Thursday, 31 January 2008 17:00

Hot Rod Flatz Black Paint Job Completes Show Car Project

Written by Rich Evans
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Last month we officially ended the Hardcore Knight project without ever really addressing the paint job. Since it is the first thing you notice on this car, it bears some attention.

The flat black from Kustom Shop’s Hot Rod Flatz collection was used to finish off this project. What’s great about this collection of paints is that it has that old school rat rod feel, but with a durable paint system. This whole flat paint look came from the days when guys would hot rod their rides, but never got past the primer stage when it came to paint. It may have been due to lack of funds, but more likely, since it was in the early days of hot rodding, speed was king and fancy paint jobs came second to horsepower.

Over the years the flat primer style changed from being just a poor man’s paint job to a sought after look. So I decided to give our Hardcore Project a paint job that would live up its name.

Begin, as always, with the prep work. From the last few articles, you will remember the long list of custom-made parts for our Mustang GT made from fiberglass, using custom plug and mold techniques. We then used some filler and blocked it down with 36- and 80-grit sandpaper for our new custom-made parts and the areas where they were attached and molded to the exterior of the vehicle. At this point, we broke down the entire car including the hood, bumpers, trunk lid, spoiler and doors.

Next the car was sprayed with sealer, followed by polyprimer. Mix the sealer using one part non-sanding epoxy primer, one part catalyst, and two parts reducer. The same mixing ratios are used for the polyprimer. Remember not to spray too wet or to apply each coat too soon. The previous coat needs time to set, but not completely dry -- usually between 5 and 15 minutes. After the polyprimer has dried, wet sand the entire car and separate parts with 400-grit wet sandpaper, followed up with 800-grit wet sandpaper.

Rich tip: Always use a good sanding block to avoid getting any waves in the finish.

The next important step is to mix the Hot Rod Flatz basecoat black. Remember not to mix your basecoat until you are actually prepared to spray it. The mixture used was four parts flat black with one part of Kustom Shop’s hardener. I then sprayed three coats of the basecoat mixture.


Rich tip: Just so you know, I use a 3-3-3 system for all my projects – three coats sealer, three coats primer, and three coats of basecoat.

The great thing about the Hot Rod Flatz system is that it is durable, chemical resistant, and contains UV inhibitors to prevent chalking and fading which is what makes it superior to the traditional primer. Kustom Shop also offers a long list of colors to choose from.

Spraying a flat color is a little more difficult than spraying a normal basecoat. Being flat, it is much more prone to getting a zebra stripe affect from strokes with the spray gun, so it is necessary to take extra care when spraying the car. Using no more than 20 percent overlay for each stroke, and making sure there were no zebra stripes, I sprayed a couple of coats of satin clear to improve resistance against the elements. This masterpiece is now completed.

Be sure to check out the Huntington Beach Bodyworks website (www.huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com) to see the finished Hardcore Knight project and find  information on events where the car will be displayed. When it comes to your neighborhood, come out and get an up close look at it.

Come back next month as I begin a series on the radical transformation of a blown custom Corvette by the HB crew.


Rich Evans, owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks in Southern California, is an award winning painter and fabricator. For more information about Evans, visit www.huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com


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