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anyone using silvachrome?

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  • anyone using silvachrome?

    was wondering about results of silvachrome. sales tells me it doesn't compare with plating. has anyone used this on auto parts? how's the look & endurance? i'm looking to start a hobby/ small service to others and have been reading the forums & asking ?s of sales to figure out which products i will buy. thanks for any help. mike diaz

  • #2
    just up-dating my request for info on sivachrome. any help? polgon, i read your tips but wuold like to hear from you as to its performance. thanks mike diaz

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    • #3
      Silvachrome works, but most people don't have the proper set of working conditions properly set up in order to get good results.

      Room temp at 70 deg f, absolutly pure surface free of dust oil and properly cured base coat, and the most important thing is the proper application of the top coat.

      When dealing with temperature you must be aware that all working conditions must be warm. This includes the room your in, the surface your coating, the deionized water, and the chemicals. If any of these are cold, then the rest doesnt matter and your solution will not work.

      The surface must be pure and fully cured. If you have a perfectly cured surface and you get a finge print on it the result will be failure in that spot, requireing you to start over.

      If you unerstand the principle of undercoats then you can grasp how silvachrome works. The undercoat that silvachrome is applied to has to be a mirror finish. Not just glass smooth, but a perfect mirror. This requires a darker color under the base coat. Silver that is applied to the surface has a transparent quality. so if you have a uniform color under the base coat, then the color tone of the silver will be uniform.
      Also the darker the color under the base then the finish will resemble the deeper shine of chrome. The lighter the color of the base coat the finish will be more like sterling silver.

      The top coat is where everyone has problems. The nature of the top coat is Nitrocellulouse laquer. It must be applied very lightly, in multiple layers. Everyone who has used this type of sealer sees the first coat go on and look spotted so they instinctivly shoot it again. The first coat is supposed to look spotted. It must cure before being shot again, other wise the thinner will eat through to the base coat. If changing the color of the top coat do not do this until you have a perfect clear coat first. When Nitro is cured and completely covering the surface you can mix up some color. Color gold using VHT is simple. Mix up some nitro as before and use the spray can of VHT gold, blue or red and spray it into your nitro mix in the spray gun. Mix it completly then coat the surface again in layers.
      VHT gold can be replaced with 3 parts amber transparent dye and 2 parts yellow transparent dye.

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      • #4
        will this work of plastic car parts ?

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        • #5
          polygon, do you mean the undercoat, under the basecoat ,could be the original paint, if smooth, or a coat of clear or color to smooth it before the basecoat? will the basecoat flow enough to smooth itself? i remember you posted that it should be misted with thinner. is the gun supplied with the kit that hard to get results with? from a monetary standpoint, i was hoping to get a few good results before i shelled out for the better gun. thanks for info on this subject. i have been poring over caswell products to try to start a small shop to offer polishing & plating(looking at copychrome). i came to this site over silvachrome & the possibilities it seemed to offer for things not so easily plated--not looking to do concours work, just offer a custom finish to various items. btw--when you say 70*, do you mean not over that either? thanks again. mike

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          • #6
            Just like plating metal the surface must be smooth and polished. With Silvachrome, the color of the surface under the silvachrome base coat will determine the final Hue of the silver. A black color will make the surface deep in hue like chrome, and a bright surface like silver paint, will make the surface hue bright like sterling silver. If gold toning is required, then the lighter colors under the base coat will give a brighter gold.
            The basecoat caswell provides is thick and pretty self leveling. The tips to fix problems in the base coat were simply suggested because most people attempting to do this are just not familiar with how to paint. I my elf have no training in painting and had to learn the hard way. 1 spec of dust or oil on the surface while base coating will cause the base coat to seperate into a pit. When this happens my tips come into play. I have had to build a spray booth.
            The spray guns I use are from www.homier.com and they are about $15 each and work well. I have 7 of them so I never mix guns from one product to another. I also set up a gravity feed 5 gallon water supply so I don't have to pour water into the spray gun everytime, there by eliminating the possibility of water contamination.
            The 70deg temp is the low, the high is around 85 deg. But the humidity must be low at all times.

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            • #7
              polygon, do you use a gun other than the paasche(sp) gun for the silver coat itself? in surface prep could you use a base such as laquer & poli**** it up? is that whatyou mean?thanks again for your help. mike

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              • #8
                The base is sprayed on with a cheap gun, then another cheap gun for water, then another cheap gun for sensitizer,then the double head gun for the silver, then a decent gun for the top coat. The base coat is pretty easy to work with. Its your environment that can mess up the job in that step. I bake the base coat in my oven for 15 min at 150 deg. then let it sit for 24 hours under plastic to keep off dust.

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                • #9
                  it looks like it'll be a couple/few months 'til i get started; i hope to be posting results & not more questions. thanks for your insight, polygon. mike

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