Taking on a full build of any type, be it a muscle car, hot rod, or custom, takes determination, perseverance, creativity, and stamina to manage the project through its many stages. Imagine each step appearing to you in simple black and white images hung on the walls of a long corridor. And at the end, a door that when opened, lets you see the project in full color. In this segment, the Camaro Performers magazine second-gen project, Orange Krate, not only makes it to that door, it kicks it wide open with plenty of blazing color. It's the time in a build that creates anticipation and excitement as you start working down to the bottom of your checklist, and that point in time when the finish line is finally in sight. For Peter Newell and his team at Competition Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts, that moment was finally here. It was time to roll the body into the spray booth and begin its final push towards completion.
Knowing that Orange Krate would see plenty of action on the dragstrip, road course, and street, it was important to make sure its undercarriage would be able to hold up well under all the elements. To tackle this job, Newell made a call to our pal Ray Williams at Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes in Medford, Massachusetts, for recommendations. Without skipping a beat, Williams advised the rock-solid finish achieved by using Al's Liner products for Krate's underbelly. The consumer-designed do-it-yourself (DIY) kit is a three-part blended polyurethane system that can be fully mixed all at once in gallon form or used in batches, thanks to a formula breakdown allowing for quart and half-gallon blends as well. One of the very cool components is that you can work with one of their three standard tint colors (black, gray, or tan) or customize the color tint to match anything you like using high-grade automotive base pigments. When combined with their available Al's Liner spray gun with its 1.25-gallon hopper, five-point texture nozzle, and three different texture orifices, it allows the user to customize the flow and texture of the product dispensed using between 15 and 90 psi. It's imperative to take your time in properly masking off the area to be treated using 2-inch masking tape and body shop paper to ensure perfect results and minimal cleanup.
With the undercarriage coating completed and dry, it was time to rotate the rotisserie to put the body back to its proper orientation and address the interior to prepare it for a final coating of satin-black Sherwin-Williams Spectra Prime color surfacer/sealer. Once all the components were removed from the inner firewall area, the surfaces, including the floorpan, were scuffed by hand with 220-grit, and the interior was blown clean to prepare for application. The satin-black left the interior with a perfect final coating which will provide plenty of protection for years to come.
Once the interior paintwork was completed, it was time to focus on the firewall and introduce a bit of vibrancy to the project. With the firewall surface final sanded with 220-grit and blown clean, it was covered in orange-tinted Spectra Prime. Newell then mixed up the first batch of Sherwin-Williams Planet Color Big Bad Orange (supplied by Ray Williams) and laid down a wicked coat of vibe bringing the project to life.
All we can say is stay tuned as we move forward into the final bodywork and paint stages in upcoming issues, 'cuz we can almost hear the thunder coming from the headers!
01. For both simplicity in application and product durability, it's tough to beat the undercoating base you can get with the complete kit from Al's Liner. Inside the kit you'll find all the components needed to create the coating for the job. This includes an instruction book with easily labeled steps as well as a spray primer, color, and mixing paddle.
02. The Al's Liner spray gun kit is a professional series air texture gun required to finish the job. It comes complete with three different nozzle sizes to suit your application and assembles in a snap.
03. To prepare the undercarriage surface for application, it was scuffed and scratched with 80-grit sandpaper to give it plenty of bite.
04. It's a tedious process when the undercarriage is filled with plenty of corners and tight spots requiring attention. Peter Newell of Competition Specialties was able to get everything ready in a flash.
05. As per the manufacturer's recommendations, Newell used 2-inch masking tape to protect all remaining surfaces, combined with body shop paper to cover exterior body panels. Taking your time at this stage will create a better end result, resulting is less cleanup of any potential overspray.
06. It's important to address any holes in the floor panels and tape them shut with masking tape so as to avoid any product gaining entry to the interior.
07. Once the surface has been scuffed and blown clean, it was time to apply a light misting of surface primer on all areas to be coated. This will act as an adhesion promoter.
08. Using a standard disposable mixing cup, Newell prepared a quart of Al's Liner to get started. Here he distributes 17.5 ounces of the Component A pre-polymer resin solution.
09. Next, he measured and added equal parts (7 ounces) of the Component B activator and Component C catalyst, and to give the solution color, 1 ounce of standard tint was then added.
10. The mixing paddle (provided in the kit) was then secured to a cordless drill and the solution components were thoroughly mixed. Be very careful, as this stage can get a bit messy.
11. Using a medium-size spray tip, Newell utilized a section of cardboard to test the product distribution and made necessary adjustments to the spray gun.
12. Working from the front of the car rearward, the product was sprayed on from multiple directions and angles to ensure proper distribution to the base areas.
13. With product pot life from 10-20 minutes, you need to be prepared to spray out the product as soon as you mix the components. It's easy to see just how nice the material covered the surfaces.
14. To help prepare Orange Krate for final paint, our pal Ray Williams at Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes in Medford, Massachusetts, supplied us with a complete line of materials, including the car's signature color: Big Bad Orange.
15. To prepare the interior for paint, it was scuffed down with 220-grit sandpaper and blown clean. We chose a satin-black to cover the floors, firewall, and the rest of the cabin.
16. Working carefully, being sure to overlap the layers for a seamless coating, the primer laid down perfectly.
17. With the interior surfaced coated in Sherwin-Williams Spectra Prime, there will be more than enough surface protection and durability as the years move forward.
18. Once again it was time to prepare the firewall for priming with all of the mounting holes getting sealed up using 2-inch masking tape.
19. The firewall area was then scuffed down with 220-grit sandpaper to prepare it for the next coating of Sherwin-Williams Spectra Prime.
20. Once sanded to perfection, the firewall was blown clean to remove any debris, which could affect the painting process.
21. The Spectra Prime was treated to some orange tint to add to the excitement as we moved closer to laying down some of the final color.
22. 5-4-3-2-1 … Blast-off! There's nothing like the first time applying the vibe that will bring a project car to life.
23. If the decadent coating laid-down on the firewall is any indication of what's to come, hold onto your hats as the Sherwin-Williams Planet Color Big Bad Orange gloss will surely make an impression once the car is completed.