“Wrinkle” Finish Technique
submitted by AFCA Member Kenneth Nelson
I tried a few brands before settling on Plasti-kote Wrinkle Finish #217 black.  The others resulted in a variety of textured finishes, but not like the true original wrinkle finish of the old fans (and other appliances) of this period.  I bought mine at Advance Auto Parts in North Carolina.  Rumor has it that this is available at some Home Depot stores, but certainly not in NC.

It is recommended to either first paint a test piece of metal, or be prepared to refinish your fan part at least once.  I did it the latter way, and I recommend the former.  It takes practice (or luck).

The instructions on the can call for “three thick coats” or the wrinkle effect will not occur.  This is obviously a subjective measure, because on my fourth, and finally successful try, I used what I would call two medium-to-light coats, and that was plenty.

Heat is important for success.  Heat the part to be painted until it is hot to the touch, and keep it heated for at least a few hours after painting. 

The base held inverted to maintain thickness.

The base is the repainted part, and the motor cover in the foreground is original finish.

During the first hour or so of the drying process, a more perfectly uniform wrinkle can be achieved by inverting the part every several minutes.  This is especially important on a part like a trumpet shaped fan base, where gravity will work to make a thicker ring around the flat part of the base, and even a subtle difference in thickness will make a noticeably different wrinkle pattern there.It takes a relatively long time for this stuff to dry.  I kept mine heated overnight.  I noticed on the attempts when I re-stripped that the paint was still quite soft after drying even for 12 hours!  But it stops sagging after a few hours, when the wrinkle pattern is fully established.

After drying for a day or so, the color can be added.  On the Emerson 77646-AN in the photos, a can of automotive touch-up paint from the auto parts store matched almost perfectly, including the metallic effect (Plasti-kote Car Color GM 7182).  Although theoretically one could apply enough paint to fill in the valleys of the wrinkles, I found that a good thorough covering of the color had no noticeable “smoothening” effect on the pattern. 

Good Luck!
And have fun