Can I Paint Chrome Finished Lights?

Q: I have some really shiny chrome lighting fixtures in my kitchen and bathroom. They do not go well with anything in my house; however, I don’t want to have to buy new ones or pay to have them installed. Can I paint chrome finished lights, or will the finish eventually scratch or peel away? Also, what paint should I use?

A: Painting fixtures is a great way to remodel your home, and you don’t need a home improvement loan to do it. You can definitely paint chrome finished lights; however, the finish will peel unless you treat the fixtures with a special type of primer. Slick, nonporous chrome finishes do not hold paint well. To generate good adhesion, I’d recommend a metal-etching primer.

Before you do anything, thoroughly wash the fixtures, or nothing will stick. Use a water-based degreaser and a sponge. Once the fixtures are clean and dry, add a thin layer of metal-etching spray primer. Be sure to cover the walls and other nearby surfaces with masking paper using painter’s tape. To generate a slick finish, hold about an 8-inch distance between the spray can and existing chrome finished lights as you apply.

After the etching primer has dried for about two to three hours, apply either a spray acrylic paint or oil-based enamel. Apply the painted finish just as you did the primer, and don’t touch the fixtures for at least an hour, or you may create ugly marks.

Jim Dugan has over 20-years of experience as a professional contractor.

By Jim Dugan
Home Improvement Expert

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