The dial scale on a Motorola 53R is usually in pretty bad shape. Fingers touch the dial scale when the tuning knob is turned.
Notice there are two numbering schemes, some have the CD marks and some don't..
The reason I bought this particular radio was because the dial was in such good condition!

We'll just wipe the dirt off this beautiful dial and...  WHAT THE HELL?? 
The frickin' PAINT came off!! 
When the light hits the bare spot it looks like crap! NOW what am I going to do???
I could actually feel my amygdala firing! Well, not really feel it, but I felt the effects of it.

Eventually, I got this great idea to scan the dial, edit it, and glue a photo of the dial on top of the real dial.
Then I got an even better idea! I'd scan it, remove everything but the numbers, and make a decal!
Recreating the dial was a project in itself. The background had to be taken out and all the numbers digitally cleaned up.
Get it? I had to digitally clean up the numbers.
I went online and bought clear waterslide decal paper for a laser printer, even though I didn't actually have a laser printer.
Since I didn't have a laser printer, I bought a laser printer, too.
The dial was taken down to the bare brass and then painted gold and given a clear coat.
This was done twice. It didn't come out well the first time. I added more paint, which made it worse, so I started over.
The size of the printout was painstakingly adjusted, then the decal paper was put in the printer. The next part should have been a piece of cake!
It was a disaster. The decal folded on itself while I was sliding it off the paper backing.
I cut the next decal in half since there are no numbers on the bottom. That failed, too. The third try was a success.

One heavy coat. Three light coats.

Now it was time to test the clear coat. "Test decals" were put on gold painted washers. The washers were painted at the same time the dial scale was painted for this purpose. A thick layer of clear coat seemed to creep under one edge of the decal. I wasn't going to take any chances. The dial got three light coats.


Heh! Heheh! Look at his test decals!
(Say it quickly.)
NOTE: If you are restoring your dial, you can download the decal file here. Use XnView (free photo editor) and print the file as "Custom" with the width and height set at 4.40 and a top margin of .60. this.
You can also email me and I'll send you a decal if I have any decal paper left. Clear coat the gold paint before and after you apply the decal, because the clear coat changes the color of the gold paint.