A detailed guide about how to do a restoration of chrome on shiny surfaces. Restoring a Lexus logo on the driver’s wheel and in front of the car.
Task: To refresh a car emblem
Metallic surfaces are prone to corrosion with the passing of time. This Lexus GS 300 emblem from a car of 2002 has lost its original perfection look.
It used to be chrome-plated by the manufacturer. Rather expensive equipment is needed for this kind of processing, so it is not possible to chrome-plate at home or small shops.
To restore the car emblem I chose to paint it with a metal spray “chrome effect”.
To do this we need:
– aerosol enamel «chrome effect»
– sandpaper, grit 800 and 320
– prime coat for plastic.
1) First of all we need to remove the old chrome coating with sandpaper. That was not an easy task. Besides the sandpaper, I also used a boxcutter to clean the areas beyond the reach of the sandpaper.
After grating the surface of the emblem with coarse sandpaper it is necessary to finish the cleaning with fine sandpaper. Now the detail is ready for the next step.
2) Now we thoroughly degrease the surface of the emblem and wash away the remaining dirt. Then we prime it.
I apply two layers of the prime and leave it for 2 hours to dry. Now the element is ready to be painted.
3) It is important to keep the emblem from dust before and during paint coating. We apply the paint layer-by-layer for perfect even coating and to avoid smudging. While doing so we wait for each paint layer to dry.
Here is the final result. The paint quality is not perfect as it was my first experience. But this method is good enough and with some experience and skill an excellent result might be obtained.
Later on, the same method was used to restore the steering wheel emblem. This time the result was much better. The only difference was: I had to be more accurate so that to avoid smudging the steering wheel leather cover.
To protect the steering wheel I pasted it all over with masking tape. Then I removed the old paint from the emblem, covered it with two layers of primer. This element has fewer details so it was easier to work with.
We painted the emblem after the primer had dried and removed the masking tape when the paint got dry.
As we were unable to cover the steering wheel with the masking tape flawlessly, we had some paint in the areas where the emblem contacted the steering wheel. But it was easy to remove the paint there with a scalpel and cotton swabs after the paint got completely dry.