This Makes All The Prior Work WorthwhileOnce the car is stripped, the bodywork done, the primer applied and blocked to perfection, it's time to lay down the final hue. The color coats are the pay-off, where all that work and effort are rewarded with a finish worthy of a Corvette. Really, once the proper foundation is laid with diligent work to this point, applying the final color coats is just like adding icing to the cake. The process of building our project C3 is ongoing and real, and as it is, the main body tub still isn't quite ready for the final finish coats. However, our paint plan has always been to spray the removable panels individually and off the car, allowing full coverage of the edges and jambs without seams. This is a common technique in painting top-level show cars, but taking this approach comes with its own set of caveats. Foremost on that list is ending up with a perfect color match from panel to panel. There are two main factors here: the paint and the application.
Obviously, for the panels to match, the paint must be a perfect match. If more than one batch of mixed color is involved, it always pays to "bulk" the paint together, and then pour it back into the cans after thoroughly mixing the batches together. With this move, it all becomes one batch of the same mix. The second factor-the application-is a little more nebulous, and here there are a few variables including the paint itself. If the color coats include effects, such as pearls, candies, or heavy metallics, getting a consistent look becomes more difficult, and depending upon the effect, can be impossible. Even regular metallics can be difficult, but there are techniques to negate the potential for mismatches, such as using consistent numbers of coats and finishing with a fogged mist-coat technique.
For our Corvette project, we are using Planet Color's Chumma Orange, which is a solid orange. A solid lends itself very well to painting the panels individually, with little chance of a mismatch, as long as the coverage is complete and sufficient to hide the primer. Our painting strategy is to paint the hood, doors, headlamp assemblies, roof panels, and miscellaneous small parts first, and then paint the main body. This approach will yield complete paint coverage of the edges, hood gutters, and jambs. The result once the car is assembled is a seamless look that is much more detailed than the factory finish.