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Neat old door plate
On the other page, the one about the mahogany door, the final picture shows a plate below the door, which I applied imitation gold leaf to. That plate does not appear to be the original, it's made of "diamond plate" steel. However, on the other end of the railcar, I found what appears to be the original door plate. I think that rain water blew in a broken door window, and continuously made the wood under this piece wet.
Whatever the cause, there were a lot of old iron pieces under it, most which were probably fallen from this door plate.
I removed as much additional loose material from the back as possible, then had these bolts welded under it. They act as stabilizers for the fiberglass reinforced body filler that I used to rebuild the missing areas.
After shaping and sanding comes primer (Go Devoe!) followed by gold metalic acrylic enamel (a type of automotive finish). I was using this as a fast dry size. Size is the paint or varnish formula that you apply as an adhesive for gold leaf, or other metal leaf. Most size is a much more precise operation, sold as products made specifically for this job, so be careful about experimenting this way. The leaf I'm using is imitation gold leaf, which is probably polished brass. I have real gold, but wasn't sure how well the six top clear coats would protect it, so better to do the first one with brass.
Besides, the price is very economical, and I really like the end result. This door project kind of designed itself; it appeared that the door plate had at one time been painted yellow, probably for safety and liability reasons. Then it was spray painted with metallic gold paint, with a bit of overspray. Probably an effort to cover the loud yellow. I figured the leaf would be a more appealing way to make the plate show up to foot traffic.
When I stripped the green paint off the wooden door, I found a beautiful reddish mahogany. I wanted a black border between it and the green body; that's when I saw the beauty of the steel door trim I had heretofore overlooked. It's a very nice convex vertical steel trim, which became the perfect chroma neutral buffer for the wood door. The brass leaf sets in there nicely.
You can see this and more for yourself, when you ride the Rambler. Here's a link for more info: