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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am taking a break from my overall bike rebuild for the winter and going to work on smaller side projects that I can do in the warmth and comfort of the house. The next mini project I will undertake is the restoration of my bike badges. I will start with the tank emblems/badges and maybe work up to the sidecovers.

My plan was to throw them into paint thinner or mineral spirits overnight, brush off the peeling old paint, and then prepare the surface for Testor's model paint.



After a soaking in thinner overnight, it looks like all that came off was some old built up wax/polish that built up around the nooks and crannies of the emblem when I was tidying up the tank in years past. I did a quick scrubbing with an aluminum bristle brush to see if anything was loosened (not much was), and found out how flimsy these components are! When I applied more than gentle pressure to scour the surface with the brush, I could feel the metal bending! I am going to have to step it up a notch and attempt the same procedure with aircraft stripper this weekend if I have time.


In the meantime, I welcome any tips/tricks/recommendations from anyone that has done this in the past!


I actually have a bottle of Testor's Flat White laying around, so I will probably get a Flat Black for the outside of the lettering, and then eventually pick up Orange (?) for the CB360T sidecover badges.


 

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I did a set of tank badges for my 550 recently. Refurbishing tanks badges sucks!
In the past I have soaked badges in acetone overnight to strip the paint from badges.
For this set the acetone just didn't cut it and I had to resort to Strip-X paint remover and still had a really hard time removing the old paint.
I have tried repainting badges with a brush and model paint and was never satisfied with the results. These badges were pretty beat up, lots of dings.
This set I first masked the letters with tape and sprayed the black then masked the black and sprayed the white.
I thought they turned out good enough.
I suspect that Honda used a metal mask and some kind of jig to spray these at the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yikes! Not too reassuring, but I am up to the task. Those repainted badges sure look nice!
 

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Yikes! Not too reassuring, but I am up to the task. Those repainted badges sure look nice!
Thanks, they're "3-footers" at best.
They would look better is they weren't so beat when I got them.
Before I resorted to masking/spraying I tried hand painting a couple of ways with both model paint and spray paint.
I have tried brushing and it looked like they were brushed....
So I stripped them and I tried more carefully brushing the black and thinning the white paint and using a syringe to fill the letters but I still wasn't satisfied.
Maybe with more experimentation with different paints & viscosities this could work better.
Finally I settled for masking. I used that painters "frog" tape and an Exacto knife to cut the mask.
It was time consuming but it was the only way I could a smooth-looking finish for the white.
The other thought I had is trying a liquid mask like they make for painting models.
I have a set of 750 badges I need to do and I may try that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I picked up some Aircraft Remover from the local AutoZone, and it started working IMMEDIATELY after application. After 10 minutes, the old paint was literally floating above the emblem aluminum. There are still a few spots that I hit with a plastic bristle brush to ensure all old paint was removed.





Tonight, I covered the top of raised face of each emblem with heavy painters tape and used a razor blade to cut out the edges so that I can effectively be messy while applying black paint on the outside edges of the "HONDA".
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Picked up some testors paint. Brush on flat white, gloss white, semi-gloss black, and spray cans of flat black and clear coat.

I will do some test patches on the back of the emblem to see what I think works best. I wasn't sure if the emblem is supposed to be "flat" or it just looks that way from fading due to exposure to the elements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quick update: Glossy white and semi-gloss black are ruled out.

I am using the Testor's flat black rattlecan on the outside edge of the emblem. I may give it a second coat soon, and then once it dries, I will use the flat black brush on paint for the inside. I may have my wife do it so if she messes up I can blame her! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The black should be flat or semi-gloss and the white should be glossy.
Haha I am glad I saw this. I was just about to throw down the white! The rattle can flat black looks perfect! The white will need at least 2 coats to look decent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So after adding 2 coats of glossy white and letting it dry overnight, it looked OK at best, definitely a "3-footer". This morning I hit it with some clear coat, and it really helped to even out the gloss, and overall improved the finish of the emblem. I will post a photo later tonight once the paint dries.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not too shabby looking!
Before:

After:


A set of sidecovers came in with beat up "CB360T" badges. I think I may try to restore those next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey CycleRanger, did you end up doing the same restoration on the plastic sidecover emblems? I am wondering what the best way is to remove the paint from those. It looks like plastic painted over with some sort of metallic aluminum finish and then topped off with black/white paint. Aircraft Remover is probably too potent for this, and I don't want to damage the base metallic paint.
 

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No, I have never done any plastic emblems although I have a set of 550 badges I'd like to touch up the black.
You're correct, any solvent-based stripper will damage the plastic if you're not very careful. (Don't use acetone or any MEK-based solvent!)
The silver/chrome was applied by electroplating and may resist a mild solvent like paint thinner if applied carefully.
You might try a small area with some thinner on a q-tip and see if you can get the paint to lift.
Or just paint over the chipping paint. The black probably would come out ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No, I have never done any plastic emblems although I have a set of 550 badges I'd like to touch up the black.
You're correct, any solvent-based stripper will damage the plastic if you're not very careful. (Don't use acetone or any MEK-based solvent!)
The silver/chrome was applied by electroplating and may resist a mild solvent like paint thinner if applied carefully.
You might try a small area with some thinner on a q-tip and see if you can get the paint to lift.
Or just paint over the chipping paint. The black probably would come out ok.
Thanks for the wise words of caution. I think I will just clean them up with a degreaser, and then paint over. I might have to go with brush-on paint for the black since using a razorblade to cut the painters tape will damage the soft plastic underneath.
 

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Thanks for the wise words of caution. I think I will just clean them up with a degreaser, and then paint over. I might have to go with brush-on paint for the black since using a razorblade to cut the painters tape will damage the soft plastic underneath.
Yep, sounds like a good plan. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well I'll be damned. Just to satisfy my curiosity, I tried a dab of aircraft remover at the back of the plastic badges. No ill effects on the metallic finish!

I decided to go 100% and add the remover to the surface of the badges. The paint came off, but the "chrome" stayed on!
 
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Nice work! I painted my '69 350 emblems with Testor's model paint a couple years ago. after cleaning them, I stuck them in the top of a cardboard box (they have mounting pins on the back) to keep them level, and then dripped paint into the recesses with a brush, letting the paint level itself out. No brush marks that way. I repeated it until the paint was pretty thick - it took close to a week to dry...ha ha. After they were dry, I just used my fingernail to scrape off any paint that got on the chrome edging. The emblems and side covers were eBay specials in the wrong colors, so I had to paint the whole mess. Luckily, I found a blue that matched the tank pretty well.

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Taking a break from the sidecover badge progress. Here is what I started with:

I hit that with some Aircraft Remover and then hot water + nylon bristle brush to get a good clean working surface. The metallic/chrome coating held up well! I shot the bare badges with flat black Testor's spray paint and then used Q-Tips dipped in paint thinner to wipe away the raised lettering. I also used a metal pick to help scrape away the black paint. It was tedious, but well worth the trouble. I don't think I will remove the black inside of the lettering, and instead do 2-3 layers of white and tangerine (for the "T") paint over the black.
 
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