How to Smoke Chrome Trim: A Comprehensive Guide

Chrome trim is a popular design element on cars, trucks, and motorcycles. However, some people prefer a darker, more subtle look, and that’s where smoking chrome trim comes in. Smoking chrome trim can give your vehicle a sleek, customized appearance that sets it apart from others on the road. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how to smoke chrome trim, including the materials you’ll need, the steps involved, and some frequently asked questions.

What is Smoking Chrome Trim?

Smoking chrome trim involves applying a thin layer of tint to the chrome surface. This can be done with a variety of materials, including spray-on coatings, vinyl wraps, or tinted film. The end result is a darker, more subdued finish that can give your vehicle a custom look.

How to Smoke Chrome Trim

Before you start smoking your chrome trim, you’ll need to gather a few materials. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Chrome cleaner
  • Sandpaper (800-1000 grit)
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic wrap
  • Spray-on coating, vinyl wrap, or tinted film
  • Heat gun (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide to Smoke Chrome Trim

Now that you have your materials ready, it’s time to get started. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to smoke your chrome trim:

Clean the chrome surface: Use a chrome cleaner and a microfiber cloth to thoroughly clean the chrome surface. This will ensure that the smoking material adheres properly.

Sand the surface: Use sandpaper to lightly sand the chrome surface. This will create a rougher surface that will help the smoking material stick.

Mask the surrounding area: Use masking tape to mask off the area around the chrome trim. This will protect the surrounding paint and give you a clean edge.

Apply the smoking material: Apply the smoking material of your choice to the chrome surface. If you’re using a spray-on coating, follow the instructions on the can. If you’re using a vinyl wrap or tinted film, carefully apply it to the chrome surface, using a heat gun to help it conform to the curves.

Smooth out any bubbles: Use a credit card or squeegee to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles in the smoking material.

Let it dry: Let the smoking material dry for the recommended amount of time. This will vary depending on the material you’re using.

Remove the masking tape: Once the smoking material is dry, carefully remove the masking tape to reveal the finished product.

Tips for Smoking Chrome Trim

  1. Use a high-quality smoking material to ensure a long-lasting finish.
  2. If you’re using a spray-on coating, apply several thin coats rather than one thick coat.
  3. Take your time when applying the smoking material, and use a heat gun to help it conform to the curves.
  4. Always wear gloves and eye protection when working with chemicals.
  5. If you’re not confident in your abilities, consider taking your vehicle to a professional to have the chrome trim smoked.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs about the smoking chrome trim –

Q: Is smoking chrome trim legal?

A: It depends on your local laws. In some areas, smoking chrome trim may be illegal. Check with your local law enforcement agency before proceeding.

Q: Will smoking my chrome trim damage it?

A: Smoking chrome trim won’t damage it if done properly. However, if you use a low-quality smoking material or apply it incorrectly, it could damage the chrome.

Q: How long will smoked chrome trim last?

A: The longevity of smoked chrome trim will depend on the quality of the smoking material and how well it was applied. A high-quality smoking material applied correctly can last for several years.

Q: Can I smoke other parts of my vehicle?

A: Yes, you can smoke other parts of your vehicle, such as the headlights, taillights, or even the entire vehicle. However, smoking the entire vehicle is a complex and time-consuming process that is best left to professionals.

Q: What’s the difference between smoking and blacking out?

A: Smoking involves applying a thin layer of tint to the chrome surface while blacking out involves completely covering the surface with a black material. Smoking results in a subtler, more custom look, while blacking out is more dramatic.

Q: Can I smoke chrome wheels?

A: Yes, you can smoke chrome wheels. However, it’s important to use a high-quality smoking material that can withstand the heat generated by the brakes.

Q: Can I paint over smoked chrome trim?

A: Yes, you can paint over smoked chrome trim. However, it’s important to first remove the smoking material and prepare the surface properly before painting.


Smoking chrome trim is a great way to customize your vehicle and give it a unique look. Whether you’re smoking the trim on your car, truck, or motorcycle, the process is relatively simple and can be done with a variety of materials. Just be sure to use a high-quality smoking material and take your time during the application process.

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