To make lettering look aged Rat-Rod

How -To make lettering look aged

This is a How-To on making some lettering look old and washed

This is a job I did for a local customer. He had a Rat Rod that he wanted his fathers old company lettering on the sides of the doors.

He wanted the lettering to looks at though it's been on the doors for 70 years.


First, you want to make sure that you already have stencil made and applied to the panel you want the lettering one. Mask up the area around the stencil.


Use a spray bottle to spray a light mist of water over the letters. Be sure and adjust the mist so it's a fairly fine mist. You also don't want to overdue the water. Just a nice mist with a few "bigger" water droplets along with the smaller fine ones will work great.


Spray your first coat of color. I used an airbrush for this process. I mainly filled in the inner parts of the lettering as best I as I could. So just the overspray ends up on the edges. Of course one some of the letters, you can't just get the inner of them. So spraying them complete will be fine
Once you get the first coat on, you can spray another mist coat of water. Then you can apply a second coat of the orange airbrushing it basically the same way.

When you are done, let the base dry for a couple minutes. Then lightly blot the water droplets so it dries off the water droplets. This will give the lettering a washed look.


The pic above and the pics below show the effect. There is no clearcoat on the lettering. So it will scratch very easily. But for a rat rod, this will not get out very often anyway. You can also see there was already a scratch in the door, which I continued the scratch through the letter "a". This gave it even more of an authentic look.

I also did the Ford Lettering on the tailgate

Another pic


You can see the scratch I created using an Xacto knife to give it a more authentic look