Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive
(Hard Chrome Plating)
by Randy Taylor, Advanced Tooling Corporation.
Chrome Guitar Hardware
Q. I am trying to make new chrome guitar hardware appear to be fifty plus years old. Most of the hardware is chrome and a few parts are brass. I would like to see the chrome tarnished with a slight amount of rust - nothing green on the brass however. If I leave the hardware in a container that is exposed to ONLY FUMES will I obtain this effect. If yes, what should I do to cease the corrosion from continuing any further. Thank you for the unusual request.
A. Sounds like you're attempting to show wear and age in the chrome, maybe exposing slightly the base brass or die cast?. This is new territory for me, but there are experts out there that specialize in antique and restoration work who would be better qualified to comment. It's hard to say how chrome may react in an enclosed environment exposed to "fumes"? What fumes? H2SO4?, HCL or muriatic acid, NaOH?
Dab acid on an area and rub repeatedly with a soft cloth to see if you can get a reaction. You might even do better with a combination of 1200 grit sand paper and dilute muriatic acid? Apply only to the outer surfaces to avoid loosing the entire luster and shine. Of course, one would perform this in a well ventilated area using eye protection and rubber gloves.
Good luck, rock on.