plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
True gold anodizing spray paint?
I restore 77 Trans Am S/E's and I have always searched for the best anodizing gold paint to refinish the gold on aluminum dash bezels. Dupli-color has a yellow that looks a little gold, and Eastwood makes a gold that looks yellow. Does anyone make a true gold anodizing spray paint that looks gold? Does anyone know what GM used in 77 to achieve that wonderful rich gold color?
A. The originals were gold anodized. The durability and process of anodizing is as different from painting as the east is far from the west.
BUT...That gold color is a dye (stain) in which the part was dipped after anodizing. The anodized layer of the metal is aluminum oxide, which absorbs the gold dye. The PRINCIPAL of achieving the desired color is the same: With anodizing a colored transparent dye soaks into the raw anodize surface and colors it "GOLD". Similarly, a just-right mix of transparent yellow and clear, applied over clean aluminum can duplicate that look.
Given enough patience, you should be able to near-duplicate that look with paint. That color you have been using is too heavy (tinted) for the look we so covet. You will not be able to get the results you want with spray cans. You need to mix compatible clear with the transparent yellows or golds. Of course, you must use only transparent colors WITH NO METALLIC OR OPAQUE content whatsoever.
You should mix the paint VERY THIN and spray on a very thin coat. You goal is to get the color right with ONE COAT. (Every subsequent coat would deepen the color, but I recommend achieving the desired color with a single VERY THIN coat.) After drying, follow with one or two thicker coats of straight clear for protection.
By the way, plastic pieces with a gold finish also utilize a transparent "gold" (yellow) clear coat. Such pieces are vacuum aluminized and then coated with a transparent color top coat.
Again, the point of my post is to encourage and convince everyone that you can near-duplicate the TransAm gold using a mix of clear and transparent color paint. Of course, this is an old post and the original poster may never see this.
- Madison, Alabama
Ed. note: Although the original poster may or may not see your response, Edward, many other people will. So, thanks.
A. See "Gold Dash Bezel Restoration Service" at
www.transamcountry.com/sponsor_GBRS.htm. He also re-swirls them and restores the silver ones.
- Alameda, California
Ed. note: Although the link which Ron provided has since broken, his search term will work well on search engines. Good luck.