Grabbed from the Rod N Custom web site. Might be some handy info for some..._______________How-To Flaking OutHow to Spray Metalflake paint the Right Way
By Dan Kahn
Photography: Rick Amado
Last month, we tossed around some ideas about how to build a killer '60s-style custom, and several of the illustrations suggested metalflake paint. Looking to learn a little more about how to spray the stuff, we turned to Donnie Baird at Imperial Customs in Burbank, California. After working as a painter and artist at the studios for a decade or so, Donnie decided to combine his love of customs and painting, and he's been spraying 'flake ever since. We happened to catch up with him right at the start of a project, 'flaking the roof of his daily driver Olds Holiday. With Astro Supremes, Bellflower tips, and a slammed stance, a 'flaked roof was all this car needed to become a super smooth, low-buck '60s custom.
A few important things to keep in mind when considering a metalflake paint job are the time, cost, and skill level necessary to complete the task. Donnie suggests trying your hand at spraying 'flake on an old hood or decklid first, because it takes some practice to get the feel for what you're doing. You can't be in a hurry with a paint job like this, either, as there is a lot of waiting between coats, and shortcuts can be disastrous (with results like runs, sags, and uneven 'flake coverage). Donnie also stresses the importance of using materials from one manufacturer, which will ensure compatibility. We used House of Kolor products in this application, but other brands also offer similar products. Now follow along as we take the Olds from mild to wild with the addition of some heavy metal.
These are the tools you'll need just to get started. The DA sander makes things go much quicker, 40- and 80-grit sandpaper take off the paint without damaging the metal, and a good mask is a must when working with nasty stuff like paint and primer.
The first thing Donnie did was take the roof down to bare metal with the DA sander, ensuring perfect adhesion and avoiding a possible chemical reaction with the old paint.
Mask off the entire car, starting with the trim around the roof. Keep in mind that clearcoat can get into the strangest of places, and it can be a major pain buffing overspray off already finished panels.
Next Donnie sprayed the roof with gray epoxy sealer primer. Try to use matching colors from the primer all the way to the 'flake. When using gray sealer, the silver basecoat will have less to cover, and the silver 'flake will look great on top of it all.
The roof was rust and filler free, so this step was necessary to seal the metal.
Once the sealer was dry, the roof was sprayed with polyester high-fill primer, which provides lots of material for sanding and blocking straight. Guidecoat everything with a black spray can, and block-sand the roof as straight as possible--waves will show up in the finished product.
Special spray tips are available for shooting 'flake. The tip on the left is for paint, 'flake is on the right.
Next, we sprayed a metallic silver basecoat over the primer, which provides a nice even colored surface for the 'flake to reflect off of. Once the base is dry, mix your first batch of clear with the 'flake, which is available in three different sizes. Donnie uses about 4 ounces per quart of clear, but you have to be careful not to use so much it clogs the gun.
When spraying silver 'flake, any silver base will work, but the lighter the color, the better. If spraying colored 'flake, choose a metallic basecoat as close to the color of your 'flake as possible. Here you can see how the 'flake looks after one coat. The first coat should be pretty thin.
Let the coat "flash," which means the paint is tacky to the touch but not stringy, then apply as many more coats as necessary. This is how it looked after four coats. Keep the pressure turned down in your gun, so the 'flake doesn't bounce off the roof. Once you have applied enough 'flake, "bury" it with two or three more coats of clear.
This is how things looked after the last coat of clear. Donnie will let the car sit a few days and bake. Wet-sand it down with 600-grit paper and a block, shoot two more coats of clear, then color-sand and buff it. The finished product will look a mile deep. SPRAYING METALFLAKESkill Level:
Moderate to AdvancedTime Necessary:
3-4 days (including drying time)Materials Needed:
DA Sander, 40- and 80-grit sanding discs, foam sanding blocks, 400-, 600-, and 1,000-grit wet or dry sandpaper, masking supplies, epoxy primer/sealer, quick-build primer, metallic basecoat, automotive paint metalflake (not the stuff you can buy at craft stores, it will melt), urethane clearcoat.
(818) 378-9150 http://www.imperialcustoms.com
House of Kolor
(601) 798-4229 http://www.houseofkolor.com