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What Kind of Paint Should I Use on Paint Emblems?

Champion color spray paint at an automotive store

Painting a car’s emblems is an easy and quick way to achieve a unique and customized appearance. If you’ve never painted an emblem before, however, you may be wondering what type of paint is best for the job.

Generally, model paint or enamel is the best kind of paint to use on your car’s emblem. However, some people prefer using scratch-fix paint or spray paint. To ensure your paint job lasts as long as possible, prime the emblem before you paint and seal it after the paint has dried.

Below, we’ll discuss more information on painting your vehicle’s emblems. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know!

What Type of Paint is Best for Car Emblems?

Different vehicle manufacturers add different emblems to all the vehicles they produce. Some manufacturers, such as Ford, have emblems that include the brand’s name. Others, like Mercedes and Chevrolet, use a logo instead.

Some of these emblems are painted, while others are made of chrome. While many vehicle owners never take a second look at their cars’ emblems, others like to paint them for a sleeker or more customized appearance.

If you want to paint your car’s emblem, there are a couple of different types of paints you can use to do so. Many people choose to use model paint, while others use scratch-fix paint. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to run to the hardware store, even spray paint will do.

While traditional paint is fine, some people prefer to use enamel instead. This is because the enamel has self-leveling properties, which leaves your emblem with a smoother, cleaner appearance once the job is done.

If you do choose to use spray paint, be sure to grab a paint and primer combination. Otherwise, the paint job could wear down quickly.

Installation of black decal strips on a yellow Ford Mustang with the emblem logo taped up ready for paint

How Do I Paint a Car Emblem?

Once you have your preferred paint type, you’ll need to gather a couple of other tools and materials before you’re ready to start painting your vehicle’s emblem. These include 220-grit sandpaper, a bottle of mineral spirits, a clean rag, and a paint sealer. You’ll also need a small can of primer if it’s not already included with your paint.

After gathering everything you need, the first thing you’ll need to do is remove the emblem from your vehicle for easy painting. The process you’ll need to follow to do so depends on how your emblem is attached to your car.

If your emblem is bolted or held on with clips, you’ll need to remove them from the inside. Open your vehicle’s hood, then remove the nuts or clips. After this, you’ll be able to easily pull the emblem off.

If your car’s emblem is glued on, grab a hair dryer and hold it over the emblem for a minute or two to soften the glue. Then, take a piece of dental floss and slide it behind the emblem, and pull each end until it comes off. Note that you do have a glue-on emblem, you will also need a small tube of metal or plastic adhesive to reattach it later.

Once you get the emblem off your car, follow the steps below to paint it:

  • Use your 220-grit sandpaper to sand your emblem down to give the paint something to adhere to.
  • Clean your emblem with some mineral spirits. Then, take your clean rag and dry it off.
  • Apply 2-3 coats of primer to the emblem, then allow it to dry for at least one hour.
  • Grab your paint or enamel and apply 2-3 coats. Once you’re satisfied with the color, leave it out to dry overnight.
  • Add your sealer and allow the emblem to dry before you reattach it.
  • Using your mineral spirits, clean the surface the emblem will sit on.
  • If you have a glue-on emblem, add a small amount of adhesive to the back, then place it back on your car. Hold it down firmly for a few minutes to ensure a good fit.
  • If you have a clip-on or bolted emblem, reattach any clips or bolts you removed with the emblem.

Now, you can enjoy your car’s new customized appearance!

VW Volkwagen Karmann Ghia with a customer-painted front hood logo emblem decal in red color

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you’ve never painted a car emblem before, you probably have a few questions regarding the process. Below, we’ll highlight a few of the most common questions people have about painting car emblems and emblem customization.

Q: How Long Do Painted Emblems Last?

A: As long as you use the correct type of paint, and apply a primer and sealer, your newly painted emblem should hold up well in all weather conditions. For an extra sense of security, try to park your car in a garage or another covered area as often as possible.

Q: How Much Does it Cost to Have Car Emblems Painted?

A: If you don’t want to paint your car’s emblem on your own, you may consider having it professionally done. The cost of this job varies based on where you live and the shop you bring your car to, but on average, auto shops charge around $50 per hour for paint jobs.

Painting an emblem is a pretty quick process, so the total bill shouldn’t be too high. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to pay for the cost of materials as well as the amount of time it takes to remove and replace your emblem. If you paint your emblem yourself, however, the cost will rarely exceed $20.

Q: Are There Alternatives to Painting Your Emblems?

A: If you want to change your car emblem’s appearance but don’t want to paint it, your only other option is to purchase a new one to replace the old one.

There are many customized emblems available online, for all different makes of cars and in several different colors. If you replace it yourself, you can expect to pay somewhere between $30-$100 depending on the type of car you own. If you have it professionally replaced, it could cost up to $200.


If you want to paint your car’s emblem for a more customized appearance, you have a few different options when it comes to the type of paint you use. Most prefer model paint or enamel, and others use scratch-fix paint or traditional spray paint.

To ensure your paint job lasts as long as possible, be sure to prime it before painting and seal it after. It’s relatively easy to do and should hold up in all weather conditions.

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Ernest Martynyuk

An automotive enthusiast who's been tinkering with vehicles since I was 15-years old. Repairing automotive electronics has been my main job for over a decade now and have a passion for everything technical regarding cars.

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