Clearcoat is a semi-permeable substance. It will protect it's underlying surface much better than not having the clearcoat, but the nickel will eventually start oxidizing. How long will it take to oxidize with a clearcoat on it? I have no idea, too many variables (brand and application of clearcoat, how often cleaned, where stored, riding conditions, etc.). I have clearcoated nickel plated objects that only saw an indoor environment, and started seeing slight oxidation 10 years later.
A very interesting example of how permeable clearcoat is: Many of you might have seen the importer's floor sample of a early '90s Moser Leader AX frame in the Moser booth at the Interbike trade shows in the early '90s. This floor sample was completely clearcoated instead of painted. I can't remember if the frame was lightly polished or whether it received a brushed finish prior to the clearcoat. Anyway, it received all the normal decals for that particular model. The intent of this floor model was to show the workmanship of the brazing and finishing. It was quite striking. Very soon after it was clearcoated, the metal started to oxidize. Every time I saw the frame, it was much worse than the time before. It was just plain ugly after a few years. Keep in mind, this frame was always indoors. Yes, this an example of clearcoat over bare metal, and not over plating. But, the point is, clearcoat will only slow down the oxidation process, not alleviate it.
Brandon Ives wrote:
> I was just thinking about this and if you clearcoated over nickel the
> shine should last, right?
> monkeyman known to the IRS as Mr. Brandon Ives