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Thread: "restoring" emblems?

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    Registered User BadDog's Avatar
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    Default "restoring" emblems?

    Is there a good way to re-paint the black background on emblems? Mine have good chrome, but the flat black parts are faded and chipped... seems like a waste to just get new ones
    1973 240Z Silver, 5 spd., 4.11 diff., 150,000+ miles
    2013 Subaru Impreza 5-door

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    I see no reason it couldn't be done, might be a little time consuming but it probably would be worth the effort as long as the chrome plating is in good shape. The chrome plating usually peels off before the paint so that is possibly the reason most people just replace them.

    Just find a good automotive aerosol paint, or you might try one with a brush to see how it looks. I would imagine it would be quite difficult to mask off some of the areas that you don't want to paint on some of the emblems. You might try a liquid mask, put it on with a small brush and then you could spray the background, or if you have an airbrush you could try it that way.

    Let us know how it works, if you decide to do it and if possible post a before and after pic. Then perhaps a few more of us might get off our duffs and try it ourselves.

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    Supporting Member EScanlon's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Emblem Paing

    For some of the emblems you are much better off spraying whenever possible. But I found that to get a good thick and smooth coverage instead of using Automotive Aerosol I found that the Aerosol Paints to fuel proof and cover R/C Planes and Boats worked much much better.

    Don't get the stuff to paint the undersides of the Lexan Bodies as they won't shine. Get stuff like Pactra Formula U, or Top Flite Lustre Kote. The color intensity is great, it only takes a coat or two and they flow out much nicer. Additionally it almost seems as though the paint stays flexible and hence won't chip as easy.

    Just my 2

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    Registered User BadDog's Avatar
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    2ManyZs, I will post before an after pics...

    EScanlon, so are you saying to use a spray paint or not? If so, I'll try to find some of that liquid mask that 2ManyZs suggests, it'll probably help... is that another hobby store item? Are Pactra Formula U and Top Flite Lustre Kote brand names I can ask for? I assume I want flat black? Or do I want a gloss or semi-gloss? It's a good thing I work kitty-corner to the biggest hobby shop in my area

    Between the emblems and restoring my steering wheel (I jusst ordered back issues of Sport Z along with a subscription) I'll have something to do on rainy weekends
    1973 240Z Silver, 5 spd., 4.11 diff., 150,000+ miles
    2013 Subaru Impreza 5-door

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    Supporting Member EScanlon's Avatar
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    Red face Depends!

    Geez BadDog sorry, you must think I'm a real jerk for not responding, but your post just got by me and I didn't see it till just now.

    As far as which method to use, I prefer spraying, but hang on, I also have 3 different air brushes I use. I have a Testors, a Badger and a Pactra? (not sure) as well as a touch up Binks.

    Depending on the finish I want, I'll get the liquid as if for brushing, then the thinner for air brushing and then pick the gun based on the coverage, area and finish I want.

    In some cases, it's just as easy to buy the spray can as they sell it.

    For example:

    Datsun Side Fender Emblems: I would use the liquid Gloss White with mild thinning after having used the Semi-Gloss (also known as Satin) Black Spray. The Black either by buying their rattle can or mixing and spraying my own.

    The black semi-gloss tends to look better sprayed than if brushed. Brushing tends to leave brush marks unless you thin, and then if you thin, sometimes leaves thin spots where there isn't enough paint to cover.

    The White can be literally poured into the letters as long as you place the emblem in such a way as to make the emblem nice and level. (Use a round bubble level for this) This will allow the paint to flow out and give you the "cloisonne" effect of the originals.

    I use a Pana Vise with the multiple setting swivel head to adjust my emblems until they are perfectly flat and level. I use a bubble level from the old phonograph player days to set up high end turn tables. The bubble level is put on top of the face of the emblem and the vise is moved until the bubble registers dead center.

    When I pour the paint, I use the small squeeze mixers available at the hobby store to mix small amounts of isocyanate glue or epoxy. This allows me to add paint drop by drop.

    As far as whether to use Flat Black, or Semi-Gloss or Satin (and believe me there is a difference between Semi-Gloss and Satin) my thoughts are these.

    Flat tends to capture every bit of the tiniest bit of dirt and dust and somehow never seems to give it up. In short order it looks grungy. Additionally it is very hard to paint with a brush without leaving brush marks. Spraying works best with this, but when you thin it out, it can "gloss" up if you aren't careful about making sure the paint is nice and stirred and STAYS stirred.

    Semi-Gloss can look very nice, and since the pores or top skin is generally sealed, won't catch a lot of dirt, BUT it does show SOME shine. This shine can cause it to not look "right". In my experience much more forgiving as far as brush marks, but not care free.

    Satin has the best of both Flat and Semi-Gloss Paints but the problem is that it isn't very easy to find in a liquid form. You can find it in a spray can, and I've found that Rust-O-Leum's Satin Black is the BEST color match for the interior trim pieces of the 240.

    As far as a masking material? I've used regular painter's masking tape, available at the hardware store or the paint store. There are two General types, one is the standard Manilla Yellow and the other is the Bright Blue. The difference is that the Bright Blue is supposed to give you crisper edges than the yellow. You can even get the blue in vinyl for the thinner widths.

    If you were planning on doing pin stripes, there is a third type of masking tape that is very expensive, but it is a cross between plasticized masking tape and vinyl. It gives you the best of both, BUT it is very expensive. It's main advantage is that the widths are VERY consistent and true. Although this may not be critical for most uses, it can be critical if you are laying down two stripes of differing widths and you want them separated by a given dimension.

    Masking Film? I use a latex film called Mask-It. Generally only available through your higher end automotive paint shops, and don't be surprised if they have to order it also. Very expensive, about 20-30 a quart. It's main advantage is that you can use it directly out of the can, it will give you a very thick latex coating that you can write on and then cut very exactingly with a razor blade or X-Acto blade. You can also thin with water and spray on the surface you are working with.

    There are other masking films both as a film and liquid, best thing I can tell you is to ask the clerk at the hobby store and see what he recommends. Then try it until you find the one you like.

    Hope this helps, and again sorry for the delay.

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    Registered User BadDog's Avatar
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    Wow, EScanlon, thanks! Don't worry, I don't *expect* immediate replies to posts I'm just happy that you took the time to give that much great information! I'm sure it'll be of great help Thanks again!
    1973 240Z Silver, 5 spd., 4.11 diff., 150,000+ miles
    2013 Subaru Impreza 5-door

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