A Whole Lot More LeMans Blue!

Hey all,
I had to stop by Full Circle again today and Tony had another surprise for me!

So again, this has a few clear coats but no wet sanding as of yet.  Dina and I are headed over on Thursday and I think the wet sanding and more clear may be done by then.

Boy, she’s BLUE!    🙂

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Ready to see Stripes (and LeMans Blue paint) ???

Well, I warned you.  I told you that if time allowed, I would be working with Tony @ Full Circle Auto Body to lay out my stripe patterns on the hood and trunklid… and if time permitted, we’d shoot paint.   Goes to show you what I know.  In only four hours, we went from primered body panels to final LeMans Blue and the first coats of clear on the trunk area and the hood.  Ready for a BIG update post?   🙂

PREP WORK

Nothing great appears out of nowhere.  It takes hard work, dedicated people and… well, lots of ideas and re-do’s.  These first 11 pictures show the trunk and hood starting off with a base silver paint coat, and then you will see us laying out ideas for stripes, removing some ideas while moving forward with others… but eventually we have the shape and size correct.

PAINT BY LAYERS

This next section of 11 pictures shows progressively how Tony builds the stripes layer upon layer.  Many people think that stripes like mine (multiple areas, multiple colors) are masked off all at once and painted, with each non-painted stripe being masked off.  You could do that but it would take 10 to 12 hours to duplicate what Tony did in just 4.  He painted the silver base layer first (above), then we masked off the areas for the red, then shot it with paint, then we masked off the areas for the grey and shot it last.  Key thing – we did NOT have the “stencil” laid down the entire time, just the areas that needed to be protected.  It’s hard to describe in words but you essentially build the stripes in successive layers of paint.  Follow the pictures and I think you’ll get a feeling for what I’m saying… in the last picture you see a stripe that is silver on the bottom, with red next and gray on top…

AND WE HAVE PAINT!

So once Tony had the last of the stripes down and masked off, it was time for the big surprise… he didn’t tell me upfront that he had planned to shoot not only the stripes, but the actual LeMans Blue paint for the trunk area and the hood, including the first 4 coats of clear!

These next pictures show the blue paint laid down with NO clear coats yet.  The paint has a dull surface, almost “matte” in appearance.  Just keep in mind this is a work in progress… Tony estimates that there will be between 12 and 15 coats of clear once the project is done.

STRIP TEASE

Something that Tony calls, “A little like Christmas…” it’s time to remove the masking material and show the stripes alongside the LeMans Blue paint!  Keep in mind, there still is no clear coat over these colors…  it’s going to look dull and rough because it hasn’t been prepped, wet-sanded, etc.

AND NOW…

The final two pictures show the trunk area and hood, with all masking material removed and 4 coats of clear applied.  You can start to see the metallic in the paint come out.  Again, no wet-sanding has happened so there are irregularities that may be in these pictures that won’t be in the final product.

Tony was hoping to shoot the entire rest of the body with LeMans Blue and clear coat by tomorrow (7/3), giving the car time to “breathe” over the July 4th holiday.  Stay tuned… we still have PLENTY of work left, but it certainly is exciting to see the progress!

Please note:  Tony uses the latest in water-based low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) automotive paint.  It allows him to spray in the booth for up to three minutes without the use of a respirator.  You will notice there are no pictures of Tony spraying the LeMans Blue paint or the clear coat… that’s because I was out of the room and he was fully gowned and protected.  Tony takes the environment and his health very seriously.