The Whole Spectrum
Kustom Shop, a division of TCPGlobal, is making it easier to get a high-quality, low-gloss finish in a variety of colors. The Hot Rod Flatz line of pre-flattened urethane paint delivers a 30-degree level (matte to satin) appearance that Joe McGowan at Kustom Shop refers to as an eggshell finish. Joe explained that adding the flattener during manufacturing eliminates the settling that sometimes occurs with basecoat additives. Hot Rod Flatz paint also contains material to protect against UV rays. Ordinary primer or basecoat without clear can get chalky in a matter of months, but these finishes are designed for years of protection.

In addition to the 36 solid colors and 20 metallics and pearls available off the shelf, Kustom Shop can match any OEM paint code. The company's huge auto-color library (check it out on the Web site) goes as far back as 18th century carriage colors. Hot Rod Flatz also offers quick-drying urethane clear for adding a low-gloss finish to any urethane basecoat.

Flat Top
Not many hot rod and custom shops market their own brand of paint products, but Squeeg Jerger needed a primer that wouldn't shrink, crack, or blister under the paint-hating Arizona sun. Squeeg's Kustoms Epoxy Primer Filler is based on a product originally made for heavy-duty industrial applications like bridges and water towers. Doug Jerger told us it is similar to the popular PPG DP90 epoxy.

The company also offers a Satin Finish Top Coat in 15 different colors, which can be intermixed. It provides an excellent sheen that will retain its color and quality for a long time, even in harsh environments. According to Doug, the epoxy finishes are tough enough that future bodywork can be done right over the paint. Squeeg's Kustoms is also working on an epoxy clear, to be offered in gloss or semigloss finishes, that can be applied directly to bare metal.

Flat In A Flash
A lot of paint specialists, like David Kidd at Planet Color (a division of Sherwin-Williams), don't recommend using primer as a topcoat. A lot of hot rodders will anyway. If you're one of those rodders, Planet Color has a way to make your quick and easy paint project quicker and easier. SpectraPrime primer has been formulated to dry remarkably fast, so you can start sanding it 45 minutes after spraying it. SpectraPrime is available in more than half a dozen different colors, which can be mixed to create all kinds of custom colors. The product dries with low level of gloss, and Sherwin-Williams has a flattening clear that will cut reflectivity while providing a good level of protection. A wet-on-wet sealer, called SpectraSeal, is also available from Planet Color.