How to Repair Recessed Letters on Vintage Cameras

How to Repair Recessed Letters on Vintage Cameras

Vintage cameras are beautiful objects, and their engraved lettering adds to their charm. But over time, the paint in these recessed letters can chip, fade, or even disappear completely. This can detract from the overall aesthetic of the camera and even make it harder to identify the model or brand. Fortunately, with a few simple tools and techniques, you can easily restore the lettering on your vintage camera.

Tools You’ll Need

  • A small paintbrush
  • Acrylic paint (matching the original color)
  • A toothpick or similar tool
  • A magnifying glass (optional)
  • A cotton swab
  • Acetone or nail polish remover (optional)


  1. Clean the area: Before you start painting, make sure the area around the lettering is clean and free of dust or debris. You can use a cotton swab and a little acetone or nail polish remover to clean the area.
  2. Choose the right paint: It’s important to use acrylic paint that matches the original color of the lettering as closely as possible. If you’re unsure about the exact color, you can try to find a reference photo of the camera online or consult a vintage camera repair guide.
  3. Apply the paint: Use a small paintbrush to carefully apply the paint to the recessed letters. Make sure to fill in the entire letter, but be careful not to apply too much paint, as this can cause it to run or smudge.
  4. Let the paint dry: Allow the paint to dry completely before handling the camera. This may take a few hours depending on the paint you’re using.
  5. Clean up any excess paint: Once the paint is dry, you can use a cotton swab to remove any excess paint from the surrounding area. If you’ve accidentally gotten paint on the camera body, you can use a little acetone or nail polish remover to clean it up.


  • If the paint is very faded, you may need to apply multiple coats.
  • If the lettering is deeply recessed, you may need to use a toothpick or similar tool to help you fill in the letters.
  • A magnifying glass can help you see the lettering more clearly and ensure you’re applying the paint accurately.
  • For more complex repairs, it’s always best to consult a professional camera repair technician.

By following these simple steps, you can easily restore the lettering on your vintage camera and keep it looking its best. Remember, it’s important to use high-quality paint and to work carefully and patiently. With a little time and effort, you can give your camera a new lease on life.

For more information on vintage camera repair, check out these resources: