Home Repair Tools And Techniques For Fixing Aluminum License Plates


Instead of investing in new license plates or replacing them, you could repair them. Since aluminum is a soft, pliable metal, it is not difficult to repair at all. In fact, there are some basic household items you can use to correct bent or sheared plates.

The Trusty Hammer

A hammer shapes aluminum license plates and signs quite well. It is best used for edges that have bent or curled over. Just take the hammer and hammer these areas flat again, or use the hammer at an angle to pound the curled edges back in the opposite direction.

The Blowtorch 

Aluminum has a low melting point, which is why it is so easy to recycle. When you apply a blowtorch to areas of a license plate or aluminum sign that have been sheared, you can melt the sheared edges just enough to pound the metal back together and have it stick. Be sure to wear the proper protective equipment as melting and pounding aluminum can produce tiny shards that fly upwards.

A Rolling Pin or Heavy Weights

If you need to make a plate completely flat, try a rolling pin first. You will need a little elbow grease to press down onto the rolling pin as you flatten the license plate. If you do not have enough muscle for that, weights from a weightlifter's bench are just as effective for transforming something that curves into something that is flat.


If you own some C-clamps, you can use them to reshape aluminum.

  1. Clamp the sign to a hard, stable, fireproof surface.
  2. Next, use the blowtorch to heat the aluminum until it is very pliable.
  3. Curl or straighten the part of the aluminum you want shaped over some metal pipe, tubing or hard straight edge and shape quickly. (Aluminum cools and re-hardens fast.)
  4. Leave the curved sign clamped to the surface until you have finished forming it and the sign has completely cooled. You can use c-clamps to create sharp angles too.


Finally, one of the most common repairs you will ever encounter with license plates is removing corrosion. This is quite different than rust, which flakes off easily. You will need a metal sander or grinder to remove the corroded areas. Then polish the areas back to their original dull aluminum glow with some metal oil and a cheesecloth. You can sand by hand with coarse grit diamond sandpaper too, but it takes longer to get rid of the affected areas. (If you see some rust on plates or aluminum signs, it is residual of any steel screws or bolts that were used to secure the plates or signs to other surfaces.)

To learn more about signs, contact a business like Vogue Sign Company


5 May 2015

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