in that department.

I've also used Aclad's base gloss black and found it to be great for what's wanted.

Here's a couple pics of an '05 'Vette I built with the wheels done in Alclad Chrome to get rid of the too shiny chrome wheels in the kit. The effect is highly polished aluminum-------that's the look I was after.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Another key with Alclad is it must be MISTED on in LIGHT COATS! Too heavy of any coat will give you the results you got. :unsure:


#6 Zoom Zoom

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 02:57 AM

Must be gloss black. The base coat needs to be as perfect as humanly possible, no orange peel, no dust nibs, no scratches. For Alclad Chrome, the base coat should either be enamel or their own base coat. It will not stick to lacquer. When you've put on the Alclad there will be a light coating of metallic overspray. When the chrome layer is dry (wait about 10 mins, it does dry fast), wipe it with a very clean, soft cloth, it will brighten up nicely.

Chrome Test

#7 MonoPed

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 04:06 AM

As said above, gloss black! The wheels on this Ford are my second attempt with Aclad, sprayed over Testors gloss black enamal:

Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by MonoPed, 13 April 2009 - 04:07 AM.


#8 Foxer

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 05:35 AM

Here's Dave's post ... Alclad

This is a must read and I think it is a candidate for a sticky in the Tips forum..

#9 E St. Kruiser50

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 06:31 AM

I just tried re-chroming for the first time, I used this,

Posted Image

and was very disappointed. Am I doing something wrong? I sprayed a base coat of flat black, I could have sworn I read that on here somewhere, even though the directions on the bottle said gloss black. Granted I haven't had to much practice with my air brush, but overall it came out well, except that this is not chrome. This is what I got.

Posted Image

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I like the color and the finish, but that is not a chrome bumper.


Hey Will :D
Great question.
There are differing opinions on this topic, so I'm not here to disagree with anyone else's, just share with you what I've had sucess with.

I have four or five different chroming systems, including Alclad that I've used since it was introduced, and I still use it.
I have posted on this topic before on several forums, including here, and the feed back has always been good.
I have sprayed Alclad over enamels, lacquers and urethane's with equally good results.
The only difference for me in choosing which to use was the lenth of time it took to get the "Equal Results".

Enamels took the longest, because of drying time.
Urethane's require the most work.
Lacquer's for me are the fastest by a mile for the same result's.

(1) As stated here in other post's, the base must be SMOOTH and GLOSSY, no matter the color you use.
(2) I use a CLEAR lacquer over the black, so your black can be flat, as long as the clear is VERY SMOOTH and SHINY. In my experience, it gives more depth and brillance to the chrome. Other's here who have tried this suggestion have agreed.
(3) I shoot in a warm inviornment. I don't use a food dehydrator.
Cold and moisture have an instant effect on whatever comes out of an airbrush or can.

YOU NEVER SEE A 'REAL TIME CAR PAINTER" shoot a $10,000 paint job in cold weather and then drive it into his warm paint booth :blink: . I have a walk in heated, lit, and ventilated spray booth. Not to brag about it, but to get the result's I want.
I'm not knocking the use of dehydrator's, I'm just saying it's only part of the painting process. Paint has to be warm initially to lay down properly, hence warming a spray can if used as part of the painting process.
People will say that spraying in the cold and using a dryer give's "Real Good Results", but REAL GOOD is only a relative term, remember though, I'M TALKING ABOUT OPTIMAL RESULT'S, most builder's don't have a spray booth available, so a dryer can work.

(4) OVERDRYING THE BASE COLOR - Over drying the base doesn't allow the Alclad to "GET A BITE" into the base color, hence allowing it to rub off easily.

I've found over the years that over drying and the mis-nomer of off-gassing kills a lot of other-wise great paint jobs and good intentions.

Off-gassing is a term some model builder came up with that never painted real cars. I have painted real cars many times and know several "REAL TIME" car painter's.
Every manual, and every can direction's is ALL about wet-in-wet painting - same with Alclad - DON'T LET IT DRY 'TILL YOU'RE COMPLETELY DONE.

GUY'S NEVER READ THE DIRECTIONS, AND THEN TRY TO BE AN EXPERT :blink: :blink: . GO FIGURE.

O.K. - HERE'S WHAT I DO;
(1) Prep the base as smooth as possible with a good lacquer primer like Duplicolor or Plasticote - DEFINETLY NOT "KRYLON". Sorry - To me it's garbage - IMO. Never used Tmiya primer so can't comment, but I've heard some complaints here.
(2) Shoot the black and clear lacquers 3 coats each, light, med, heavy, 15 minutes apart in 80 degree temp,. Never below 70 degree's.
YES - You do shoot the clear 15 minutes after the black. Remember guy's - wet-in-wet. This is flash time not drying time - totally different.
(3) WAIT AN HOUR - Shoot 2-3 light coats of Alclad - It will "BITE" into the clear.
(4) Should be easily handleable in a couple hours, but never over-never handle Alcladed part's or kit chrome parts, as oily skin and handling have adverse effects on both. I use soft COTTON gloves during handling both, to keep everything fresh and shiney - not to look "PRISSY" :D .

(4) LASTLY - The next day use a "VERY SOFT" make-up brush to "VERY CAREFULLY" remove the tiny particles of over-spray dust. This will give your part(s) a smoother look and finish.

(5) ALWAYS DO SAMPLES FIRST to get a system your comfortable with- NEVER PRACTICE ON A FINISHED PART.

WHEW - I didn't intend on writing a book. THIS IS LIKE SOMETHING THE "FLORIDA GUY" would write :D :lol:

Edited by Treehugger Dave, 13 April 2009 - 06:33 AM.


#10 slant6

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 06:56 AM

Well, I could have sworn I read somewhere on this forum that I should use flat black, but I guess I was mistaken. Thank you all for the great tips. Now, whats the best way to get all that paint off and start over? These are all really small parts aside from the bumpers.

#11 E St. Kruiser50

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 07:26 AM

Well, I could have sworn I read somewhere on this forum that I should use flat black, but I guess I was mistaken. Thank you all for the great tips. Now, whats the best way to get all that paint off and start over? These are all really small parts aside from the bumpers.


Will :D
You are right :lol: . If you go back and re-read my post, you'll see that I said, you could use your flat black, as long as you sprayed GLOSSY CLEAR OVER IT :blink: :D .

Hope it works for you - dave :D

#12 BigGary

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 08:57 AM

Will :D
You are right :lol: . If you go back and re-read my post, you'll see that I said, you could use your flat black, as long as you sprayed GLOSSY CLEAR OVER IT :blink: :D .

Hope it works for you - dave :D


I haven't tried Alclad as yet but have a project waiting. I have used Krylon H2O primer and I think its great. I use Wal-Mart enamel primer and am very happy with it. I polish it with a cheap paper towel just before painting and get a great results. Polishing with a paper towel makes for a very smooth finish that still allows the paint to grab the surface. When I use it under Alclad, I'll expect super results, but it may be a failure.
Gary

#13 slant6

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 10:03 AM

Like I said All tips are greatly appreciated. My next build is a be golf gti,and after that is the tamiya enzo ferrari, that I want to be perfect, cause I've been waiting so long to build it. I'm sir I'll be asking for slot more tips for that one, but there are some things I'd like to get down before I start it. Eve. Though there isn't much, I know I'll need it. Thanks to all for the tips. I'll post more pics when I fix my FUBAR, to let you know how it turned out.

#14 noname

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 01:48 PM

I wonder if some of you experienced Alclad chrome guys could help me out. Twice I've shot the chrome on these parts. As you can see the second time I had the same results as the first. The window trim looks pitted while the valve covers looks as if the chrome just didn't take so well. What do you think is my problem? Could it be too much pressure (the compressor I'm using has no pressure control or gauge)? I used Duplicour black (gloss not flat) without any sanding or polishing. I did let it dry a few days. Could that be the problem? Treehugger Dave already stated that the chrome should be sprayed before the black fully dries.
Any thoughts?
Posted Image

Edited by noname, 15 April 2009 - 01:51 PM.


#15 mountaindewd

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 02:34 PM

What Dave stated above about the short wait time between gloss, clear and Alclad is news to me, I'll certainly try that next time.

Thus far, I have let the gloss base dry for at least a day before shooting the Alclad and have been moderately happy with the results.

Noname, what I see on your parts looks to me like you put too much Alclad on(coat too heavy), I could be wrong. I have had this happen a couple times. Like Dave said, mist multiple light coats. If you have the testors air brush or something similar, close the nozzle a bit till you almost can't see the spray exiting the tip. Spray it on a piece of cardboard or paper to check if it is coming out.

Just my opinion,
Les

#16 showbuilder

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 02:36 PM

I wonder if some of you experienced Alclad chrome guys could help me out. Twice I've shot the chrome on these parts. As you can see the second time I had the same results as the first. The window trim looks pitted while the valve covers looks as if the chrome just didn't take so well. What do you think is my problem? Could it be too much pressure (the compressor I'm using has no pressure control or gauge)? I used Duplicour black (gloss not flat) without any sanding or polishing. I did let it dry a few days. Could that be the problem? Treehugger Dave already stated that the chrome should be sprayed before the black fully dries.
Any thoughts?
Posted Image

if the duplicolor you used is a lacquer based product that could be the problem. alclad chrome needs to be sprayed over enamel only. i spray mine through a pasche VL at 20psi. i have also sprayed chrome and polished aluminum over an enamel clear coated black with good results. just remember that alclad is a touchy product. one time it comes out great and the next time it ends up silver. hope this helps.

Edited by blowns10, 15 April 2009 - 02:37 PM.


#17 noname

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 02:48 AM

Thanks for the comments guys.

#18 E St. Kruiser50

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 05:07 AM

I wonder if some of you experienced Alclad chrome guys could help me out. Twice I've shot the chrome on these parts. As you can see the second time I had the same results as the first. The window trim looks pitted while the valve covers looks as if the chrome just didn't take so well. What do you think is my problem? Could it be too much pressure (the compressor I'm using has no pressure control or gauge)? I used Duplicour black (gloss not flat) without any sanding or polishing. I did let it dry a few days. Could that be the problem? Treehugger Dave already stated that the chrome should be sprayed before the black fully dries.
Any thoughts?
Posted Image


Very light air pressure, and light coats, is one of the keys to sucess.
Samples should always be shot first, and never assume you will do anything right the first time. As MR. OBSESSIVE always says, and I quote him - "PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE".
None of us do anything right the first time.
WHY DO WE ALL THINK WE'RE THAT GOOD ????
DON'T GIVE UP UNTIL YOU GET IT RIGHT - dave :)

#19 Harry P.

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 05:40 AM

I think the comments and suggestions posted here have created more questions than they've answered. We have directly contradictory suggestions here. For example:

"Also I've found that the gloss black needs to be completely dry to minimize rubbing off when handling."

"Over drying the base doesn't allow the Alclad to "GET A BITE" into the base color, hence allowing it to rub off easily."


And this:

"For Alclad Chrome, the base coat should either be enamel or their own base coat. It will not stick to lacquer."

"I have sprayed Alclad over enamels, lacquers and urethane's with equally good results."


Since Alclad is lacquer (says so on the label), why would you want to use an enamel base coat? Anybody have any definitive answers here???

#20 Zoom Zoom

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:23 AM

Since Alclad is lacquer (says so on the label), why would you want to use an enamel base coat? Anybody have any definitive answers here???


Don't you love the internet, where everyone is an expert! And everyone else is "wrong" :)

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If the hotlink goes away click here

Harry, I refer you to Alclad's own instructions. When they re-introduced chrome (Alclad was off the market for awhile a number of years ago, and got re-introduced, I believe a new owner and smaller bottles, I have a few of the old big bottles of Alclad, but never had the original chrome, if it was even available back then), they specifically instruct the user to spray their chrome over black enamel (only for chrome, other Alclad colors can be shot over a variety of bases, like polished aluminum that should be shot over a gloss white base, no mention of lacquer or enamel). That is straight from the horse's mouth, it works, what more does anyone need? Later they have offered their own black base for the chrome (I don't have any, don't need it, I have black enamel and I generally use Spaz Stix chrome over Tamiya TS black as I prefer it, most people seem satisfied but not everyone). It really doesn't matter if it's a lacquer over enamel, Alclad Chrome is sprayed in such thin layers and dries so quickly that it doesn't damage enamel paint. It gives the correct chemical bond. And by my own testing and experience, Alclad's instructions are 100% correct. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. Imagine that!

Will other bases work? Yes. I already know from personal experience it works over hardware store clear urethane. "Definitive" is subjective w/o at least photographic proof. To me there's one person that really makes Alclad work, and that's Steve Boutte. The proof is seen on his models, and I've discussed the Alclad subject with him. He is the master. He uses black enamel. I wish there was a simple, relatively inexpensive "bridge" method between Alclad and sending chrome out for replating. I never have enough stuff planned out/ready to send a big tree, prices are a bit high especially if parts are sent loose, there's the wait...while Alclad is a quick/easy alternative but results are much more fragile and not up there with vacuum plating. Hoping that there's a better solution one of these days. Better as in easy, cost-effective, not toxic, and satisfies KISS methodology.