How to repaint the numbers on a brass clock dial

Gage_robertson_collector

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Hello, I was just curious which paint and/or which technique i should use to go about repainting the numbers on this 1893 seth thomas mantel clock i have. The numbers were originally black. I thought about using a paint sharpie (the one where you shake it up and actual paint comes out of the tip) mostly because of the convenience it would be to apply it using this technique,
but i wasnt sure if that was the best route as i would like it to be relatively durable and as close to original as possible.

thanks,

- Gage robertson
2BAEC76D-B660-475B-96E7-6B188FA646CB.jpeg
 

bruce linde

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i have one of those sharpies and half the time i get big globs rather than controlled output....

if it were me i'd pull the dial for best accesss and make sure i had plenty of good lighting and magnification... and go really slowly using very small paint brushes (after making sure there's no oil or anything on the surfaces).

also... i was able to restore the fine gold lines on this one using an extra fine tip sharpie and carefully wiping off any that went outside of the recesses using a lint-free wipe and some alcohol.... maybe not the best job, but looks great from more than a couple of feet away... :)

image_3.jpg
 

Gage_robertson_collector

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May 4, 2021
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West Hartford, Connecticut
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i have one of those sharpies and half the time i get big globs rather than controlled output....

if it were me i'd pull the dial for best accesss and make sure i had plenty of good lighting and magnification... and go really slowly using very small paint brushes (after making sure there's no oil or anything on the surfaces).

also... i was able to restore the fine gold lines on this one using an extra fine tip sharpie and carefully wiping off any that went outside of the recesses using a lint-free wipe and some alcohol.... maybe not the best job, but looks great from more than a couple of feet away... :)

View attachment 659434
Looks great! Actually I was already planning on repairing those details using pen ink, using a technique that was suggested to me in another thread. Either way, thanks for your input on the numbers!!
- Gage
 

Gage_robertson_collector

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May 4, 2021
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11
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West Hartford, Connecticut
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Region
i have one of those sharpies and half the time i get big globs rather than controlled output....

if it were me i'd pull the dial for best accesss and make sure i had plenty of good lighting and magnification... and go really slowly using very small paint brushes (after making sure there's no oil or anything on the surfaces).

also... i was able to restore the fine gold lines on this one using an extra fine tip sharpie and carefully wiping off any that went outside of the recesses using a lint-free wipe and some alcohol.... maybe not the best job, but looks great from more than a couple of feet away... :)

View attachment 659434
thanks for your advice!! I actually ended up using gold pen ink on a clock oil applicator to get the color back on the face there. I think it looks pretty good!! Still have to do the numbers though!!

- Gage

F1F9B607-E181-4654-9F28-E476E07C7ACB.jpeg
 
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bruce linde

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it occurred to me that you could fill in the circles around the numbers with a sharpie and it might look pretty good.... here's a quick-and-dirty photoshop using a dark brown....

F1F9B607-E181-4654-9F28-E476E07C7ACB.jpeg
 

Vernon

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I did this a few years ago. It was a lot simpler than I thought it would be. I used a thin artist brush and enamel artist paint. While I was deciding weather to allow the paint go down the edges, I was finished so the right side doesn't look as good. I may go back over it.

IMG_20210818_191952.jpg
 

klokwiz

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Gage, I would first do some research looking for an un touched dial that will show you what it was supposed to look like. then you can decide what to do to it.

I did a quickie google search found three examples, it appears that just the number was painted. Your numbers look pretty flat. i would try the rubber stamp approach. find a cork slightly smaller than the circle around the number. dip it in black paint but not so it is soaked, then apply to number. this way you get an even un "brushed" look. be prepared to wipe it off and reapply if first try doesnt look good.

Joe
 
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comet61

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The cork idea does work, but it has to be flat and the right diameter. I used Windsor and Newton Inks. Black, White, Gold and Silver are all opaque (non-transparent). The trick is to "dampen" the cork...a very thin layer. Apply it squarely on your target. Apply straight down, then come off it straight up. Let it dry and repeat the process until you have a solid color.
 
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