I'd like to paint in white my Ikea shelves's brackets (described thus: Aluminium, Nickel-plated, Clear acrylic lacquer).
What would be the best (but hopefully cheap) route in terms of products I need to buy for this job?
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You can make it look good for 3 months with a rattle can. If you want it to look good for 10 years, paint prep is called for. Prep has 2 components: de-gloss(microscopically roughen) the surface so paint can bind to it, and cleaning the surface to remove contaminants.
A 3M Scotchbrite pad, green pots and pans style, for scuffing the surface to remove gloss. Even if it doesn't seem glossy now, give it a rub. The objective is to degloss the chrome surface, not blow through to the aluminum layer.
Common bathroom alcohol e.g. Isopropyl, with a double cloth wipe, to remove contaminants.
Rattle-can spray primer such as Rustoleum 7779 rusty metal primer. Take the time to learn to apply paint competently.
Nickel and aluminum are a challenging surface for Rusto metal primer, but I gather a mil-spec aluminum primer (the green stuff on unfinished airplanes) is out of the budget. (It doesn't come in cans because it's 2-part; you mix the 2 parts minutes before you apply it. Also, the B-part is toxic until it cures, so, not a thing they want in the consumer marketplace.
Rattle-can spray paint for your paint layer.