Tips for Painting Your Chrome Pieces with Bedliner
Whether you plan on spraying on your bedliner paint job or rolling it on, there’s a good chance you have some chrome pieces on your vehicle that you want to cover with bedliner. Chrome trim, bumpers, door handles, etc. all pose a unique challenge when you want to get a good result with your bedliner paint job.
The main problem with chrome is that it’s very smooth – that’s what makes it look nice and allows it to shine. Unfortunately, paint (including bedliner) doesn’t like to stick to extremely smooth surfaces, so a little extra prep may be required if you want a good end result that will last a long time.
There are different ways to go about painting chrome surfaces with bedliner, but I’ll share what has worked for me. It really boils down to 2 extra steps you need to complete to get it right.
Step 1: Rough Up the Chrome
There’s no way around it, if you want a good bedliner paint job on your chrome surfaces, you’ll need to get rid of that smooth chrome surface and use an aggressive medium to get a rougher texture.
When preparing chrome for bedliner (such as Raptor Liner), I’ve found that 80 grit sandpaper (or rougher) is the best option. This will ruin your chrome finish, but that’s what you need to get a surface ready to accept bedliner. I highly recommend using a power sander for this to save a LOT of elbow grease. Chrome is pretty hard and to get significant scratches in the surface. Another great strategy is to use a wire wheel on the end of a drill.
Regardless of which method you choose, be sure to go over the entire surface and don’t skip the nooks and crannies. Also, be sure you get good, deep scratches everywhere. A dull finish is not enough and bedliner may peel if it can’t “grab” the surface.
Step 2: Use a Self-Etching Primer
Now that you’ve scratched up the entire surface and removes as much of the chrome plating as possible, it’s a good idea to use a self-etching primer on the prepared surface. A self-etching primer prepares a bare metal surface so that it won’t react with paint or bedliner. It also acts as an adhesion promoter and will give you one more advantage toward a high quality bedliner paint job.
I’ve used different self-etching primers with pretty equal results, but I really like the Custom Shop primer because it’s a high quality brand and comes in an extra large size. Applying this etching primer is a very important step if you want your bedliner paint job to last, and I wouldn’t recommend skipping it.
Those are the steps I’ve used to paint chrome with bedliner, and I’ve had really good results. Hopefully these tips will work for you too. If your doing a large surface like a complete bumper, it’s quite a bit of work, but the end result will be worth it. If you are planning on doing your own bedliner paint job, be sure to check out my step-by-step guide for more helpful tips.