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Old 02-23-2019, 08:52 PM
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Undecided on paint color

Doing the body work on my '48 Ford Coupe. I'm having a time selecting a color. I'm not a professional but have a very competent "coach" and I know the body work will be finished well. I'm wanting a medium blue color with an accent. I'm looking for a nice color that doesn't break the bank. If I'm correct, something without metallic and a lighter shade may show better (a driver, not a show car). Can anyone give me some input as to paint type and shades to help me make a decision?

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Old 02-24-2019, 11:15 AM
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This is actually a mighty sticky question. I will attempt to explain color pricing-

Some major paint manufacturers market their product to the automotive repair industry with the promise to match any color using a bank of intermixing toners.

Others market their products in a pre-selected range of colors and do not offer intermixing toners nor match other existing colors.

The former is classified as body shop paint, the latter as industrial or fleet finishes although the products in the can may be quite similar.

In between those two categories, there are brands who mainly focus on industrial or fleet colors but also offer a match for many, but not all, original equipment car colors.

To complicate things further, major automotive paint manufacturers offer a range of brands to suit varying price ranges. These are referred to as qualities. So you may go into, for a fictitious example... an EFG auto paint distributor. Asking for blue blue.

They will offer exactly blue blue in the highest priced quality.

It may also be available in the next quality down the price range.

The only quality approaching a sane price range may be their lowest priced offering, and chances are you'll have to choose from two blues which are at best bluish blue.

Each of the offerings may not exactly match each other, even if both formulas are for blue blue. Furthermore, the less expensive quality may require double the amount of coats to be where you can't see right through it... making the highest priced quality the less expensive choice because less product is required.

Often, a more expensive "quality" of color can be used (and warranteed) with a lesser quality's clearcoat if both brands are from the same manufacturer. When no warranty is necessary, just about any clearcoat can be used over any basecoat. I refer only to solvent-based basecoats but the same might be said of waterborne colors. However I will assume you are considering a single stage finish.

Price codes based on specific body shop paint intermix ingredients and amounts are used to define ranges of cost for each specific color formula within a quality. Plain white for example being cheapest and bright red being most expensive in most cases. With blue, its a crapshoot. Red blue might have a price code second from the highest range while green blue might cost the same as white, for example.

The bottom line is this- in order to extrapolate the actual cost difference of any two ways of painting something blue, you have to buy the stuff and use some of it. That may be why you posted the inquiry... because you already found out how wildly complicated and project-ruining choices can be for a hobbyist. Hopefully the above novel sheds some light on why its that way.

Theres hope, though. While I have only used body shop paint, theres a solid option for hobbyists with great customer support and all reasonably priced pre-mixed colors with a simple range of other product choices to tailor the paint job to your needs. Sidestep the local paint counter interrogation and forget the click and pray cheap internet paint kit experiments and check out Southern Polyurethanes on the web, or SPI as the regulars here call it... and start there.
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:26 AM
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Just a heads up, SPI has white, black, 3 reds, and orange but offers no blue. There specialty is primers and clears.

Though their quality is exceptional and their pricing very reasonable, they do not manufacture a lot of color choices. I personally have become very fond of Wanda for an affordable but quality color choice.

John
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:10 PM
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Of course everything but blue.

Maybe if the price is right, blue isn't a must. If it is, maybe that explanation will help someone make sense of the other options. Blue base from Wanda would be great but theres not been a preference indicated on base / clear or single stage. These days walking into a paint store without knowing exactly what to ask for is the old west equivalent of sitting down at a poker table with strangers... its easy to lose.
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:37 PM
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Thanks guys. I will digest "the novel" and work from that. I really appreciate then opinions and input. I really want to stay with blue but ----options. If you think of anything else please post it.
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Old 02-24-2019, 03:19 PM
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"Basics of Basics" Choosing a color.
By Brian Martin

Color choice is so much more than simply picking a color because you ‘like” it. Not every color “works” on every car. Some will argue “to each his own” or “It’s your car, paint it what ever you want”. This is true, but you are painting it to look better, right? Why just get color on it for the sake of getting color on it. Why paint your favorite color on it when your favorite color is not going to make the car look it’s best?

We have all heard that black will show waves or poor body work. White on the other hand hides them. This is just the start of color choice. We can agree that even though you may love black cars, painting a wavy old beast a cut and buffed black would be wrong. It goes beyond “taste”, it is just plain wrong, if your desire is a nice looking car.

There are a few different issues when talking about color choice.

Cost:

IF you have a budget for you paint you best check on the cost before you commit to a color. In one brand of basecoat a price can go from approximately $185.00 to $420.00 a gallon. Any color with a lot of red or pearl is going to be more expensive for instance. These are not custom colors, just regular old colors off new cars. Whether you plan on BC/CC (base coat/ clear coat) or SS (single stage, where no clear is applied over it) will effect cost. Pick a color and go to your paint store to see all costs, color, clear, hardeners, reducers, any sealers you may want, etc. You don’t want to be surprised when the car is sitting there ready for paint.

Resale Value:

Yeah, I know, you’ll never sell it. Well, I have to tell you, you most likely will someday. There are lots of cars painted pastel pick from the 1980’s that are darn near un-sellable today. I know of one, a friend of mine passed away unexpectedly and his wife almost had to give away his ’34 Ford. It would have probably gotten up to $10,000 more if it wasn’t a out dated trendy color from the 80’s. Really watch those trendy colors, they can kill you.

Does the color “work” on this particular body style:

Not all cars look good in all colors. Again, I am not talking “taste” here, I mean some colors just DON’T “work” on every car. There is a 4dr ’59 Cad in my area that is painted a fire engine red, I am sorry, it doesn’t work. In fact, it looks like hell. Is that just my opinion, well yes and no. It is also the publics opinion in large too. GM spends a LOT of time and money on marketing and research to come up with the colors it offers. That red would not be a color offered on that car for good reason. This is a very gray area (if you will pardon the pun), it does come down to “opinion”. But it is like speaking your mind about politics, sure you have the right, but you better “know the room”. Or you will suffer the consequences. The resale of the Cad is in the tank. The likelihood of a crowd gathering around it at a show is in the tank. He too the chance when he opened the can. Because of this rule it is not likely you will ever see a white Lamborghini Countach or a candy apple red Rolls Royce.

What do you want the color to do:

This is where we return to the black show waves stuff. Sure black shows waves, but did you know it hides body lines? That’s right, it “softens” body lines. If you have a car with features you want to hide, black is the color. This is one of the reasons it is known for being “mysterious”. It hides a lot, leaving it up to the imagination. It also makes the car look smaller. I am not kidding, park a black ’68 Camaro next to a white one and you darn near have to take a measuring tape out to prove they are the same car.

On something like a ’27 Ford model T the doors lay on top of the cowl and quarters. It kinda looks like a tire patch on the side of the car. In black they “melt” in and don’t pop out as much.

White is just the opposite, it may hide waves in flat panels, but it shows off body lines. This includes how STRAIGHT the lines are. Panel fit is very critical with white. The gaps look like black pin stripes, if they are not perfect it will look like wavy inconsistent width stripes.

We all know what black and white do, any other color just falls in the middle. It is a sliding scale, the darker the color the more it’s effects are like black and the lighter the color the more it’s effects are like white, simple.

Tip 1. There are thousands and thousands of colors out there. To pick one from that huge pallet would be very hard. This is what I feel is the best way to start the color search, find a car the color you want and get the color code off it. It is that simple, the new car deal lots are full of cars in every color imaginable, find the color and there you will find the exact code of that color.

Tip 2. When you go to get your paint at the paint store ask if there are any “alternates” or “Variants” of the color you have chosen. These “alternates” can be VERY, VERY different from the “standard” color. The car you may have seen was one of these “alternate” colors. These alternate colors are different “batches” if you will.

Tip 3. DO NOT PICK THE COLOR OUT OF A CHIP BOOK! These chips are usually not even paint, they are ink. They are a “close” representation of the color, they are NOT the color. (for instance the alternates will not even be represented in the chip books) .

Tip 4. I highly recommend you buy a pint of the color you have chosen, take it home and spray it out. Use an old fender or something and really get a good feeling for the color before you layout your hard earned dough for a gallon or two. This is not only to see if the color is right, but to see if it covers well, and just how easy it will be to paint. The difference between colors and brands can be night and day in how user friendly they are. If you find that the color is nice but it takes 6 coats to cover, you may want to change the color choice or change the brand of paint. Some “value lines” can be very transparent, so you save no money because you may have to put on twice as much. A high pearl or metallic color may “model” easily, that may be a reason to scrap the color or brand.

Tip 5. After you have your color picked for goodness sakes don’t be a cheapie when buying your paint. Figure out how much you’ll need for the whole job. We are talking every thing you plan on painting, outside, inside, dash, jambs, trunk, everything. When you have an idea how much, add at the very least 20% more. If one gallon is enough, buy another quart. Buy all the paint you will need before you start painting anything. Get a few extra gallon cans and use them to intermix ALL the paint. You then have all the paint you need, no mismatched parts, no running out, you are set to go. If you have a that quart left over when you are done, so what? Running out of paint is NOT pretty, it is a disaster in many cases. Now, why intermix? This is a VERY painful lesson you don’t want to learn the hard way. This is it in a nutshell, if you were to go to the paint store and have three gallons of the same formula mixed you would end up with three different colors! I will bet you a dollar, here is why. Some toners are very strong, just a drip will change the color. A couple of different people could mix them, some people mix better than others. There are other variables such as one toner used gets emptied and the next toner used has more solvent in it because it is new and has less strength. Now, these colors may not be “that” different. If you were to paint three different cars with those gallons you may not even see it. But if you were to paint your hood, fenders, and quarters with the three different gallons you sure would! I repeat, this is a VERY painful lesson you don’t want to have to learn the hard way, BUY ALL YOUR PAINT UP FRONT.

Tip 6. If you follow tip #5 you can skip this one. It is something that comes up once and a while. When you have chosen BC/CC, SS, Lacquer, enamel, what ever, paint the WHOLE car the same. Don’t paint the jambs SS and the outside BC/CC or something like that. Yes, it “can” work, but seldom does. The formula for the SS and BC of the same color is NOT (usually) the same. The SS paint is not just the BC that you don’t put clear over. For that matter just clearing a color will change it.

I could bore you with example after example of how I learned this information. Follow these simple tips and you will have fun doing your car, instead of experiencing the pain on your own. These are lessons that are very painful, believe me.

Let me also say that I love color. It has been a big part of my life for over 25 years. I can appreciate just about any color as long as it is done nice. That does not mean that any color belongs on any car. It also doesn’t mean that because I would like a car a particular color that I would paint it that color. It has to “work” or it was a waste of time and money. There are many cars that you have seen grace the front cover of a magazine that would be a big ZERO if it were painted another color. And likewise there are many cars that just don’t get the attention they deserve because they were painted the “wrong” color.

This may be the only car you ever restore, or at the very least one of only a few. The time you take to pick the color is time very well spent, that I guarantee you.
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Old 02-24-2019, 04:18 PM
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Good solid color selection guidance there!

I haven't helped many folks pick colors but have formulated my own a few times. When a person has no idea what color to use but does not want white or black, I ask them out of red yellow blue... which is your favorite? Then, I name the secondary colors surrounding the favorite choice, (In your case, green and purple) and ask which they like best. That narrows it down to greenish blues and purplish blues and thats usually enough to start investigating specific colors in that family and seeing if they "work" on the car. For myself, I pick a main color then use a contrasting pearl toner for the flip flop effect to bring attention to body lines. For example using a purplish blue with gold pearl in it for a pretty transition between violet and aqua in the sun, on a color that mostly just looks blue.

Blue doesn't seem to be a very popular choice currently but its my favorite and I may be rambling a little since I bet its gonna be a solid color. But a similar theory could apply to an accent, which was mentioned.

Snappy if you can't find a picture of a car like yours in the color you need to see on it, post one of something close and I might be able to do a crude color change by editing the picture.
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:59 PM
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When you say medium blue, it sounds like you may have an idea of the color you want. I always recommend keeping your eyes open when out and about. Check out parking lots and car dealers. When you see a color you like in real life, you will know it. Make a note of what kind of vehicle it is on, and then look up the paint code from there. This way you have seen the color on a full size vehicle and will see how light and shadows work with the color.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdscotty View Post
When you say medium blue, it sounds like you may have an idea of the color you want. I always recommend keeping your eyes open when out and about. Check out parking lots and car dealers. When you see a color you like in real life, you will know it. Make a note of what kind of vehicle it is on, and then look up the paint code from there. This way you have seen the color on a full size vehicle and will see how light and shadows work with the color.
YEP!

Brian
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:17 AM
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Martin SR - rdscotty
I was liking the Ford Lightening Blue, then the Velocity Blue was introduced and I thought that was THE color until I went to the local paint store and priced it. Way out of my budget and probably my painting expertise. The paint code for the Velocity Blue is E7 followed by KDREWHA, M7423A.
I would like to find something around this shade if possible. You're response is appreciated.
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snappy347 View Post
Martin SR - rdscotty
I was liking the Ford Lightening Blue, then the Velocity Blue was introduced and I thought that was THE color until I went to the local paint store and priced it. Way out of my budget and probably my painting expertise. The paint code for the Velocity Blue is E7 followed by KDREWHA, M7423A.
I would like to find something around this shade if possible. You're response is appreciated.
With those example colors, it looks to me like you are looking at metallics mostly. Go check out the Nason paint if you have a jobber close. I used what I believe was just called "Dark Blue" once up on a time and it covered well enough to cover up my hack work...just make sure you buy enough! This color really wasn't all that dark...more of a middle of the road blue that pulled toward purple under lights at night. There are a lot of good blues next to it though.

Also bc/cc is the way to go. I haven't read all the way through everyone else's responses, but if you are going metallic then it is no question for bc/cc.

The Nason blue was about $125/gallon + activator and reducer but that was 15 years ago now .
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:48 AM
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I don't think we have a Nason dealer in our area. We live in a small area in the "boonies". Sherwin-Williams, PPG, NAPA, NCS are some local ones. Thanks
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by snappy347 View Post
I don't think we have a Nason dealer in our area. We live in a small area in the "boonies". Sherwin-Williams, PPG, NAPA, NCS are some local ones. Thanks
Check with NCS the one by me is a Dupont jobber. Nason was Dupont's second tier product.

2nd tier products have a more limited toner base so not all colors can be mixed in them.

It may have been mentioned but lower cost products also contain less pigment and more binders/mixing clears by volume so some of the cost savings is negated by having to buy more of it. A tinted or color-keyed sealer really helps coverage with some transparent and high pearl colors.

Last gallon of Nason base I purchased was $354 for the color only. Paint costs have tripled in the last few years.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:20 PM
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Hipster G. Yes I'm aware of the coverage on cheaper paints. I'm not necessarily looking for a cheap paint but on that looks good and won't break the bank. The Ford colors I mentioned were around $1100/$1200. I'll check out NCS. Thanks.
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