Diablo Rouge Paint and Decals



I am no body guy, but I have had a little experience spraying Centari Paint. Centari is an industrial enamel paint supplied by Dupont. It is available at any automotive paint store. You mix Centari paint with wet look hardener and reducer and the finish comes out shining and is a tough coating for this equipment.

In regards to color, my rebuild has a little more of an orange tint than the original Bolens red. However, I matched the colors up to the new decals I bought so they did not clash.

All paint was removed on all parts with a combination of a disc grinder and a sandblaster. I was planning on having someone sandblast the parts for me, but most industrial sandblasters are too big for this gauge metal, so warping is an issue. When I did find someone who would sandblast them, the cost for the chassis (above), the hood and the sled trough was $125. Instead, I bought a sandblaster from eBay for under $100 and it worked well.

What I found out later was it was more convenient to clean and blast the parts myself, because when you get them clean, you better get them painted soon or they will rust. Now that I could blast the parts myself, I was able to clean them up and paint them on my time frame.

Also because I'm no body man, attempting to straighten out dings and dents was difficult. On some small spots, I covered the imperfections with body putty and hope it does not pop out with vibration.

Mike N gave us a good technique to remove the decals. That's pretty cool Mike! Oops, I mean Hot!

If you don't have a heavy duty heater like Mike, just carefully use a propane torch and the decals come right off.

All major components were primed with an epoxy primer. The red color is a Centari RS578-AM and I needed two quarts. The white color is a Centari LS007 and I needed less than a pint of this. The rest of the black is simply Semi-Gloss Rustoleum for things like bogies, ski hardware and the gearcase cover. I believed the hood mount between the hood and the chassis was flat black, so I painted it as such.

Gary S from Fairwater, Wisconsin writes on 4/4/08:

The original color was a Ditzler paint #71920 which of coarse has not been available for a couple decades, so a friend of mine which owns a body shop and painted mine sent the engine cover off to have a paint analysis done, and a very close match came back to a '55 General Motors, Gypsy Red, which is what mine is painted, any body shop can mix it up for you.




The plastic dash was cleaned up and painted with SEM Color Coat which is a flexible coating for plastics and other surfaces. See the link below. This product is available at Auto Paint Stores.




The nose cone was painted red with the Centari product, and then painted black with the SEM Color Coat. 

Matt C from Madison Heights, Michigan writes:

I see you used the SEM trim black on your grille. You should mask it off, then 
lightly scuff the area to be painted with scotch brite. Then remove the masking 
tape while the paint is still tacky. Pull away from the painted area at about a 
90 deg angle to prevent the paint from peeling. 


The color of the motor was hard to match. I'm confident it is not the same color as the rest of the Diablo, so I had a spray can mixed called "Centari Spectracolor Red" that was slightly more orange than the rest of the sled color (although it does not look like it in this photo). If someone has an actual color for the motor, I'd be happy to list it here.

Lastly is the decals. No rebuild is complete without a fresh set of decals. I could not find a supplier that offered different kits for the 500, 502 & 503.  The only difference between a 500 & 502 kit is the Model Number Decal. The 503 obviously has a different Model Number Decal too, but also utilizes different decals for the dash that have larger fonts. The good news is we were able to work with a supplier who now supplies us with all the decals for all the different Diablo Models along with of the decals available separately. 

The above kits have every decal for your Diablo. The one above is the 503 kit, but we have specific kits for the 500 and 502 also.

7/22/08 : Barrie G writes:    My decal sets came today and are great.   That is quite a compliment from someone we respect so much.

Any kit you buy will have the above decal with the serial number blank. I have a label maker to reproduce the serial number decal to put over the above decal in your kit. If you already have a kit from me but do not have a serial number decal, let me know the serial number and I'll send you one. If you bought the decal kit from someone else and want a serial number decal, let me know that too. 

The left picture above is of the 500 & 502 dash decals. The right picture is of the 503 dash decals. Dash Decal Sets are available separate from the kits.

The "Go Go Diablo" Promo Decal is almost 3" in diameter and is $5.

The Hirth Decal is available for the engines. This decal is $3.

The "Made In Canada" decal is always a topic of discussion. It seems there is no pattern as to when your Diablo had the French or English worded decal. If you have a French version and would prefer the English version, these are available for $3.50 each.

The Maple Leaf Decal for the Nacelle Covers are $4 each.





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