So we've all seen them by now, and I'm sure a few people had the idea to somehow modify them. If your car is anything like mine, the silver plastic just doesn't blend with the aesthetics of the vehicle. The problem with these is that you'll pretty much destroy the badges trying to peel the emblems up, so I became determined to find a way to make this work.
After a little trial and error, here's the tools I ended up using. I can't remember the name of the white thing, but I used to use them to take car interiors apart when I installed 12V. Number is on it though if you want one. They're awesome for not scratching/damaging things as you pry them apart. Best $7 I ever spent.
After some careful poking and prodding, I figured out it's best to come at these from the corners. Be extremely careful not to damage the icon...it's kinda like tinfoil and is VERY fragile. The more gentle lifting/prying and less scraping between the plastic and icon, the better.
Then I would slip the doohickey in behind the razor knife.
Then, like above, use mostly lifting/prying to peel up the icon. I developed a back and forth rocking motion while lifting/prying. I say this because you have to be extremely careful not to get in a hurry and scrape up and damage the tinfoil-ish icon. Ask me how I know.
After completely removing the icon, there was some damage on the one I did first (from scraping with the knife instead of lifting/prying). The sooner you switch to the plastic device and away from sharp metal, the better. If you do the same, you might be able to kinda repair it like I did. I carefully folded the icon back into place.
To get the number badge off, long story short, you pretty much have to destroy it. I came up with a solution to that below though.
This is what you're left with. I used wax paper to preserve the sticky stuff on the back of the icons, but don't leave them on there for a couple days like I did because they'll adhere to the wax paper and pull part of it up.
I then put the plastic pieces on a baking pan so I could goo-gone the sticky off (I didn't want inconsistent bumps in the badges). Two things here...One: don't use a baking pan you value because washing off goo-gone is a giant PITA (hint, it's water proof)...Two: don't soak them in it because the goo-gone started to soak through the sticker backings on the backside of the plastic (Need to keep the stickers intact to stick on car).
After that, it was time to paint the badges black. My new weapon of choice is spray-on truck bed liner because I didn't want to have to re-do this after paint chipped or plasti-dip peeled. I've used paint and plasti-dip for things like my front lip and grille, but NOTHING holds up like the spray liner, and NOTHING is as forgiving when rattle-canning. It's slightly textured, so you're left with an even looking, flawless surface. I can't say enough good things about the stuff. But I digress. Pictured is a sharp screw I used to push the badges around between coats so they didn't stick to the cardboard (do this or you'll be sorry). Ask me how I know.
Here's what they look like "painted".
I didn't trust the leftover sticky on the back of the icons to hold them back on for years, so I opted to be safe by using super glue. I learned many things the hard way on this project and this step was no exception, so learn from my mistakes. You must use TINY dabs of super glue or else the glue will ooze out the edges and show up white on the black background. Here's the second one I did that turned out great.
The next step was to go see my sticker guy and come up with something to put inside the circular badge since there was no way to save the number. This turned out to be great because the blue number didn't match my car at all either, and I went with a red sticker that really helped it blend in with the theme of the car. I originally though about doing an L7 sticker, but because it was so small, you wouldn't be able to "read" it unless you were really close, so I went with the much simpler Fuji Heavy Industries logo. On to the finished product.
Hope this helps. Enjoi.