Asked on Nov 21, 2016

Chroming a plastic toy

I'm not intending to offend anyone.
My son passed away recently at the age of 27. His passion was riding his 4-wheeler ATV. My husband insists on keeping the ashes here. Here is my question.
I want to adhere a toy quad onto box of ashes and have it chromed or to look as if was chromed. Similar to having your baby shoes bronzed.
Any ideas?
My son Arlo on his quad at Yuma dunes.
  45 answers
  • AZ Stamper AZ Stamper on Nov 21, 2016
    So sorry about your son. How about talking to a car restorer. Or look in your phone book for Chrome. My husband had screws chromed for our juke box a long time ago. Good Luck.
  • Barb Barb on Nov 21, 2016
    Hi Jane, So sorry for your loss. If you want a professional job look up metal plating in the yellow pages for someone close to you. They also make kits for do it yourself bit I am not sure I would want to fool with the chemicals. Good luck!
  • Wom11324055 Wom11324055 on Nov 21, 2016
    I can't think of full name but there is a company in Nashville Tn called Advanced or Advance which does chrome work
  • William William on Nov 21, 2016
    Please accept my deepest condolences for your family's loss. ***** Many plating shops don't plate plastics, because its a multi step process and expensive. Plastics are composed of different materials that can react or be damaged during the plating process by the chemicals used. ***** You can do it yourself with good results. Wash the item you want to chrome. Make sure its totally dry. Spray paint the item with a black automotive prime using several light coats. Let each coat dry before applying subsequent coats. Then spray paint with Dupli Color Instant Chrome Spray. Again spray several light coats, letting each coat dry completely. Then spray with Dupli Color Clear Coat in several light coats, also letting each coat dry until you have the desired shine. I would try this on some other plastic item before attempting to chrome the desired item to see the results.
  • Cwh6899259 Cwh6899259 on Nov 21, 2016
    Take the toy to the place that bronzes baby shoes, I think they can actually bronze anything.
  • Mary Lou Pearce Mary Lou Pearce on Nov 21, 2016
    Sorry for your loss. Perhaps it would be easier to chrome if you could find a die cast metal toy quad somewhere. Any suggestions from others about where you could find one?
  • Janis K Harrison Janis K Harrison on Nov 21, 2016
    First: I lost my only child last year, so I know how you & your husband are feeling. I congratulate you on your personal outlook for storing your son's cremains. I don't know about plating, it may be possible, but I'd look into some spray paints such as RustOleum, and check that the formulation works with plastic.
  • Cathy Cathy on Nov 21, 2016
    I am so sorry for your loss. I have three sons and cannot imagine what you are going through. Try a trophy shop... i'm sure they have some sort of quad races so they probably already have a quad trophy topper you can purchase... sort of like a bowling trophy, or a motorcycle trophy, or a car show trophy. Hope you find what you are looking for.
  • Mae McNeilly Mae McNeilly on Nov 21, 2016
    i am so sorry for your loss my 19 year old son drowned 12 yrs ago it is a hard journey your on i wish you all the best with your plan for his ashes i had my son buried so i visit his grave instead God be with you both xxx
  • Bonnie Burns Bonnie Burns on Nov 22, 2016
    You might try a shop that makes trophies. So sorry, blessed be.
  • Denise Helton Denise Helton on Nov 22, 2016
    Krylon makes a "mirror" spray paint, you could give that a try. I cannot imagine the grief you are feeling, I pray you and your husband find a way to get through it. Good luck with fulfilling your wish, hope this was of some help. You can buy the paint at your local Michael's.
  • Mary Stewart Mary Stewart on Nov 22, 2016
    So very sorry for your loss. I think what you want to do is a wonderful idea. Krylon makes specific spray paints just for plastic. They probably have a chrome color. Peace be with you.
  • Ann Smitt Ann Smitt on Nov 22, 2016
    Dear Arlo's Mom, I am so sorry for your loss. Our 32-year-old son died unexpectedly 33-months ago. We placed his cremains in a niche at a nearby cemetery after having him at home for one year. Ask your husband if he'd like to have his cremains interred in your yard and have a 4-wheeler statue installed above Arlo's resting place. You'd have somewhere to visit Arlo outdoors and a memento of his days riding his favorite machine. May you and yours find comfort in your memories. Peace, Jonathan's Mom
  • Deanna Nassar Deanna Nassar on Nov 22, 2016
    Sorry for the loss. May Raphael, God's healing angel, ease your pain. This is one of many sites for atv toys. Amazon is not the only place. I see some are listed at Wal Mart and Toy's R Us. It should be easy to paint with Chrome, silver or similar color paint. Put on lightly. Then you may be able to mount it to either top of urn or next to urn and put both on piece of wood that's painted an outdoor color.
  • Jo ann Jo ann on Nov 22, 2016
    So sorry, my heart goes out to you,may the lord give you strength and I think your idea is wonderful.
  • Ginger R Senter Ginger R Senter on Nov 23, 2016
    Deepest sympathy. I've had the best outcomes with faux chroming using chrome spray paint from Advanced Auto. The others turn out gray, not silver. Spray several very thin coats, allowing to dry at least an hour between coating. Make sure there is no wax or grease on the item you're painting. Try to place the item so you are painting down on flat surfaces rather than at a 90 degree angle to prevent runs. If you experience a run, peel the "run" off, sand very lightly and spray again. However, very light coats are your best defense against runs. Best wishes to you in the special challenge in your life.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Nov 23, 2016

    I can't imagine your loss and I know doing this project will make you feel better. I googled "small replica four wheelers" and several came up. (You might want to also check ToysRus or Walmart too.) They are not chrome, but you can buy chrome (silver) paint for plastics...Rustoleum....tape off the wheels and spray it. Then hot glue it to your box. With it getting no wear, it should work fine! You could glue a small photo frame on the toy and put his photo in it! Please post the results!

  • Terri Farina Terri Farina on Nov 23, 2016

    There are many paint products out there and another thing to try would be nail polish. Get 'other' plastic toys to practice on until get the result you want. Sorry for you loss.

  • Doreen Doreen on Nov 23, 2016

    Im so very sorry for your loss. I also lost a child, my 8 yr old daughter MIA was struck by a car, this JANUARY will be 11yrs. There is no greater pain. If there is anything you need or any advise I can have help you with. I my self, still have a very hard time dealing with her loss.May god bless you


  • Mad11731551 Mad11731551 on Nov 23, 2016

    Hi so sorry for ur lost.I pray total peace in ur life blessings.

  • Sti2242965 Sti2242965 on Nov 24, 2016

    So sad for your loss.

    This probably will not be of use to you but I just wanted to mention it out of interest...some years ago I read a book called 'surely you're joking mr feynman' and he mentions there was a technique for actually chroming plastic

  • Wanza Fairchild Wanza Fairchild on Nov 24, 2016

    Try a trophy shop... They may have just the ATV already in chrome...

  • Gayle Deas Gayle Deas on Nov 25, 2016

    I lost my only child, my daughter, at the age of 28. One week from today will be 9 years. It gets easier....but then again, it doesn't. I am so sorry for your loss. As many here apparently know, there is no greater loss than that of your child, regardless of his/her age. May G-d give you the comfort only He can give. Your idea is wonderful and offends no one. You have already gotten many good suggestions...I just wish to express my condolences. Bless you at this very difficult season.

  • Thomas Finch Thomas Finch on Nov 25, 2016

    You cannot 'chrome' plastic. Chroming can only be done to metal, and involves a high-heat process that would melt any kind of plastic or cheap metal attached to the box. (I'm assuming that it is some kind of metal?) Some silver paints--if done correctly--can yield a good 'chrome-like' result; especially if you go over it with a spray gloss clear-coat. If should look ok, if it isn't handled too much; however, some clear-coats tend to 'yellow' as the age.

    • See 3 previous
    • Thomas Finch Thomas Finch on Nov 27, 2016

      Of course electroplating is a different process than chroming, but the original question asked about CHROMING, and my reply pertained to that fact. I'm sure it's possible to find someplace that does electroplating, but I'd have no idea where to look--or how much it would cost.

  • Judy Sundal Judy Sundal on Nov 25, 2016

    I agree with Wanza. I believe a good trophy shop will set you up with something special. They can adapt trophy tops to various urns and do custom engraving etc. Most tops are done in gold, but in my opinion I think they would look just as good. The following link is an example of one of the shops ATV's.

  • Sti2242965 Sti2242965 on Nov 26, 2016

    One of the American physicist Richard Feynman's first projects was to develop technology for electroplating metal onto plastic. Feynman developed the original idea of his friend into a successful invention, allowing his employer (and friend) to keep commercial promises he had made but could not have fulfilled otherwise.[6]

  • 13526476 13526476 on Nov 26, 2016

    I'm very sorry about your loss. How one remembers their loved ones never requires an apology, as you must do what you must to deal with your loss. May your beliefs sustain you now and in the future.

    I offer my thoughts on how to "chrome" a plastic object. Have you thought of finding the glue and silver leaflet papers? I've used gold leaflet with good effect. As another commenter recommended, try a couple of small test pieces first before deciding.

    God be with you.

  • Sat7902302 Sat7902302 on Nov 26, 2016

    Check with an auto graphics shop. They may be able to chrome wrap or dip your pieces. My condolences on your loss.

  • Gyo12471057 Gyo12471057 on Nov 26, 2016

    I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my son when he was 36, the victim of a lightening strike. How you choose to remember your son is up to you - only you know what will make him smile. I have nothing to offer regarding your question, but I sincerely hope you find a solution that gives you comfort

  • Phi14669278 Phi14669278 on Nov 26, 2016

    Yes ! As someone said you can't Chrome Plastic !. But if you paint in silver , you must use a good undercoat first !. All so you could cover in cooking "tin" foil !. The next thing to try is covering in glue , then a silver Sprinkle of something !?.

    Hope this gives you a few Ideas !!??.

    • Lamar Havard Lamar Havard on Nov 26, 2016

      Buy a plastic model car kit and look at all the chrome-plated plastic parts in it. You can electro-plate chrome onto anything.

  • Van.Isle.BC Van.Isle.BC on Nov 26, 2016

    Sincere condolences and a Spiritual Hug.

    This You tube shows different brands of spray paint. Please watch

    We have made models out of balsa wood, plastic and fabric... and Testors was the only one available when we were young... in the 50's and 60's

    We rode vintage motorcycles up till last year, lots of parts were 'chromed' using 'high-heat' spray paint.

    I can highly recommend spray paint, just use a mask for your nose and spray outdoor. retouch with a fine tip paintbrush

  • Sheila D Sheila D on Nov 26, 2016

    Buy a duplicate of the toy you want to "chrome" & try spray mirror paint. Or as suggested a trophy shop might have just what you need. So sorry for your loss. Let us know what worked for you?

  • Jdo8838017 Jdo8838017 on Nov 27, 2016

    Sorry for your loss! Try you tube for Spectra Chrome .com This is a fairly new process for painting virtually anything (Even a stuffed Alligator) . I think this will do exactly what you want. God bless you all !

  • Sti2242965 Sti2242965 on Nov 27, 2016

    Further to my last post re the technique by Feynman for electro plating plastic If memory serves they were using the technique for plastic car wheel trims, the first invention failed and loads of them started crumbling and had to be recalled I am sure they got it right the second time...I like the idea mentioned earlier about trying to wrap it in some kind of foil..we used to do that with coins as children

  • Sti2242965 Sti2242965 on Nov 27, 2016

    Just had another thought if it hasn't been mentioned...Could a three dimensional print be made of it in something that can be chromed?

  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on Nov 28, 2016

    I'm very sorry for your loss. There are companies who can chrome plate plastic. They've been doing it for literally decades for model car parts. I don't know how to locate them, but I'd try an online search, especially companies which restore antique and classic cars. Some of the plastic was chrome plated in older cars.

  • Sti2242965 Sti2242965 on Nov 29, 2016

    We should rename this thread 'Chrometalk'

    Bit confusing as wiki also claims that plastic can be chromed (and yet a few on here think it cannot be done")

    Chrome plating (less commonly chromium plating), often referred to simply as chrome, is a technique of electroplating a thin layer of chromium onto a metal or plastic object. The chromed layer can be decorative, provide corrosion resistance, ease cleaning procedures, or increase surface hardness. Sometimes a less expensive imitator of chrome may be used for aesthetic purposes.


  • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Dec 07, 2016

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    When I was younger my friends sister passed away, and her family had several items of hers bronzed. I know many of the companies that bronze shoes will also silver plate and some times use other metals. It may worth calling a place near you that does silver or bronze plating and see which metals they work worth.

    While they probably can't do chrome, there are a number of metals that look similar to chrome, or possibly you can nickel plate it and then chrome that if your very attached to the idea of chroming it.

  • Rosemary Kelly Rosemary Kelly on Dec 11, 2016

    Rust-O-leum makes some very nice metallic paints that you can spray on just about anything.

  • Geeswonderland Geeswonderland on Dec 13, 2016

    Condolences on your loss. They've spray paint in chrome and gold.. Walmart I know has it.. It shines like mercury glass silver after applied! If it's an older toy though a clear coat after might be needed, not for the paint itself underneath could loosen which loosens the paint on top.

  • Lyn Buerger Lyn Buerger on Dec 15, 2016

    A technique that I have used. To chrome, maybe the bumper on a toy car. Paint a coat of varnish on the area to be chromed. Let it dry thoroughly. Paint another coat of varnish and let it dry but NOT to a hard finish. With a soft rag rub silver bronzing power into the fresh/but dry varnish. It will shine like chrome. You may need to practice the technique on something expendable. Then put a final varnish finish to protect the silver from oxidation. Good luck with the project and I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Linda Rutherford Linda Rutherford on Jan 13, 2017

    I found "chrome" spray paint in the auto body store. It's used for chrome vehicle bumpers. About $6 per can.

  • Susan Thurlkill Rhodes Susan Thurlkill Rhodes on Jan 13, 2017

    I am so very sorry for your profound lost. There's no greater loss than that of your child. All these ideas are good, but I didn't see one for having the little toy powder coated. Powder coating businesses usually have about a dozen different coatings from which to choose, including a chrome finish, and such a finish would last forever. It should not cost very much at all; have the shop give you and estimate and tell them exactly why you need it. Depending on the shop, they should be very sympathetic and understanding. I know the shop in my town would be. Best of luck in your quest.

  • Sylvia Candler Sylvia Candler on Jan 23, 2017

    Thank you all for trying to help this mom in her time of grief. I know what it's like to lose a son. It's something you never quite get over. Best wishes to you Jane Oliver Boone.

  • Christy Roppel Christy Roppel on Feb 03, 2017

    So sorry to hear of your loss. As a mother of an only child (son) about this age, I can only imagine your grief. On a lovely note: This is such a wonderful way to celebrate his life! Have you thought about the silver (looking glass) spray paint?I think this may give you the look you're after.

    Best wishes and may God give you strength during your difficult time.