A Restoration Adventure
James Young

Bob Steinmann's license Plates Before and After

One of the plates post fire, pre cleanup.  Some plates were damaged more than others.

Getting ready to fill in rust holes

These plates have gone thru a lot over the years.

This stripping gel did not clean up the plates.

Getting ready for the next application of stripping compound.

After some manual wire and tool brushing, the plates are starting to clean up.

Plate on the left has been media blasted.   Plate on right not yet blasted.
Note the yellowish color of the one plate.

All 4 plates have been media blasted front & back.

Filling in holes with J-B Weld.   Thanks to Dave Casey for the tips!

Filled in holes have been filed and sanded on this plate.   Not perfect, but better than they were.

All 4 plates have had J-B Weld added to rust holes.

Sandable black primer applied to all 4 plates

After wire brushing black primer, plates are starting to look presentable.
#0000 extra fine steel wool was used on the paintable black license plate.

Sandable gray primer applied to all 4 plates.

School bus yellow paint applied to plates

Outlining of numbers with special pinstriping tape begins.
The nervousness begins!

The first plate numbers are outlined.
I started out using too much tape and got more conservative as time passed.

Second plate with far less outlining tape!

All 4 plates have numbers outlined.

First plate with numbers painted with One Shot dark blue enamel.

First plate with tape removed.
Much touch up needed as the blue paint tended to creep under the tape.

Other 3 plates taped off and painted dark blue.

All 4 plates with tape removed.   Touch ups to follow.

Outlining of straight edges begins.
I found that leaving the corners untaped worked better than trying to make sharp curves with tape.

Straight edges painted with dark blue paint.
Curves painted free hand with special brushes.

Outlining of edges completed.
Now the really challenging free hand painting of the small letters and numbers begins.

Both sets of plates are now painted up and waiting for touch ups.  The school bus yellow does not cover up dark blue very well. Several coats were needed to hide the blue that had spread under the tape.  I sprayed the yellow in a plastic cup and let most of the solvent evaporate.  This left more of the yellow pigment to be applied with a small brush over the blue.

All 4 plates touched up and ready to be given back to Bob & Gladys Steinmann!  I feel bad that it took me so long to do.  Bob & Gladys were very patient with me and gave me much needed encouragement during my procrastination on finishing up the hand lettering phase.

I have used this sign painter's paint since the late '70's.  It used to contain lead but no more.
Still does a nice job when hand lettering.  Not cheap but good paint!

This paint could not be found in the big box hardware stores.
The Internet had it, but shipping charges were a bit hefty.

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