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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
     
    • Like x 1
  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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    Seattle
    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.
     
    • Like x 1
  7. eclipsis

    eclipsis Member

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

    Yonki Deep Blue Metallic LR Model 3

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    Pacific Grove, CA
    How did you not get a single upvote in 4 years (until today)? Thanks eclipsis! Gonna black out the Ts on my chrome-deleted Model 3.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. Naonak

    Naonak Member

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    I plastidipped all of my badges while on the car. It seems a lot of people don't know that you can just square off the area in question with painters tape. Plastidip the whole square, and then peel on what you don't need. The plastidip will "break" and leave the badges dipped and the rest just peels off. It's a lot faster and requires virtually no effort... just time to do 7 or 8 coats.

    I did this method to all the chrome on my car and it worked fine, except for the mirrors, which move and cause a bit of problems. The mirror stalks really need wrap.
     
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