Toy Truck - How to paint series: Part 2
Monday, 09 April 2012 09:30
Toy Truck - How to paint series: Part 2
Article from Custom Vans & Trucks, Issue 47. Published July 15 1987.
Materials and equipment
OK! Let's get started. First gather together all paint and equipment to complete the whole job. Always buy more paint than necessary for the job as you never know when any repairs will have to be made to the paintwork. All the equipment needed for this job is shown in photo 1. Unless you have spray equipment, or have a friend with such equipment, you will have to rent or buy it. Renting compressors is OK but it isn't a good idea to rent spray guns as they are not usually looked after or cleaned well. Basically you will need a spray gun, compressor (a small 5.5hp will work very well for such a job as I am doing here), water trap (regulator) and hoses. The type of paints used for this project are acrylic lacquers. They dry quickly and are easy to touch up if you make a mistake, etc. They are also the best choice for custom paintwork. I'll also be using two different colours of candy apple paint, red and gold. Translucent candy paints are one of the mainstays of custom painting. It is the unique translucent nature of candy paints that gives them the illusion of great surface depth, and a mile deep shine that has terrific eye appeal. I'll also be using three shades of Murano pearls, blue, gold and gunmetal grey. Murano pearls are fascinating to look at because they shimmer and reflect different colours when viewed in different lights and from different angles. A Binks "Wren B" airbrush will be used to add highlights and airbrushing "Suzuki" on the tailgate. Although small in size the airbrush is one of the biggest assets to any custom painter.
Safety comes first when painting. Always use a good respirator mask to protect your lungs, particularly when applying large areas of paint. Get plenty of masking tape. Always use top quality tape. Cheap tape won't hold as well and will let overspray creep into unwanted areas. Also needed are several fresh tack-rags to pick up any dust or lint from the surface just before applying colours. Wax and grease remover is another must. It is a mild solvent specially formulated for cleaning surfaces before painting. For a trouble-free job, the surface must be treated with such a cleanser, applied with a clean, oil-free rag. For mixing paints use a new stirring stick with every different colour. They are cheap to buy and can be thrown away when finished with. Rob Mitchell's Automotive Paints, Rosebud, supplied all paints etc for this project.
Preparation and masking for graphics
The first step in preparation is to give the vehicle a thorough washing to remove any road grime and dirt. Dry off thoroughly with a clean chamois and towels, blow water out of every nook and cranny with the air hose. Next remove any factory tape stripes with a hair dryer. Heat the tape stripes, lifting the tape as you go, slowly and carefully. Our MightyBoy had both factory and accessory stripes to be removed. Next remove any trim and parts necessary to produce professional results. Int his case only the tail lights, rear mudflaps and bumper were removed. Now wash every panel, door jambs etc where paint is to be applied with wax and grease remover. Apply with one rag and remove immediately with another, working in small areas until all panels etc are completed.
An important detail that separates professional paint jobs from the "one-day wonders" is careful preparation and masking of door jambs and less obvious areas. ¼" 3M tape is used to outline the area, then 2" and ¾" and plenty of quality masking paper is used to cover all surrounding areas. One point to remember — don't skimp when masking. Tape and quality masking paper are cheap compared with the time needed to remove overspray from unwanted areas. Don't use newspaper for bulk masking. It absorbs paint, and tiny particles from the paper will work their way on to the new paint.
Carefully following original design drawings, use ¼" and or ¾" 3M masking tape to outline the design. Don't rely on your eye unless you are a professional. Take the time to measure and mark so lines will be even. When running lengths of tape press tape down at one end and then stretch it out along the line desired from the other. This will result in a straight line. Where tape has been overlapped and needs removing use a super-sharp scalpel to cut excess. Be extremely careful to cut only the tape and not into the paint itself. I use a surgical scalpel with extremely sharp surgical blades. It is the same type of scalpel they use in hospital operations to open you up. These types of scalpels are that sharp no pressure is needed when cutting tape. When it comes to making curves with tape, it is vitally important not to get kinks in the tape. If you do, paint will bleed under the tape edge. There will be places on the body where tape will pass over door gaps. The tape should be cut here and the ends folded over the edges and into the jambs.
With this job the design calls for all the colours to be butted together so all the graphics were laid out to find where the graphics would fall then all the internal masking tape was carefully cut away and removed leaving the outline tape lines only. All these will be re-aligned and replaced during the painting process. This is very time consuming as you are doing masking twice over but for this type of graphic application is a must. It is necessary to mask the entire vehicle to prevent overspray getting onto other surfaces. Use ¾" 3M tape and professional quality masking paper. I also use clean bed sheets for top areas and wheels and tyres. These are washed after every job.
Before carrying on make sure all tape is pressed firmly against the metal. Pay special attention to tape edges to make sure no paint can bleed under them. Next all areas to be painted are sanded. With our MightyBoy its base colour is baked acrylic enamel, so extreme care will be taken with sanding. Using 400 grit wet and dry paper and using it dry, all areas are sanded.
Make sure you get every nook and cranny otherwise the paint won't stick. If the car you're working on is painted in acrylic lacquer then use 320 grit wet and dry paper. Use the palm of your hand when sanding large areas, and don't sand with fingers. Fold sandpaper and slowly and carefully sand along tape edges making sure you don't dig into or nick tape edges. Extreme patience is required when sanding up to tape edges, near enough won't do here. If you don't get every square inch you'll end up with a jagged edge when you remove the tape. After sanding everything blow off dust and dirt from the vehicle using a new tack rag and keep turning the tack rag. I use an airgun made just for this purpose, wipe over again with wax and grease remover then tack again. With all custom paintwork I do using acrylic lacquers over baked enamels or fibreglass boast I apply an imported clear sealer to all areas to be painted to ensure proper and perfect paint adhesion. After applying this sealer to our MightyBoy, the sealer is left to cure and air dry for 24 hours.
In the next issue of CV&T, part three will show mixing and applying base colours, candies and pearls, masking and back masking graphics.
Images from the article are below. (Hover over image for caption/description, click to enlarge.)