When I was younger, I had a bike that I was told was chromed with electrostatic coating, and was very scratch resistant. So, I used a razor blade to scrape the stickers off of the bike. I didn't scratch it, but I couldn't do the same on different parts of the paint (the non-chrome) Now, I was wondering if that's the real reason for the scratch resistance, or if it's something else, and if the same type of paint can be used for automotive purposes

Also, if there's a more appropriate stack exchange site for this, please move my question

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    Considering your question, I think you are safe to ask this question here ... works for me :D Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 19:23
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    @Paulster2 I feel that it would be a great way to paint a car for long term beauty. Well, but I'd avoid painting it chrome.
    – Hellreaver
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 19:24
  • But that doesn't make the question off-topic ... :D Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 19:27
  • I am guessing you meant electroplated rather than electrostatic, which is a totally different process. Chrome is electroplated, whereas some paints are electrostatically charged so that they are attracted to the surface to be painted to avoiding paint wastage.
    – HandyHowie
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


It's not the application technique, but the material being applied.

Chrome plating is a process where actual molecules of chrome metal are attracted to a surface using electrical current. It covers the surface of the parts with a layer of real metal. Of course metal is very hard, and will be difficult to scratch.

The strength of paint will be limited to the materials it's made out of. For instance, brush on house-paint is very weak because it's made of latex. Typical spray on paints for cars use very strong binders to create a glossy shell of a surface, but they are still limited to the strength of a sturdy plastic.

Since you mentioned "electrostatic", Powder Coating is a "painting" process that uses just that. A fine, dry powder is applied to the metal and it clings in place using an electric charge. The piece is then baked at high temperature that causes the powder to melt forming a solid glossy surface. Powder coating is common on bicycles, and gives a thick, strong surface, but it's not as strong as that metal razor blade!

The strongest "paint" I can think of is glaze that is used on ceramics. The glaze is brushed on and then fired at very high temperatures that turn the glaze into a shiny, glass finish. I wonder if there is a way to glaze a car, but I suspect it would be too heavy and too prone to cracking.

  • What could be powder coated? You say bikes, but you also said high temperature, so I'm guessing only steel and aluminum?
    – Hellreaver
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 19:45
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    Traditionally its done with steel, but there are new techniques mentioned on that Wikipedia article that can do it on MDF (fiberboard). Because of the cost of materials and running the curing oven, it's typically done with small, complex parts that would be hard to evenly spray paint, or if a stronger finish is needed. Aluminum is commonly "anodized" rather than painted, which is a form of corrosion resistance and dying.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 19:54
  • @Hellreaver - Anything which can stand 400°F for 20 minutes can be powder coated ... albeit metal objects coat much better than non-metallic objects. Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 22:30

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