From 40fred Sent: 5/11/2005
As for the approach, there are surely a lot of ways to go about this. But this is how I do it:
1. Starting with a clean dash, preferably blasted, it is then epoxy primed.
2. Then I used PPG Ac Lacquer Red oxide (Mattley uses Dupont) adding some white to lighten it up a bit. W/O the white, it looks fine, but will come out rather dark...just A matter of taste here.
3. A light coat of clear is sprayed over the oxide, but you can go w/o clear too. Difference is that the clear will keep the graining from penetrating too deep. W/O the clear the graining willl penetrate & saturate (diffuse?) more into the base color (oxide). It will look a bit different, but possibly more pleasing too in some ways.
4. Using a small fan brush ( about 1" wide at the bristles)that you can get at an art supply, I hack out about 60% of the hairs so you have about 1/16 or 1/8" spacing of hairs...sort of like painting & having a zebra steek effect. Look at several grain patterns for one you like & then attempt to do something similar. Just do a bunch of dabbling & twisting of the brush. To get spots or speckles, you can take the brush, dip it into the paint, stand back a foot & strike the brush fast, like shooting marbles & get the paint to fly off. - - - Recommend you try this a couple times on a test panel first tho. Having fun?
5. Using black for graining media, pour off about a table spoon & dilute it at least 200% to 400%. You might want to add some brown to this mix too. Dip your graining brush into this diluted mixture & then drag the wet brush off the edge of the container so as to not have too much paint on the brush before applying. Lacquer really drys fast, but I also keep a small tin lid with thinner waiting & can use that to dilute or saturate any amounts that might be applied too dark or too much in quantity. Just dabble away, sometimes goofs work out just fine & you discover a new interesting pattern. Remember wood is not even, it has streeks, specks, lighter & darker areas, so no need to worry too much.
6. I like to start with a lighter base & then after graining, I use a toner--like a darker blood red over the grain which turns it darker, into somewhat like a rosewood color. I went to the local auto paint store & paid for a qt & had them put red yellow & brown toners in pint cans...about 1/3 full each. Actually the guys are sort of interested in the process & was happy to accomodate.
7. At this point, I usually let this dry for a week or two because lacquer needs to vent, then hit it with a light rub of fine scotchbrite in preparation for doing the final epoxy clearcoat. Two good coats will cover everything well & allow for some finish color sanding & rubout.
You must remember that the Epoxy & Urethane paints are very toxic & require some sort of fresh air supply to be safe.
I can relate a story of a fellow who painted a car w/o protection-- he was dead the next day!!!!!
Hope this helps. Fred