Bill Harmatuk

Base Coat / Clear Coat

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

When my dad painted his 37 Terraplane, he mixed a little of the base color (PPG Black) in with the clear coat. Basically tinting the clear coat black. It did give the finished product a little different look. Still shiny, but also had a lot of depth. It looked like the black was polished, instead of a polished clear coat. Maybe some painters on here can comment on tinting the clear.

more 1937 hudson shots 147.JPG

When I discussed painting my Olds with my first painter he said exactly this. He said adding color to the clear would make it a deeper look rather than just a shiny surface on the color. He also said doing that makes a chip less of an issue. My chassis was painted with single stage because the chassis is subject to more road abuse than the body.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, chistech said:

When I discussed painting my Olds with my first painter he said exactly this. He said adding color to the clear would make it a deeper look rather than just a shiny surface on the color. He also said doing that makes a chip less of an issue. My chassis was painted with single stage because the chassis is subject to more road abuse than the body.

Adding a bit of color is what was done in the 60s and 70s with candy paints and on cars with plain lacquer to give it a wet look. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every car I saw at Pebble Beach last year in the winners circle(first in class) was base coat/clear coat. I agree with the looks plastic vs paint had depth comment. We actually consider this every time we paint a car. We use test panels in many different sources of light to determine how it will look under all conditions. It’s a lot of work and harder than you think. Many colors that look great in sunlight fall flat on a cloudy day. I like my stuff to look good all the time, so we work hard at understand how light effects the perception of the color. Often just changing the shade a slight amount will make it look good under all conditions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t see how the paint on a car could be “too shiny.”  Passionate owners since the invention of them have spent time trying to shine up their car.  I imagine owners in the 20’s, 30’s, etc would have loved for their paint to be shinier.  You can nitpick any car out there for being “too straight,” “too shiny”, and other cosmetic things that make it “overrestored,” but if that’s all you can say about a car, it must be pretty nice.

 

I’ve never in my life seen anyone wiping down a car and then saying, “my car is just too shiny.”

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something that gets overlooked is the affect the color of the primer can have on the finish coat. We did a color change on my '64 Riviera back in 1980. We went from tan to maroon. A red oxide primer was covered with 8 coats of lacquer. I think a lighter primer would have given it a richer look and helped bring up the red in the maroon.

I have been monkeying around to repaint that car for a couple of years now. It won't be original this time. I plan a fine metallic silver over burgundy, a lot like Darryl Starbird's '39 Continental. He gave me the color codes. That will be base coat/clear coat.

I have a quart of good old fashioned white lacquer to paint one fender and some touch up on my '60 Electra. I expect each to look natural.

 

My good friend is a street rod builder and retired trade school auto body teacher. He is my coach and we have been doing things together for over 40 years. I think that makes a difference in advising and taking advice. It will be more collaborative.

 

If it wasn't so cold and the snow wasn't 2 feet deep between the house and the garage I would be out there now working toward the building of an isolation section for car painting.

Bernie

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When people are restoring vehicles to look original, I don't care what type of paint the restorer put on their car as long as it looks like the original finish in color and level of gloss.

 

I don't like to see cars with a super high gloss finish if that was not how the vehicle originally came out of the factory and I don't like some of the finishes people are putting on vehicles where it looks like plastic.

 

I am not sure what causes the plastic look of some finishes, but I don't like it.

 

I know of cars brands that originally came out of the factory with orange peel and runs, especially i areas like the engine compartment and in the wheel wells.  Is there is issue of someone restores a car and the paint job has orange peel and runs in these areas or should it be restored with a high gloss perfect mirror finish in all areas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem most painters and restorers face is how do you put an inferior paint job on car--no matter how correct--and still expect to have a happy customer? It isn't the painters' fault that their customers are demanding perfection instead of authenticity, and that starts with an impossibly deep shine.

 

I just had an inspector in my shop examining a very nice but also pretty original 1962 Corvette on behalf of an overseas client. He said it was a fantastic car, very well preserved, excellent condition, but his client didn't understand originality. If a car wasn't super shiny, it wasn't a good car and he didn't want it. Shiny = good. Original (correct) = bad. I presume that the buyer has substantial amounts of money and a large collection of cars since he has a full-time caretaker for his collection and flew him up from South America to look at the car. Perfection was his standard, not correctness. Look at any car at Pebble Beach, arguably the most prestigious car show in the world. The restored cars there are grossly over-restored. If they weren't, they wouldn't be there now would they? Heck, I put new-in-the-wrapper NOS chrome headlight doors on my wife's 1956 Chrysler and at the very next show (the only show, as a matter of fact) where we had it judged, they dinged it for "deteriorated chrome on headlights." Nobody wants "correct" or "original" or "authentic" on their cars, not if they're trying to win trophies and spending tens of thousands of dollars to do it.


How many of you would be satisfied with an OEM-looking paint job with runs and orange peel and dry spray that nevertheless cost $20 or 30,000? Yes, it's correct, but it also looks crummy relative to the amount of money you just spent. If you saw those "correct" flaws on your freshly restored car, you'd send it back to the paint shop and demand it be fixed.

 

Don't fool yourself, perfection is the only result the person writing the check wants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Don't fool yourself, perfection is the only result the person writing the check wants.

 

Broad brushed statement.  Incorrect.  There is a subset in the hobby that values authenticity over inauthentic bling.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, W_Higgins said:

 

There is a subset in the hobby that values authenticity over inauthentic bling.

 

 

Agreed. But we are in the definite minority. I'm not arguing that nobody cares about authenticity and certainly not that I don't care. My point is only that people tend to stop caring about authenticity when they're writing big checks to someone else to make a car "right" and that includes the final paint finish. Someone wondered why people use modern paints that don't look quite "right" on old cars and I'm offering an explanation.

 

I'm with you in lamenting that we've seen a dramatic shift from authentic cars to this idealized myth of perfection that restored cars need to attain today. I don't like it, but that doesn't mean it isn't happening--the "shiny is better" people outnumber the athenticists by about 3000:1. I applaud enthusiasts who strive for correctness and authentic finishes--I love to see bonding strips and saw scuffs on Corvettes--but ultimately, that tends to get pushed aside when it's time to spend the money.

 

I blame judging as much as anything, because by necessity it has to be a beauty contest. At multi-marque shows no judge can possibly know all things about thousands of different cars, so you're often reduced to judging the quality of the work on the car. Like it or not, perfection is frequently viewed as correct during the judging process. When it comes down to two cars with all the right hardware and hoses and colors and assembly line markings, the one that is shinier, with better gaps, with a more ornately detailed engine bay, and flawless, deep, shiny chrome will usually be the winner. I didn't set this standard, but it's very much reality. Some of you who are judges will suggest that you ding cars for over-restoration, and that's fine (I know I do it), but you should also understand that your scores probably get tossed every time (mine do) and you're not changing anything. In fact, my desire for authenticity has marked me as a "tough judge" at most events and guys hate to see me coming to look at their cars. If people truly cared about accuracy, that might be the kind of thing that should win me friends; it actually seems to do the opposite. I don't think most people truly care about genuine and authentic, do you?

 

Like I said, money always makes it cloudy, even when you're trying to do the right thing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

 

I just had ........Look at any car at Pebble Beach, arguably the most prestigious car show in the world. The restored cars there are grossly over-restored. If they weren't, they wouldn't be there now would they? 

 

Matt, I would disagree with the over restoration on cars at Pebble Beach. They have the best marque judges available anywhere. It you over restore, incorrectly plate, have incorrect accessories, it’s going to cost you.....BIG TIME. If you give away one single point at Pebble, not only do you not get best in class.......you’re out of any trophy running. In the major classes, 100 points in the normal standard. You need the extra points for the tour and style to make the grade and win an award. Our class winner last year and runner up to best of show was not over or under restored..........we put the car back to the exact way it was delivered. Yes, we had photos inside and out from 1929 when the car was new. The car was sent back to the factory and had additions of lights, chrome, covers, ect and we also had that documentation, but the current standard is to show the cars in their original colors, exactly as delivered, without a bunch of accessories unless documented as installed when new. Many restorations are done for Pebble, and then after the show they are “finished to the owners desires”, as many times what will win is not what the final product that the owner wants. A single wrong fastener or piece of hardware and your done.........that’s why you see me comment so much on incorrect fuel line fittings, lines, and such. My best, Ed

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I’ve never in my life seen anyone wiping down a car and then saying, “my car is just too shiny.

 

 

 

well for example, go to a woody show. many of the refinished cars look like "plastic". (30-40 coats of varathane or similar)

 

that may be something you enjoy, to have to wear sunglasses when you look at a restored car. doesnt work for me.............

 

diff strokes diff folks!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Pebble Beach stuff (at least the core stuff CCCA stuff that anyone has ever heard of) is pretty on the money - all be it I think the finishes (paint, chrome, gaps, and ...) are much higher quality than anything that made it down an assembly line when new (or out of a custom body builder as well).  

 

A couple of us collected people's nut and bolt jars from their Auburn restoration projects - you can actually pretty much go nut, by bolt, by washer and identify how and 851/852 Auburn was assembled (and almost every piece of hardware is unique).  And, via one of the better marque historians  were able to get original cards for ordering purposes that identified the finished (basically most had a black plated finish).  We have also gone out and looked at a good number of unrestored cars (they are hard to find) and even some piles of parts - and still learning new things all the time. And a lot of people are really trying hard at this (and plenty who still are getting it all wrong too).

 

Your late 20's/30's car should be shiny and it should have depth - it just should not look like a sheet of plastic finish (hard to describe, but when you see the clear coat plastic look it tends to it basically sticks out like a sore thumb).  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People always thought it was interesting when I would open the hood of my 1941 Cadillac 60 Special Fleetwood and it had a foot long paint run in the original chassis black on the hood/radiator shroud.  I will tell you that from waxing it - GM gave you pretty spectacular paint, chrome, and interior, but some of the fit work on the car was just plain atrocious. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed, At Pebble Beach were no two cars are the same how does an owner prevent a judge from taking away points  on an odd or unusual , but correct component? Do you politely state that documentation is there, and you can prove everything is proper? Bob 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hello bill this is Dave in California,I hope the bb1worked out for you.ok before I begin I know I’m going to catch hell from some.billi take it it’s the Chrysler that is going to get painted,if you are painting it black fenders and body a different color I would look for ppl delstar acrylic enamel  or DuPont Centauri acrylic  enamel for the fenders and black trim.i would spray 3 coats and then about 2 days later lightly colors and with 320 wet and dry,let it set for about 2 to 3 weeks then resend with 400  wet and dry paper and then apply 3 more coats of black.i don’t know what the color the body is going to be but what ever paint you use watch the I’ve ratings somesingle stage such as red fades quickly even with a clear coat,I’m sure you can find the acrylic enamel if you can find the wagon peddlers as they carry illegal products,the acrylic enamel will outlast the basecoat clear coat,   Dave

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The car companies had a pretty solid uniformity to production - ie there are plenty of people that can pick over a Duesenberg engine and frame, look cross eyed at you when they see a flat headed wood screw in a certain place, and flip over an edge of your carpet to look at the backing (aka it is a cross between what is correct and what is correct generally for X year.   Even things like the 32 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Springfield (a post production car when the company was in dire straights) had a a solid uniformity from car to car - there are even a few people that know the differences between L series cars and ....  And, the same goes for a Model A ford doing MARC.

 

By the way, I do agree you have to clear silvers and certain metallics - the choice though of how the metallic  is made is very different across time though (aka I had to get a paint lab involved to to duplicate a 1930's silver opalpearlescent finish - surprisingly not as easy to duplicate even with a little license taken as we got the impression real quick that the paint originally was deteriorating as it was coming out of the gun).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I have never gotten really involved in high level showing, I find this thread VERY interesting.

One historic detail early in the thread I would like to clarify.  Base coats/clear coats  is how nearly all cars were painted during the brass era. Early paints were slow drying and had a relatively dull finish. Clear coats were added to give the cars a fine shine. Even the well known master of cheap, Henry Ford had his cars done with clear coats for most of fifteen years (Original photos of model Ts fresh out of the factory show a beautiful deep shine!). Then as now, it was the demand of the people "writing checks" for a beautiful finish. I am not sure just how far back clear coat goes, but is way before the Civil War.

Paints change a lot and often over the many decades.  And people are funny. Forty years ago, I knew a lot of people going crazy over getting good old fashioned lacquer paint to "correctly" restore their '10s or early '20s car. The problem was, that Lacquer paint wasn't  generally used on automobiles until the late '20s. Before that, lacquer paint dried way too fast to be applied to anything as large as a fender and look good. So all those efforts to use lacquer on earlier cars were not correct anyway.

Personally, I hate seeing metallic finishes on '20s cars. They did not generally begin showing up on automobiles until after 1930.

 

A long-time very good friend of mine who is well known for writing a lot of very large checks for automobiles in his collection, happens to also be one that prefers correct over trophy winning. Yes, he is an exception to the common rule (I think that is part of why he and little old me get along so well!).  About thirty years ago, he was having a Mercer restored. He paid another long-time best friend of mine to spend many hours restoring the original running board trim, knowing that it would cost him points if ever judged (I don't know about now, but that is the way it was then). That Mercer has been shown at Pebble Beach, I think a couple times, however, he generally declines to have his cars judged. He has had several cars shown at Pebble Beach over the years. Although it has been a long time since I have been there, I always look for pictures and  videos of the show and drives to see people I know.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 1937hd45 said:

Ed, At Pebble Beach were no two cars are the same how does an owner prevent a judge from taking away points  on an odd or unusual , but correct component? Do you politely state that documentation is there, and you can prove everything is proper? Bob 

 

That’s easy......documentation. Have it or lose. Simple fact of the 18th green. Have iron clad documentation. Most cars have a three ring binder to deal with any possible issue. Unless you have been there it’s hard to explain. Nothing is left to chance with the people who are actually competing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 

That’s easy......documentation. Have it or lose. Simple fact of the 18th green. Have iron clad documentation. Most cars have a three ring binder to deal with any possible issue. Unless you have been there it’s hard to explain. Nothing is left to chance with the people who are actually competing.

Thanks, I don't think my 30 years with AACA Judging would qualify me at Pebble Beach, but the teams I judged with would ask before a major hit was taken. Got to send in my Hershey swap meet space funds, then it is save for Pebble Beach, only took two years to get hooked. Bob 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Modern Wax, such as Mothers and Meguiar's wax and polish, can create a similar shine as clear coat if applied correctly and often enough.

Also, there is a problem with Clear Coat peeling after several years due to weathering and the Sun. 

 

My truck with a two stage paint job and a lot of waxing, no clear coat.

IMAG0255.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to believe but it's been almost twenty eight years since I showed my car at Pebble Beach. It was an honor to have the car invited, and I'll always treasure the memory of the event. Since my experience was so long ago my experience may vary from some the the events current practices, so try to adjust for the then and now.

 

At the time I showed, in 1991, all of the cars on the show field were "Classics," or exotics, all were 100 pt. cars, and all had been thoroughly vetted through other concourse judging events, or that had been prepared by persons trusted to always present the best cars (i.e. JB Nethercutt). What should be understood is that this event was a show of construed excellence, where each car had to fulfill a subjectively chosen niche, or theme. In other words it is all about the show, and it is for all practical purposes a "French" judging event. 

 

All of us who have judged and who have had a car judged, have a pretty good idea of what judging looks like. A team descends and introduces themselves and asks the owner to start the engine, checks all the components operation, asks questions about authenticity and finally inspects for condition. Where Pebble is concerned it's all about the show so engines are not started, horns not sounded etc. That does not mean that engines are not started as a special show for the audience, but just not part of the judging. It has been my impression that these judges know these car inside and out, before they are driven onto the show field, so what is really happening is the judging team is verifying what they already know about the car. Then the cars subjectively evaluated, according to their special features which makes them stand out.

 

I realize that the show has changed with the times. There have been themes that do not comport with the old standards, with which I remember. Passage of time has also dulled some of the memories, so if I got some things wrong, or if there have been significant changes, I hope someone will make corrections.

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there is a shop within 30 minutes of my home that has put out some of the best cars in the world in the last 50 yrs.

 

In the last 20 yrs, crackled original paint is the "new" look and I like it very much. Many here would poo poo the idea.

 

to me there is nothing like it and far more diff to do then shiney. \\and dont forget the mud and straw rubbed on the wheels!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own 2 examples of early metallic (opalescent) finishes,  my Sapphire blue opalescent '32 Terraplane coupe and my Steel Dust '33 Terraplane 8 Conv. Coupe. Both cars have hidden spots of the beautiful original paint. I can  easily visualize these early metallic colors had a very short life span, due to oxidation caused by weather, etc. Im thinking they were more of a satin or semi gloss finish when new,  or shortly thereafter,  because of the metallic content did not lend itself well to gloss... this problem has me convinced to go with a UV protective clearcoat, to better show off the luminescent properties of the paint and add longevity, the way the manufacturer intended! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...