This blog will describe my daily, lets say monthly, restoration project of an iconic car: an Austin Healey Sprite MK3 1965. It´s a nice, cute, little car. As said in many period magazines, it’s a "little sports men car". I will restore this car to its former glory, and will share it with all of you....
Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Gear knob restoration
Fortunately the original gear knob was still in place. Condition was good, with no cracks, but all the original paint was gone and the grooves full of dirt.
As always, I was not going to buy a new one, or one of those modern wood ones. I just had to try to restore it. The process was easy and gave excellent results.
I first used a needle to remove from the numbers and grooves all the rest of paint and dirt, cleaning all with alcohol and a ears cleaning stick. That way the surface was clean enough to accept new paint (white enamel paint by the way)
Now came the difficult question…. How to apply precisely the paint?? A tiny paint brush? What I finally made was to apply paint with the needle, giving 3 layers, because each layer as it would dry, it would shrink.
You can see that after 3 coats, the lines where thick and the numbers could not be seen……
Now came the clever bit, as what I did was to sand down the paint with a very fine sanding pad (about 600 grit), with water. Slowly sanding, until the excess of paint came off and the lines came true and the numbers came clearly visible.
Once I was satisfied, I polished the entire knob and came up with a nice an lovely restored unit.
My doubt is if I should give a coat of clear lacquer to make it shiny and protect the new paint……. What’s your suggestion???