He carefully laid a thin, clear film with black outlines of skulls and roses into a large pool of water. Once the film had completely dissolved, leaving floating skulls and roses in its absence, he quickly dipped a small plastic case into it. Pulling his arm up, the piece of plastic was coated beautifully with the design.
Half an hour later, the plastic piece is ready to be topped with chrome.
Kevin Boisvert, part-owner of Unlimited Chrome, said he has always liked painting and this was the next step for him.
From electric guitars to dirt bikes, hard hats to snowmobiles, this shop will upgrade it all. Unlimited Chrome offers hydrographics, chrome and gold plating, a service so uncommon there are only a handful of companies in Alberta that specialize in it. The business opened up earlier this month in the Campbell Business Park.
The art form is so unusual, Boisvert, had to travel to the United States just to learn the tricks of the trade.
“I saw a video online of this being done and I did research to make sure it was actually real and that I wasn’t just going to waste my money. They don’t offer courses anywhere here, so I found a couple of companies online that offered courses in the states,” he explains.
Prior to opening Unlimited Chrome Boisvert worked as a heavy mechanic at Contract Equipment. While working there, he also painted vehicles.
“I was painting all their machines, all their dozers and trucks,” he says. “So I already knew how to paint.”
Boisvert was laid off from his job in 2016. The life-altering event caused him to seek out other options of employment, and he knew it would involve his skill with painting.
Having grown up watching his father run a business, Boisvert decided to follow in his footsteps. After hours of research and taking courses abroad, he opened the shop with his father.
A friend of his, Damian Waine, decided he wanted to see what Unlimited Chrome was all about. Taking his dirt bike in, he had it dipped and plated.
Hydrographics is also known as immersion printing and involves transferring a design to an object using water and an activator. Chrome plating involves sanding down an object and electroplating a thin layer of chromium to it.
Walking into the shop for the first time, Waine says it was an emotional moment.
“It was overwhelming, just before it was all a dream of his and then it came together,” he says.
Boisvert says his biggest seller is his hard hats. For $100 a person will receive a fully certified construction hat with their choice of hydrographics and chrome on its surface. Soon he’ll also offer hydrographic and chrome travelling mugs.
Ian Waine has been a resident in the county for 25 years. After seeing Unlimited Chrome on Facebook and hearing about the work that had been done on his son Damian’s dirt bike, he decided to purchase a construction hat from the business.
“A lot of guys at work like it, and they’re not outrageously priced. People buy baseball caps for more than I paid for the hard hat, and the hard hat I have to wear for work.”
Waine says the hat has generated a lot of interest among his coworkers and some of them are thinking of getting their own done.
“A bunch of the welders didn’t want a hardhat done, but they want their welding mask done. I told them to go and talk to the guy and figure it out,” he laughs.
Waine says after seeing the completed dirt bike and a snowmobile in the shop, he’s thinking of getting some bigger items done.
A website for Unlimited Chrome should be up and running within a couple of months. For more information visit the company’s Facebook page Unlimited Chrome. The shop is at #110, 25 Chisholm Ave and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on every second Saturday.