Generator Painting and Stenciling


Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
West greenwich/RI
Hello everyone, Daybreak has asked me to start a new thread with this info so that it can be pointed to from a sticky for easy accessibility.

I purchased a set of stencils that I had custom made by a place on-line called Custom Cut stencils.
Attached are the proofs I used to purchase the stencils.
They basically charge by the letter and can make stencils out of oil board as well as other plastic materials. It cost about $100 for everything I had made. A bit pricey, but I have used them several times.
The best way I found to use them was to add about 12" of masking paper around the edge of each stencil to keep overspray off the machine, then tape it lightly into position and have someone wearing gloves help you by making sure the stencil is pushed up against the body panel, especially where you have to go over the pop rivets and bolts that are sticking out of the machine. You can also place some small magnets in areas to hold the stencil tight to the body. Since the panels are aluminum you have to place 2 magnets together on each side of the panel to attract each other.

If you are painting the machine first, I use the Gillespe paint from Rapco Parts. it is available in quarts, gallons and spray cans. You can get all colors, 383 green, the desert tan, the brown ( if you machine is tri-color camo ) Buy all you ever need in one shot to save on shipping.
for the flat black and stencils I use Rust-oleum high heat flat black. I found it sprays better, dries faster and looks closer to the original than all the other flat blacks I tried.

To recreate the camo pattern you don't want to tape off the individual colors, that will leave too sharp of a paint line, you want a slightly fuzzy edge. Best thing I found was to take large pieces of cardboard and cut out the pattern you want then use that as your stencil. this will give you a better looking edge.
Paint the entire machine green, then apply the black and brown using the Rapco spray can 383 brown and the Rustoleum high heat flat black.

Another option if you want to tape it off is to outline the patterns with DART tape ( door arperture refinishing tape ) it is a 1/2" diameter bead of foam with a line of light tack adhesive on one edge used to make door and hood openings when painting a car. It's available at any automotive refinishing supply store for $35 a box ( one box is plenty ) this will also give you a soft edge instead of a crisp paint line.

Here are the files I used. There are 2 sheets. I believe the first sheet gives you what you need for an 803A , for an 802A you need to substitute the "Heavy objects on top " stencil from 3/4" to 1/2" because the top cover is smaller.
I ended up ordering both so that I can stencil both machines, but please verify against your machine and what size you want because I have seen more than 1 size stencils used. It depends on if it is original or a tier2 reset. Also depends if an 802 or 803.
They will create a proof sheet for you to check and approve before they cut your stencils. Check them carefully because there were a few alignment errors on my first proof from them. ( left justified instead of center )
Unfortunately you can't attach word docs here, so I had to convert to .pdf to post them.
Web address is
email is

If you have any specific questions with regards to painting etc. feel free to send a PM.




Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
West greenwich/RI
Hi guys, I thought I would share another painting trick I learned this weekend.
I've been restoring a MEP-003AASK ( one of 2 super low hour machines that I acquired this past summer )
The machine had just 6 hours on it, but has been sitting on a radar ( m1061 ) trailer since 1989.
The paint was peeling on the top and was badly faded and peeling on the battery side.
The oil and fuel filter side was in decent condition because it was facing towards the other generator and somewhat protected from the direct sun.

I took the ASK apart ( having to cut most of the shoulder bolts and replace the floating nuts ) and painted the top and battery side.
Once this was nice and fresh, the fan shroud and the right ( filter side ) of the machine, which I thought looked good, now looked crappy compared to the rest of the machine. Mostly faded and the colors looked washed out.

I have heard and seen people using Armor All, silicone spray, WD-40, Fluid Film etc. to "shine" up the dull faded paint, but none of those will last and will just make it impossible if you ever decide to repaint it.

The solution I found was to clean up the paint as best you can, wash it, tack rag, mask the data plates etc. then touch up any bad chips or scratches then spray it with 2 even wet coats of flat spray can clear coat. This will restore the color and bring back just enough sheen to match the newly painted areas.

Here are some pictures. Fuel tank / battery side and top cover were repainted, fan shroud and right side were just clear coated.
Stencils came from Custom Cut stencils and a friend of mine at work made me the fuel tank sticker.
It's not quite perfect, but the improvement the Flat clear made was incredible!



Active member
Great info on the paint and stencils.

I will throw out another idea for making the stencils. I have a vinyl cutter I make some decals and stencils with. If you have your own vinyl cutter or you can go to a local sign shop I have found cutting stencils out of shelf paper works pretty good. The lines might come out a little sharper than the originals but it would still look better than faded and chipped. They are one use and done so maybe not the best idea for you guys wanting to restore several units.
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