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Technical How do you paint valve covers?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by atch, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,194


    That is:

    1. On a script cover like this one do you paint the orange and then carefully paint the black (maybe hire a skilled pinstriper to do the deed)? Or do you paint the black, let it dry, paint the orange, and wipe off the top of the script before the orange dries? Or do you paint the black and then tape off the top of the script before painting the orange?


    2. And on aluminum finned valve covers do you paint it all and then sand off the high spots? Or do you tape off the high spots before painting?


    I doubt that I'll ever paint any finned valve covers, I like them bare aluminum and have several sets. But I think I'll try to paint a set of Chevrolet script valve covers with two colors.
    Deuces likes this.
  2. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,127


    On the first one it's like doing license plates. Shoot the black. Let it dry then the orange. Then you lightly buff the script to expose the black letters.
  3. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,194


    Do you let the orange dry first or buff/wipe it while wet/tacky?
  4. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 858

    Mike Colemire

    I think I'd let it dry real good.
    Deuces likes this.
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  5. 29moonshine
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,254


    paint it then get a good pinstriper
  6. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,469


    On the chevy script, you buy the Chevrolet stick on
    427 sleeper and alanp561 like this.
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,260


    All the Chevy script valve covers I've painted have been all orange. The lettering shows well even if you don't paint it.
    427 sleeper likes this.
  8. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,127


    It's need to be dried entirely. It's a real soft touch with a foam pad. I use a real mild cutting agent like 3M's .....dammit a senior moment. Perfection no that's not it. Let me walk out to the garage. Sorry went and looked and I don't have one. Must have used it. Well use something less abrasive than raw cutting compound and go slow. I have a variable speed two stage buffer that works well here.
  9. Terrible80
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 671


  10. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 791


    On my finned aluminum valve covers I figured that paint wasn't going to stick that well so I cut that red conspicuous reflective tape often seen on the backs of school busses there. Real pain making stencils to fit around the word "Corvette".
  11. hrm2k
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 3,553


    painted the orange and then used a sanding block with 320 grit...….......…...keep sanding until all fins are the same width ( visually ) and the finish on each rib is the same


    Deuces likes this.
  12. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,207

    anthony myrick
    from al

    On stamped I painted the letters first
    Then the rest ( quality single stage)
    Sanded the main color until the letters showed up. Then cleared. Looked great
    On finned, I paint all of it then sand and polish the fins.
    Deuces likes this.
  13. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,926


    I used a Sharpe on my Chevy script valve covers (hangs head in shame). But the pair is on the wall. What do you do if you powder coat them?
    wraymen likes this.
  14. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 475


    Fine grit sanding block after orange is dry. lightly rub it and the script will come out silver. Then leave it that way and clear coat it.
  15. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,493


    Paint the black, then allow to dry. Then, with a crayon, cover the script with wax, then paint the orange. Paint won't stick to the wax, then remove the wax. Done. I am butch/56sedandelivery.
    reagen, pprather, charleyw and 2 others like this.
  16. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,264

    from Oregon

    I have always used grease over anything like tags , decals that was not getting painted. On finer lines like the script go buy a fine small artist brush . Take a match book cover or a business card and lay it up close to your script as a guide. You paint the letters , let dry , apply grease. Paint your orange , let dry and wipe grease of script. Patience and do not drink a cold one until done.
    loudbang likes this.
  17. enjenjo
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 2,445

    from swanton oh

    The same as you do with paint, black first, then red, then buff off the letters and clearcoat with powder
    belair likes this.
  18. Ericnova72
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 125


    On the finned aluminum, take a thinner soaked rag wrapped around a rubber sanding block and wipe the fins clean while the paint is still wet. Done this way they can be pre-polished. Way easier than sanding them clean after letting it dry.
    pprather, Rich S. and voodookustoms like this.
  19. MantulaMan
    Joined: Jun 19, 2018
    Posts: 20


    For script/detail work you can paint the cover the colour of you script and then go over the letters with grease before you paint the top colour. You can then just wipe off the grease/paint on the script.

    I've be warned off powder coating valve covers as if it's not done properly the powder coat on the underside can come off under engine temperatures and you then get the abrasive powder falling into your rocker gear and mixed with the oil...

    Sent from my SM-G390F using Tapatalk
  20. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,860


    On these, bead blast, taped off, painted black, block sand, clear coat. 5 years +, look as good as day 1 IMG_0615.JPG
  21. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,251


    Can’t believe that there are so many different ways to go about this.
    On my finned covers, I just painted and while still wet, (immediately), took a rag wet with turps, and wiped the top of the fin clean. Was already polished.
    This was about 8 years ago after researching how to go about it, here on the HAMB !
    Rich S. likes this.
  22. I polish the valve cover, clean it thoroughly, mask the outside along with thin strips on top of the fins, paint, and while still tacky, pull the tape strips, and finish removing the paint with a thinner dampened rag. I found taking the time to slice up and apply the tape on the fins; while probably taking longer, gives you an edge on cleaning the paint off the fins.
    valve cover.jpg
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  23. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 601


    I can't believe I read through this whole thing and it was all about, ugh, CHEVROLETS. I'm going to go get another cup of coffee:eek:
    Rich S. and 41rodderz like this.
  24. Its just about painting "Valve Covers" just happens to be that Chevrolet owners are PROUD to show off there stuff..

    Not seeing them Blue Oval owners stepping up?
    Rich S. and belair like this.
  25. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 2,928

    from Berry, AL

    Last set of finned covers I did, I only wanted paint between the fins. I used a small brush, and had a rag with thinner for any goof ups. Just sorta flowed the paint between the fins, then wiped off any that got on top of them. After they were dry, touched up the tops of the fins with fine sandpaper.
  26. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,205

    jimmy six

    OK I'll answer the question....With a spray can...:rolleyes:
    alanp561 likes this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,674


    On the raised script covers, paint the base color 1st. Take the color of choice for the script, once the main is dry, and use a hard rubber roller (brayer) to apply. Practice a little on an old license plate for the amount of solvent needed to maintain control. Here's some examples from BLICK art supply, but any art supply will have something: roller&filter=Category_fq:"Paint Rollers"&rows=24&view=grid&start=0

    This so easy you'll want to find all kinds of shit to do it on.

    Finned aluminum, get the whole thing finished to the choice you want. get it really clean and dry then mask all but the raised fins and paint the valleys and sides but not too heavy. Covered, but not thick and heavy. Sometimes a light spray of etching primer helps too, but you have to wipe the ribs while it's wet. Once all in wipe the ribs off and you get a really pro look to the final job with only the valley in color on a fully polished cover. I'm far too lazy to try some of the ideas posted, but that doesn't mean any of them are wrong.

    But what if you have tin covers with logos stamped in? Well, that's where a small brush and edge wiping are the efficient and easy way. Once all colored and fully dry fill in the low stamping with the color wanted and wipe as you go. I try to use a hard backer and relatively lint free wipe with a minimum of solvent, just enough to clean so it doesn't run into the stamping. Plain enamels are best and you can use mineral spirits (hardware paint thinner) to wipe off the excess and not hurt the main color. Have fun...:cool:
    Rich S. likes this.
  28. That’s how I did mine. Worked perfect.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  29. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,264

    from Oregon

    You use grease and you cut out the sanding part .:)
  30. LOL, I took the lazy way on the last set myself, they were in bad shape and pretty pitted to start with though. Gold rattle can, black permanent marker and a few shots of clear. At least two years old and still look OK.

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