On the 1917-1925 T's was the lettering surrounding the ignition/lighting switch lever ever highlighted with a white paint from the factory? I've noticed many old examples that appear like they were.
I don't think the black era cars were highlighted.
It could be done though.
I have been fortunate to see a couple of NOS switch plates. The WERE white, well, dirty and faded but WHITE.
Thanks Bill I wasn't sure. I've seem way too many old untouched examples that appeared to have white lettering under all that dirt and patina. I just had to ask the question.
I did mine with a small artist brush. I could only do about two letters at a time. It took me a week, and I'm very pleased with the result.
Take some white enamel, brush it onto the plate, immediately wipe off the face with a thin cloth wrapped around a straight edge (Popsicle stick or ?) so you don't wipe the paint out of the recesses. Let dry, polish any paint left on the surface away and voila!
It is a tedious job as Larry says. I think a daub and wipe technique could be perfected with a slow drying enamel but haven't taken the time yet.
I think this group could put dozens of pictures together to suggest that painting the letters was a standard practice. Whether it was done every year or not is a question also. These are earlier switches and I believe this to be factory paint.
P. S. Nice work David.
One other "trick" when refinishing these; After the primer has dried, take a dental tool, and using a magnifier (well. . . I have to!) clean the built-up primer out of the lettering recesses, then sand and prepare the primer for the top coat. This gives you a little more depth in letters than if they were filled with primer and top coat.
David, super job. I used Testors model airplane paint for mine. I pretty much use your method. I think it took me a week to do mine. BTW, I need a good steel switch plate for my new '17 like yours.
Try this product.
Hang on, when these storms are over, I might have one! If so, it's yours. They used the "plastic" switch box that late?
I have several, Larry - if David doesn't find any.
PS: I think I used "One Shot" lettering enamel--if not, then it was likely an old 15¢ bottle of Testor's Model Enamel (Yep, I still have some of those bottles with the price printed on the caps).
Larry, go for Steve's; I it will take me time to figure out just where I stored them!
I used "White Out". You know, the stuff to white out letters on typewritten pages? It drys quick, and if a little slops over the edge, you just wipe it off quick.
It has lasted 10 years now.