[CR]Headbadge Repainting

Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 09:45:51 -0700
From: Greg and Darlene Pitman <gpit@ix.netcom.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Headbadge Repainting

Some months ago I requested advice from the list regarding headbadge repainting. I received many replies, both on and off list. Because of a recent computer glitch, I lost all my saved e-mails, so cannot thank each person individually. But the help was fantastic, it really got me started, so thanks to all of you who offered suggestions.

I thought I might relate my experience for those who are thinking about trying it.

I had an old Cinelli badge with no paint, plain brass, that came off a 60's model that was killed in a car crash. Then recently, I purchased a Frejus badge from Lloyd's for a bike I bought on E-Bay and was working on. This badge was also devoid of any paint. After getting pictures of what these badges should look like, I bought sign enamel paint in 5 different colors from Hyatt's. They have a web site and are easy to find. The smallest amount was 8 ounce cans which cost about $11.00 each. I started with the Cinelli badge because the relief was crisper, making the spaces easier to fill with paint. The smallest brush I had at that time was a good quality sable in size 10/0 and this worked fine for the Cinelli. I would lay in one color at a time, let it dry in the oven (with the oven off, just warmed by the pilot) and of course, warned my wife and kids about using the oven. Any paint that went where it was not wanted was carefully trimmed away with an X-Acto knife with a fresh blade after the paint had thoroughly dried. This proceeded nicely to completion and went on the shelf.

Next I started on the Frejus badge. One of the problems with this one was that the pictures I had to compare to were all different. I did the best I could, but I'm sure it isn't exactly as original. Cleaned it well in lacquer thinner, as I had with the Cinelli. But this one took a long time. The relief is very shallow with lots of detail. I messed up the first try with the 10/0 brush and had to strip it again. Bought two 15/0 brushes at my favorite hobby shop. This time I was making good progress but decided to speed up the drying process by heating the oven. Bad idea, the paint discolored and I had to strip it again. The third time was the charm, but took a long time. I found I could only work on it for about 30 minutes at a time. Then my eyes would start to bother me and my hands would start to shake. Short sessions were best. When this one was done, I decided to spray them both with clear gloss enamel. I liked this effect and applied several coats, rubbing out with 600 paper between coats. I think this will keep the paint in place longer and it looks nice.

So here are some pictures. Sorry for the photography, I'm still getting used to a new camera, having trouble with close ups. The photos don't do them justice:


I found that I really enjoyed the detail work of this project. I barely used a thimbleful of each color of paint, still have lots left. Got a badge you'd like painted? If you can provide a color picture, I'd be happy to try it. Obviously it takes me a while, but the price is right - free.

Thanks again to the list members who provided advice, encouragement, and pictures for this project.

Greg Pitman
Rancho Cucamonga, CA