Fellow member Don (Truck21) recently picked up a 1977 John Deere 208 and asked me if I'd be interested in restoring the serial number tag for him. He stated that it would be a challenge as it had been covered over by the previous owner with unknown layers of green paint. Well, after seeing the tag I accepted and immediately went to work on it. Here is what the tag looked like before taking it off of the tractor:
First thing I started to do was to remove the green from the raised lettering, the serial number bar, and outer perimeter edging, mostly to see how well the aluminum finish would be:
Once that was done and I was satisfied that the aluminum would finish out nice, I then started removing the rest of the green paint from the remaining tag. Wanting to determine how well the original black base coat would look:
After finding that the black base coat had too many scratches, I then decided to strip all of the base coat off down to the bare aluminum and start off with a new base coat:
Once the tag was stripped and cleaned, I started applying a couple of thin layers of new base coat:
The tag sat for a little while, not fully cured, but not tacky either. Here is where the fun begins. I use a flat head dentist pick and carefully start removing the unwanted black paint from the raised lettering, the serial number bar, and outer perimeter edging, just like I did above when removing the green paint. When all of the black paint is removed, I carefully shine up the exposed aluminum areas with a fine steel wool pad. When everything suits me and looks good, I then apply two coats of clear finish to the tag and do a little polishing. here is the tag after the two clear coats of finish.