Rated 3.9 out of 5 by 18
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by ApartmentOwner Cost effective alternative to real chrome - if your patient!
When I originally received this product from Home Depot I read the instructions and became completely overwhelmed. My hope that there was a cost effective alternative for chroming at home was put on hold until I had the ideal whether, time and project. Fortunately, a project to chrome a piece of trim from my car came along and I thought why not. There are lots of detailed steps and the instructions provided are good - but not as good as Alta's videos on their web site. Each step must be followed. The plastic trim piece I wanted to chrome had lots of pits in it. I followed the instructions, sanded it with wet/dry paper and filled the holes to make for a 'like new' smooth finish. I thought I did everything right, but the finished product ended up kind of streaky. I don't blame this on the product - it was completely my fault for not being patient enough with the preparation. So while this product has the potential to save you time paying for real chrome, just be prepared to commit quite a bit of time, attention to detail and attention to instructions to achieve good results.
June 27, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Netgoo Chrome at Home
This product is cool, there is a learning curve with anything that is based on mixing things together. But the product performed as advertised. I got some cool chrome pieces now and plan to do some more soon. Must be patient and read the instructions. I may update with some pictures later.
The only things I would change is maybe a different applications method or bottle type or count for the Base & Top coat sprayer bottles; this resin type stuff can easily dry up in the bottle.
March 29, 2016
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by LosRubios It works, slightly darker than real chrome but the secret to the best results is in the preparation
Essentially, the product does work and will lay down a reflective chrome like finish on many types of surface - plastic, metal wood etc. I found that the chrome is a slightly darker shade than conventional chromed metal finishes.
That being said, the secret to getting the best results with this product is patience and a read and re-read of the instructions. There is no 'Quick Start' set of instructions with this product and it is a process that takes hours/days as the piece is prepared for chroming and as the various chemicals cure! I also found some useful how to videos on Alsa's website which I watched a couple of times before trying my hand on the kidney shaped piece of 'test' plastic that comes with the kit so you can practice before getting into anything serious.
In addition to the chemicals supplied in the kit, another essential is some very pure (100%) de-ionized distilled water as any impurities can tarnish the finish - this isn't the same as the distilled water from the local supermarket. Similarly, a low humidity environment with temps in the high 70s/low 80s is necessary, so this isn't one for projects in the workshop in the middle of winter (unless it's heated!).
When I first received the kit, it was missing instructions, so I had to contact Alsa to obtain a set.There are a myriad of bottles and solutions/chemicals which come as part of the kit and this can be a bit intimidating which is why watching the video and reading/re-reading the directions is a must.
In my case, I tried the kit out on a chrome trim from the rear brake light on a 1957 Ford Thunderbird. While they look like they're metal, they're actually plastic so this chroming kit was ideal. I stripped off the old finish with progressively smoother wet/dry paper until I had a smooth bare plastic finish and then patiently and meticulously followed the instructions.
1. The first stage is a base coat which needs 24 hours to cure. You can accelerate curing by placing it in an oven but since I wasn't sure what fumes it might give off, I decided to let it bench cure rather than potentially coat the inside of our stove with harmful chemicals.
2. The next stage is an activator coat which you mix up and let stand for an hour before applying. In my case I used an airbrush and my compressor which allowed me to get a decent build up without runs. The compressor also allows some peace of mind that you want run out of compressed air mid way through the job.
3. Finally, you can get to the chroming stage which was suprisingly easy. You put the chrome finish on and then rinse it off with the purified water. If the first coat is a little spotty, you can add another coat and rinse it off again. Just don't put too many coats on like I did on the test piece as the chrome then gets a strange cloudiness to it which isn't reversible.
4. Having attained the chrome finish you want, dry it off with a heat gun on a low heat. The final stage is the finish cost and this is where the chrome ended up a little darker than I wanted. I'm not sure if I could avoid using the finish coat and go straight to a clearcoat as I think that might have given me the lighter shade of chrome I was looking for.
The end result was pretty convincing however as I mentioned, it was a darker shade of chrome than the large metal chromed bumper beneath the brake lights. Since the difference in shade looked a little out of place, I bought a new reproduction brake light trim that has a lighter shade of chrome and took the 'home grown re-chrome' piece off the car. It was still worth a try though.
If matching the exact shade an existing metal chrome finish is less of an issue then this kit works very well. Just remember to read the instructions, figure out what is what with the various solutions that are part of the kit, watch Alsa's online 'how to' videos and exercise lots of patience/planning.
One word on the chemicals - there is Material Safety Data Sheet and since I'm not a chemist, I make no claims about being able to understand it. To be on the safe side, since the chemicals are atomised as they are sprayed onto the surface, I wore glasses and a 3M painting respirator mask (which I use with our airless paint sprayer) in an effort to keep anything harmful from being inhaled. I also wore latex gloves. Finally I did most of the work on an old wire kitchen cooling rack which was straddling an old square plastic sink bowl. Any unused or residual chemicals that ended up in the bowl were poured into a plastic container which I then took to the local hazardous waste recycling center.
April 28, 2016
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by nezabe Expensive lesson
I purchased this product with high expectations, but after receiving the package I immediately read the instructions for using the product. First issue was the near zero humidity environment and contant 75-85 degree temperature. I could only interpret this as ... you need a professional paint booth. Plus deionized water ... or 100% water with no minerals. Even most distilled water at local grocery and retail stores has higher levels of minerals than this product will allow. More disclosure in the product information section prior to ordering would have stopped me from buying this product.
February 18, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by thebighash Great value! Make sure you practice first!
In brief, this kit can provide great value. I say "can provide" since chroming is not an easy job, and is not for the below average DIYer. If you are a patient DIYer and can follow instructions, I think this chroming kit will allow you to do about anything.
All the parts shown in the pictures come in one shipping box. I would've preferred if this came in a case or bag for easier storage and more convenience.
I tested the kit on one of the provided parts and the result was ok. I'm sure I can do a much better job when I do the second part. I am still not confident enough to help my friend chrome his bike parts. I am still learning and there are many good reviews and also videos from Alsa and on youtube. I recommend that you do the same. The only issue is that you waste chrome while practicing, but that's still better than wasting the item you're trying to chrome.
September 12, 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Brian When compared to actual, it's a home run
So, to start this off I'd have to say it is not for the amateur. When you get the package, you will be slightly overwhelmed with all of the information included. I do strongly suggest to view online videos of people actually using this product to get familiar and slightly more comfortable with it before potentially wasting the kit on mess ups. I used it on a vintage bike part to a 1950 Monark Super Deluxe that was rough instead of on the included speed shapes because if I wasted product, I'd rather risk it on an actual metal part just in case it turned out perfect and it did. I included an after photo...sorry, I was so hyped that I forgot to take the before shot but included another part from the bicycle to show its similar condition before spraying it. The stuff is phenomenal, and I must order the recommended clear for this product to fully trick anyone once they see the fully restored bicycle. I am amazed in the product, and cannot wait to finish spraying all the parts in bulk once the weather clears up. You'll find that you will save a considerable amount using this system when compared to chrome but must remember that it's paint and not actual metal plating. Just a little info about me is that I have airbrushed scenes on motorhomes, walls in garages, and custom can coolers and so on in my day and with this new exercise, I sprayed this in my small counter airbrush booth with filtered exhaust/venthood. Again, remember to go into this after doing your research on the system and educating yourself with examples visible on the interweb...in the end you will understand why because even I was a bit bothered at first and probably will be when I begin to spray the rest of my parts. I also had to do some high end prep work to mask pits and prep the surface to be clean and "smooth" for a finish to be as close to chrome as possible...they say the recommended clear will further the brilliance in the end product...we'll see.
July 27, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by snowbabe ChromeFX is awesome!!
ChromeFX is awesome!! It is the next big thing for crafters, auto body repair, and furniture builders. I think this is an amazing product. However, if you can’t follow instructions don’t get this! This is not a product for the person who reads the instructions as a last resort. Every line is important. Read through all instructions that come with the kit before you start. Maybe read them several times. You can find videos on Alsa's website to see what it should look like at chroming stage. I learned a lot by watching the videos.
I have included the process steps to provide helpful hints and show what it takes from start to finish
1. Surface preparation
a. Surface preparation may take a day or two depending on what you are chroming. If you chrome unfinished wood it needs to be sanded and primed to the smoothest surface possible. If you are chroming metal with any pitting or rough spots you will need to putty, sand, and use an Epoxy primer. The surface needs to be as close to a glass surface as possible.
b. You must have dust free well ventilated area. The base and top coat have strong fumes. Alsa recommends a mask
c. For my project I actually stained my violin face blue so I could get an artistic blue edging. I also used many layers of varnish to achieve the smoothest surface possible and to keep the wood from absorbing the base coat. To get a true mirror effect you must have the surface as smooth as glass. Since my project was wood I was not trying to get a perfect mirror. I used a Scotch Brite to lightly scuff up the varnish to help the chrome adhere to the project.
2. Base coat
a. This is done with two layers (will need to cure 24 hours or you can force dry by using your oven. See instructions.) It is amazingly smooth and easy to spray on.
3. Sensitizer/Activator Solution (pre mix and leave for 1 hour before using.) Mixing and apply is easy.
a. I used a paint roller pan liner and a board to set my project on so I could keep the project up and out of the chemicals that runs off. (All chemicals used will need to be disposed of properly just as you do with any paint and other chemicals.)
b. Use as much sensitizer on the project as needed to get a smooth run off. On my first practice test I did not get it to run smoothly over the project. The sensitizer beaded into balls of water that sat on top of the test sample. It did not chrome right. You will receive two pre-base coated objects to practice chroming on. I found pouring the distilled water worked great for rinsing the sensitizers off.
4. Chroming (mix part A and B. Its good for 24 hours once mixed)
a. Helpful note: the videos on Alsa’s website are great to see how to do this. The chroming mixture is in a pump spray bottle. Spray the chrome mixture onto your project until your project is fully covered and has just turned black. Rinse to see the results. (Don’t be afraid to use a lot of DI/distilled water.) If it does not have the effect you want you can coat it again with chroming mix and then rinse. Do not over chrome. It will become cloudy if you do. Repeat until you get the chroming effect you want.
5. Dry with cool blow dryer: Don’t let water sit on your project or you will get spots.
6. Finish Coat: Once your project is dry you can finish with the finish coat. Very smooth and easy to apply. It has a purplish finish like real chrome gets.
You can purchase extra Preval compressed air spraying cartridge (used for base and top coat) from Home Depot. This is necessary if you are doing more than one project with your chroming kit.
You will want a mask respirator due to the fumes from the top and base coat.
Note about the water: You can use distilled water, but it is recommended to use De-ionized (DI) water with .000 purity. DI water can be purchased online or at your local Chemistry shop. I used distilled water for my project to show that common distilled water does work.
This is a fun project and the possibilities are endless. The customer service at Alsa Company was exceptionally good. I chatted with one of their representative for a while. He was helpful and excited about my project.
August 22, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by JOdesoto What I expected
If you can not read, don't buy. If you can understand directions, don't buy. If you have no patients, don't buy. If you think it's going to be like painting a barn door, don't buy. BUT, if you're pretty good at DIY, have patients, KNOW what PREP WORK is all about, and want a pretty darn good looking piece that didn't cost a small fortune to chrome. BUY IT.
December 8, 2015