Always do a test panel first before trying a new paint technique
hypo21 wrote:I actually do have an automotive spray gun and compressor. but not sure on the cost of paint vs. paint cans.
I recommend using an automotive detail gun which is smaller than a full size spray gun. I prefer a gravity feed gun. Lowes had a two gun set, full size and detail, on their website for about $60. Not bad for a hobby set.
This combo will get it done. Available at any art store that sells airbrush supplies or you can find it easily online and it may be cheaper. Prices reflect an art supply store.
Rule of thumb, just say $6 per bottle. The two bigger bottles, 4011 Reducer and Transparent Base, are 4 fl. oz. and the smaller one, Iridescent Pearl (fine), is 1 fl. oz. You should be able to pearl the whole vehicle with these but I always suggest making more than you need so you don't run out before doing the whole vehicle; it will be hard to make the exact
same mixture twice and you will have extra for a later project.
Mix 1 part Reducer to 2 parts Transparent Base to start. Add more Reducer if needed. Add a good squirt of the Iridescent Pearl to the Transparent Base mix. Don't over do the pearl because you can always add more cooats to get the desired amount of pearl.
Lay down your white base coat as normal. I always suggest a flat base coat. Allow the base coat to set up for about 20 minutes. You can either clear coat your base coat now then wet sand or just move onto the next step. If I was doing it then I would clear and wet sand now.
Using the automotive spray gun set up to 25-30 psi, dust a coat of your pearl mixture over the entire car. Dusting is different from doing a coat. You should be considerably further (12 inches or so) from the surface of the car and moving faster, kind of flicking your wrist side to side as you move down the panel. The goal is to avoid concentrated spots of pearl or tiger striping. Create a fog and let it settle on the car. This should set up really fast, maybe a couple of minutes.
If more of a pearl affect is desired, repeat the last step until satisfied. It's best to be able to take the car outside to see it in true daylight, sun light if possible, to determine if it is enough pearl. Use a heat gun to heat set the pearl layer.
Clear as normal. Be sure that you still fall within the re coat windows before clearing.
Using this method keeps you in control of how much pearl affect you end up with. This can be used on any color and even used with masking to create ghost images, such as flames.
Edit- These are water based paints so they are super easy to work with and no real smell to deal with. I airbrush with these in my dining room and clean the airbrush at the sink. Windex is the best way to clean up these paints but it eats away at the chrome in your spray guns over time.