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Old 08-26-2006, 09:58 AM
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How to paint racing stripes?

I am planning on painting my 97 Subaru Outback sport black with white racing stripes. I plan on using PPG Omni Acrylic Enamel single stage. I am confused as to when, and how i should paint the white racing stripes. After i paint the entire body black, do i have to sand the areas that will be painted white, or can i just paint over the black since its the same paint? Do i have to wait a certain amount of time before painting on the white? Also how fast do i take off the masking tape outlining the stripes? I've heard that you are supposed to it off as fast as possible, but i dont know what that really entails, since wouldnt that cause the paint to run?

Also, how much paint would be required to paint the stripes? 2 quarts?? I plan on only putting the stripes on the front hood and on the trunk door.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


I've attatched a picture of what the car should look like when im done. I made it using an art program.
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:27 PM
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OK, My suggestion is that you prep the car, spray the hood and deck white with base-coat, cover the area you want to leave the white stripes, then base the whole car black, tear off the paper over the white stripes, and clear the whole thing. If you spray the car with black single-stage, then come back and put on white single-stage stripes you will have a permanent edge on your stripes. I prefer a smooth finish with no paint lines. Kind of an "It's not art if you can feel it" attitude. I say put the white on first, for 2 reasons, 1) black covers white better and 2) it's easier to lay stripes like this out when you are not inverting the design. I say use base and clear for 2 reasons also, 1) you will be able to color-sand and buff the clear so you have no paint edge and 2) base clear is really a better product and will last longer and be easier to care for. You will probably discover the price difference to be minimal. As for as how much paint, I'll guess only about a pint of DBC base white, mixed 1 to 1 w/ reducer will cover your hood and deck. about 3 quarts of DBC base black, and 3 quarts of clear should do the job. But, some of us could probably do it with less.

Good Luck
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Old 08-26-2006, 02:55 PM
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ive heard that painting with base coat/clear coat is a lot harder than doing a single stage. Since ive never painted a car before i thought single stage would be the way to go, but since that doesnt seem possible... is it still a good idea for me to try painting the racing stripes with the ppg DBC?


Does anyone know if vinyl racing stripe decals are any good? I'm considereing possibly taking that path instead of painting the stripes on... but i really dont know

any help is appreciated
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Old 08-26-2006, 03:45 PM
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i was just thinking...

couldnt i mask out the stripes and then paint them with the single stage ppg, then mask over the stripes and paint the rest of the car... wouldnt this prevent there being any sort of ridge between the paints?

or is that unrealistic
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Old 08-26-2006, 04:01 PM
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Its the opposite, base clear isn't any harder, just an added step of applying clear over the color. Base clear you can fix any mistakes you get in the base in a reasonably short time and continue on. The clear is a lot like spraying your single stage, other then it doesn't have pigment in it. This makes base clear a better choice for metallics and pearls, doing two tones and stripes. Say you get some of your black color under the tape onto the white. Much easier to correct with the base clear. With the base clear you will be able to tape off sooner, avoid having to sand, and the clear will bury the tape line with enough coats as crash pointed out, and you can wetsand and buff. Not only that but if you repair in the future, it will be easier if you used base/clear. With your design I would prime or seal the car with a light grey or white primer or sealer first if there is many bodywork areas or the color of the car is a dark color. If there really is no bodywork and the cars paint was white and in good shape, and its an activated or factory urethane finish, then it really wouldn't be needed. Spray the whole car with your white base first, tape off the whole car for overspray protection leaving the area where the two black stripes will be, paint the black. Unmask clear the whole car with around 3 coats to bury the tapelines and leave some room for buffing.
Doing it with the single stage and masking it off twice isn't really going to prevent the line issue. It can be done in singlestage and its been done a lot in the past, just not as easy or quick, and you are left with a line. Most people bridged the edge between the colors with a stripeing enamel. If you do it in single stage. paint the car white. Next day (or whatever the tape time is on the paint you are using) tape off the stripe area and scuff up the white in that area. Spray your black. Vinyl is okay, but it fades over time with sun exposure and painted looks better to me. Using a base clear urethane is going to look the best and be the most resistant to fading over time.

Last edited by kenseth17; 08-26-2006 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 08-27-2006, 03:38 PM
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which clearcoat would be best suited for going over the DBC?

they offer abotu 12 different suitable clear coats and i dont know which to choose?


im looking for a cheaper one.
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Old 08-27-2006, 04:12 PM
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I like dcu2021 myself if using ppg. Many recommend the 2002 also. The 895 (slow) reducer seems to be the best choice in most cases, if its warm enough and you allow enough flash time between coats. Activator dcx61. But different brands of clear seem to work fine over other brands of base. I've done it many times with different clear without problems. But many will stay stick with one line cause they are designed to work together. Just used some spi universal clear on the last car and it came to just under $100 for a sprayable gallon. The ppg 2021 will probably run just under $200 for it the activator and reducer. But who knows, could of went up with all the price increases all the time. Believe the mix is 4-1-1, giving you 1 1/2 gallons sprayable when you mix the gallon of clear. There are many clears that can spray nice and look good in all price ranges. The difference will be how long they hold up and the uv protection they have. I've used clears from low line stuff like omni, nason, marhyde, to more pricey stuff like the chromaclear and different ppg clears over the years and they all can look pretty nice when sprayed. One I've used that I did not like was Limco clear, but that was quite a few years ago now.
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Old 08-27-2006, 04:20 PM
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I just reread your orginal post, and you said black car with white stripes. If thats the case, you may want to try sealing the car with a medium grey. Paint the white stripes first past where they will be and then mask off what will stay white and spray your black. Black will cover white much easier then the other way around. Black usually covers pretty well, but think I would still go a medium grey for a balance between the two colors. I think you might have hard time covering with the white if you primed or sealed it with black or dark grey, even though black will be the major color on your car.
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Old 08-27-2006, 06:30 PM
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thanks for all the help and advice kenseth17

im actually thinking about painting the stripes yellow now, so should i still use a middle-grey primer?


Does anyone know if the Omni basecoat/clear coat system is good?
as opposed to the DBC system
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:23 PM
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Yellow can be a real poor covering color. Think its usually painted over white. You are now thinking of going with black and yellow stripes. I would try a white or light grey color personally. I haven't painted anything yellow for a long long time. But this should bump this back up and hopefully some of the others will give you good advice. Or else hopefully you get a knowledgeable counterman at your paint supplier when you pic your colors and buy your supplies. They will be able to look up the formulas for the colors you choose and give recommendations on color of ground coat. There are notes if it is a poor hiding color, and should say what shade sealer or primer to use for best coverage. Like I said, in my experience black covers pretty well, but normally you try to use a color close to your main color. But with yellow often being a poor hider, I think I would want to go lighter, even possibly use white if the yellow isn't going to cover. The color of your ground coat could effect the color and brightness.
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:28 PM
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Omni bases dont cover well, but their clears are very good for the money.
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:00 AM
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is it possible to use the omni single-stage AE and then clear over it?
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Old 08-28-2006, 08:53 AM
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Don't put Omni AE on that nice ride, it'll be dulling out as soon as if finishes curing. Stick with urethane products. Omni MTK is a urethane singlestage that is compatable with some Omni clears.

Or you could do you, your wallet and your car a big favor and use Southern Polyurethanes Inc. color and clear or just singlestage color. There's really many options out there for quality products at reasonable prices and no excuse to use acrylic enamel nowadays. JMO, Bob
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Old 08-28-2006, 02:34 PM
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Sorry, Saddleback I got away from the computer this weekend. It looks like you've gotten some more good advice. I've shot omni base and cleared over it with PPG lots of times it works just fine. But, yes as stated in yellow it does cover poor. I think your cheapest option would be go ahead and get a pint of white and ground coat the area where your stripes are going with it. Then you can put the yellow over that. I do not think single stage black and then clearing is a good option, because as Kenseth stated you will not gain the advantage of base. I also agree with him that 2021 would probably be the best choice, it's PPG's most versatile clear. I personally am not very fond of the long term hold (gloss) out of Omni's clear. Or you may take Bob's advice on the Southern Urethane clear, but I would not know about that, as I have never used it.
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Old 08-28-2006, 03:26 PM
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so if i bought the pint of white, should i spray the entire hood with it, or just the areas where the stripes will be?


and is it necesary to have a primer if i am spraying over the original paint job? The car was originally green.

If a primer is necesary how much exactly would be needed? would i need a gallon, or do i need less?


actually im pretty confused about paint amounts in general, ive heard that a gallon of paint suffices for most cars, and mine is pretty windowy, so i assume that a gallon would be fine. But does a gallon mean a gallon of pure un-reduced paint, or a the final amount with the reducer included?


any help is appreciated, and thanks to everyone whose helped so far.
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