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How to Black Out Chrome Trim with Paint

How to Black Out Chrome Trim with Paint

How to Black Out Chrome Trim with Paint

Customers ask how to black out the chrome trim on their cars and trucks in a way that they will get great looking, durable, and long-lasting results. We recommend they black out chrome trim with paint, and specifically, by spraying chrome trim black with BlackTop in OEM Satin Black finish.

Why Do People Want To Paint Chrome Trim Black

Blacked out chrome trim has become more and more popular. Blacking out chrome gives a car or truck a custom, sporty, and aggressive look and the contrast of the blacked out trim against the vehicle’s paint color can be quite dramatic.

Painting chrome trim black is also a way to improve the appearance of trim that has been damaged or discolored. Chrome can become scratched. Airborne pollutants, road debris can accumulate and cause discoloration. Corrosion is also a culprit and can lead to discoloration and pitting. Oxidation can dull the shine and cause discoloration. All of these blemishes can be hidden with paint.

The procedure to black out chrome trim with paint is relatively simple and something vehicle owners can do themselves which makes it a popular choice for those who enjoy DIY automotive projects.

What Automotive Trim Pieces Are Commonly Blacked Out?

BlackTop is used to:

  • Black out chrome window trim
  • Black out chrome grilles
  • Black out chrome emblems and badges
  • Black out chrome door handles
  • Black out chrome bumpers and trim accents
  • Black out chrome exhaust tips
  • Black out chrome interior trim

Best Black Paint For Chrome Trim

BlackTop paint in OEM Satin Black finish is absolutely ideal to black out chrome trim. BlackTop also comes in Gloss Black and Flat Black when those sheens are desired. BlackTop is a 1K, moisture cured, UV stable, single stage exterior grade paint. BlackTop provides a deep and rich look and is specifically formulated to withstand dulling and fading caused by prolonged sunlight exposure. BlackTop adheres strongly and is rock hard yet flexible for superior impact resistance. BlackTop can be applied with a brush, roller, or spray equipment and BlackTop has excellent self-leveling properties, so BlackTop does not show brush marks. Most people prefer to spray when painting chrome trim black, and for this purpose we have a convenient aerosol version.

How to Black Out Chrome Trim with Paint

Preparing Chrome Trim For Paint

Adhesion, adhesion, adhesion! Strong adhesion is key when painting chrome trim so that the paint won’t crack, flake, or peel. For the best adhesion we recommend preparing chrome with a combination of KBS Klean and a dust etching coat of Fusion Self-Etching Primer.

KBS Klean

KBS Klean is a powerful, concentrated, water-based cleaner that removes dirt, grime, grease, and other contaminants. KBS Klean does not leave a residue, which is vital for paint and coating adhesion.

Fusion SEP (Self-Etch Primer)

Fusion SEP is an incredible all-purpose self-etching-primer for direct to surface priming of bare surfaces such as chrome, steel, brass, aluminum, and most hard plastics. It is also ideal for promoting adhesion between multiple coatings. In this case being between the chrome coating and BlackTop.

Surface Preparation Procedure

Follow this procedure for the best adhesion of paint to chrome.

  • Scrub the chrome trim with KBS Klean to completely remove dirt, grease, wax, and other contaminants. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly. Instructions for use of KBS Klean can be found HERE.
  • Mask off areas not to be painted with masking tape and paper.
  • Apply a single light dust coat of Fusion SEP to the chrome trim and allow to completely dry. Instructions for use of Fusion SEP can be found HERE.

Application Of BlackTop Trim Paint To Chrome Trim

The final step to black out chrome trim with paint is to apply BlackTop.

  • When the aerosol version of BlackTop is used, apply at least 3 light coats. Waiting until the first or consecutive coat is dry-to-touch and does not leave a fingerprint before applying the next coat.
  • When spraying BlackTop Aerosol, hold the aerosol can about 6 to 8 inches from surface to be sprayed. Do not cover with continuous spray. Move back and forth, releasing the spray head after each stroke. Overlap each stroke.
  • BlackTop Aerosol is fully cured in 48 hours.
  • BlackTop can also be applied by HVLP, brush, or even a small foam roller. Directions for this easy application can be found HERE.
  • If additional coats are to be applied after 24 hours have transpired it is best to lightly scuff the previous cured coat of BlackTop with 320 grit sandpaper or a green Scotch-Brite pad.
  • Instructions for use of BlackTop can be found HERE.


Have questions about how to black out chrome trim with paint? Please reach out HERE!