It’s obvious that paint and bodywork will require the most from anyone’s build budget. That’s why it’s critical to know what’s going on when your pride and joy is under the gun. The key to a quality paintjob is all in the prep work before any color ever finds its way onto the car. Quality work involves taking your time and doing the work carefully and knowingly. It’s true, you get what you pay for.
The days of completely painting a car in your garage are getting harder and harder to come by; those days are long gone. With the push from the EPA to regulate paints and California’s strict air quality standards, it’s impossible. What makes it even harder, too, is if you’re dealing with a late-model vehicle and only need one portion of the body repainted. Good luck trying to match the factory paint, albeit, with a slight hint of orange peel.
In our case, we didn’t have an ordinary paintjob at hand. What we had was a bare aftermarket fiberglass cowl hood from Lingenfelter Performance Engineering (LPE) for our ’02 Corvette Z06 project car. If you recall, we had the new hood installed to cover our MagnaCharger supercharger install (“Brute Force”, May 2011). Even though the LPE hoods are ready for paint, we still had to amend some minor blemishes on the fiberglass’ surface and clearance a small section for the supercharger pulley. If that wasn’t enough, the new paint had to match perfectly with the rest of the car’s factory skin. What we needed was the guiding hand of a qualified, Coach-building shop to get it matched perfectly. To put simply, this job was out of our league and not a task you performed in the driveway.
To get a match-perfect paintjob you seek professional help. For us, it was simple and we called on Best of Show (BOS), located in Escondido, California. We spent three whole days there watching Jon Lindstrom work his magic and finally lay down PPG Electron Blue. It was there Lindstrom put years of knowledge and hard work down on our Z06’s new hood—literally. Of course, he made it all look easy but we followed along with the entire process. We don’t expect anyone to get out and paint their late-model vehicles on their own, however, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way. Next time you’ve got a panel that needs to be painted, you’ll know what to look for and what’s involved for this kind of job. While we can’t illustrate everything, we’ve hit on the most important aspects of prepping and painting our fiberglass hood for a factory match.
In Color With PPG
PPG Automotive Refinish offers everything you need to complete any job from start to finish. To check out a detailed list of their product line, be sure to head over to ppgrefinish.com. For pricing, you’ll want to get in touch with your local PPG Automotive Refinish distributor.