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Best Way to Paint Interior Silver Trim & Lettering


lm71z

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I want to restore some parts I have, including an automatic shift plate, and I'm wondering if anyone here knows the best way to repaint the silver, rectangular outline on the shift plate. I know there was also chrome paint used on many of the panels (like the console choke plate), so I want to know where to buy this type of paint and what brushes/painting tools I will need to make this look professional. Any ideas?

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There are a bunch of YouTube videos! I had not thought about checking there. There was even a video about using aluminum HVAC tape to do the same thing.

Another quickie idea is to use a silver paint pen or a silver Sharpie. I used that on some of the worn lettering on my truck dash project.

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Thanks for all the input everyone. Does anyone know if the outline around the gear selector on the automatic shift plate is supposed to be silver or chrome? When it's almost all the way rubbed off, I can't tell what it originally was.

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As long as we're on the subject, I was thinking about the chrome stripe on the door card. Mine has peeled away in spots. I was thinking about 3/8" wide chrome Mylar tape but haven't found any local sources.

Has anyone come up with a better idea?

I can't think of anything local, but you can get 9mm adhesive chrome trim for automotive applications on ebay. You could pick up 5m of the stuff for less than $10, which should be plenty.

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I have tried numerous approaches to replacing the silver / chrome on the door strips and so will let everyone know what I have done which will hopefully save you some time and money.

First, the strips will need to be really clean (they look like blue plastic once the silver has been removed). This will help the adhesion of the material. You will also need a really sharp and accurate exacto knife to get the final cut correct (as well as a really steady hand).

My first attempt at this was to use the chrome trim tape which I purchased from a local Advanced Auto Parts. It definitely had the right look but the problem was that it was too stiff and when I tried to bend it over the radius of the strip, it just peeled back and laid flat on top of the radius. Attempt 1 - failure.

My second attempt was to use adhesive backed mylar tape. I purchased a number of different rolls of this stuff including one from 3M. Unfortunately, the same thing happened as with the chrome tape, although it was not as severe. I purchased rolls that were approximately the right width so that I did not have to cut as much. Initially the tape laid down pretty well over the radius, but within about 3-5 minutes it also started peeling up in places and did not look good. Both brands of tape that I used had similar results so the 3M did not seem to perform any better (although I had high hopes for this brand). I believe the thickness of the tape that I used was 2 mil. Attempt 2 - failure.

I then decided that the adhesive on the tapes was not strong enough, so I purchased a roll of silver mylar (typically used in greenhouses for intensifying the sunlight) that was also 2 mils in thickness. I masked off the strips from the door panel so only the strips were showing and used the best 3M contact spray adhesive I could find. I cut strips from the large roll that were approx. the correct width so that I could minimize cutting. Unfortunately the results were the same in that the adhesive was not strong enough to hold the mylar over the radius of the strip. On top of that using spray glue was very messy and did not produce results that were any better than my first 2 attempts. Attempt 3 - failure.

So on to attempt 4 where I used the shiniest aluminum tape I could find. The aluminum tape is very pliable and moldable and so I did not have the same peeling issues I had with the other attempts. It laid down nicely and stayed put. You need to have a very steady hand to make the final trim cuts as it is easy to go astray and cut into the strips themselves. However, this produced the best results by far and from a few feet away you cannot tell the difference from the original. I will also warn you that this tape sticks so well, it is very difficult to remove if you make a mistake. I will also say that you basically get one chance to get it down right because if you "kink" the tape as you are laying it over the strip you will likely have to start over again. Ask me how I know that. Attempt 4 - success.

So this was a very tedious process but in the end the aluminum tape produced the best results from my experience. About the only other thought I had, which I did not try, was to go with mylar tape that was thinner (ie 1 mil) which might adhere more easily and remain in place over the radius of the strip.

Hope this helps everyone. If you have other questions just let me know.

Mike.

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As long as we're on the subject, I was thinking about the chrome stripe on the door card. Mine has peeled away in spots. I was thinking about 3/8" wide chrome Mylar tape but haven't found any local sources.

Has anyone come up with a better idea?

I got a sheet of mylar (wrapping paper?) at Walmart or a hobby store and then cut off a strip. Mask off the area, spray 3M glue, apply mylar strips, let it dry and then trim off the excess.

Chuck

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As long as we're on the subject, I was thinking about the chrome stripe on the door card. Mine has peeled away in spots. I was thinking about 3/8" wide chrome Mylar tape but haven't found any local sources.

Has anyone come up with a better idea?

They sell a product at hobby stores for gas powered airplanes, the material looks exactly like the material on the door trim down to a plastic like coating. You aply it with a contact adhesive glue, being careful not to crease the material then use a heat gun and a scraper to get the material to get tight and smooth. Then trim the excess material. The small panel behind the door took an hour the first time then the door and other panel was done in 30 minutes, so it don't take long to do.

Edited by ajmcforester
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I was thinking about the raised surfaces on the council, and a trick they used back in the day to paint raised lettering on appliances in the 1800- till about the 40's. What they would do is take a hard rubber roller like you can find in hobby stores or maybe in hardware stores for pressing down things like laminate or paper being glues together or for ink rolling. Anyways on a flat surface you would role the paint out on the roller just like you would for ink stamping, then with a thin layer on the roller, roll it over the surface. The trick to keep it from bleeding down the piece is to have the paint layer thin enough that it drys quickly and the paint thick enough not to instantly run down the part or not too think that is does not dry fast. You want the paint to dry the fastest possible, you can do it again after it drys if it was to thin the first time. By the way from doing this on old antiques do not use heat let the paint dry naturally, other wise the paint moves.

On lettering that is recessed. You want to use thin paint and wipe the surface off and again have the paint dry fast. Then doing this the part needs to be flat to hold the paint. I am not as good at that as the raised letters.

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