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Satin chrome??

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  • Satin chrome??

    Hi all,

    I have heard that the finish commonly seen on micrometers etc is called 'satin chrome'. Is that correct, and can I produce that sort of finish in a home workshop? If so, what do I need? Is there any limitation on the metal type - I would want to use normal (mild) steels, and stainless 304 / 316.

    I have seen reference to glass bead blasting and cross-contamination problems i.e. beads that have been used on one material leaving traces of that material when used to blast something else. Is that likely to be a problem in my application?

    A heap of questions, I know, but I haven't had much luck finding a 'how to' on the web or groups.



  • #2
    Satin chrome can be acheived by altering the base metal finish. Give the part a satin look prior to chrome plating and the part will be satin chrome. You can do this by buffing with a brightex wheel, or by bead blasting.

    Do you need a REAL chrome plate, or would something like our Copy Chrome be suitable? Copy chrome will plate directly onto steel. Stainless will require a pre-plate with Stainless Steel Activator (which uses the same anodes as the Copy Chrome process)

    Real chrome will require our Triple chrome kit. Plate first with nickel (or stainless steel activator for stainless parts), then copper plate, satin the copper plate, nickel again, then chrome plate.

    I don't see any problem with contaminated beads. You'll be cleaning/degreasing the part in between each plating step anyway, so there shouldn't be any issues.
    Mike Caswell
    Caswell Inc
    Need Support? Visit our online support section at


    • #3
      Satin chrome??


      'Do I need real chrome?' Perhaps you could tell me the answer to that. The requirement would be to provide the same level of protection against handling, grease, oil, fingerprint acids, etc that the finish on precision instruments such as micrometers provides. I am not sure precisely what the Copy Chrome finish is (some form of nickel?), but in any case I am not qualified or sufficiently experienced to make that call. I note that your Copy Chrome page calls out door handles as a suggested use, so it sounds like it may be suitable.

      I can't quite sort out the 'New Improved Brighteners' on the Copy Chrome page - the headings at the top of the page talk of 'a hint of blue', while the new brighteners section further down talks of 'brilliant, white deposits of high clarity'. That section also goes on to refer to 'regular Nickel and Copy Chrome'. Is/Are the brighteners an additional treatment? Does the 'hint of blue' still apply?

      Thanks for your time,