How To: Black out your Chevy bow tie

Discussion in 'How-to Guides' started by Springthing, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Springthing

    Springthing New Member

    I'm not an expert! I just happen to have recently blackened out my suburban's bow tie and thought I'd share the process. I did a few rounds at a local body shop and learned a thing or two while lending a hand.

    The following was done for my 1999 Suburban and the actual taking off and putting on of the emblem will be left up to you to figure out for your particular application.

    Removing the bow tie emblem:

    With the hood raised, it was pretty obvious to see what screws had to come out in order to reach behind and get at the back side of the emblem. A few screws along the top, a few through the grill, and I was able to give myself the room to work behind the grill and access the two nuts holding the emblem in place. With a small rachet I as able to take the two bolt/caps off the back and just take the emblem off.


    Prepping the emblem for paint:

    With the emblem off, it's a matter of preparing the surface to paint. This is where a lot of the important stuff happens! 90% of the quality of your paint job is pre-determined before the paint even hits the object. Most auto parts store have scuff pads that are used for auto prep/paint. If you can't find any, use small grit sand paper - 320 or so.

    Take the time and scuff the entire surface that is to be painted. You basically want to take the shine off the emblem and give the paint something to stick to.

    Once you are done prepping with the scuff pad, wash the emblem with soap and water and let it dry completely. The emblem should appear dull, but with no visible scratches.

    This emblem had the cracks in it but no deep scratches. The cracks added to the reasons of why the blackening out was called for.


    Mount the emblem on a nice CLEAN piece of cardboard with it sticking up as much as possible while still being secure. If you push the emblem flat on the cardboard you risk it sticking and you will not be able to get a good angle to paint the edges. I poked a few holes with an awl and pushed the pegs of the emblem in partway.


    If you are picky, and you should be, clean the surface one last time. If you happen to have thinner, great! Rubbing alcohol? That will do! Swipe the painting surfaces with a paper towel damped with either the thinner or alcohol. This will help take your prints and any oil left from your fingers off the surface. Let the thinner/alcohol comletely evaporate before you paint- but use it sparingly... no need to slop it on, you just want to wipe the surface clean.

    If you are super picky, and I suggest you be, spray on a light coat of Bulldogg adhesive promoter. No matter how good a job you did prepping the surface, Bulldog will ensure that your paint job lasts a long time!
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2008
  2. Springthing

    Springthing New Member

    Now, you are ready to paint!

    Repeat after me: L I G H T C O A T S ! ! ! !

    Take your time, and don't rush! There is no need whatsoever to rush the painting. Follow the instructions on the can. Basically, the steps for all spray painting is to let the paint dry for approximately 10 minutes between coats. DO THAT! You will NOT be happy with how your painting comes out if you rush it. This is the 2nd of 5 coats given to my emblem.


    Leave the emblem alone for an overnight drying! I don't CARE if the label says "dry to the touch in 20 minutes", don't touch it! Once it is completely dry it will be able to withstand your holding it and pressing on it which will come when you get to re-installing it in place!

    Pop that sucker back into place, put the screws back on to hold the grill, and stand back to admire your work.


    It's a dirty truck, but it matches the semi-glossy finish of the paint I chose to ready the suburban for my next black tie affair.
  3. MWright936

    MWright936 New Member

    Nice write up! :great:
  4. J-Black'01Silverado

    J-Black'01Silverado New Member

    Thanks so much for the in-depth steps, it will help a lot.
  5. DwDrummer

    DwDrummer New Member

    Nice writeup!:)
  6. mikey3809

    mikey3809 New Member


    Great info, but does anyone know how to remove the emblem off an 08 GMC? It doesn't have the "nuts" threaded onto the posts. It looks like it might be glued, but I'm not sure and hate to rip it off and break it.
  7. dvrjason

    dvrjason New Member

    not sure...but, i just did my 08 bowtie and used a mirror to see just how it was attached before i tried prying or anything else.
  8. sdavis2702

    sdavis2702 New Member

    Awesome write up. I am VERY new to trucks (I'm like 24 hours old lol) so I have been wandering what to do it for cheap. I like this :great:
  9. Steban

    Steban New Member

    good write up. Is there a reason you didnt use a clear coat? i just smoked my tail lights. I smoked them and then clear coated them. they looked good, but then i wet sanded, compounded, and waxed, and they look a million times better. you should try it.
  10. silverado480

    silverado480 New Member

    Great write up thanks for adding the pictures.
  11. SlickMachine

    SlickMachine New Member

    Why paint it Black??? Chevy/GMC emblems are sacred and should be left alone. Just my opinion.
  12. Springthing

    Springthing New Member

    Why get new wheels? Why change out the genius of the Chevy intake or cat back? Why debadge your truck? Because it makes it yours and modifies it to suit your taste! :)
  13. JMoney02

    JMoney02 New Member

    And to add to that, It's called Personal Preference, your taste, not being a CLONE, why do we do what we do? Because We Can, Were Americans, Were 10 and 1, Oh:rofl:, that kills me everytime....
    "Army Training Sir".....

  14. JMoney02

    JMoney02 New Member

    Oops, by the way, nice write up........

  15. apinechevy

    apinechevy New Member

    that look sick
  16. 808hoe

    808hoe New Member

    ill be painting mine black soon enough. already got the grill for it, just waiting for my headlights and bumper lights to come in.
  17. Cody115

    Cody115 New Member

    I was getting ready to order me a black gmc bowtie then I saw this thread and figured if someone else can do it then so can I. I think it took around 3 hours total time to complete it. A few minutes sanding it, it took around 1.5 - 2 hours to tape off the chrome edges. Then about an hour or so to paint it. I just hope the atmosphere doesn't effect it badly. I would hate to see 3 hours of hard work go down the drain. By the way, nice write up!

    Step 1: Taped off the chrome edges.

    Step 2: 2 layers of black.
    I want to post an image for this step but I can only have 4 images.

    Step 3: 1 layer of metallic silver

    Step 4: 2 layers of black

    Step 5: 1 layer of metallic silver
    I want to post an image for this step but I can only have 4 images.

    Step 6: 1 layer of black then clear coat
  18. Springthing

    Springthing New Member

    WTG! Make sure to post a pic in the pictures/videos section when it's back on!
  19. Cody115

    Cody115 New Member

    Here is the finished product
  20. Springthing

    Springthing New Member

    Well done. That looks really good with the chrome edging you left. Fits really well with the overall look.

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