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Old 05-04-2020, 03:49 PM   #1
keyswitch1
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Default painting a license plate questions

I have a 1930 New Jersey plate and I want to paint it gray with white lettering . Could some body tell me how to do it ? Thank you in advance !!
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Old 05-04-2020, 04:04 PM   #2
alexiskai
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

YouTube is the best teacher here. I did mine using this video and a sequel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnsbJO4MpDY&t=906s

There are all different methods out there; this is the most DIY one I found, but you can find videos by guys who do this as a paid service showing how they do it.

The hardest part for all the methods is that you really will have to paint the characters by hand; there's no "roller" method that works reliably on banged-up old plates.
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Old 05-04-2020, 04:20 PM   #3
Aarongriffey
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

My way......after sandblasting the plate, spray or roll the entire plate with the color the letters will be. You need to have at least three thick coats.
Next spray a medium coat of back ground color, the color the plate will be.
After it has dried well you have to rub off the last color from the numbers and letters, the raised stuff.
Now you know why you’ll want a lot (thick) paint on the letter n numbers and a thinner coat of background paint on them.
You can start exposing the letters by sanding them carefully with 400 wet r dry sand paper with plenty of water until the number color starts to show thru, then switch to rubbing compound and finally polishing compound.
If the plate has a raised line all the way around you can just mask off the rest of the plate with blue masking tape and spray the line with number color.
It is not a one evening job. It is one of the most frustrating jobs I know of. Very time consuming.
Better way is to use the silk screening process, but I don’t know how to do that.
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Old 05-04-2020, 05:03 PM   #4
Conaway2
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

I tried to paint a license plate myself, first with background color sprayed and hand painted letters and surround line with a small brush. I wasn’t happy with it, so stripped all the paint off and started over. Second time, sprayed background color first, then brushed a thin coat of letter color on a straight 1” X 2” piece of wood, laid this paint side up on my work bench and pressed the upside-down plate onto the painted wood. This actually worked much better. But, after looking at the plate for a week, I took it to a guy who repaints plates, and it looks great now.

If I ever need a plate repainted, I’ll take it back to the same guy - won’t waste my time trying to get it right.

Jim
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:32 PM   #5
Tacoma Bob
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

The secret is to use One Shot Bulletin paint. Same stuff pin stripers use. THEN use a lettering brush on the numbers. Lettering brushes (quills) have special hairs that hold the paint and disperse the colors like Butta.
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:35 PM   #6
McMimmcs
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

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After several attempts I decided to take it to a professional. At car shows you can tell those people that did their own. It is a night and day difference. Spend a few bucks and have it done properly.
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:51 PM   #7
alexiskai
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

If the goal is to be indistinguishable from the original at a car show where people can examine it up close, I agree that a pro is the only option. However, I had a lot of fun doing mine. My wife paints to relax and it became a project we worked on together. No one can tell it's hand-painted when they're 10 feet away on the street. If you're satisfied with the earnest amateur work you're doing on the rest of the car, why not the plate too?
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Old 05-05-2020, 08:01 AM   #8
jhowes
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

I hope someone can chime in and answer this question. I was told (not by an authority ) that in NY State you cannot paint or restore a plate and have it useful as a YOM for your car. It must be as authentic as possible. Anyone know? Jack
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:20 AM   #9
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

I've heard something like that. It's better (if the State requires it, some do) to get the plates approved physically first, after that's done and you're registered, then do what you want with them.
The ones I got were in pretty good shape and had enough patina to look good against the car vs others who had new looking shiny plates on their cars. JMO
Paul in CT
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:08 AM   #10
jb-ob
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

New York State DMV requirements might have changed since I registered a set of original plates. Way back, DMV wanted a photograph of your original plates as is, no restored plates. Once approved I suppose you could restore them but I've always looked for the best originals.
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:56 AM   #11
ronn
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

The hardest part for all the methods is that you really will have to paint the characters by hand; there's no "roller" method that works reliably on banged-up old plates.


TRICK IS TO SPEND ALOT OF MONEY ON A GOOD SABLE BRUSH- CHEAP BRUSH- CHEAP RESULTS!
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:02 PM   #12
daren007
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

Sand blasting the plate?
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:00 PM   #13
Chris Haynes
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

A small foam paint roller works well to paint all the raised areas of the plate.
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:12 PM   #14
amodel25
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

My ex-wife painted my 1931 Texas plates. They turned out pretty good. Sprayed the entire plate with the background color. Painted the letter color with a foam rubber brush, cut to the exact width of the numbers. On the raised line around the outside periphery of the plate she used the smallest width brush available. Do not cut and apply the paint lightly in 2-3 coats.


She's gone but I still have the plates.....and the car.
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:17 PM   #15
alexiskai
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

One thing I also did that helped, I can't remember where I saw it, was to take a wax pencil and shade the sloping edges of the characters. It really helps to outline the edge when the whole plate is the same background color. Then you just wash it off when you're done.
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:31 PM   #16
RTPbee81
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

You can use a Sharpie Paint Pen, I liked the results, works well on raised surface and you can easily add additional coats
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Paint Pen.jpg (27.3 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg NC Plate.jpg (49.1 KB, 72 views)
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Old 05-06-2020, 01:27 PM   #17
ronn
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

a lot of opinions as to what looks "good"


guess some of us need hew glasses..............


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Old 05-07-2020, 04:19 PM   #18
Patrick L.
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

As far as I know NYS still does not allow restored plates. But, I retired quite some time ago. The plates were presented and then the number was searched. Once approved and away from the office is kinda outta sight outta mind. I've never heard of anyone being ticketed for nicely repainted plates.
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Old 05-08-2020, 01:37 PM   #19
abachman3
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

Illinois requirement is plates must be original, no repaints. However, I do see a number of repaints at car shows and have never heard any issues... but the law is the law.
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Old 05-08-2020, 02:24 PM   #20
ronn
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Default Re: painting a license plate questions

https://youtu.be/OgtQj8O92eI
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