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Thread: Paint Touchup on Chrome emblems

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    Default Paint Touchup on Chrome emblems

    Yesterday, I was searching through a friends inventory of old parts he was selling and lucked across a pair of metal quarter panel 240Z emblems for early cars that mount just behind the quarter windows. They are both almost perfect, chrome is like new as is most of the paint.

    The car these were mounted on was, obviously, well cared for and polished frequently as the only problem with these emblems is some of the black paint at the edges had been polished off.

    I am trying to find out if anyone has had any success in touching up paint on these metal, chromed emblems and getting paint to adhere to the chrome.
    I thought of getting a product called Bulldog which is supposed to promote adhesion before painting. Does anyone know of a process or paint that has the correct properties to allow good adhesion to chrome? It would be nice to know what process the manufacturer used in painting these chrome emblems.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    For those who remember, it has been some time, I am still working on reproducing those red on silver master vac decals. They have morfed through numerous visits to the sign shop doing them to try to get them as close to original as possible. I am working with the shop on his time schedule, but hope to have something to post for those interested in the near future.

    Dan

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    Supporting Member EScanlon's Avatar
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    Dan
    Since you're in AZ most of the problem will be that the paint needs to expand and contract as the metal will.

    While I've had good luck with plain old model paints (Testor's, Model Master, Pactra), it's also because I'm up here in the PacNW which tends to be much gentler on temperature spikes and dips.

    However, with that being said, one type of paint that I've used is the Pactra line for R/C Plastic bodies. These bodies get painted from the underside, and since the plastic body is very flexible, the paint needs to be somewhat pliant and bendable. It will eventually crack (especially if the body gets flexed a lot) but should last longer than a dry-hard paint such as the other model paints. The only thing I am not familiar with is how well they'll fare in the high temp extremes you guys can get. Look for it in your local Hobby Shop and ask them for piant for clear Lexan Bodies (R/C Cars & Trucks), you'll find all sorts of colors. Be sure to pick up the brand specific thinner, as other thinners and solvents will just curdle the paint.

    But that aside, the biggest obstacle to getting paint to stick is to ensure that the surface you're painting is CLEAN. I don't just mean free from dirt, I also mean wax and grease free. So, put those emblems in the sink, use plenty of warm/hot water and scrub the heck out of them with a toothbrush and some grease cutting detergent/dishwashing liquid. I use Dawn and it cuts through some awful gunk easily.

    Afterwards, blow dry completely and then use some of the thinner for the paint to scrub the surface to be painted. Wipe / blow dry and allow to sit for a minute or two (to let the excess solvent evaporate). Then paint to your liking.

    Hope this helps.
    Enrique

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    Quote Originally Posted by EScanlon
    Dan
    .

    While I've had good luck with plain old model paints (Testor's, Model Master, Pactra), it's also because I'm up here in the PacNW which tends to be much gentler on temperature spikes and dips.

    However, with that being said, one type of paint that I've used is the Pactra line for R/C Plastic bodies. These bodies get painted from the underside, and since the plastic body is very flexible, the paint needs to be somewhat pliant and bendable. It will eventually crack (especially if the body gets flexed a lot) but should last longer than a dry-hard paint such as the other model paints. The only thing I am not familiar with is how well they'll fare in the high temp extremes you guys can get. Look for it in your local Hobby Shop and ask them for piant for clear Lexan Bodies (R/C Cars & Trucks), you'll find all sorts of colors. Be sure to pick up the brand specific thinner, as other thinners and solvents will just curdle the paint.

    Hope this helps.
    Enrique

    Enrique,

    Thanks for the reply. Are you saying that this modeling paint has good adhesive qualities on chrome, as these emblems are the early chromed pot metal, as well as the plastic they were meant to bond with? I don't think flexability is as much an issue as just getting some kind of paint to bond to a very smooth chromed surface.

    Have you used these paints on chromed metal?
    Thanks, Enrique, and let me know what you think.

    Dan

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    HLS30-079101 Zak's Z's Avatar
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    I posted a thread on a hood emblem I restored here:
    http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=21505

    I used Tamiya model paint, I couldnt get a Pactra in the black. I used the liquid mask so it didnt get paint on the chrome. The liquid mask can be cut with an Xacto aso you get all the tiny places properly, I'd recommend it. Then I sprayed, let it dry and removed the mask.

    Zak

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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    For de-waxing I've had good results using Griot's Paint Prep which de-waxes, de-greases and de-silicones.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
    Car blogs - 240Z - Porsche 911

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    Thanks Enrique, Arne, Zak,

    I will give the modeling paint you have suggested a go. My main point of concern is, will is stick, or adhere to the chrome Plating? My experience has been that paint will just flake off of chrome unless there is some form of chemical bonding taking place.

    Zak, I did see your thread in the archives about your hood ornament and others that concern themselves with paint on plastic emblems.

    Thanks, again, all.

    Dan

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    Supporting Member EScanlon's Avatar
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    This is where the little fine print at the bottom of the screen says " Your Results may vary."

    It's worked for me, on both metal and plastic.

    Will / Can it eventually separate?
    Probably, paint does shrink over time as it loses all the different solvents it has in it.
    How soon, or how bad?
    Again, I've had emblems go for more than 18 years as of my last conversation with the individual, but I've not seen the emblems myself. Then again, he's kept the vehicle pretty much garaged and taken care of. I've also seen emblems lose their paint in a few short weeks. Usually the short ones were found to be poor preparation (wax, oil, silicones) and other times it's been the wrong paint. And what constitutes the wrong paint is also subjective.

    I like the R/C paints, because they DO take a while to dry properly. But the strongest item is their ability to flex and adhere to the Lexan Bodies (basically the same stuff as you get your bakery items in at the supermarket in). But in the paint jobs I've done with Lexan, you don't scratch up the body. You just wash it with soap and water. A candy paint job is transparent, any scratches on the plastic would show up. When I've used them on chrome, it takes polishing/orange stick to remove stray brush marks.

    So, as a friend says: That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

    E

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arne
    For de-waxing I've had good results using Griot's Paint Prep which de-waxes, de-greases and de-silicones.

    Dan,

    I think degreasing is one of two important steps in reworking your emblems. The other step is being able to scuff the chrome surface so the paint has something to grab onto.

    In addition to a degreaser, here are the tools I used to prep small parts and these can be economically purchased from an Auto Paint Supplier.

    FWIW, I've painted a number of parts here in Phoenix and haven't had any issues with peeling paint. I painted a chromed aluminum bumper from a BMW, E-30 years ago. All I did was sand the chrome with 220 wet/dry paper, cleaned and then painted it. No primer, no prep solution, just painted it. I had the car for four years after I painted the bumper and it looked great right up to the day I sold the car. Never had any cracks due to heat expansion either.

    Good luck with your emblems.

    Bruce
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    Instead of masking the part to remain chrome, simply paint the emblems black and then sand off the overspray on areas to remain chrome with some very fine grit sandpaper (4000 or finer). You should be able to pick some up at the same place you get the model paint. I have done several this way for a friend who has a pile of them and it works great.
    Doug

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