'68 Charger Grill Restoration

36viper

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Hi all!
Today, I finished polishing the aluminum grill surround trim. Now I'm realizing that the the grill itsself needs to get a face lift too! Whats the best way to repaint the narrow silver-gray fronts of the vertical slats? Color? Is the black background in the headlight covers painted black, or is it black plastic? Should I just clean it up before painting the gray vertical lines, or clean then paint it first??
Thanks in advance for your time!!! This forum has been VERY HELPFUL in my '68 HEMI Charger restoration project!!

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Sixpactogo

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When I restored mine, I painted the black with a semi gloss black spray paint and the silver is Argent Silver.
Yours doesn't look too bad. Maybe just scrub it up with some simple green and a tooth brush and touch up the Argent with small brush.
 

36viper

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Thanks Sixpactogo!! That's great information. I'll get that toothbrush into action, then pick up a bit of Argent!!
 

QOTHL

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How good do you want it to look? It is black plastic and they painted the whole front where the vertical grooves are silver/Argent. Then they must have had a production mask that was laid over the verticals and painted it back to black. When I did it, I had to use 1/4" masking tape to cover those verticals and then paint black. By covering everything with silver, including the flat inner plastic, makes it "easier"...but that's how they did the original. Trying to hand paint the verticals will make you want to shove ice picks in both eyes.
 

QOTHL

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CLEAN, make sure it is CLEAN before you paint. You may have to use picks to get in to the corners and make sure all the dirt is out. You may also have to use make-up Qtips for cleaning. Before you paint, you need to wipe all surfaces with a wax and grease remover and then for plastic, you need an anti static cloth for final prep. Make sure all cleaning agents have cured out before painting or you will have defects.
 

QOTHL

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You should sand before you paint as well. Smooth any rough edges, fix any nicks in the vertical plastic, repair any cracks or broken tabs, make sure as many defects are cleaned up as possible before painting. Use 800 for final sanding. Wet sanding goes faster. I use paint for plastic with an adhesion promoter.
 

QOTHL

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By the way, you are going to have to seal whatever is left of the original paint with 2K primer.
 

Frankb

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When I did mine, after cleaning and prep, I used Dutch Boy satin black and Dutch Boy dull silver (maybe argent). This was many years ago and it still looks good
 

QOTHL

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When I did mine, after cleaning and prep, I used Dutch Boy satin black and Dutch Boy dull silver (maybe argent). This was many years ago and it still looks good
Did you spray it?
 

Mopar Hunter

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When I restored mine, I painted the black with a semi gloss black spray paint and the silver is Argent Silver.
Yours doesn't look too bad. Maybe just scrub it up with some simple green and a tooth brush and touch up the Argent with small brush.

When I did mine, after cleaning and prep, I used Dutch Boy satin black and Dutch Boy dull silver (maybe argent). This was many years ago and it still looks good
Pictures?
 

Frankb

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I did the work on this grill I think in about 2000 or 2001. I started with a POS. Put a lot of hours into this. Had to replace/repair a lot of the plastic.I painted the fins first with Dutch Boy dull aluminum. I thought it was silver but it wasn't. I got the paint codes from someone on Moparts. It may not be a perfect match but it looks good. After the fronts of the fins were painted I used thin painters tape and masked each fin. Then I painted the rest of the grill in satin black. It looks more correct when everything is put together. Just installed a 512 and getting ready for operational checks.
Frank

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Richard Cranium

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I'd really like to know how they masked the grill to apply the silver back in the day when they were mass producing them.

Same goes for paint on emblems, and what they used to get the paint to stick so good on chrome..
 

Richard Cranium

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I may be wrong, but I don't think the black grille was ever painted black; it was just black plastic & the silver was painted over the black plastic.
 
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