Here's the idea. I'm thinking of purchasing a Hinge Pin style mirror for my 25 Tudor. The vendors offer a decent chrome version that will work...but...I don't want the glitz. Is there any treatment that I could use to provide a surface that paint will stick to? I would love to locate an original non-plated example with decent silvering remaining on the mirror but so far I've come up empty handed. Any thoughts?
Protect the glass with gorilla tape and sandblast?
I would think that scuffing the chrome with sandpaper will suffice.
There is a product made in America called "Penetrol". it is sold as a paint additive, but has interesting properties. I have not tried it on chrome, but I believe that it would work, especially if the chrome has been roughened a bit with sanding.
Some years ago I ran an art and hobby shop. I recommended Penetrol to an artist who wanted to use oil and acrylic artist paints to create scenes on glazed plates. He tried it out and found that the Penetrol painted straight onto the plate and left to dry, provided a 'key' for the paints which adhered beautifully to the glazing.
I got a brass mirror from Lang's that clamps to the windshield post on my '25 roadster pick up. Took my time with 400 grit paper and hoped to make a good surface for paint to stick to. That was 12 years ago and the black paint is still sticking nicely. Probably would work the same with chrome but you'll have to spend more time sanding as chrome is more robust.
If you can get the mirror itself out without damage, take the unit to your local plater and have them strip the chrome off. Had that done to some vendor parts I bought a couple years ago that just didn't look "correct", then had them replated with bright nickel. I do agree, chrome looks out of place on Model T's. I know a gent who bought a car someone went crazy chrome plating mirrors, headlight rings, radiator shroud, etc. That bluish hue of chrome just looks garish on an antique vehicle.
The mirrors I use were chromed when I bought them. I tapped the mirrors and using fine 400 grit sand paper I scuffed the chrome and painted. Took more than one coat. I used a brush because the paint I used to match my T doesn't come in a can.
Before you buy a hinge pin mirror read the info on Lang's website. It might not fit without some work.
Several years ago I wanted to paint the chrome fenders on a Honda motorcycle. I scuffed them with 400 grit, the primer and paint lifted. I then had them sandblasted, primer and paint would still lift. I visited a local body repair shop about my issues with the paint. He told me to get a spray can of metal etch primer. After priming the fenders with metal etch primer, I was successful at making paint and clearcoat stick.
Thanks for the help everyone. I ordered a mirror from Lang's and it's now on back order. When it eventually gets here I'll try the sandpaper and self-etching primer method first.