Monday, December 5, 2011

Painting the numberplate

Painting the numberplate

I don't know if this is the right place to post this, but in case it isn't, please suggest where I can post this.

The other day I was stopped by a traffic cop, a rare occurrence. After the mandatory request to view the license and enquiry about the vehicle papers, he revealed that the reason I was stopped was my number plate was not in order. I was surprised, since I don't use fancy numberplates and the lettering is also in Roman. I got down with a cleaning cloth, ready to wipe it clean in case any mud had splashed onto it (fat chance since rains are long gone).

The problem seemed to be the front number plate had rust spots in many places and the number indeed could not be read correctly from a distance. I acknowledged the fault and promised to attend to it immediately. I don't know if the matter was too small or whether he was impressed by my response, but he let me go.

Now once the promise has been made, it must be kept. So as soon as I was back from work I visited a local hardware store and procured white and black oil paint (50gm Rs. 20/- each) and a couple of brushes (I think size 6 and 8, with short length of hair).

I then repainted the entire surface around the lettering with the white paint, making sure to coat the rusted spots over and over three to four times. Then with a smaller brush I started working on the lettering, again coating the rusted surface three to four times, trying to reproduce the original lettering as neatly as possible.

Finally the work was done, after about two hours in all. Money spent was under Rs. 100, satisfaction immense!

For anyone else who is inclined to take up a similar DIY, I would like to point out a flaw which I realized after I finished half the work:

Use a masking tape (the black insulation tape would do too) to cover the lettering completely, so the remaining plate can be painted white without any hindrance, with a larger brush, even strokes and the entire finish would be much better.

Then removing the masking tape, you can paint the lettering.

The results of this DIY are nowhere compared to a professional quality numberplate, however the job can be easily done without any specialized knowledge or tools, can be done anytime (very important if you have to do it overnight) and provides a lot of satisfaction (the essence of any DIY).

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