Friday, July 22, 2011

Touch-up Painting

In this episode I’ll be putting the finishing details on the lamp shade/housing, the tension disk indicator, the stitch length indicator, and the bobbin winder.

Here is the set of paints and brushes used for this part of the project.  The silver and black paint are enamels and the white paint is acrylic (and it was on sale!).  All three are Testors model paint.

Paint & brushes

Lamp Shade

The inside of the original shade was painted silver, most likely to aid in reflecting the light to the work surface.  Since I had previously powder coated this piece entirely black, it was necessary to paint the inside the shade with silver to restore it to it’s original condition.  One coat wasn’t enough as the black showed through some streaks, but 2 coats did the trick.

One coat:  one coat silver 2 coats:  2 coats silver2 coats silver (2)

Tension disk indicator

This was another touch-up to bring the powder coated part back to its original condition.  This time it was a simple matter of hand painting the – | + onto the indentations on the indicator ring.  I used the white acrylic paint for this step.  It’s not perfect, but it will do just fine.

hand painted tension indicator

Stitch length indicator

Here is a what Ms. Rusty’s stitch length indicator looked like before my recent “touch-up”

stitch indicator - before paintstitch indicator - before paint

The black paint is in great shape, but it is very difficult to see that there are even numbers on this thing!  My first attempt at enhancing the visibility was to do hand painting like I did on the tension indicator.  Unfortunately, the results were less than stellar.

stitch indicator - after hand paint

So I then took the approach that Rain recently posted on his blog.  I used my acrylic white paint (I didn’t have any gold handy) and the results were pretty good!  Rather than re-hash his technique, I'll give you an abbreviated version and tips I learned along the way.

First step is to put a layer of paint over the top of the engraved lettering.  Then use Q-Tips (cotton swabs) to gently rub off the excess paint, leaving the paint that has settled in the engraving.  Repeat these steps until you have filled in the recesses.

I made my first mistake by using way too much paint as shown in the photo below.  This caused me to go through more Q-tips than necessary, but was still worked.    However, after just the first few “layers” you can begin to see the numbers again.

first coatseveral coats (one side)

I took Rain’s advice and focused on just one side before moving on to the other side.  It is much easier than trying to tackle both at once.  Not too shabby for the first side!

One side complete (2)

The second side caused me more trouble.  I was getting a bit tired of all the painting and wiping, and as a result I ended up rubbing the Q-Tips too hard on the surface, which resulted in lifting all the paint on the second side right out the grooves I had worked so hard to put in there.

So, I took a break until the next day and started again.  This time, with more patience and using a more gentle approach, the job was completed with little effort.

Completed stitch indicator

Bobbin winder

My last task was touching up the bobbin winder with black paint as it couldn’t easily be powder coated.  It was pretty straight forward, with the most difficult part trying to paint all the different angles without getting fingerprints everywhere.  The solution – a bamboo skewer through a screw hole.  A little black paint and voila – pretty bobbin winder assembly.

bobbin assembly before paintingAvoiding wet paint


  1. Hi! How has the Testors held up? Did you use the glossy, semi-gloss, or flat? Thank you!

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