Paint Your Plates

There's no doubt that if you have to replace/refurbish some original number-plates, then properly painted number-plates with 3½" high letters is the best we can hope for. 

However that can cost a lot and as I found out if the sign writer has their own ideas on how the letters/numbers should look - it's not very clever. 

Therefore when I saw two members with new number-plates recently, my first question was "who painted them for you?".  The reply "They're stencils, we painted them".

image paint plates

The stencils are a thick paper or thin card with a 'low tack' backing to them and are supplied already with the Letters and Numbers pre-cut out (there are small tags to support the centre of a 'O' for example). The paper/card stencil has a protective sheet over the low tack adhesive. The backing is removed and the stencil lightly pressed onto the number plate  then spray or hand paint the numbers through the stencil, wait a brief period and remove (and dispose) of the stencil.

Try to use a light cream rather than white, it looks so much better. You will need one stencil for EACH number plate, they are not reusable. 

They are available from 'Classic Transfers', PO Box 17, Wotton-Under-Edge, Glos. GL12 8YX. Tel: 01454 260 596. 

My only observation is that the 9 and 6 look the same, just one of them turned upside down. As part of my early draughtsman training I seemed to have to do Roman Lettering for weeks on end, so the proportions are ingrained, these stencils look minutely wrong at times, the other letter I've seen, a 'D', didn’t look 100% right to me. However I shall be ordering up a set of stencils for one of my cars, so they are not that bad.  

For those interested in the actual 1930 Regulations for Number-plate Letters and Numerals, see Old Style Number Plates


This article, written by Sandy Croall, originally appeared in CA7C Seven Focus in May 2006 pp22-23.


Also see: Paint Your Own Number Plates