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Chrome Body


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did you actually read the link you just posted? It says that Simms chromed it, ie. it is actually chrome... but because of it being a rush job it went wrong & bubbled in places.

A recent thread in the finishing section linked to a paint company (Alsa I think) that has a chrome effect spray. It isn't paint as such, rather some fine metal powder suspended in laquer or something. It seems to do a very good job if the online videos are anything to go by but it's very expensive.

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Year I read it :D but i'm not that good to english so I was not 100% sure what he had done with it :D but thanks

Warwick sells chrome basses. its sprayed on somehow. Anywhere there was friction it rubbed down to the wood. but shined easlily

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Alsa products offers a similar type of material that sticks onto the surface. I plan on using a peel'n'stick style of brushed aluminum and spraying it down with poly for a guitar I am about to finish up. So will it work for a guitar? Yeah, but good luck with the roundovers (rounded edges).

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The curves with the stick on chrome would be difficult, and you'd never be able to get perfect seams. However, I do have two thoughts. Doing the curves would be much easier with the assistance of a vacuum bag, think of it like man handling the sticker into position. Also, perhaps you could make the seams look intentional by putting rivet heads on one edge where there's an overlap, to give it that airplane fuselage look. As for the spray on stuff, if you can achieve the results that alsa has as samples on their site, you'd be in good shape. I've heard of chrome painted guitars looking pretty shabby after the finish settles into the wood. The only ways I could think to counter this would be to either use a material other than wood, use an acrylacizer on all of the wood surfaces to more or less stabalize the wood, or use a really thick, durable sealer like ibanez puts on all of their bodies.

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No, it's not the chrome itself I was referring to. What is sold in rattle cans typically has a solvent vehicle which will dissolve in water. This solvent's purpose is merely to keep the paint in a liquid form until it hits the body. Once it's applied, the solvent evaporates as your paint dries(both things are one and the same). Once the paint is fully cured, it won't dissolve in water. It's difficult to quickly explain what exactly is going on, but just know that you're unlikely to get it to float on water, but once cured, it shouldn't dissolve in water(we're still talking about aeresols, here). Now if you can find an oil based liquid paint that's meant for chrome finishes, that's another issue entirely.

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  • 3 months later...

The problem with chroming wood is that as the guitar ages, the paint is absorbed a bit into the guitar body. This isn't noticeable for most paint jobs, but with a mirror/chrome finish, after a couple of years, it will look like crap. That is why you don't see any non-custom guitars with mirror paint jobs. The best alternative is to make a full body "pick guard" out of cheap plastic mirror.

That said, here are the methods for mirroring a guitar:

1. Paint the guitar with copper paint, then electroplate it. Wood can't be electroplated, so you are electroplating the copper paint. Again, this will look like crap in a couple of years.

2. There is some really expensive chrome paint by the same people who do that Mirage paint. I have seen a couple guitars painted in this stuff, and it DOES look like real chrome. However, it is INSANELY expensive, and you need to have the guitar professionally painted (probably by an automobile painter you can convince to do a guitar for you) which adds to the cost. Again, we run into the 1-2 year lifetime problem.

3. Krylon and a few other rattle can companies sell "silver" or "chrome" paint in spray paint cans. Don't bother with this stuff. Its awful, and I have tried ALL the brands (for a pedal I was doing). It either looks like regular "silver flake" paint, or it is so delicate that you cannot touch it or paint a protective clear coat over it to protect it. Most of these paints don't dry particularly hard, either.

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Maybe I missed somthing... (i'm tired give me a brake)

If there is an issue with paint absorbtion by the wood one way round it would be to build up a good layer of finish get that good and smooth THEN apply the chrome paint THEN some layers of clearcoat....

alot of work yes but would avoid the paint absorbtion problem.....

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The problem with chroming wood is that as the guitar ages, the paint is absorbed a bit into the guitar body. This isn't noticeable for most paint jobs, but with a mirror/chrome finish, after a couple of years, it will look like crap. That is why you don't see any non-custom guitars with mirror paint jobs. The best alternative is to make a full body "pick guard" out of cheap plastic mirror.

Wouldn't doing a thick layer of primer help out with that problem?

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IIRC Alsa reccomends getting a perfect 2part poly finish on the surface to be done, then doing the chrome. (probably with black underneath the poly to make the chrome look better). Then another coating of 2part poly.

This might increase the 'mean time before looking bad'.

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Yeah, bottom line is given enough time, the chrome finish is (most likely) going to look bad regardless of what's under it, as long as the guitar is made of wood. Now, start with a body blank that's been stabilized (or acrylacized, or plasticized or whatever you want to call it) and this might be another story entirely. I think starting with a stabilized blank might actually be the way to go here. For one, check out gallery hardwoods.

peace,

russ

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