Some comments and an update:
It wasn't me who said anything about the 60's being too cold to work :-) I spent my share of time in a cold garage in NJ. I will say that if I have to chose between hot and and cold, I'll take hot. The main reason being hands. When your hands go numb from the cold it can be pretty hard to turn a wrench!
I am not trying to make the mower a show-piece so the decals and slight color variation don't bother me much. One of my goals was to use as many "burned" parts as possible and I did not mind the missing or blackened decals. Far as I'm concerned it makes the mower unique and besides once it starts mowing again in the FL sun with the dust flying its going to all blend in anyway :-)
Since I've had the mower from the time it was new (almost 8 years now) and never touched the baffle it did not seem to make sense to take it off only to put it right back on in the same place so I just left it alone.
Attached are a couple of pics showing the progress on the deck painting. Its a bit rougher looking than the mower chassis but then again it is a deck. With any luck I will begin re-assembling the deck over the next couple of days. Working on the deck is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. That thing is heavy!