Re-chroming plastic parts

July 1, 2018 | By Staff


I have a 1984 El Camino and will be doing a driver restoration. The plastic trim on the interior door panels is peeling its bright covering. Also the headlights trim is rippling and looks like I could peel it off. How do I repair this? Is it actual chrome plating or something else? Some time past I saw a “chrome” tape that I thought could be used to recover these items, but was not sure that would last and/or not cover the nooks and crannies of the trim. Were these actually “plated” or what? How did the manufacturer actually make these in 1984 and what do we do today?


Plastic tape doesn’t do compound curves well, and I don’t know how well it stays in place over time. There is also chrome paint available from auto parts stores that looks pretty good, but is not show quality by any means. And then The Eastwood Company sells kits to apply chrome to plastic that you may find acceptable too. The kit comes with a full explanation of how it works. The effect is quite good. They can be reached at:

The Eastwood Company

263 Shoemaker Rd, Pottstown, PA 19464-6433

However, professional quality chrome plating or simulated plating requires that the surface of the component be as flawless as possible. Any irregularity or blemish will be magnified by plating. The best results for the hobbyist restorer working at home would be obtained by sending the parts to a company like GCAR. Contact them at:


6812 E. Elk Chattaroy Road, Chattaroy, WA 99003