Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG TD TF 1500 - Grille Slats

I would like to paint my grille slats tan to match the biscuit interior I hope to install before to long. The grille is off and it is a good time to paint them. They appear to have been painted tan or biscuit at some long time ago but are very faded and chrome still shows on a few toward the outside.

I intend to lightly sand them. My question is what primer should I use before painting? Someone on this site recommended "nutmeg" in a spray can as a color which is a close match to the original grille color and that is what I intend to use. Are ther any other suggestions? I do not have a gun and must use spray cans.

Were the grille slats or some of them originally chromed before they were painted at the factory?

Thanks for the help.
GG Krafft

According to what I have read, only some of the later Mark II's had chrome grille slats. Earlier Mark II's and all others were painted interior color.
John Masters

Believe it or not, I used Rustoleum Nutmeg on my top bows (the Moss paint was a bit darker, but it seemed to chip from looking at it) and it is a dead perfect match for my Moss busciut interior. Be careful not to bend the slats when sanding- trust me- it is really easy to do. Spend time making sure they are straight in all aspects (ie sight down lengthwise, etc.) and move/bend so all gaps/spaces are the same. Makes a big difference. John is correct as far as I know about chrome. I personally feel you will get a better result stripping to bare metal, then sanding/roughening the metal a bit. Primer- one of the "primer/surfacer/filler" types works well, and fills in the pits, etc. Do a small test spot somewhere with your topcoat paint on whatever primer you chose before you spend hours and have it all bubble. Been there too. George
George Butz

It was pretty common for OPs to chrome the grille slates during a 'restoration'. The chrome looked better, shrugged off stone impacts, and appeared more modern. Someone at some point chromed the whole front of my car, headlamp buckets, grille slats, headlamp stays, front bumper mounts... now I'm reversing it all!

Is your TD II early or late? i.e. do you have the chrome grille?

You are dead right regarding stripping the chrome. Best to have a chrome shop dip the parts and then prepare the bare metal with quality primers! With the rocks and all, the paint will fly off an improperly prepared chrome surface.

warm regards,
Dave Braun


My car was built in August, 1952 and is an "early" painted slat model. The car is red with a white AMCO top, red interior and red slats. There is a picture on the tregister under chassis TD/C 18895.
John Masters

I finished painting the slats "nutmeg". They were chromed from, I suspect, a long ago replacement It's a 1952 and should be painted.

Any thoughts on clear coating to help avoid stone chips? I thought this might be an added protection and am curious if anyone tried it. Thanks for the ongoing comments and help.
GG Krafft

Any idea where to purchase "nutmeg" from Rustoleum? I have looked everywhere I can think of.



Since you're in Calif. try OSH. It's called Rust-oleum American Accents and it's a smooth satin finish for indoor and outdoor uses.

It's an almost perfect match to the biscuit Moss interior color.


Roy Challberg


The clear coat 'lifted' some of my paint; we had to strip and redo them. The second application of clear coat which was timed a bit better worked fine. I look at clear coat in this case as being a good idea from the durability standpoint.

Sorry to be late on the comment, but I hadn't looked at the thread until Dave R and Roy popped it back to the top!

warm regards,
Dave Braun

Interestingly, the nutmeg base color is also very close to the wheel hub and center dash plate on the TF. I just need to find it in a metalic finish.
The Moss color is too light.

Dan H.
Dan Hanson


I agree, the Moss paint is too light. I used the following paint on my center instrument panel on my TD, and after I was done was dissuaded by others to convert to the Moss color. The Moss color (correct or not) has become the defacto "standard". This color I found matched the paint in areas under the knobs and other protected places on my original panel. I did follow with the Rustoleum Crystal Clear enamel.

Plastikote GM 7157. It is a champaigne metalic from the 70s or 80s.

Here is a picture (but it isn't calibrated or anything, and your monitor will show it differently)

warm regards,

Dave Braun

Another color you might want to look at is ALMOND. I think Ace Hardware (spray can) has that color in their own brand.

Thanks for the input. Dave, how long after painting the grille did you wait to clear coat? I got Rustoleum "nutmeg at Home Depot. It was a different style of Rustoleum and may have been the American Accents that Roy mentioned. I thought the color was pretty good.

GG Krafft

Passed by a shop today that put clear plastic around the front of cars as a 'chip/scratch' preventer... Would be pretty easy to put a 'matte' tape over the slats... wouldn't see it and it would prevent stone chips.... imagine they sell it in strips...?
gblawson (gordon)- TD#27667

A fellow in our club applied that on the front side of his rear TR6 fendes...can't tell it has been applied and it seems to be holding the chips at bay...might just be a good idea for the slats...
R Dougherty


Clear coated right after the base coat was dry. this isn't really a two part paint system, so some care must be taken to avoid problems. A bit of light sanding on the base coat, and then several light applications of the clear coat should do it.

Dave Braun

I picked up the American Accents Nutmeg and it appears to be a good match for the interior. Thanks for pointing me to OSH.


i bought a pop rivet gun, took the grill apart, had the slats powder coated and pop riveted everything back together. regards, tom
tom peterson

I found an excellent paint for the top frame, which I believe could also be used for the grill slats. It's a large spray can Seymour BIG RIG cummins beige #20-1647 at a local parts store, around $8.00. Give it a try on something else. Bob
robert finucane

This thread was discussed between 16/02/2008 and 03/03/2008

MG TD TF 1500 index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG TD TF 1500 BBS is active now.