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License Plate Restoration


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Well, finally got up the nerve and cojones to take the bead blaster to my 1947 License plates.

Went through all my parts, got them all reorganized and waiting for engine machining quotes,

needed something to do.

 

Here are the steps so far.....

 

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Got them primered, no need to worry about rust, NOW the imperfections show 😔

need to find a good paint match for the yellow. (Pantone 116C)

 

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Worked on the 1948 Tag tonight, new plates were not issued in 1948 due to steel shortages from WWII.

 

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I understand what lostviking was talking about 'painting the letters', may enlist the kid to redo this, she's the artist.  😆

Edited by billrigsby
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A bit of spot putty and sanding, ready for the character color (black),

still not sure about the clear. Going with 5-6 light black coats and then

5-6 light clear coats.

 

My guess is, the clear will give you that extra buffer, before you go through

the character color and into the primer?

 

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20 hours ago, billrigsby said:

A bit of spot putty and sanding, ready for the character color (black),

still not sure about the clear. Going with 5-6 light black coats and then

5-6 light clear coats.

 

My guess is, the clear will give you that extra buffer, before you go through

the character color and into the primer?

 

Graphic14_655x1200.jpg.a81d2bfdcef646b792b2799d725c9a2f.jpg       Graphic15_655x1200.jpg.80a88034d748c37dcdfa56ffb936683b.jpg

 

Exactly. the clear gives you something to sand into without hitting your base color coat. I didn't put so many coats on the letter though, but I don't see any harm. The trick to the wet sanding is to go slow, and get the plate held down as flat as possible. I used the four bolt holes, but placed some washers behind the plate due to the depth of the ridge around the outside.

 

I also got lucky and found a perfect condition number plate for my 1946. Didn't have to work on that.

 

I see you found all the small pits in the metal. I used a few coats of high build primer, after one coat is etching primer. That way I didn't need the acid bath you used. Once I had all the surface pits and things filled with the primer coats, that's when I hit the lettered area with color. I used a small maybe 1x1.75 inch dense foam block to sand, and 400 grit. LOTS of clears means you don't go through to the base, and end up with multiple shades...I had to restart due to that. I also only put one good coat of the final color over the clear. Easier to sand through. Then hit the whole thing with a final coat of clear. Came out pretty good if I do say so myself.

 

I can't wait to see yours!

20 hours ago, billrigsby said:

 

 

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When I did mine 12 years ago, I painted three or 4 coats of the number color, black.  Then put the field color over the the numbers.  When the field color was still tacky, I used thinner on a cloth to remove the field color from the numbers. This is a lot easier than painting the field color then trying to paint the numbers.

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3 hours ago, lostviking said:

 

Exactly. the clear gives you something to sand into without hitting your base color coat. I didn't put so many coats on the letter though, but I don't see any harm. The trick to the wet sanding is to go slow, and get the plate held down as flat as possible. I used the four bolt holes, but placed some washers behind the plate due to the depth of the ridge around the outside.

 

I also got lucky and found a perfect condition number plate for my 1946. Didn't have to work on that.

 

I see you found all the small pits in the metal. I used a few coats of high build primer, after one coat is etching primer. That way I didn't need the acid bath you used. Once I had all the surface pits and things filled with the primer coats, that's when I hit the lettered area with color. I used a small maybe 1x1.75 inch dense foam block to sand, and 400 grit. LOTS of clears means you don't go through to the base, and end up with multiple shades...I had to restart due to that. I also only put one good coat of the final color over the clear. Easier to sand through. Then hit the whole thing with a final coat of clear. Came out pretty good if I do say so myself.

 

I can't wait to see yours!

 

 

 

Thanks, that is what I thought about the clear,  one was near perfect, except for the paint,

one had dings and dents, we'll see how it all comes out.

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54 minutes ago, greg g said:

When I did mine 12 years ago, I painted three or 4 coats of the number color, black.  Then put the field color over the the numbers.  When the field color was still tacky, I used thinner on a cloth to remove the field color from the numbers. This is a lot easier than painting the field color then trying to paint the numbers.

 

Yeah, I don't trust my hands and a thinner, I think sanding will be safer.

I have seen several websites doing the thinner and hand painting.

Just not the sanding method, which seems safer (to me).

 

Again, time will tell.

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Did the character color (black) today, hoping one of the local H/W stores

got clear in today, there is a shortage of everything, even rattle can paint?

 

Have one small area that had some kind of reaction, it will eventually be the

base color (yellow), so I am not too worried yet. May try some wet sanding

before the clear.  

🤞

 

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I have found some rattle can enamel paints to be very reactive, even to to themselves, if the re-coat window isn’t closely followed (ie “re-coat within 45 min or after 24 hours” ) and/or it’s applied above the recommended humidity range - read the can and believe it!  I painted the underside of my P12’s hood with spray bomb IHC red and had a devil of a time with lifting between coats - followed the can and ended up on the phone with the factory trying to figure out what went wrong.

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If it's humid, the paint will take at least a week to be ready for another coat. If you do anything that breaks the surface, like sanding...another week. I ended up starting over several times because I had reactions. Your seems pretty small if that's the only place. Just give it a week (or two) and wet sand it. Then give it another week and do some touch up, or do the clear.

 

Good luck. Patients is the key. I learned that the hard way.

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21 minutes ago, lostviking said:

If it's humid, the paint will take at least a week to be ready for another coat. If you do anything that breaks the surface, like sanding...another week. I ended up starting over several times because I had reactions. Your seems pretty small if that's the only place. Just give it a week (or two) and wet sand it. Then give it another week and do some touch up, or do the clear.

 

Good luck. Patients is the key. I learned that the hard way.

 

Humid, HA, this is high desert Colorado

This is just 'killin time' stuff, won't need these for years.

I don't have a lot of patients if I see it, need to stash them away a while.

Outa sight Outa mind., I will learn from the master!

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A number of setbacks, when I applied the clear coat, I had several reactions so started over,

The second go was even worse. Decided to just go base color coat and try hand painting characters.

 

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Finally after two trys got a nice looking base coat. Got some good quality brushes and made a bridge for my hand to rest on.

 

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Not as good as as @lostviking, but acceptable, I said if mine came out half as good I would be happy.

Not sure, but would like a clear coat, but that may be a disaster waiting to happen?

I guess at worst, I get more practice, at best they have a nice even sheen to them.

I'll sleep on that one.  😴

 

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Edited by billrigsby
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25 minutes ago, Lingle said:

looks good!  When the time comes, I will be doing something similar but somewhat nervous at all the issues everyone seems to have

My advice, FWIW, is don't use Rustoleum or similar slow drying paints for anything that requires multicoatsand sanding between.  For the reasons enumerated and pictured in earlier posts.  I've had good luck with Krylon paints in similar usage.  And on small things, a heat lamp especially in cooler temps, to pre-warm the object helps drive off the solvents quickly.  That minimized the reactions of the new on old paint.

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8 hours ago, kencombs said:

My advice, FWIW, is don't use Rustoleum or similar slow drying paints for anything that requires multicoatsand sanding between.  For the reasons enumerated and pictured in earlier posts.  I've had good luck with Krylon paints in similar usage.  And on small things, a heat lamp especially in cooler temps, to pre-warm the object helps drive off the solvents quickly.  That minimized the reactions of the new on old paint.

I had zero problem, after I listened to the instructions and let the paint dry.

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On 9/3/2020 at 3:44 PM, billrigsby said:

 

Not sure, but would like a clear coat, but that may be a disaster waiting to happen?

I guess at worst, I get more practice, at best they have a nice even sheen to them.

I'll sleep on that one.  😴

 

 

 

 

Decided to give the clear coat a try, No Disaster, an even sheen across the plates,

time to put them up for display til needed.

 

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On 9/4/2020 at 7:39 AM, kencombs said:

My advice, FWIW, is don't use Rustoleum or similar slow drying paints for anything that requires multicoatsand sanding between.  For the reasons enumerated and pictured in earlier posts.  I've had good luck with Krylon paints in similar usage.  And on small things, a heat lamp especially in cooler temps, to pre-warm the object helps drive off the solvents quickly.  That minimized the reactions of the new on old paint.

 

I have had similar problems with Krylon and others,

not sure what the 'answer' is, just glad it is done.

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30 minutes ago, billrigsby said:

 

I have had similar problems with Krylon and others,

not sure what the 'answer' is, just glad it is done.

Yes, it can happen with most paints, 2k stuff excepted.  The advantage of Krylon and other similar is the shorter wait time to get past the window that causes wrinkles and/or lifting.  Shorter than Rustoleum but not instant by any means. 

 

A lacquer followed by a Rustoleum second color is safer yet as the oil based paint doesn't attack the lacquer.  done the other way, oil base first, is a recipe for disaster.

 

If they weren't so darned expensive, 2k paints would be the perfect answer.  Quick cure, hard as nails etc, but really expensive. 

Edited by kencombs
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  • 3 weeks later...

 

Got to thinking, I had no place for my 'modern' Month and Year tags.....

Problem solved.

 

Was an older Yellow on Blue plate, glad I have a box of older plates.

 

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I hope the local LEO's APPROVE,  😆

 

 

Edited by billrigsby
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30 minutes ago, lostviking said:

I don't know if you'd get away with it out of state or not, but in CA you would not.

 

OH, learn something new everyday.

Well we'll see what they say in Colorado,

in X number of years when this project is finally roseworthy.

 

LOL

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