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Chrome, Paint or Powder Coat, Which one is the best?

Chrome, Paint or Powder Coat, Which one is the best?

 

Choosing the right coating for your aftermarket front bumper can make a huge difference in the level of resistance and durability. Each type has its pros and cons related to those factors, so carefully think about what would be best for your bumper when taking this decision. Below we have listed the advantages and disadvantages of picking chrome, paint or powder coating, with the aim of making it easier for you to find the right one for your truck.

 

Pros and Cons of Chrome Coat

 

A classic coating for dodge ram bumpers, the chrome finish can be applied either as a triple or single layer. To get started, the bumper needs to be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water. Chrome can rust easily, so make sure to remove any rust before doing any painting. Proceed by carefully sanding every part of the bumper, then clear any additional traces of contaminants with a grease and wax remover. Only then, you can spray the self-itching primer, ideally more than one time. Then, switch to a regular primer to coat the bumper another 2 to 3 times. Now you just need to sand the primer, wipe any dust and residue and ultimately finish by spraying the final coat of paint.

Chrome coating provides advantages such as corrosion resistance and surface hardness, but requires some careful maintenance to last long. To remove any dirt from chrome, you need to avoid any steel wire or steel wool brushes as those would scratch the surface. While if you intend to paint over the chrome to make your bumper look as good as new, you need to avoid painting directly over it as you risk to end up with flaking paint.

One of the main disadvantages regarding Chrome coating is that while triple plating can withstand stone chips and adverse weather better than paint would, it’s not as flexible. If the chrome plate cracks, the moisture can get in and ruins the bumper. Plus, utilizing hexavalent chromium comes with various health hazards.

 

Pros and Cons of Paint Coat

 

Paint coating is one of the most affordable alternatives to finish your Ford Super duty front bumper, all you need to prepare for it to be applied is wash that part carefully with soapy water. Afterwards, wet sand the cover to ensure that you have removed even the roughest of spots and finish the preparation by wiping the bumper with a clean cloth.

Once it’s dry, the liquid paint is sprayed finely over the frame and ideally requires a trained expert to ensure that it applies perfectly. The painting and drying process needs to be repeated a couple of times to ensure that the paint adheres properly, and you will have to wait at least 6 hours before handling the bumper and installing it to your truck.

One of its advantages is how easy it is to match the coating with the color of your vehicle, any supplier can mix the paint to create the exact color you want. While the process is much quicker and easier than the other alternatives, and scratch or damage can be simply painted over. This type of coating also protects from corrosion quite well even if it does require careful maintenance to do so.

The main disadvantage of this choice is that trucks who choose it for their heavy duty bumpers will have to repeatedly paint the bumper to have it looking good consistently. It’s not particularly durable and while it doesn’t cost as much, you end up having to often make some touch ups for it to be worth it.

 

Pros and Cons of Powder Coat

 

A favorite of most bumper brands, powder coating is made to take on any damage and protect your bumper from deterioration. It’s especially a popular option for heavy duty bumpersof trucks that might often go off road, as it can sustain scratches and tough road conditions for longer. A number of special tools is required to be applied, so this one is something that should be left to be done only by professionals. The metal it will be applied on is first of all thoroughly cleaned with a chemical bath, then dried before it can be coated in powder. The particles are then sprayed onto the bumper and then heated, so that they will perfectly adhere to the material. While the initial process might sound more complicated than paint, it dries a lot quicker and only takes a thirty minutes wait before it can be installed on a truck.

Some of its advantages come with the strength of its finish, which beats both paint and chrome. It can take on any of the damages that most heavy duty bumpers might face without issues, while also being resistant to corrosion and perfectly bonding with the metal it’s applied on. Plus, it’s more environmentally friendly than the other options as no chemicals are released into the air when the coating is carried out.

This level of exceptional quality coating comes with the downside of an expensive cost, which covers the labor intensive preparation and the professional equipment required to do it. While you might spend a lot upfront, for something that is bound to last for a long time, you can at least avoid repeating the process multiple times.

 

The Best Brands for Powder Coating

Some of the top brands offering heavy duty bumpers have been choosing powder coating over the other methods mentioned above. The reason for it, is the level of durability and resistance that adds to their bumpers, offering a higher quality product. The Hammerhead truck bumpers, which are made to sustain long off road drives, swear by their powder coating to always provide a level of protection that matches the strength of their metals.

 

While the Steelcraft bumpers are re-known for their premium powder e-coating, which produces an unbeatable protection against rust and corrosion.

 

The Ranch Hand bumpers, another brand leader in this industry, also swears by the powder coating. It provides a much superior corrosion resistance and long lasting effect that no others can do.

 

Part of this team of brands that trust powder coating over the alternatives is the ICI Magnum front bumper. Which offers an additional level of durability thanks to the 2 stage black powder coating.

The Fab Fours bumpers do the same to their products, switching between the 2 Stage Black Powder Coat and Bare Steel. While last but not least, the Silverado front bumpers favor black textured powder coat for their products over any chrome or paint finish.


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Ranch Hand BTC081BLR 2007.5-2010 Chevy Silverado 2500HD/3500HD Legend BullNose Series Front Bumper

GREAT ADD ON!

A great add-on for the Rebel! It is very well made and sturdy. I've had this on my truck with an aftermarket 40" Westin, single row LED and I enjoy it a lot!
Two issues:
1. Most LED light bars are straight, but this bumper is curved. It's not a huge issue, but bars larger than 20" will require drilling and fabrication of brackets.
2. The bumper cuts out the bottom portion of the old bumper (obviously), but when driving through standing water/wet mud, the bumper throws 100% of the water/mud directly on the windshield, blocking visibility completely.

Good Bumper / Poor Mounting Hardware.

This bumper looks fantastic. It hides a winch, the lights mount well and the finish is perfect. However, you're going to need to go to the hardware store for some heavier duty washers or they will pull through the mounting holes. Verify all the orientation of the winch for line interference prior to installing bumper. Overall the product is of high quality, but I would go with another brand next time.

ARB 4X4 3520010, ARB Deluxe Front Bumper FJ Cruiser 2006-2008 Installation Kit

Great Product

Product is as expected, fit was perfect, easy installation. Company was very helpful in getting the correct product for my vehicle.

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