DIY Spray on Chrome Kit





Introduction: DIY Spray on Chrome Kit

This is going to be a DIY for 99% of the Do It Yourselferss out there. , meaning anyone can build it, this Kit will be assembled with off the shelf products as to keep it as simple as possible , it can also be made with Raw materials which I have done also(will not go into details this time). I built a similar kit about three years ago(posted in a different forum), but recently but recently I found about this site after looking many good instructables for 3D Printers(I will be building a very very frugal basic/Simplistic kit to coat 3D Prints with Silver, Copper and Gold, I will publish it here when I am done)..

I publish this here because I just dont see Budget Friendly Spray On Chrome System from the Big Companies, some how you need to buy their Huge expensive machines and super expensive chemicals.

What is Spray On Chrome?

Spray On Chrome is nothing more than creating a front surface mirror on substrates other than glass, its not real chrome its Silver a thin coat of silver, electroless deposition of silver(Autocatalytic plating)

Step 1: Chemicals/Coating Needed

as I said earlier, This is going to be a kit that you can build with OF The Shelf products, so what chemicals do you need?

Spray Silver chemicals(the least expencive one option, they are concentrated and will cover about 200 esquare feet which is more than enough for you to learn, get the hang of it and then become an expert just for $80

Tin for Silver Concentrate($9)

Wetting Agent($5)

Waste Treatment Kit($16) (we cant forget about mother nature)

Coating(Optional as you can use your own if you like, I use Sherwin Williams 2k like a uni coat system, that is I use it as base for the silver to stick to it and as clear to protect the silver, you can even use Duplicolor System like Primer/Glossy Black/Clear Coat or their Metal Cast system as I have done in the past too, just make sure the glossy black has cured for a few days)

Uni-Coat System($60)

When I was Building my system a few years back Angel Gilding hadn't create their own "Spray On Chrome" two part system so I built mine using their "Spray Silver" three part system, but it works very well too(you can try their two part system) I wanted to see how good it was so I also Purchased a very similar system that was sold by Alsa Corp(it was $299 at the time I purchased it, now its $500) my testing concluded that both systems gives you superb finish but if you calculated the Square Feet per Dollar amount this DIY is about 20 times more affordable.

Step 2: Hardware Need

Hardware for chemicals

Stain Magic dual Chamber bottle(get atleast 2, about $20 a piece)

3 hand triger sprayer and a hand held presure sprayer

hand held pressure sprayer($10)

Coating Hardware

if you dont have a small compressor and an air bursh/spray gun you can use preval sprayer(thats what the Alsa kit came with, it works very good)($10)

Hair Dryer(0$ if your wife's hair dryer)

Step 3: Stage One: Prep/Primer/BaseCoat

this is about the most important part of the 3 Stage system(Basecoat, Silver, Top Coat) remember how we are trying to imitate a glass mirror? well this is it, make it or bust it..

1. Sealer: if you are going to silver a piece of wood/rock/Plaster you need to seal it first

2. Primer if you are going to silver Metals or plastics, plastic friendly primers are a must, and if you are going to be using it over bending flexible pastic then using Krylon fusion for plastics is a must(I have tested it and works like a charm)

3. Base Coat/UniCoat.. you can use either a single Stage 2k Urethane(super high gloss) or Basecoat/Clear Coat sytem as a base for the Silver to be deposited, any color is good(black, white, Silver), if you are going to use Duplicolor or any other spray can manufacturer you must use their entire system(primer, single stage base and final topcoat) dont use wood polyurethanes.

Step 4: Silvering, Cleaning and Wetting Agent Stage

another Complex stage that must be done as laid out, Di water($5 per gallon at walmart) for chemicals and rinsing is need it, without it you wont be able to Silver at all

1.Cleaning: this must be done before anything, always use safety latex gloves, never touch the piece to be silvered, atleast not on obvious areas where it will be seen(you can grab it from behind), I use regular dish soap, Rinse and rinse well before moving to the next step.

here is a video of how I clean the peice

2. Wetting Agent, This is need it because as opposed to Glass, Automotive coatings have a higher surface tension, the wetting agent lowers the surface tension, allowing the chemicals to cover the entire piece.

pre.wetting agent piece

after Wetting agent piece

Step 5: Silvering: Sensitizing and Silvering


After you use the Wetting agent you wait 30 senconds and Rinse, do another light coat of wetting agent and start using the Sensitizer and wait about a minute(a few seconds more than a minute is best) then you rinse and rinse very well as to remove any of the sensitizer liquids from the piece(dont worry as the sensitizer has already done its job). never let the piece dry during the process,


when you start Spraying the Silvering chemicals try to cover the entire piece as you build the silver deposit, Rinse the Part at least onece and start silvering again untill you have a nice coat.

Dry the Piece with a Hair Dryer

Step 6: Top Coat Stage

Top Coating, this is also important, its the last stage and if you mess up here, your entire work piece needs to be done again...

The silver deposit its not very thick and will allow some interaction of the Basecoat and clear coat so its very important that the basecoat has cured for at least 18 hours if its 2k Urethane, a few days or more if you plan on using spray cans, here this is what happens when you rush a job

the Unicoat kit from Angelgilding comes with a Violet tint unit, which is necesary to reproduce a chrome look, remember this is Silver and as such it does not look like pure chrome, it needs that blueish tone, and as you can see from the dirtbike pic, you can also use all kinds of color to reproduce, gold, copper and other colors.. all in all you should spend more than $200 and be able to coat about 200 square feet of products

I hope you like it and get ready for my Next DIY Silver/Copper/Gold Coating for Small 3D prints



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    55 Discussions

    After all is chromed and dried, can i put on automobile clear right away and will that dullin the chroming a little?

    I am confused, have read the instructions about 10 times and still cannot understand what chemicals to use in what stage and what hardware to use for each chemical. I have purchased all the items as suggested and I don't see where to use the Tin for silver, and the spray silver chemicals concentrate is three part. Please help!

    Thank you


    Will this yellow in full sunlight, like on boat hardware?

    Nicamarvin can you look at my chemicals if all ok.

    Activator ( 5grams of tin dichloride,40ml hydrocloric acide ) reducer (formaldehyde 0,9ml, glucose 5grams) silver( sodium hydroxide 4grams , silver nitrate 4grams 10ml ammonia 25%)

    1 reply

    Hi Nicamarvin

    On the page of pchrome says that the product of angelgilding has little adherence. that is, it is easily detached from the piece with the method of grating and throwing with the adhesive tape.

    What is your experience?
    Did you have adhesion problems with these products, more than with other brands?
    I want to produce chrome parts for motorcycles and cars, such as rins, bumpers, door handles, mudguards, motorcycle frames, etc. and I am looking for that the product to be used does not come out, does not change color (yellowish) with the sun, etc.

    a topcoat, I was thinking about using 2K varnish, which is better
    prepared to absorb scratches, mistreatment, blows, and sun, what is your
    Is there any other recommendation you can make me?

    My email is
    A hug from Paraguay

    How and from where I can get the dual chamber spray bottle and at what cost, I need two bottles, one as spare

    I have recently started hydro chrome but my problem of yellowing after the chrome, the sealant is not proper, I am using activator and no sensitized as u have mentioned, what is wetting agent, can I buy from open market, could u please let me know the chemicals needed for A, R solutions, sealant, wetting agent, etc

    how to maxing nickel chrome plant


    11 months ago

    Hi Nicamarvin, thanks for the good instructions. I did see on youtube you did a car rim and that's what I want to do but you didn't explain in the video by the way I subscribe to your channel, can you please email me or explain exactly what I need. Thanks

    1 reply

    The D.I.Y posted here will apply to just about any pieces, including car wheel rims, the steps... wheel prep(primer, fix imperfections, base coat and clear coat) allow for 24 hours cure, degrease with dish washing soap, wetting agent, rinse, sensitizer, rinse and proceed with the silvering, force dry, allow one hour to fully dry and then clear coat with any color you would like.

    Hi nicamarvin. Would you mind making a list for me of what items i need to do this. Thanks


    1 year ago

    Hi nicamarvin, thanks for the great instructions.

    I am thinking of using this same kit for my car parts (door handles interior/exterior, grills, rims, etc), could you please tell whether the same process will work for it and recommend what to do to make it more durable?

    Thanks in advance.

    2 replies

    I believe this will also work for your needs, you can also put a final coat of scratch resistant cleat coat to make it more durable, I am also working on a process for Electroless Nickel plating on plastics using a very simmilar kit, stay tune because by the end of the year at the latest I should have completed the kit and post how to hereñ

    Here is what I'm Chroming and what I want it to look like.

    3 Cylons.jpgBattlestar-Galactica-Gold-Cylon-from-Battlestar-Galactica-1.jpgil_fullxfull.906134579_169p.jpg
    3 replies

    Nice, I hope all goes well, please don't forget to get the wetting agent and make sure it covers all of the pieces.

    Hi nicamarvin
    I m in India. I dont have authorised dealer for chemical. Can u suggest me generic name of wetting agent ?

    I keep ordering their wetting agent, never found a substitute or a formula for such.

    You did great work here. Love your artical. I would like to have your recipe of a few years back were you made your own chemicals.... again great work.