Plastic radiator grille refurbished

A very quick post, hardly worth mentioning this part I suppose but as I was pleased with the result of hardly any effort, I thought it worth a few minutes to document it:

Before: I did actually like this worn look

The plastic grille was scruffy, but I kind of liked it, but there were a couple of rusty self-tapping screws embedded in the bottom which I didn’t like. So I removed these and filled the holes and repaired a chip at the bottom with filler. I gave it a light rub over with a Scotchbrite pad then washed it with a soft brush in hot soapy water.

After drying in the sun I sprayed it with Lidl’s silver wheel rim paint and was going to leave it this way:

Silver wheel rim paint

But no, I just couldn’t let it lie, I masked everything except the space for the signage at the top, carefully taping up the outline rim:

Masking the outline section

…then sprayed it with Lidl’s matt black car paint:

Sprayed matt black

I find the ‘Baufix’ paint brand sold in Lidl’s to be as good as anything and it’s so cheap I normally pick up a can whenever they have it in stock.

I removed the masking to leave this:

Masking removed

Again, this would have been just fine, but no, I had to interfere….

I masked off all but the lettering. I wrapped some brown paper tape around an soiled roller to make it less pliable / spongy. I sprayed silver paint directly onto the roller, then quickly rolled it over the letters, being careful not to exert too much pressure. It needed three passes (10 mins drying time between each) to fill in all the black:

Second pass of the roller

And the finished result is very pleasing for a total of an hour’s effort. It’s probably too new looking if anything.

The finished result

Aficionados will note that the result is incorrect as the silver is only applied to the face of the letters but it works for me.

Thanks for your interest.


  1. Hi Nigel

    Great blog-I’m in the process of a similarly arse-breaking refurb of an ex-military 109 that has been butchered and bodged by previous owners. Just got to the dashboard re-furb point and your vinegar bath looks to be the way to go! Looking forward to getting rid of all the rust…

    Any recent updates?




    • Thanks Alex! My first landy was a military 109 and it was the best I’ve had. I just wish I’d kept that one, they are SO useful. Good luck with the vinegar and everything else. The dashboard is still looking perfect and rust-free. No updates to report yet (no garage) but as the spring arrives I will be out there again and post as it happens. All the best from Nigel


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