You got a sneak peek of the...
You got a sneak peek of the graphics and the custom nose in Part I. Both were designed by car owner Melvin Benzaquen. The nose is now a one-piece, custom-made unit that eliminates the multi-piece setup found on the stocker, and it employs Chrysler 300C headlights.
Part II: Adding The Graphics And More
As you have seen in the July '09 issue in Part I of our story, paint systems have come a long way over the years. Beginning with single-stage, then progressing to two-stage and now three-stage pearl, there are a variety of systems on the market, from inexpensive to money-is-no-object, to aid you in your quest for a show-winning finish.
Custom paints go even further with dazzling hues and higher gloss. House of Kolor, which was founded by Jon Kosmoski and is now owned by Valspar, has been a leader in this field for over 50 years. House of Kolor's Kosmic Kandy Urethane Enamel system, which is used for our story, features three colors: Zenith Gold Shimrin' universal base, Metajuls Pale Gold metallic basecoat, and Tangerine Kandy. These are topped by Kosmic Urethane Flo-Klear. Even the Ko-Seal II metallic primer has silver metallic in it for our application. We covered the steps necessary to apply the system in Part I, so in Part II, we discuss the graphics.
We begin with the application...
We begin with the application of the new graphics, followed by the body paint, as this method proved to be much easier. Over wet-sanded Ko-Seal II metallic primer, Patrick applied two coats of White Ko-Seal II primer sealer, four medium wet coats of white base, and four medium wet coats of Snowhite Pearl to cover the area that would ultimately contain the graphics. Air pressure was 10 psi for the HVLP gun, a 1.5 tip was used, and the recommended trigger pull was 50-75 percent. Patrick held the gun approximately 6 inches from the surface, and overlapped each pass 50 percent for all materials except the Snowhite Pearl, which he overlapped 75 percent. A flash time of 5 to 10 minutes was allowed between individual coats of each product, and one hour of dry time was allowed before progressing to the next product.
A funny thing happened on the way out of the paint booth. Melvin Benzaquen, owner of this '69 Firebird convertible and Classic Restorations, where the Pontiac was painted, decided he didn't really like the graphics he had designed once they were applied. He says that this is a common occurrence among customers as well.
The end result of Melvin's change of heart is that the Bird was completely repainted with a new graphic design.
Why do you care? Two reasons.
First, there is a lesson to be learned about deciding what you like before the paint is applied, as it can save you thousands of dollars. If you have multiple graphic treatments in mind and can't decide which one you like best, contact an artist and have a few renderings drawn so that you can get a better feel for the finished look. These drawings will certainly be cheaper than repainting your Pontiac.
Second, when Classic Restorations repainted the Bird and applied the graphics, Melvin and painter Patrick Rickle decided to do the inverse of the procedure used the first time. Instead of painting the body first and then applying the graphics over the body paint, they painted the graphics first and then the body.
Melvin states that this process was much easier, saving a lot of time in the masking stages, and it was safer, eliminating the potential of damaging the fresh body paint while applying the graphics afterward. We will illustrate these advantages further in the photos and captions, and you can compare and contrast the two methods to decide what is best for your project. At the end, we have photos of the first and second design graphics, so you can see the differences between them and decide which you like better.
Now, let's get to the action.
Here are the House of Kolor...
Here are the House of Kolor products used for this two-part story.
After one hour of drying time,...
After one hour of drying time, Patrick began taping off the newly designed graphics on the hood using 1/8-inch 3M fine-line tape.
He took careful measurements...
He took careful measurements at different reference points around the Bird to insure concentricity of the graphics from side to side.