How to Refinish a License Plate

April 12, 2018

Clean off the license plate. Remove all dirt, rust and old chipped paint. Rinse the license plate and set it aside to dry.

Lay the license plate down on a tarp. Spray over the face of the license plate with white primer. Let the first layer of primer dry and apply another. Let the second layer completely dry.

Cut the shape of the letters and numbers on your license plate into poster board paper squares. Make the cutouts as close to the actual size of your license plate numbers as you can.

Lay the cutouts onto your license plate one by one. Make sure they directly align with the indents on your license plate that make up the original numbers or letters. Tape them into place using regular office tape. Spray paint the number or letter into place. Apply two coats, letting each coat dry thoroughly before you start on the next. Remove the stencil and move on to the next one. Set the license plate aside to dry thoroughly.

Build a small bridge to rest your arm on as you brush the finer details onto your license plate. Place two small wooden blocks on either side of the top and bottom of your license plate. Screw a thick plank of wood onto each block. Rest your arm on the makeshift bridge and see if it is able to support the weight of your arm.

Paint over the letters in the name of the state with a fine paintbrush. Rest your arm on your makeshift bridge and paint the letters slowly. Stick to the original outline as much as possible. Use a strong high gloss paint that sticks well to the primer on the license plate. Set the plate aside to dry before add a layer of clear coat finish. Reinstall it onto your vehicle when it completely dries.

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