How to Restore Mustang Emblems

image011If your daily driver is showing it’s age you can restore your gas cap, emblems, and instrument bezels to original condition.

By Robert B. Whitaker, copyright 2012, all rights reserved.

Turn this worn out fuel cap Into this cleaned up original

image001

image003

One of the great things about a vintage Mustang restoration project is that replacement parts are available from Average Joe Restoration Mustang Parts.  anyone who has  restored a vintage Mustang knows that small parts can add up to big money.  Even if you are fortunate enough to restore a car completely intact you will notice that emblems, bezels, and gas caps that are over 40 years old will look worn and dated.

If your classic Mustang emblems are showing their age they can be restored to factory new appearance by following these instructions.

Materials list

  • fine and super fine steel wool
  • enamel modeling paint (red, white, blue, and black)
  • tiny modeling brushes for paint application
  • blue painters tape or masking tape

image005 Gas Cap Restoration

Because of their size fuel caps are fairly easy to work on.  They are also a good test piece to try out before moving on to smaller and more difficult pieces.

For 66 Mustangs the gas cap is attached with a cable bolted to the car.  A 7/16″ socket is needed to unbolt the cap.

Start out by giving the gas cap a thorough polishing with fine or superfine steel wool.  You’ll be surprised at how good your gas cap will look just with steel wool polishing.  Spend enough time to work the wool into every tiny surface you can reach. Next, tape off any areas needing protection before applying paint.  For gas caps and emblems I use enamel modeling paint and the tiniest paint brushes I can find at the hobby store. Make sure your modeling paint is stirred to a consistent blend before you begin.

With the right amount of paint loaded on your brush (about a drop) you can cause your paint to flow into and fill the paint recesses and cavities by capillary action.  You will want a fairly thick layer of paint to fill the cavity.  A second or third coating may be needed for complete coverage and paint saturation.

image007

Don’t worry if you get paint on the chrome surface or on the edges between the paint cavities (as you can see in the photos above.)  Let the paint dry over night.

After the paint dries you can clean up the over flow.  My finger nails were hard enough to remove excess paint on the chrome dividing bars just by sliding across the top surface.  A knife or razor blade can also be used to scrape away the excess paint.  Finish the clean up with fine steel wool.  With the surface paint removed your recessed letters should stand out just like new. You will be quite pleased with the results. A light coat of clear spray lacquer can be applied to preserve the new finish.

Instrument Bezel Restoration

For restoring the paint on my interior control knobs I used a slightly different technique with spray paint.  First polish the bezels with steel wool.  Then mask off everything except the surface directly surrounding the letters to be painted.  Next, hit the surface with heavy shot of spray paint.  While the spray paint is still wet rub the surface with a soft cloth or paper towel to remove most of the surface paint.  The paint in the cavities of the letters is unaffected.  Finish with another polishing of super fine steel wool to remove any remaining surface paint after the paint is thoroughly dry.

image009

Attention to small details like this will make your old emblems look factory new.

image011

Contact:  Robert B. Whitaker

© 2012, all rights reserved

Leave a Reply