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Plating clear plastic

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  • Plating clear plastic

    I'd like to 'plate' clear polycarbonate plastic such that, in the finished product, the plating is underneath the plastic sheet. In other words, with the finished product, you are looking through the sheet of polycarbonate and see the coating underneath. This way the coating is protected by and seen through, for all intents and purposes, a really thick "clear coat".

    Viewed through the polycarbonate sheet, I want it to look like polished chrome/mirror finish. (In essence, it's like the old fashioned process of silvering a glass mirror but with clear plastic instead of glass.)

    I thought I could use the SilvaChrome Kit, but upon closer inspection, the chrome effect will be on the 'wrong' side. I want to see the 'chrome' from the other side of the plastic.

    How can I accomplish this effect? What can I use?



  • #2
    chroming clear plastic

    Go to a sign shop and buy a roll of "chrome" vinyl. Apply that to one sheet and lay the other over the top of it.
    1966 Impala (hers)
    1966 Impala SS 427 (his)
    See them at
    The Watering Hole


    • #3
      'Chromed' Lexan

      Thanks txturbo for your reply.

      The polycarbonate shell houses a consumer electronics product. Sandwiching 'chrome' vinyl between two pieces of lexan may add too much bulk to the item not to mention requiring another part ( 2 pieces of lexan vs. 1). Plus the vinyl sheet may not conform to all the countours.

      I think using a lexan compatible paint on the inside surface is the way to go. I've found that lexan is popular with R/C hobbyists. There is a chrome/mirrorizing paint that gives the effect of a mirrored (airplane) canopy that looks like it will do the trick.

      For those interested, my research has led me to the following.

      Mirror Canopy thread on RC Universe forum

      Krylon puts out a product called Looking Glass paint. An even better alternative is specifically geared to hobbyists.

      The product is Alclad 2. See pic, below, for an example of a inside-painted Lexan remote control car body. There are other Alclad 2 products for other metal-look application including color-shifting paint.

      I hope this helps others looking for a similar solution.