Here’s a quick tip on lettering even the smallest tire sidewalls. I essentially used the technique in this video, but with some extra techniques to work on a 1/10 scale on-road tire:
And I used an extra-fine white Sharpie paint pen on my 1/10 scale vintage trans-am (VTA) pre-glued Protoform tires (front and rear). Using some patience and a toothpick I was able to get OK (but not great) results.
The goal was simple, color the raised logo sections on the tire. The execution was more difficult than it seems because the logos are barely raised from the sidewall. What happened was paint often running off the logo onto the sidewall.
The best solution I found was to keep going! Leave any paint that you want to remove from the sidewall to dry for a minute while you’re continuing to paint. Then take a toothpick and scrape off the dried paint you don’t want.
If you want the stuff to stay-put you’ll want to seal it up. All the guys at my local track glue the sidewalls to avoid excessive traction rolling, so I suggest doing the same for both performance and retention of your newly painted lettering.
I use TLR tire glue. It’s a clear CA glue that dries flexibly. Other tire-specific CA glues are black in color and won’t let the white shine through.
So it doesn’t take several hours to dry, use some CA kicker. Don’t spray it directly on the glue or it will turn white. Instead spray a quick spritz into a cup, and then cover the tire with the cup. I use a collapsible camping cup that I got at walmart. It was super cheap and folds down to put into my tool box.
I tried using this sharpie paint pen for another project but it didn’t work as nicely as it did brand new. If anyone has any tips for cleaning or storing these sharpies so they last longer, let me know in the comments!
I have tried “Top Notch” paint pens, fairly sharp point but not as fine as a Sharpie, rarely clog. “Painters” at Walmart never clog and easy to refill but least fine point of all. Then there is Sharpie, the bane of paint pen users since they clog on the reg!
Well this sweet crafty lady doing her crafts found out you can refill paint pens. Her video is on YouTube. I got an idea from her video when she cleans her pens before refilling them. The tips are removable, Sharpies actually fall out sometimes getting paint EVERYWHERE! Anywayz, if you remove the tip, h0lding the pen upside down (i use an RC Car repair stand with shock oil refill holes in it to hold the pen) and use a pair of needle nose you can drop the pen tip in some rhinner or rubbing alcohol. I found thinner can be a little harsh so i started using acrylic thinner even though the Sharpies are oil based…..its still wet so the acrylic thinner (mostly rubbing alcohol) wirks well and isnt so harsh. I put mine in a well sealing small jar and shake it lightly, then rill in laper towel. If really clogged i put the jar into a jewelry cleaner so it wont get paint everywhere, then fill the jewelry cleaner with water and turn on FOREVER, nah… just a long time works. Lol. Anyway, this has worked for me, it stinks to have to do it, but hey it works. After the pen wirks again i store it (point facing down so it won’t dry out inside) in an airtight bottle or whatever and place it in a cool dark place. Every once in a while shaking the pens and trying them out to keep the paint flowing.
Hope any of that helps.
I wet my toothpicks bedore removing extra paint, it helps to get the paint off the tire as you scrape it….
Thanks for the tip! My sharpie paint pen is now in the mode where it does nothing or wants to spill it’s entire contents at once! I’ll give this a shot to bring it back to life.