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Guide to Blacking Out Tesla Emblems

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by eclipsis, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. eclipsis

    eclipsis Member

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    #1 eclipsis, Aug 25, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
    One of the first things I wanted to do on our new MS is to black out as much chrome as possible. I was disappointed to find that there were no aftermarket matte black badges for the Model S, so I decided to make my own. Here's how I did it:

    Step 1: Remove the badges. Here's a guide on how to do it.

    Step 2: Remove adhesive backing from badges. Soaking the badges in a strong degreaser like Super Clean will soften the adhesive and you can pull it off easily:

    6d58f3f3-0b95-4be1-8c24-6de443f987d5.jpg

    Step 3: Remove chrome from badges. I sent my badges to Brent at Cal-Tron Plating in Los Angeles. He reverse electroplated them for $15 shipped. When the chrome is removed, all you're left with is plain ABS plastic:

    IMG_2971.jpg

    Step 4: Prep the badges for painting. Sand the badges with 800-100 grit sandpaper, wash them with soap and water, and then wipe them down with isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber towel. This leaves the surface ready for painting.

    Step 5: There are 3 painting stages: primer, color coat, and clear coat. Each stage gets a minimum of two coats, or you can do three if you'd like. Follow the instructions on each can's label. I used PlastiKoat Primer, Krylon Fusion Matte Black, and Krylon Flat Top Coat:

    IMG_2981.jpg

    When you're painting, make sure you cover each angle of the badges, especially the smaller crevices on the letters. Paint over masking paper, and elevate the badges with a material that prevents the badges from sticking to the paper (I cut up adhesive-backed felt pads):

    IMG_2980.jpg

    Step 6: Cut 3M Attachment Tape to fit back side of each badge. Use a sharp scissor and a utility blade.

    All finished:

    967b5d6b-7727-4416-aeed-0a64b1631b5c.jpg

    IMG_2983.jpg
     
  2. eRandall38

    eRandall38 Member

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    Do you have photos of them installed? I would enjoy seeing how they look on the car.
     
  3. romp

    romp Member

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    Curious: why the reverse electroplating step was necessary? Can't the primer be sprayed over the chrome? Thanks!

    Also, second the request for the photos installed.
     
  4. eclipsis

    eclipsis Member

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    A chrome surface (or any finished surface for that matter) isn't ideal for the primer to stick to. Bare plastic that's scuffed up allows better adhesion of the primer.

    I won't have installed pics for a while, my car gets here in late October. The badges I worked on came from eBay (long, convoluted story as to why I needed to buy them before I get the car).
     
  5. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Probably easier and cheaper to just to have someone 3D scan the old one and 3D print you out as many new ones as you want.
     
  6. DA808EV

    DA808EV Member

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    Looks good but it seems like a lot of work. Could have plastidipped it or wrapped them chrome.
     
  7. eclipsis

    eclipsis Member

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    Plastidip has a tendency to peel, and wrapping the small letters wouldn't look too good.
     

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