Ghost in the machine
Today we sprayed the 1970 Camaro a nice rich blue, and to give the car a bit of bling, we ghosted in some stripes. This leaves the stripes on the car but kills the contrast.
The first five photos show the car in the booth, cleaned and masked, ready to paint. This car isn’t receiving our High Performance Finish so we didn’t disassemble the car for painting.
The next two photos, numbers six and seven, show the car after the application of the urethane sealer. The sealer provides a barrier to the layers of paint or primer below and also provides a surface that promotes paint adhesion. The sealer is available in seven shades of gray, from very light to very dark. Though there are exceptions, usually the darker the color, the darker the sealer that that is specified to go with it.
Photos eight and nine show the next step, the application of the base coat. The base coat is the color of the car’s finish. You can see in the photos it dries to an unattractive flat finish. That is because we use the two stage paint system at JMC AutoworX which separates the color, the base coat, from the luster, the clear coat.
The next four photos, numbers 1o-13, are of the various parts of the car being taped for the stripes. When doing stripes, you tape up the car in the inverse of what you want. It is obvious when you think about it, but what is left exposed after the car is masked is what will become the stripes. But it can be easy to get confused while laying the stripes out.
Take a good look at the fourth picture, then look at the eleventh picture. The design of the stripe is exactly the same in both pictures, but are you sure, when looking at the eleventh picture, exactly what will be stripe and what will not?
Pictures 14-16 show the ghost stripe on the car. These stripes are created by oh so lightly dusting the the area that will become the stripe with a pearl white. The effect, a stripe you almost can’t see, came out nicely I think.
The last group of photos, numbers 17-23, show the car after the application of the clear coat. The clear coat not only provides the protection the base coat requires, it also provides the zing! in the finish by giving it the gloss.
This Camaro has come a long way from a little rust repair and polish that it was originally slated to have, but just look at it! It looks fantastic! That lovely blue suits this car very well, and the ghost stripes? That’s a nice touch that really sets this car apart.
You may have to squint
If there is one thing I don’t like about ghosted details is that it is almost impossible to get a picture of them.
I took several shots of the ghost flames on this bike and this is the only one that you can even begin to see them. If you look carefully you can see the flames on the leading edge of this bag.
Now that all the ghost details are done I am ready to spray it all in clear to bring up the shine and to protect the color.
The ghost in the paint booth
After the silver and red base coats were applied, it is time add some pizazz … Ghost Flames.
Ghosting is adding a detail that has a very subtle difference in color from the base color. Done properly a ghost detail is difficult to see unless you are paying attention, sort of like a ghost.
This Road Glide is going to have quite a lot of details, details like flames, a screaming eagle and the Harley-Davidson logo, ghosted in.
In the first series of shots you can see where the flames, eagle and the Harley logo are masked to the various parts of the bike. The eagle and logo are stencils but the flames are hand cut by me so there won’t be another bike out there with the exact same look.
After the masking is complete I then resprayed the various pieces with another two coats of the red base, but with a twist. These extra coats of paint contain a different metal flake than the original base coat, so the combination of more paint and a different metal flake will show as a subtle difference in the color when finished.