Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pearl Paint

 When asked for advise about pearl paint the first thing I have to do is narrow down what kind of pearl we are talking about. There are three kinds of pearl paint jobs. Pearl is an ingredient used in automotive paint. Pearls are used to add a sparkle to paint much like metallic. There are dozens of colors available dark and light blues, greens, golds, and reds but also slivers and bronze and copper.
 Automotive manufactures will use just a pinch or 3 or more different pearls to add life to the paint. With modern base coat systems pearl coat will lay down as nice as solid colors. One note of caution the more coats of pearl you put on the darker the color gets. So when doing a repair leave a panel open so you don't put more coats on than necessary to achieve the color you are after. 
The second use of pearl is on thi stage paint jobs like the Cadillac or Lexis white pearls. These involve a white ground coat then a pearl mid coat then a clear coat. Once again it's critical that you have the same number of coats on the whole project.
 The third kind of pearl is used in custom painting to give a color shift for instance a white car with blue pearl mixed into the second coat of clear. I don't mix it into the first coat because I want the pearl to be suspended above the base. I fog on this coat then clean my gun and mix up some more clear to give it a couple more coats. SEM makes eight nice liquid pearls and Old School Flake makes about 20 powder pearls. How much to use? Well that's an artistic decision, I shoot a lot of test panels and take the panels out into the sun before I decide how much to use on the car or bike I'm painting.
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hard times for some opportunity for others

These can be hard times for paint stores.  These can be hard times for your customers, especially if your customers are big body shops at the dealership level. These can also be times of great opportunity. There are plenty of small shops that have had no slow down in their business at all. 
I have given this quite a bit of thought for the paint store owner and the paint store counter men and women, you need to take more time slow down and give the small shop owner and the backyard warrior more service. In the end it's better to have 40 small shops than 8 big ones.
For the shop owner you need to be more agile I was talking to one of my customers today. Al of Exclusive Image here in Denver and he has been having a good no a very good winter. He does some dealer work, some rental car work and complete paint jobs on higher end cars;  Bmw's Mercedes, Chrysler 300s. He sets his customers up with custom tires and rims and really treats them right. He's honest, detail oriented and doesn't cut corners it has a given him a great word of mouth following.    

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