As the phrase goes, the Devil is in the details. Where else could that be truer than in the world of automotive restoration. The details are what separates a “20-footer” from a show winner, a high-bid auction seller, from driving it back home. The details are also sometimes the most difficult tasks on any project, especially when it comes to cars. The smallest detail may take weeks of research and months of searching for the perfect piece to complete the job. Badges and emblems certainly fit in that category of most difficult. When it comes time to reassemble a project, there are a couple of choices, reuse the old faded emblems, or search the internet and swap meets for nicer ones. Repainting old emblems can be done, but it takes 30 different brushes and a degree in art restoration to actually pull it off convincingly, right? Not quite.
Paasche has the fix for every faded and left for dead emblem lying in that box in the corner of your garage; the Paasche FP 1\32 Flow pencil. The FP 1\32 looks like a an airbrush without the airline, instead of the paint being sprayed on, it simply flows out of the tip, leaving a smooth finish, free of any brush lines or start-stop marks. Using the flow pencil couldn’t be easier, once you get the hang of it. The tip of the pencil is placed on the part, then the trigger is pulled back opening the needle and seat, which lets the paint flow out. Then the pencil is simply pulled along the area to be painted leaving a smooth bead of paint.
There are, as usual, some tricks which help lay a better coat of paint. Line the edges of the part first, this creates an outline and frames the area to be painted. The flow pencil comes with 4 nibs or tips, these control the width of the line being painted. Use the smallest nib for the smaller more intricate details, and the larger nibs for the big areas. Keep a cloth or paper towel, and some mineral spirits, handy to wipe the tip clean after each pass. A clean tip directs the paint onto the surface where it is wanted, and keeps part cleanup to a minimum. And, finally, practice makes perfect. Don’t just jump in on a hard-to-find part. It is best to practice on some junk first.
The Eastwood Company supplied some 1-Shot paints, PRE prep spray, hardeners, and reducers to use with the Paasche flow pencil. The 1-Shot paints come in a multitude of colors and can be mixed for custom shades. Using the hardener and reducer increase the adhesion and gloss of the finished job. It also helps to protect from fading and chipping. To illustrate just how easy the flow pencil, and 1-shot paints work, I restored a few old and faded muscle car emblems. One of which is a rare 69 Camaro SS grille emblem, and a 71 Buick GS grille emblem. All that’s left is to follow the steps and go with the flow.