Painting Instrument Needles - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Oct 2004
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Painting Instrument Needles

Does anyone have feedback on the color and type of paint I should use?

I intend to repaint the guage needles on my W124 instrument cluster when I pull it in a few days. A friend owns a hobby shop and recommends a Testor Flourescent Orange in a high gloss.

Since mine are presently faded, I am not certain this is the right color, or finish. Should I use a flat or matte finish? My friend suggests that the existing needles are matte because they have faded with time and that gloss is likely correct.

Feedback and comments are welcome.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 02:20 PM
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Vehicle: 1991 500SEC 38,800 mi. 1987 560SEC Now 145K mi. (Spring 2017)
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RE: Painting Instrument Needles

Hi Piter,

Below is a snap of my '87 560SEC speedo taken about a year ago. The instrument face marker numerals are FLAT (matte) as the instrument illumination reflects off the surface when the lights are on. The same is true with the indicator needle.

Indicator NeedIe finish: I think if the finish were gloss, there could be an objectionable reflection from the instrument lamps OR even during the daylight hours.....?

RE: Flourescent Orange...... I'm using a Mac which has a very different white point regarding the display. A PC (Windows OS) generally speaking uses a much cooler W. Point, therefore the image colors render quite differently, so it is hard (for me) to tell what it would look like. My sense is that the color might be a tad TOO bright..

I used to build model cars (plastic) in the 1960's and once used a beautiful 'Testors' brand metallic color spray on the body of a car. It looked GREAT at first, then as the finish dried, the surface texture became rough and 'alligatored' -- as the paint had not been expressly designed for plastic. Apparently either a component within the paint
or the propellant used, ate into the previously smooth finish. Bummer! Which is a very long way of saying: 'Test the paint on a surface that doesn't show first, before committing the entire needle.'

Thanks for reading, hope this is helpful.

Regards, MBL

PS: The instruments still appear the same as of yesterday, the 19th of October.
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