Last month, we tossed around some ideas about how to build a killer '60s-style custom, and several of the illustrations suggested metalflake paint. Looking to learn a little more about how to spray the stuff, we turned to Donnie Baird at Imperial Customs in Burbank, California. After working as a painter and artist at the studios for a decade or so, Donnie decided to combine his love of customs and painting, and he's been spraying 'flake ever since. We happened to catch up with him right at the start of a project, 'flaking the roof of his daily driver Olds Holiday. With Astro Supremes, Bellflower tips, and a slammed stance, a 'flaked roof was all this car needed to become a super smooth, low-buck '60s custom.
A few important things to keep in mind when considering a metalflake paint job are the time, cost, and skill level necessary to complete the task. Donnie suggests trying your hand at spraying 'flake on an old hood or decklid first, because it takes some practice to get the feel for what you're doing. You can't be in a hurry with a paint job like this, either, as there is a lot of waiting between coats, and shortcuts can be disastrous (with results like runs, sags, and uneven 'flake coverage). Donnie also stresses the importance of using materials from one manufacturer, which will ensure compatibility. We used House of Kolor products in this application, but other brands also offer similar products. Now follow along as we take the Olds from mild to wild with the addition of some heavy metal.