Painting with glitter-spraying sparkle
SECRETS FROM THE PAINT BOOTH
For most, the hobby store paint rack is the last stop in finishing their latest rides. All sorts of paints are lined up waiting for us to try them: neon, metallic, pearl and chrome-all shining on the shelf. But what’s that product over there? Parma Fasglitter? It’s dry and comes in a little bottle. Is it pixie dust to sprinkle over my car so it will go faster?
Well, not quite; but if looking good has anything to do with going fast, then painting with glitter is sure to add some speed and, of course, impress people.
Using glitter is pretty simple, but there are several different ways to apply it and important strategies to keep in mind so you’ll achieve a clean finish. I’ve taken a Parma ’56 Chevy Nomad and laid down enough glitter to turn this “50S grocery-getter into a glammed up, modern hot-rod that would even turn heads cruising down “the Strip” in Vegas.
The product I recommend for this type of project is Parma Fasglitter. It comes in numerous colors, and its particle size is so small that when mixed with Parma Faskoat, it sprays readily through an airbrush. Createx Colors markets a similar glitter for use in airbrushes, but its flakes are slightly larger and are less conducive to being sprayed than the Fasglitter. Glitters available at craft stores have flakes that rank in the monster bass-boat size. These obviously can’t be sprayed, but with a special technique, they can still be used.
1 As usual, my first step was to thoroughly clean the inside of the body and then apply several coats of liquid mask. I typically use three coats of mask, but in this case, I applied five. Hot-rods normally have very clean and sharp graphics, so I used a fine-point Sharpie marker to draw several stripes and highlighting streaks that followed the body’s natural lines. To help me draw perfectly straight, smooth lines, I used Scotch Plastic Tape (available at auto-supply stores) to form the desired line or curve. I then ran the marker along those edges. While I was at it, I also taped a printed “Nomad” logo on the trunk to be traced for later painting.
2 I cut out the mask and painted the trim using Alclad Chrome. I then backed the chrome with black. I cut out the “Nomad” logo and sprayed in a black-to-metallic gold fade.
3 I removed mask from the large fin section and used glitter on this body for the first time. The easiest and most common technique for applying glitter is to mix it with Parma Faskoat and spray it on with an airbrush. I needed only a small portion, so I mixed the glitter directly in the airbrush’s paint cup. In this case, I mixed Faskoat to white Fasglitter in a ratio of about 5-to-1.
I sprayed this mixture over the rear of the fins for a fade effect and backed it with flat white. Since you are spraying fairly large solids, you won’t be able to create narrow lines. The glitter must be sprayed in wide patterns. It is especially important to spray as light a coat as you can to prevent the glitter from pooling.
4 Next, I painted the front body section. Just as I did for the white fins, I sprayed a wide, faded pattern of white glitter. However, this time, I backed it with flat black. Parma’s white glitter is semi-transparent and iridescent. This cool characteristic allows it to blend smoothly with many different background colors.
5 My next step was the green section. Before getting crazy with the glitter, I cut out masked sections and applied black faded bars to the roof and added shadows along all the edges.
6 Now it was time for glitter again, but this time, I used a larger-flake green Createx glitter. Although this product will spray through an airbrush, I wanted a very dense glitter effect, and I have found a technique that works really well. Instead of mixing the glitter with Faskoat, I simply sprayed a light coat of straight Faskoat on an open area and then physically sprinkled glitter onto the wet paint. It can be difficult to achieve an even coating of glitter. The best way to do this is to grab a good pinch of glitter and very lightly sprinkle it from above the body (about 10 to 12 inches from the surface). Just spray on another light coat of Faskoat to finish a section or to add more glitter. When it was dry, I used a dark metallic green to back the green-glitter section. As a rule, glitter should be backed with a darker tone that is same color as the glitter.
I cut a thin strip out of the mask so I could add a gold border to the green sections. I sprinkled on gold glitter the same way I had applied the green, and I then backed the sections with metallic gold. The smaller the area you have to fill, the closer you can be to it when you sprinkle the glitter.
7 The last detail to paint was the thin pinstripe border around the “Nomad” logo in the rear. I decided to use a combination of silver Fasglitter and monster-size gold flakes. For this to work, I mixed the two glitters with only a few drops of Faskoat. The result was a thick glitter “soup” that I brushed into the pinstripe. A couple of hits with a hair dryer set the mixture, and I backed with silver.
With a little care and a variety of application methods, you can get a great finish with glitter. The best part is glitter’s versatility; you don’t have to use an airbrush to create a killer look on small and large sections. Glitter is easier to use than you may have thought, and the result really sparkles. This hot-rod really screams for attention.
Copyright Air Age Publishing Sep 2003
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