It's quite possible to remove the paint and have a nice chrome plated frame underneath but several things that you should consider:
1. Areas that require a shiny chrome finish such as the forks, lugs and stays are polished before plating. Many times just the lower halves of fork blades and maybe the fork crowns are polished leaving the midsection plated but rough.
So the whole frame may be plated but much of it may have a rough surface finish.
2. The best chrome plating starts off with a layer of copper that is applied to fill small gaps and scratches. Copper is soft and can be easily polished before the next layer which is nickel plating is applied. Sometimes nickel is applied directly to the surface without any copper. The nickel plated layer is thicker and smooths out the surface. Finally a very thin layer of chrome plating in the millionths of an inch thickness is applied.
3. The chrome plating is frequently lightly polished by the plater before the operation is finished. Chrome is a very hard brittle metal and it's difficult to polish out rough area in the plating especially since the rough surface is probably in the base metal. Excessive polishing will wear away the shiny blue white chrome layer and leave the yellowish nickel layer exposed.
Another thing, platers use large buffing wheels for the final polish. Many platers doing this kind of work are used to working on car bumbers and wheels not bike frames. I've seen a number of instances where the operator isn't careful and the buffing wheel grabs the frame and damages the tubing.
So, if large areas of your frame have rough surfaces then it's unlikely that you can polish them out.
Here's a link with information about chrome plating:
Chas. Colerich Oakland, CA USA
-----Original Message----- From: pbbikes Sent: Sun, Jul 26, 2009 1:33 pm Subject: Re: [CR] best safe way to remove paint from a full chrome frame?
Chas, thanks im wondering if i can remove it and just polish the chrome ? The tubing all appears to be full chrome . I dont think i want to repaint it. Im not sure of the chroming process. the frameset has no exposed chrome other than chips . entire thing is painted . Marquee is also known for full chrome frames.
On Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 1:27 PM, <email@example.com> wrote:
3M makes a very effective paint stripper that you can get at auto paint stores. It doesn't have the strong fumes of most other strippers.
Once you get the paint off, you may have some problems getting new paint to adhere to the chrome plated surface. I've seen some instances where the visible chromed areas were masked off and the plated areas that were to be painted were lightly sandblasted to give a slightly matte finish for the paint to adhere to.
Oakland, CA USA
Sent: Sun, Jul 26, 2009 1:12 pm
Subject: [CR] best safe way to remove paint from a full chrome frame?
I trying to figure out whether i want to remove the paint from a frame I
Its full chrome underneath the paint-I can tell from the chips. Ive used
chemical stripper before but only on a clawfoot tub and used a wire wheel
which would make for ugly messed up chrome.
i would love any suggestions or tried and true methods for doing this and
leaving the chrome intact to be polished up.
mount shasta ca USA