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Advice on Painting Wheel Covers and Hood Emblem

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  • Advice on Painting Wheel Covers and Hood Emblem

    We are about to paint the center of the wheel covers and the late '53 "V8" hood emblem (not the tristar). All old gold paint has been removed. John Bridges states in "Studebaker's Finest" that the wheel covers (they are 54's) should be painted light enough to allow some of the chrome to show through. Any advice on how to do this?

    Also, I believe the "8" on the hood emblem should be painted totally gold with no regard to allowing chrome to show through, right?

    All can be seen in pictures below as they are now. Thanks.
    Tim-'53 Starlight Commander Custom in Yuma, AZ

  • #2
    Use gold tint laquer for musical instruments. I can give you a name and number. I used this on my gold 8 and on instrument panel and hubcaps.
    put several light coats. I think I used 7 coats. It is not a paint. It is a tint. There was a VHT # SP233, I think, but don't waste you time looking for it.
    At least, I couldn't find any.


    • #3
      There is a paint available from parts stores like O'Reillys. I bought some and the centers look correct. The gold color should be translucent. This has been discussed before on the forum and a search may find the paint name and part number before I can find it in the garage.
      Gary Sanders
      Nixa, MO


      • #4
        Transparent Gold Lacquer is what you want for the Wheelcovers, but not the "8".
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner
        SDC Member Since 1967


        • #5
          The paint I bought at O'Reillys is VHT translucent metal tint coating SP-233 Gold. I bought mine a few years ago for ariound $8.00.
          This was not stocked in the store. They ordered it and I picked it up a couple of days later.
          I would think the "8"s are available as reproductions.
          Gary Sanders
          Nixa, MO


          • #6
            SI has them for $65 for the non-CASO.
            Brad Johnson,
            SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
            Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
            '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
            '56 Sky Hawk in process


            • #7
              Just to make sure in case any else responds, I have the hood emblem and asked for advice on painting the "8." I know repros are available. Thanks.
              Tim-'53 Starlight Commander Custom in Yuma, AZ


              • #8
                Why not get it Gold plated at the local plating shop that is doing a lot of Custom Bikre stuff. It is cheaper than you think.
                Brian Woods
                1946 M Series (Shop Truck)


                • #9
                  When I took the front and rear 8s from our car to Librandi's Plating in Middletown, PA, Todd Librandi took one look at them and said they were gold plated. He sent them out for me, and they came back looking marvelous. I don't recall how much they cost, but no good plating is inexpensive.

                  Go for the gold.

                  Now, regarding the wheel cover centers, you can use the VHT SP-233 Gold or Dupli-Color Metalcast EMC202000 Yellow Anodized spray. In my opinion, the paint from Studebaker International is too dark -- unless it has changed from when I bought a can of it a few years ago. The most important thing for getting a good tint on the wheel cover centers is how you mask them. First and foremost, don't use any kind of tape. If you do, when you pull the tape, you'll also pull off some of the paint and get a ragged edge. Get yourself a Craftsman wheel and circle cutter #25293 and cut a 3-15/16 inch diameter hole in some sheet plastic about 1/16 inch thick. (You'll need a drill press to do this. Trying to do it with a hand drill is a sure recipe for injury.) The plastic sheet should be large enough to at least cover some of the wheel cover. The piece I had was about nine inches square, so I taped newspaper on all 4 sides of it to completely shield the wheel cover. After you have made your paint mask, carefully lay it on the wheel cover, making sure that only the dished portion of the cover shows through the hole in the plastic. Spray directly down on the wheel cover. Then oh so carefully, lift the mask straight up and off. Let the paint dry thoroughly, and don't be satisfied with anything less than perfect. The Metalcast and VHT paints are easily removed completely with acetone, so if you don't like your results, try, try again.

                  I have found that once dry, the paint is pretty durable. I've had it on the wheel covers of our car for close to 3 years now, and even with regular washing, it's holding up well.
                  Kindest regards,

                  Alan Mende
                  Grantville, PA

                  I'm not a mechanic; I don't even play one on TV.