View Full Version : de-chroming

03-19-2003, 03:55 AM
we have some chromed fittings that we want to de- chrome to expose the brass underneath (much nicer and in keeping with the boat fitout) the nearest shop which can do this is actually too many miles away, so does anyone know of the chemicals or 'stuff' used to de-chrome fittings so we could possibly buy some and do it ourselves?
Thanks from Bernie and David
Brief update: we are completing the fitout trim (Qld Maple) around the galley. the cabin top (panelled PNG Rosewood) is on and next is the deck (ply followed by laid white beech). we hope to push the boat out of the shed next month. will paint and varnish the interior when the masts and spars are being made.hope to post some photos soon. smile.gif

[ 03-19-2003, 03:57 AM: Message edited by: Bernadette & David Hedger ]

Thaddeus J. Van Gilder
03-19-2003, 07:57 AM
I have been experimenting in my lab with dechroming, and haven't found a good answer yet...
I am curious myself....

03-19-2003, 08:22 AM
I think you'll be sorry if you try to do this yourself. There's a guy on the forum who does this for a living, do a search. And Wade Enterprises in Philadelphia does good work, advertises in the magazine.

03-20-2003, 12:12 AM
you need the parts de-plated or stripped. cheaper to have a plating company do it. you would need the proper chemicals, baths set up, a rectifier, etc. find a place that does decorative chrome auto parts, bumpers, etc. know any bikers?good luck

Phil Young
03-23-2003, 09:55 PM
Salt water seems to do a pretty good job, takes about a year or so though, and not always a uniform job. :rolleyes: Looking forward to more pics. tongue.gif

03-24-2003, 11:15 PM
I've always had fairly good success with a simple wire wheel on a bench grinder.

of course, this only works on shapes that can be attacked with such a device, like cleats, chocks, etc. objects with stamped lettering or other tight nooks and crannies are a tougher nut to crack.

and gloves. wear tough leather gloves.

03-24-2003, 11:40 PM
Try soaking the parts in hydrochloric acid.You should be able to find it in a hardeware store or lumber yard as concrete cleaner. If that dose not work , try some sulfuric acid, this is available at your auto parts store as battery acid.

03-24-2003, 11:59 PM
I don't know about brass but hydrochloric eats up iron or steel like you wouldn't believe. Leave a large nail in a bucket overnight and it'll be gone by morning. Great rust remover. It also literally boils with aluminum until there's nothing left.

Thaddeus J. Van Gilder
03-25-2003, 09:51 AM
the problem with HCl is that if it touched the chrome (which I found it wouldn't)
It would readily dissolve the zinc in the brass fitting...

[ 03-25-2003, 09:51 AM: Message edited by: Thaddeus J. Van Gilder ]

mark g
03-25-2003, 12:11 PM
In response to the problem of removing chrome from bronze hardware... DO NOT try this yourself under any circumstances especially chemically. This should be done by a professional. Remember that after the chrome is removed the hard part is removing the nickel then the copper plate under the outer layer of chrome. I am a professional restorer of hardware and I know what I am talking about. It is NOT a job for a novice. Some of the chemicals I read in the posts are very dangerous to both people and the bronze. I am always available to answer any concerns or questions relating to restoring hardware from stripping to polishing and plating.
Mark G

Thaddeus J. Van Gilder
03-25-2003, 01:11 PM
yes, they are dangerous chemicals, but It would seem to be a simple redox reaction, aided by a mild electric shock...Once we reinvent the wheel, it seems that anyone with a slight back ground in chem. would be able to do it.

It is simply a matter of applying the reactions in my notebook, to reality...don't you agree, Mark?

Alan D. Hyde
03-25-2003, 01:52 PM
On a related note, an old-timer next door years ago would drop old bronze hinges into a can of tomato soup to clean them up. :D


mark g
03-25-2003, 03:24 PM
If the tomato soup method works I say go for it. Hopefully less dangerous to use!!! Maybe I will try it myself.