A peeling chrome grille can make your car look very unattractive. And as if that’s not enough, if the peeling isn’t fixed, it may spread to more parts, making your car look even uglier. It is crucial that the peeling is stopped as soon as you notice small chips on it.
There are many causes of peeling in chrome grills. The most obvious ones are when you scratch or dinge the grille when driving. Debris, salt, and small rocks can also contribute to the chipping of chrome grills.
As much as some of these causes are unavoidable no matter how careful you are, knowing how to fix chrome grille can ensure you get rid of imperfection in your vehicle.
Also, doing it sooner helps you avoid the complicated and expensive process of re-chroming the grille.
Table of Contents
- The Recommended Methods of Fixing Chrome Grille
- What about Replacing the Entire Grille?
- Can Tape Fix Peeling Chrome Grille?
- What If I Decide to Change to Another Color?
- Does Washing the Grille Regularly Prevent Chrome Flaking?
- How Do I Prevent Chrome Grille from Peeling?
- What is the Best Method of Fixing Peeling in Grille Chrome?
The Recommended Methods of Fixing Chrome Grille
Before we list the main methods you can use to fix the peeling chrome grille, it is crucial that we look at the benefits of prepping the surface of peeled chrome with a rust remover.
Quite often, whenever there is a scratch or crack on your grille, when it comes into water it begins to rust and starts spreading to other parts. This is how the peeling spreads from one tiny chip into a huge area.
To prevent that from happening again, get rid of the rust. Also, with rust on the chrome grill, some of the methods below may not be effective because chrome will hinder the products from sticking and bonding with the grille.
1st Method – Use Chrome Polish
For slight peeling of the chrome grille, we highly recommend this fast and easy procedure. Chrome polish can significantly help conceal small chips or peeling on your chrome grill, without having to waste a lot of time, effort, and money.
Before using a chrome polish, you definitely have to get rid of the rust. Then apply the polish using a soft cloth or applicator.
Let it dry and form a haze then buff it with a soft microfiber cloth. This process is the easiest and doesn’t need skill or any expertise. Therefore anyone can do it.
2nd Method – Use a Liquid Chrome Marker
Despite being used for building model cars, liquid chrome marker does an excellent job at mimicking the reflective properties of chrome.
A lot of people have tried finding a marker that can imitate chrome but very few products have such properties. If you have been looking for DIY solutions to fix chrome peeling then you have probably come across this at one point.
Liquid chrome markers are the next best alternative if the first method didn’t work for you. It is a more effective solution that doesn’t require complex detailing skills.
All you have to do is get your hands on a liquid chrome marker which can be found in most e-commerce stores. When shopping for one, ensure that you find one that closely matches chrome because of uniformity purposes.
3rd Method – Apply Chrome Spray Paint
If a chrome marker doesn’t sound like a great solution to fixing peeling, then you can achieve more desirable results with chrome spray paint.
The internet is full of many brands that make chrome spray paints. It is important that you research which spray paint will look amazing on your grille.
Some spray paints can dull chrome finish, so it is important that you know what to expect from certain spray paint.
When it comes to using chrome spray paint, we always advise our readers to avoid using the entire thing on the grille. This is not unless the peeling is major.
Chrome spray paint works perfectly when used as a touch-up to hide imperfections. Avoid over-spraying.
And because not all of us are skilled with using paint spray, make sure you practice with another object first so that you can learn how to hold the can.
4th Method – Re-plating the Chrome Grill
When all the above fail, this should be your last option. As mentioned earlier, this is not an easy process and neither is it cheap as the ones listed above.
This is why we have put it last on the list. Depending on the size of your grille, re-plating the chrome can set you back a couple of hundred dollars.
The reason why re-plating chrome grille is expensive is because of certain environmental regulations that have been put in place. There are several plating shops that can help you with this process.
In your quest to find them, avoid low-grade chrome which has become very common nowadays.
If it’s low-grade then you won’t have received a permanent solution to fix the peeling chrome grille as it won’t be able to withstand harsh elements.
If you opt for triple or double-plate, expect to pay more. The likes of triple plating which entails chrome, copper, and nickel can cost up to $400.
This is expensive but it will look amazing on your grille. Obviously, because of strict regulations, you may not find many detailers who can do this for you.
To be on the safe side, you may want to contact as many detailers as possible and confirm whether they can re-plate your chrome grille before visiting them in person.
What about Replacing the Entire Grille?
This is also another great option. But it will depend on your preferences as a car owner. At times, finding an expert to re-plate the chrome grille can be hard. The fees for this process are abnormally expensive.
The other three options are only ideal for light peeling. So, where does that leave a car owner with a grille that is almost half-peeled?
Thanks to the wide availability of chrome grills both new and used in the market, you don’t have to worry about finding a suitable replacement.
If your chrome grill has peeled beyond repair, replacing it with a new one can be the ideal solution for you. When shopping for chrome grille, ensure that you also find a reputable vendor lest you risk getting scammed.
Can Tape Fix Peeling Chrome Grille?
It is not a permanent fix, but you can use it to cover those ugly peeling marks on your grille. This is a very common method of concealing peeling in chrome grilles.
If you visit most detailing forums, many members will recommend this is a quick ‘fix’.
Should you decide to use tape to mimic chrome grilles, please continue looking for a permanent alternative. Exposure to the sun or rain can make the tape weak and it will fall off eventually.
What If I Decide to Change to Another Color?
Once again, this is another option that can work if it suits your preference. Though it can fix peeling, painting over chrome isn’t the easiest DIY job.
And because of these reasons, I would recommend taking your car to a body shop and having an expert do that for you.
Does Washing the Grille Regularly Prevent Chrome Flaking?
Whether peeled or not, washing your chrome is a crucial aspect of maintaining it. However, once it starts peeling, washing it won’t get your grille back to its original shine.
After it has already been chipped, other than the above-listed alternatives, washing it won’t give you any pleasant results. Yes, it will be clean but the peel marks will be there.
However, for those whose cars are yet to experience chrome flaking on their grille, washing it regularly can help prevent this problem.
When we were discussing earlier, we hinted at how salt and other contaminants accelerate the peeling process.
However, if you wash your car regularly, flaking or peeling is least likely to occur because the contaminants won’t have time to settle on the chrome.
How Do I Prevent Chrome Grille from Peeling?
We have talked a great deal about how you can fix the peeling of the chrome grille. However, we haven’t discussed how you can prevent this from happening.
If you are reading this, probably you are dealing with peeling on your grille. And even though you can’t reverse what has happened, you can learn a lesson from this and share it with friends and family.
Washing your grille regularly is the first line of defense against preventing peeling.
This eliminates all contaminants from the surface. As great as water is at preventing peeling, it is also one of the key ingredients that cause rusting.
Therefore, not unless you are using water to clean the grille, prevent it from making contact with your chrome. You are probably wondering how can I do this? Invest in a quality wax.
Wax when applied to chrome grille, makes it shine and adds a protective layer which safeguards your chrome from water and other contaminants that may speed up the rusting and peeling process.
What is the Best Method of Fixing Peeling in Grille Chrome?
There are several factors you should consider when choosing the method to use in fixing peeling grille. The first thing is your budget.
If you have the money, replacing the grille or re-plating the chrome grill are excellent options. However, if you don’t have enough set aside for such you can use chrome spray paint or a liquid chrome marker.