Hood Ornament Restored for Vintage Car

Back in the day, hood ornaments added a personal touch to cars and trucks. The shiny, artistic hood ornaments were popular in the 1920s to 1950s. Recently, a vintage car owner commissioned Custom Plating Specialists to restore a hood ornament.

Restoration Process for a Vintage Car Hood Ornament

The hood ornament had deep corrosion pits. We carefully metal finished them out and then copper plated it and sanded and polished the copper. Then we plated nickel and chrome plating on it. It’s absolutely beautiful!

You’ll notice that the circle isn’t restored because that’s where the headlight base goes. It doesn’t show at all, so it doesn’t need to be perfect like the rest of the grill piece. Restoring a vintage car hood ornament like this costs about $475. 

Send Us a Photo & Request a Free Quote

Are you restoring a vintage car of truck and need expert chrome plating? Visit our Free Quote page to upload photos and a description. We are located in Brillion, Wisconsin, and ship all around the world. Contact us today. Our reputation shines through every piece of chrome we do.

Classic Car Restoring | 1958 Estate Wagon

Oftentimes, classic car replacement parts are hard to find or nonexistent. That’s why Custom Plating Specialist uses our skills and ingenuity to save these parts. Whereas other chrome platers would discard a shoddy old part, we save and restore it to its original condition and shine. Sometimes, Custom Plating Specialist performs miracles. We restore and chrome-plate parts from antique cars, boats, and motorcycles that seem beyond repair. That’s why we are the best in the business.

From Convertible to Estate Wagon

Recently, we were commissioned to restore a light pod for a 1958 Century Caballero Estate Wagon. Our client previously commissioned us to do chrome work on a 1947 Buick Roadmaster Convertible. The convertible project turned out fantastic, and the chrome is holding up beautifully, even after almost 10 years.

Restoring a Light Pod to Like-New Condition

As for the light pod, our restoration specialists had our work cut out for us. The part had numerous holes rotted through it. We cleaned out the holes, copper plated the light pod, and then soldered the holes shut. Next, we sanded it smooth and then put a heavy copper plating over the top. We sanded the copper and polished it to a mirror shine. Finally, we put the light pod back into the tanks to get nickel-plated and chrome-plated. See our Chrome Restoration Process. The restoration project turned out great.

Show Chrome Quality for Classic Cars

If you see a fully restored 1958 Century Caballero Estate Wagon at the next car show, take a close look at the “show chrome quality” of the light pod. The classic car may have been restored and chrome-plated by the team at Custom Plating Specialist.

Photograph Your Part & Request a Free Estimate

To request an estimate for restoring your classic car part, take a picture of the part and upload it to our Free Quote webpage. You’ll receive confirmation that we received your request, and we’ll provide a quote within a week or so.

Chevy Grille Restoration: Like New Again

Custom Plating Specialists handles restoration projects for hot rods, classic cars, vintage boats, old motorcycles, and other cherished antiques.

Here is the front grille of a 1952 Chevrolet car that we restored for a client. The parts had been rusted through, but we repaired them without a trace of any holes. After we completed the chroming, the Chevy owner asked us to put the grille together for him because the grille comes apart in so many pieces. We also painted the shields that are attached to the grille. Lastly, we used black paint to paint the brackets behind the grille that mount it to the front of the car. This grille restoration project turned out amazing!

Our chrome restoration process enables us to restore parts to make them look better than the original. Our staff has over 150 years of combines experience, and we stand behind our restoration work.

Chrome Plating an Entire Motorcycle Frame

Look at that finish! We did all of the chrome on this motorcycle, and it turned out great. We thank Tom for his business – and being so great to work with, too. All of us a Custom Plating Specialist hope you enjoy many long rides on your beautifully chrome-plated motorcycle.

We have been chrome plating parts for nearly 30 years, and we never get tired of watching the transformation. Cars, motorcycles, hot rods – our chrome-plating process gives you the results you’re looking for.

Innovative Restoration of a Vintage Boat Horn Ring

Here is a horn ring for a steering wheel off of a vintage boat. As you can see, the “pebbled“ area is pitted deep. The customer wanted something close to the original look for his vintage boat steering wheel. The only way to get the pits out was to sand them out, but obviously then we would lose the pebbled look. So, how could we restore the horn ring of the vintage boat to its like-original state?

Taping, Texturing & Transforming the Vintage Boat Horn Ring

Here at Custom Plating Specialist, we make things happen by thinking outside of the box. To restore this horn ring, first we taped off the areas to be left shiny. Next, we sprayed a silver texture paint over the top. Then after peeling up the taped-off surfaces, we could see a silver-textured surface that looks similar to the original pebbled look.

Innovative Approach to Restoration

One thing that sets Custom Plating Specialists apart from our competition is our innovative approach and the ability to figure out ways to restore projects of all varieties. We chrome plate and restore parts of classic cars, motorcycles, bikes, vintage boats, specialized art, and antiques of all kinds. We restore projects to their original state – with the attention to detail and ingenuity that delight our clients every time.

Contact Us for Restoration or Chrome Plating

Contact us with a photo of your vintage boat part or another piece you want restored or chrome plated. We provide free quotes and responsive customer service.


Singing the Oldies: Radio Restoration Project

If you grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, then you remember driving around town and listening to the radio. Listening to music on the radio was an iconic American pastime. Buddy Holly. Johnny Cash. Elvis Presley. You knew the words to every song. The car radio was king! That’s why restoring a classic car isn’t complete without restoring the radio to its former glory.

Colonial Radio Restoration Project

Whether you restore a classic car for a special event, a car show, or as a hobby, remember to restore the radio, also. If you need a hand with a radio restoration project, let us know. Our chrome restoration specialists helped restore an old colonial radio. It looks pretty cool, all shiny and like-new again. This radio restoration project turned out great.

150 Years of Combined Chrome-Plating Experience

Our typical work is amazingly like “show chrome” quality, yet lower in price than most of the other chrome plater’s “driver” quality. With over 150 years of combined experience on our staff, we can handle every imaginable chrome plating project.

Contact Us for a Free Quote

Getting a quote is simple. Send us a photo of the antique car, bike, boat or motorcycle part you want restored, and we’ll reply with a quote. Most restoration projects take 4-6 weeks, so we have plenty of time to restore a radio or other classic parts before the summer car show season. You’ll be singing along with the Oldies again soon.

Custom Plating One-of-a-Kind Projects

At Custom Plating Specialist, we have been chrome plating parts from all over the world for nearly 30 years. We specialize in the restoration of metal parts for cars, motorcycles, bikes, boats, specialized art, and old antiques of all kinds. But every now and again, we get a “different” kind of a job to do.

Custom Plating a Tiny Wrench

Here is a fun little project that our chrome plating specialists recently completed. A client wanted a tiny wrench chrome plated so he could add it to a bracelet. The wrench was new, so we had to de-chrome the wrench so he could heat up the metal and bend it to conform to his wrist. Then, we re-chromed the wrench, and a jeweler welded it to a polished, stainless-steel chain.

Mechanic’s Retirement Gift

This client has been wrenching on cars and motorcycles for his whole career and recently retired. He wanted something for himself that symbolizes what he has done his whole life. He is very humble, and he never really spent money on himself. When he retired, he wanted to finally do just that. Good for him!

Turning Dreams into Reality

He was so proud of his bracelet that he drove nearly an hour back to our facility in Brillion, Wisconsin, just to show us how it turned out and to say thanks for helping his dream come true. We enjoy the chrome restoration work we do, day in and day out, but we take extra pleasure in custom plating projects like these. Thanks for letting us be a part of your dream.

Contact Us with Your Unique Request

Contact us with your unique request, and we’ll put our 30 years of chrome-plating experience to the test. Rest assured that you are dealing with the best of the best. We will do our part to ensure that you are satisfied with the outcome.

Chrome Plating: GTO Spinners Restored to Original Glory

At Custom Plating Specialists, we go the extra mile, so the classic auto parts we restore look like they just came out of the automobile factory. Our crew has a combined 150-plus years of experience, and our passion for chrome plating shows in every auto part we restore. Recently, we restored the spinners on a 1964 Pontiac GTO. The chrome plating “brushing” really shows our attention to detail and commitment to the best possible restoration.

Brushing Effect Gives Spinners an Original Look

Here’s how it happened. A client asked us to restore four spinners from a 1964 Pontiac GTO. We had our buddy Steve Reynolds make us a jig so we could spin them, and then we did a “brushing” effect on the center. When we finished, they looked like they were the originals. The chrome plated spinners turned out fantastic! Zinc diecast is difficult to work with, but our crew did a great job with the restoration. These beautiful spinners will add extra pizazz to the 1964 classic car. The1964 Pontiac GTO is America’s first muscle car, so our crew felt a good deal of pride restoring these hubcap spinners to their original glory.

Contact Us or Restoring or Chrome Plating

Chrome plating requires time, effort, and precision to restore classic auto parts that look like the original. Our attention to detail and painstaking chrome plating processes set us apart from our competitors. Contact us with a photo of your classic car part, motorcycle part, or antique piece you want restored or chrome plated. We triple plate all parts with copper first, nickel and finally chrome. Our reputation shines through every piece of chrome we do.

Tail Light Restoration Requires Ingenuity & Craftsmanship

If you restore classic cars as a hobby, then you probably smile every time you start ‘em up and hear ‘em rumbling. What a gratifying reward for all the time and automotive work you put into your antique car. Sometimes, the car restoration process goes well, and you make good progress on your classic. You might be thrilled to find a rare part that you desperately needed in a junk pile across town. However, sometimes the automotive restoration progress is painfully slow, and you can’t find the part you need at car shows, swap meets, auctions, or salvage yards. (For car part search tips, read our article, 5 Places to Find Old Car Parts When You’re Restoring a Vehicle)

Classic Car Tail Light Restoration Process

Unfortunately, many of the parts we are commissioned to restore are not available to buy new or used. So, our restoration craftsmen do whatever they can to make the originals look awesome again. For example, here are some tail lights we restored for a classic car client with a 1971 AMX. As you can see, the tail lights had a number of holes that were rotted through. because all of the years that road salt got caught behind the tail lights. Every time the salt got wet, the salt reactivated and corroded the base metal. We metal finished the parts, then copper plated them, soldered the holes shut, sanded the welds smooth, then plated with copper, nickel and chrome plating. These vintage tail lights are going to look beautiful with red lenses in them.

Contact Us to Restore or Chrome Plate Your Part

This is just another day at Custom Plating Specialist, using our ingenuity and craftsmanship to restore the parts to get a classic car one step closer to road-ready. Contact us with a photo of your classic car part, motorcycle part, or antique piece you want restored or chrome plated. We triple plate all parts with copper first, nickel and finally chrome. Our reputation shines through every piece of chrome we do.

Custom Plating Specialist sanded the metal of the 1971 AMX tail lights. You can see the holes drilled through to clean out the decay.
Custom Plating Specialist sent the tail light to get nickel plated, followed by chrome plating. These vintage tail lights are back to their original condition.
Custom Plating Specialist lightly copper plated the metal of the 1971 AMX tail lights. We melted a low temp solder to fill in the holes. From there, we sanded the excess solder so that it’s flat or flush. Then put a thick coat of copper plating on the tail light and sanded it down. We copper plated the tail light one more time and sanded and polished the copper.
rechroming is expensive

Three Reasons Why Re-Chroming is Expensive

Why is re-chroming so expensive?

Why is re-chroming so expensive? This is a great question, and as an expert with over 35 years of chrome experience, Custom Plating Specialist, Inc. (CPS) sheds some light on this age-old question.

Owner of CPS, Terry Meetz comments “First, it’s important to understand that the process isn’t considered “dipping” like many people tend to think. This is a misconception in the chroming industry.” The CPS re-chroming process is a plating process where the parts are plated and not dipped. Here are three reasons why re-chroming can be expensive.

#1 – Overhead – chemicals, tanks, structure to house the tanks and equipment, electricity, labor, and more. With any business, there are expenses. As a consumer, it is important to understand the overhead involved in chroming. The plating process involves several different process tanks, each containing a very specific and different chemistry. The tanks are regulated daily by CPS experts to ensure that all chemicals maintain the proper operating levels. Electricity which is an integral part of this process is another expense that must be calculated into the cost of re-chroming.

Here are some parts getting the plating stripped off. It’s a combination of acid and water as well as electricity that dissolves the plating from the parts.

# 2- Re-chroming is not a quick process. At CPS, every part that is re-chromed must go through several steps in order to ensure that the final product is of the highest quality chrome. In the beginning of the process, parts are “racked up.” What this means is that the parts are affixed to a copper plating rack that will enter the strip tank. The power entering into the tank is reversed and the chemicals dissolve the plating. The parts are then sand-blasted to remove rust and other impurities. At this point the metal finishing process is started, sanding. We start with 150 grit, move to 320, and 500, and respectfully finish with 800 grit. Once the sanding is complete, the polished metal is buffed until it shines, but that isn’t where it stops. 

This is a vent window frame that just had its chrome plating stripped off.

Our industry award winning triple plating process is next. The first coat of copper plating comes next after the parts are racked up. This time the part enters some cleaner tanks and an acid wash to make sure the bare metal is free from any dirt and buffing compound. The parts are suspended in the copper plating tank for about two hours and then are removed along with the racking. The copper-plated part is sanded with 800-grit sandpaper and then polished out with various buffing wheels until all scratches are gone and the part is as shiny as a brand-new penny. The part is then racked up again, this time it is nickel and chrome plated. After chrome plating, the piece is un-racked and then hand waxed. It also goes through an inspection process to look for any defects prior to being wrapped in a soft protective wrap and shipped out. At CPS, we don’t take shortcuts.

Here are some parts that metal finishing to sand out the pits and such. Notice the extra drilled holes. That is because some of the pits so too deep so we drill them all the way through and will weld them up after a coat of copper plating.

Left side: Copper plated part that gets multiple coats of copper plating before we attempt to solder up the rotted areas. This isn’t a standard way to fill ill holes, but the part is so bad and thin that we need to build some thickness first. Right side: These parts are now all polished and ready for nickel and chrome plating. These parts will be in the nickel tank for about 30 minutes before getting plated with the chrome.

#3 Unexpected Repairs are Common. Similar to a contractor remodeling a house. Sometimes there are challenges or surprises that are unexpected that add more time or costs to the project. In our world, many parts need repairs, which, by itself, is an art, and takes many years of experience to figure out ways of fixing broken or rotted-out parts. 

Here is a 1946 Chevrolet grille that is rotted at the bottom. We will be welding this part up to fill in where the metal has rotted away.

Let’s recap. The top three reasons why re-chroming is expensive. 1) There is a high amount of overhead with chemicals, labor, electricity, and more to re-chroming. 2) The re-chroming process has several steps and requires hours for processing. You can’t cut corners in the chrome industry if you want to have award-winning chrome. 3) In many cases rotted car parts need to be repaired. This takes time and experience and is sometimes an unexpected expense.

Parts ready to be hand-waxed, wrapped in soft paper and then sent back to customer.

Custom Plating Specialist, Inc., located in Brillion, Wisconsin, has the experience and knowledge in producing triple-plated award-winning chrome. Next time you have a project that requires chroming, remember these reasons why re-chroming can be costly. It’s a specialty service that CPS has perfected over the years. Proven testimonials and repeated work time after time can confirm that the CPS process provides exceptional re-chroming services, hands down. To learn more about CPS visit the website https://customplatingspecialist.com/.