Subscribe to the Free

Project Orange Krate: Paint Gloss

Bringing Project Orange Krate's Color to Life

Chuck Vranas Dec 24, 2013
View Full Gallery

There are certain phases during a car's build when things really start to change. One is when you get to step back and look at all of your hard work as it's torn down for the final time before it heads off to the spray booth. Another is when it turns back into a roller, gets wired, and the engine is fired up. Both fuel an adrenaline rush, similar to experiencing nitro Top Fuel cars launching from the line.

When we last left off with Project Orange Krate, Peter Newell of Competition Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts, was heavily into the bodywork stages. It's a time where hours turn into days, and days turn into weeks as you constantly raise the bar, striving for perfection in every body panel.

The journey to achieving perfection isn't for the faint of heart as the stages of panel replacement, bodywork, surface preparation, priming, and finally paint require both experience and attention to detail. Sure, a quick glance at a panel might reveal a nice, flat surface but a closer inspection could reveal minute flaws that will stand out like a sore thumb once the paint is laid down.

With Orange Krate's bodywork completed, it was time to focus on the application of a primer/sealer to the panels and body surface. For this we once again called on our pal Ray Williams at Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes in Medford, Massachusetts, for his expert recommendations. Ray suggested we proceed into the final stages by using Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes SpectraPrime P30 color surfacer/sealer, which is a urethane high-build primer combined with their SpectraPrime H38 hardener and UltraSolv US3 medium reducer. For an added touch, Ray custom blended the primer in orange just for our application.

With the body in the spray booth for the final time, you could feel the excitement build as Peter made his final go-around, preparing it by masking and bagging, pre-cleaning with Sem Solve, and a final wipe with a tack cloth. It was then time to mix the first batch of the car's signature color: Sherwin-William's Planet Color Big Bad Orange to bring the project to life. The level of vibrancy increased with each and every coat of base color and exploded off the charts once the clearcoat was applied. Peering into the spray booth once Peter laid his spray gun to rest, left you in awe as the glistening body was finally ready for its journey into re-assembly, where it will come to life the next time you see it.

Prep Door For 2/29

1. With the bodywork stage and panel gapping complete, Peter Newell of Competition Specialties, mounted the passenger-side door on a stand to prepare it for priming. It's important to use a pre-cleaner such as SEM's Sem Solve (PN 38371) to remove any surface contaminants such as wax, grease, and skin oils from the panel's surface.

Wipe On And Off 3/29

2. A clean white cloth was used to wipe on the product and another to dry the surface. Even though the surface looked clean prior to applying the pre-cleaner, it was not. The amount of contaminants can easily be seen here.

Sherwin Williams Spectraprime 4/29

3. Peter used Sherwin-Williams SpectraPrime P30 color surfacer/sealer, custom-tinted orange and mixed it in a ratio of 4:1 primer surfacer to hardener. Next, one part Sherwin-Williams SpectraPrime H38 hardener was added. Then UltraSolv US3 medium reducer was used to achieve the desired fill thickness. The ratio is 4:1:1. The combination was thoroughly mixed prior to being strained and poured into the priming gun.

Three Primer 5/29

4. Since this is a urethane high-build primer, Peter laid down three even coats to build up the surface, covering all blocked and filled areas in preparation for final sanding.

3m Sanding Pads And 6/29

5. With the door back on the car, Peter began sanding utilizing various sanding pads and blocks with 3M 180- to 220-grit, moving uniformly in a left-to-right motion.

High And Low 7/29

6. While sanding, you may come across some high spots...

Low 8/29

7. ...and some low spots. Both areas need to be addressed before proceeding further.

Eastwood Contour Polyester Glazing 9/29

8. Eastwood's Contour Polyester Glazing Putty was the perfect product to address the low spots since it is designed to fill pinholes, sanding scratches, and cover minor imperfections prior to painting.

Prepare Mixing Base For 10/29

9. Using a clean piece of cardboard for a mixing base, a spreader was used to mix in 2 percent of the crème hardener to prepare the mixture for application.

Apply Thin Coat Of 11/29

10. Peter then spread a thin coat of the mixture uniformly across the surface areas and let it harden for 15 minutes.

Sand And Repeat Until 12/29

11. Once dry, the areas were once again sanded with 180- to 220-grit paper. You may have to repeat this procedure multiple times until the surface is perfect.

Blow Out And Vacuum Car Of 13/29

12. The doors were then removed and the body was rolled outside on the rotisserie to blow out and vacuum the car, removing any last remnants of the media used to strip the car.

Block Sand 14/29

13. The long process of block-sanding continued onto the roof areas where Peter used a long board and 220-grit to continue preparing the surface.

Doorjambs And Inner Rockers 15/29

14. Small areas like the doorjambs and inner rockers were also worked with 220-grit in preparation for the final coating of SpectraPrime.

Recheck Firment Of Various 16/29

15. Be sure to check and re-check the fitment of various parts including the rear window corner moldings ...

Check Headlight 17/29

16. ...and headlight rings to the fenders to be sure the gaps are perfect.

Final Three Coats Of Spectra Prime 18/29

17. With the body completely block-sanded and blown clean, the rotisserie was rolled back into the paint booth to have the final three coats of SpectraPrime applied.

After Last Coat Of 19/29

18. After receiving its last coat of Sherwin-Williams SpectraPrime, you can see that Orange Krate has come a long way!

Wet Sand Entire 20/29

19. Here you can see the results to one small area after wet-sanding with 220-grit and using the back edge of the sanding block to squeegee water away. A final wet-sanding with 500-grit will leave the surface as smooth as glass.

Undercarriage Plastic Bagged To Protect From 21/29

20. With wet-sanding completed, the body was rolled into the spray booth on the rotisserie for one last time. The undercarriage was plastic-bagged to protect it from overspray.

Mask Over Trunk 22/29

21. Peter then used 2-inch masking tape to back tape the inner trunk opening and followed it up by masking over the opening.

3m Ultrapro Urethane Seam 23/29

22. 3M Ultrapro Urethane Seam Sealer was applied to seal up any remaining seams prior to final paint, like this one in the rocker to rear quarter-panel area.\

Sem Solve Pre 24/29

23. Peter then made a pass over the entire exterior with Sem Solve pre-cleaner using a fresh white cloth one last time to remove any remaining surface contaminants.

Sherwin Williams Tack Rag Remove Last 25/29

24. Once suited up, a final run over the body with a Sherwin-Williams Tack Rag (PN V4X3) removed the last bits of dust, lint, or dirt from the surface.

Completed Body After Panel Replacement Bodywork Sanding 26/29

25. Here you can see the completed body ready to go after all the stages of panel replacement, bodywork, block-sanding, and priming.

Planet Color Big Bad Orange Sherwin Williams Automotive 27/29

26. To bring the car to life, its signature hue of Planet Color Big Bad Orange combined with the rest of the Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes includes everything to complete the job.

Apply 28/29

27. It was great seeing Peter lay down the vibe bringing Orange Krate to life with a number of coats of Big Bad Orange.

Painted Camaro 29/29

28. By the end of the night, the body looked amazing finally covered with clear! Stay tuned as we begin our final assembly stages of project Orange Krate.


Competition Specialties
Eastwood Company
Pottstown, PA 19464
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes
Medford, MA
3M Auto



Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

sponsored links

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print