Custom 1971 Chevrolet C10 Cover Truck - Chrome Paint - Pseudo Chrome
Part One: Laying The Paint...
Part One: Laying The Paint
Pat Maxwell is pretty much Kustom Werx' in-house graphics man, and while at the shop, we were able to get him aside to quickly show us how to paint chrome. This article was all shot speedily, as Pat worked at a faster pace than you should go when trying to perfect these procedures. To demonstrate the operation, we found this glovebox panel to be used as our canvas. It was coated in enough PPG Vibrance Collection True Blue paint, No. 908422/2, to form a background, and the graphic design was masked with fine-line painter's tape.
To repeat what was done on...
To repeat what was done on our cover truck, the panel was prepped for the same two-tone. The design and top area were covered with masking tape and paper. Then, James Sexton of Kustom Werx helped out by spraying the lower portion in PPG Greystone Metallic paint, No. 906254.
After leaving the paint to...
After leaving the paint to dry overnight, the paper and tape were slowly peeled off to reveal our two-tone. It's a good procedure to make sure these main colors are dry before doing any other work. If you work too fast, the tape can peel off soft paint.
Pat laid down a band of fine-line...
Pat laid down a band of fine-line tape around the outside of the design and then removed the original tape to expose the whole design area. Masking tape was applied on top of the plastic fine-line tape to give an edge where paper would be stuck. In addition to the chrome on the trim of the '71 Chevy, the center of it received a carbon-fiber effect, which was taped and masked off just like this.
With everything but the trim...
With everything but the trim areas covered, a base white paint could be sprayed on.
The original chrome trim on...
The original chrome trim on this truck has a peak in the middle that eliminates the need to create a horizon line. Since the two facets of the trim will have different qualities, Pat taped off the upper side to work on the lower.
This chrome effect simulates...
This chrome effect simulates what the trim would look like under the bright sun, and that type of lighting was the guide to creating it. Keeping in mind the property of sunlight, the bottom side of a horizon line's reflection is darker than the top. To replicate this occurrence, an over-reduced black paint was airbrushed on the top area of the lower facet to darken it. For this and the proceeding steps, Pat used a basic airbrush with a fine tip, spraying at 30 psi.
Part Two: The Details Another...
Part Two: The Details
Another key element found on chrome is the reflection of objects around it. Pat fakes these reflections by roughly airbrushing angled lines in black and ending them with the use of cardboard or a business card when in serious need.
Once dry, the tape covering...
Once dry, the tape covering the top side of the trim can be removed. This photo should show you how the horizon line and reflection effects we just showed are the beginning steps of the overall process.
For an advanced airbrush artist...
For an advanced airbrush artist like Pat Maxwell, these next two steps can be done without tape covering the bottom side of the trim. For all of the beginners, we suggest using some tape to be cautious about adding unwanted overspray to the other areas. The airbrushing of a custom light blue on the top of the upper sides makes for the simulation of sky. To bring more depth and realism, black was lightly applied over the blue (inset).
Unlike our quick little panel,...
Unlike our quick little panel, this is where Cory Scott's Chevy got a carbon-fiber finish in the center of the trim. The center area was taped off just like this, and a dark gray color was sprayed. Then, a screen-like material was laid on the surface, and black was sprayed over it. For our little panel, Pat simply painted it black, so it would not distract from the chrome effect.
The real trim on these trucks...
The real trim on these trucks sticks out from the body and casts a little bit of a shadow in the light. To make a shadow, Pat taped off the bottom of the trim and airbrushed it black.
In theory, this painted chrome...
In theory, this painted chrome effect is going to look like it was in the sun, and that means there has to be harsh highlights from the light source. Pat proceeded to strategically place white airbrushed spots over the design.
After the highlights were...
After the highlights were done, our glovebox panel was pretty well done. If this were the real deal, then it would have been finished off in several coats of clear. In this photo, the panel was taken out in the sun to show the realism of this technique.
The Final Word This should...
The Final Word
This should give you a better understanding how our cover truck received all of its meticulous paintwork. Pat Maxwell applied these same procedures to recreate all of the original details on this custom Chevy. Once you have a good understanding of these simple properties of this chrome effect, you will be on your way to painting factory trim or using your skills to go wild with some other creation.
Kustom Werx Autobody