Restoring wheel cover insignias

June 1, 2008 | By Richard Beatty


I have four 1953 Ford wheel covers. They are in good condition except for the raised or embossed insignias in the center. The paint is faded on some and there is very little paint on the others. Do you know how to properly paint these?


It is a relatively simple task to repaint the center emblems on your Ford wheel covers. Use fine sandpaper such as #400 grit to thoroughly scuff the areas that will be painted but be very careful not to sand beyond the painted areas.

It is very helpful if you apply masking tape right up to the area to be sanded to prevent the adjacent unpainted surfaces from being inadvertently scratched.

If you intend to polish the unpainted portions of the wheel covers, or if they require any sort of repair, do this before painting the insignias.

Once the areas to be painted are completely sanded, wipe them down with wax and grease remover.

You can use a wide variety of different types of paint but for greatest durability a modern catalyzed urethane enamel is best.

It will be very helpful if you can get your hands on another 1953 wheel cover that has a center insignia in excellent condition. This will serve two purposes. It will provide a guide for you to have the correct color paints mixed up, and will also serve as a reference you can copy when you repaint your other wheel covers.

I have always found it easiest to do the painting by hand, using a fine bristle brush and a bit of extra reducer in the paint so it flows better and the brush strokes disappear.