Painting a camera black

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
Bob Contributing Member • Posts: 581
Painting a camera black

I have an old Oly rangefinder.  I'd like to paint the chrome parts black.  Specifically, I'd like to send the chrome parts to an electrostatic powder coating service.

Yeah - it's gonna be cool! I know!

The thing is, I can't find anyone who has actually done this.  Everyone on the Internet says "gotta strip off the chrome - right down to the brass before you paint".

Really? Is this true?  Why wouldn't paint, especially powder coatings, stick to sand-blasted matte finished chrome?

Chaplain Mark
Chaplain Mark Senior Member • Posts: 3,007
Re: Painting a camera black
1

My concern,  rather than adhesion, would be that powder coating is very, very thick compared to blueing or other chemical staining of the brass fittings.

After powder coating, the newly refinished parts might not fit onto the camera?

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jshen808
jshen808 Senior Member • Posts: 5,641
Re: Painting a camera black
1

Bob wrote:

I have an old Oly rangefinder. I'd like to paint the chrome parts black. Specifically, I'd like to send the chrome parts to an electrostatic powder coating service.

Yeah - it's gonna be cool! I know!

The thing is, I can't find anyone who has actually done this. Everyone on the Internet says "gotta strip off the chrome - right down to the brass before you paint".

Really? Is this true? Why wouldn't paint, especially powder coatings, stick to sand-blasted matte finished chrome?

No, don't do it.. it's cool the way it is, two tones.. Cheers!

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Wildbegonia
Wildbegonia Contributing Member • Posts: 564
Re: Painting a camera black
6

"....if ain't broken, don't fix it", grandma used to say.

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rapick
rapick Veteran Member • Posts: 4,978
Re: Painting a camera black
1

Bob wrote:

I have an old Oly rangefinder. I'd like to paint the chrome parts black. Specifically, I'd like to send the chrome parts to an electrostatic powder coating service.

Yeah - it's gonna be cool! I know!

The thing is, I can't find anyone who has actually done this. Everyone on the Internet says "gotta strip off the chrome - right down to the brass before you paint".

Really? Is this true? Why wouldn't paint, especially powder coatings, stick to sand-blasted matte finished chrome?

Cool? Sorry, I fail to understand the reason for starting such a difficult, critical, and possibly expensive work.

After painting black, it could look worse that it was before, sure will loose any possible value as a 'collectible' item, and you won't be able to restore to original...

Would you post a pic of your camera, please?

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a_c_skinner Veteran Member • Posts: 6,632
Re: Painting a camera black
1

Why?  It is to take pictures not a type of jewellery.  Google "Rolex" or "Breitling" if that is what you seek.  If it really is an Olympus rangefinder (a film camera rather than a digital camera of that general appearance) it may actually be worth something provided you don't customise it.

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Andrew Skinner

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Ron Poelman
Ron Poelman Veteran Member • Posts: 6,372
Wrong tech. Forget powder coat.
1

e.g.
https://www.arlingtonplating.com/capabilities/black-chrome-plating/

Look for a local that does it regularly, maybe you can join in on a batch.
Cost ? If you have to ask....

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Trafford2
Trafford2 Senior Member • Posts: 3,520
Re: Painting a camera black
3

You could use black electrical tape, see how it looks.
you may not want to do a permanent  job on it.

HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 2,692
Re: Painting a camera black
1

Maybe there is a reason you can't find anyone who has already done this.

Awful idea.

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volks 1
volks 1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,433
Re: Painting a camera black

Bob wrote:

I have an old Oly rangefinder. I'd like to paint the chrome parts black. Specifically, I'd like to send the chrome parts to an electrostatic powder coating service.

Yeah - it's gonna be cool! I know!

The thing is, I can't find anyone who has actually done this. Everyone on the Internet says "gotta strip off the chrome - right down to the brass before you paint".

Really? Is this true? Why wouldn't paint, especially powder coatings, stick to sand-blasted matte finished chrome?

From Google.......

Yes, you can powder coat chrome parts but there are some exceptions. The chrome needs to be of good quality and not peeling. You also have to accept that their will be less adhesion with powder coated chrome vs. a sandblasted part as the chrome is very smooth so there is not much for the powder to grip on to. However, even with that being said, powder coating over chrome is done all of the time. The special procedure is to make sure that the chrome is completely clean. You can clean off any heavy crud with just regular degreaser. I prefer Simple Green Extreme. Then you will want to wipe it down with denatured alcohol several times to make sure it is completely free of all oils and previous cleaners. Handle it with clean gloves while doing this cleaning procedure. Then you are ready to powder coat.

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Keeping it light and simple.

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Gato Amarillo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,123
Re: Painting a camera black

Like the others, I don't think this is a very good idea.

But as to whether you can powder coat over the chrome, why not ask the place that is going to do the job? They should know.

Gato

Bambi24
Bambi24 Regular Member • Posts: 412
Re: Painting a camera black
2

Everyone on the Internet says "gotta strip off the chrome - right down to the brass before you paint".

Really? Is this true?

No. Sand down + acrylic lacquer / polyurethane spray. Always do a test spray on a piece of cardboard first.

Use plastic primer for plastic parts. Metals, ceramics or wood don't need a primer.

It will be dust dry after 10 minutes, fully hardened after 24 hours.

Only things you really need to take off fully are substrates that could potentially flake or crack, or things that you are forced to take off due to environmental regulations, stuff like cadmium coatings. But camera parts can just be sanded and sprayed, no problem.

Chaplain Mark
Chaplain Mark Senior Member • Posts: 3,007
Sung to the Tune Of....🎼🎼🎼
8

......the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black...."

🎡🎡🎢🎢 I have an Oly and I want it painted black, no chrome parts anymore, I want them to turn black...🎡🎡🎢🎢

Sorry, couldn't help it....    πŸ˜πŸ˜
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OP Bob Contributing Member • Posts: 581
Re: Painting a camera black

volks 1 wrote:

Bob wrote:

I have an old Oly rangefinder. I'd like to paint the chrome parts black. Specifically, I'd like to send the chrome parts to an electrostatic powder coating service.

Yeah - it's gonna be cool! I know!

The thing is, I can't find anyone who has actually done this. Everyone on the Internet says "gotta strip off the chrome - right down to the brass before you paint".

Really? Is this true? Why wouldn't paint, especially powder coatings, stick to sand-blasted matte finished chrome?

From Google.......

Yes, you can powder coat chrome parts but there are some exceptions. The chrome needs to be of good quality and not peeling. You also have to accept that their will be less adhesion with powder coated chrome vs. a sandblasted part as the chrome is very smooth so there is not much for the powder to grip on to. However, even with that being said, powder coating over chrome is done all of the time. The special procedure is to make sure that the chrome is completely clean. You can clean off any heavy crud with just regular degreaser. I prefer Simple Green Extreme. Then you will want to wipe it down with denatured alcohol several times to make sure it is completely free of all oils and previous cleaners. Handle it with clean gloves while doing this cleaning procedure. Then you are ready to powder coat.

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Keeping it light and simple.

Thanks, but I'm coating a camera body, not an exhaust manifold. Nonetheless, I will go through the extra effort to heed your advice about it being clean.

OP Bob Contributing Member • Posts: 581
Re: Painting a camera black

Bob wrote:

I have an old Oly rangefinder. I'd like to paint the chrome parts black. Specifically, I'd like to send the chrome parts to an electrostatic powder coating service.

Yeah - it's gonna be cool! I know!

The thing is, I can't find anyone who has actually done this. Everyone on the Internet says "gotta strip off the chrome - right down to the brass before you paint".

Really? Is this true? Why wouldn't paint, especially powder coatings, stick to sand-blasted matte finished chrome?

Thanks everyone for the comments. There were many questions in the various posts and people had some good points, so I'll try to address them here in one posting:

1. This could be valuable, painting will ruin it's collectability.

It's worth $50. I bought it on ebay because it was not working. Fully functional ones in excellent condition go for $200. If this paint job is a success, then I might tackle a working camera next.

2. Why do this, what's wrong with the original color?

I want to do this for the same reason bikers paint their gas tanks.

3. The parts won't fit together.

The chrome parts on this particular model fit over the outside of the body's frame. So, increasing the thickness by a mil or two won't make any difference.  Good call though!

4. Why not just ask a powder coating service provider?

I'd love to.  I would just like to perhaps call one that someone has already used for this purpose.  Most coating companies seem to focus on car parts.

Donald B
Donald B Veteran Member • Posts: 9,264
Re: Painting a camera black
3

acid etch primer easy

Don

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rapick
rapick Veteran Member • Posts: 4,978
Re: Painting a camera black

Bob wrote:

Bob wrote:

I have an old Oly rangefinder. I'd like to paint the chrome parts black. Specifically, I'd like to send the chrome parts to an electrostatic powder coating service.

Yeah - it's gonna be cool! I know!

The thing is, I can't find anyone who has actually done this. Everyone on the Internet says "gotta strip off the chrome - right down to the brass before you paint".

Really? Is this true? Why wouldn't paint, especially powder coatings, stick to sand-blasted matte finished chrome?

Thanks everyone for the comments. There were many questions in the various posts and people had some good points, so I'll try to address them here in one posting:

1. This could be valuable, painting will ruin it's collectability.

It's worth $50. I bought it on ebay because it was not working. Fully functional ones in excellent condition go for $200. If this paint job is a success, then I might tackle a working camera next.

2. Why do this, what's wrong with the original color?

I want to do this for the same reason bikers paint their gas tanks.

So, the camera you plan to paint is a piece of junk?

Then why not simply look at a flea market for another one original All Black?

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HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 2,692
Re: Painting a camera black

Bob wrote:

Bob wrote:

I have an old Oly rangefinder. I'd like to paint the chrome parts black. Specifically, I'd like to send the chrome parts to an electrostatic powder coating service.

Yeah - it's gonna

2. Why do this, what's wrong with the original color?

I want to do this for the same reason bikers paint their gas tanks.

Uh, yea, I've never understood while bikers paint their gas tanks. And I rode.

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Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 15,820
Gas tanks

HRC2016 wrote:

Bob wrote:

Bob wrote:

I have an old Oly rangefinder. I'd like to paint the chrome parts black. Specifically, I'd like to send the chrome parts to an electrostatic powder coating service.

Yeah - it's gonna

2. Why do this, what's wrong with the original color?

I want to do this for the same reason bikers paint their gas tanks.

Uh, yea, I've never understood while bikers paint their gas tanks. And I rode.

I painted my bike's tank because it was peeling and rusting; Ducati used to be pretty bad on cosmetic issues.

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OP Bob Contributing Member • Posts: 581
Re: Painting a camera black

Thank you.

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