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How would you approach this color?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by chillman, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. chillman

    chillman Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 6, 2009
    I'm starting another tele build after being tele-less for years. I have a specific vision in mind, and it includes getting as close to this color as I can:


    It's a Lexus color called Fire Agate Pearl, and it really wowed me when I saw one in the grocery store parking lot. It's a sort of chocolate metalflake with an iridescent spectrum from taupe to oxblood.

    I'm looking for advice on the application, or feedback on my current plan, which is:

    • Black base coat
    • Root beer metalflake coat
    • Red or gold pearl clear coat?
    My main question is in the pearl. I've never used pearl before, and I'm tempted to skip it. A tele is flat, and pearl is most noticeable in contours.

    I would be using basic SW Lo-VOC lacquer, not automotive urethanes.

    Any advice?
  2. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 2, 2017
    corner of walk and don't walk
    It sounds like you've got your own spray rig, since you're using LoVoc.

    My suggestion is to use real Fire Agate Pearl; if it's only available in urethane, so be it.

    I think that's the only realistic way of getting that same color with the pearl effect.

    I've found that pearls will make any flaws in a painters technique (like, my own;)) show up pretty quickly :).
    eallen likes this.
  3. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    You could go to an automotive paint supplier and get a pint of base coat... that is why they open their doors in the morning
  4. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Pearls aren't hard to spray - with practice. Like any unfamiliar coating you should apply the ENTIRE system on scrap several times to refine your technique and learn how products interact. A single product in a 4 or 5 product system can change the way another product not even in direct contact with it will affect the overall look.

    One tip - I never use pearlescent additive in the clear coats. I use them in toners orr in the initial clear coat, with several straight clears over it. Buffing can really foul the look of a pearl if the pigment is in the final coat; and because lacquers melt into each other it's best to do the best job possible and do NO wet sanding - just buffing.

    Any pearl pulled into the final clear coats can really be screwed up by wet sanding, which is actually a repair process except with certain systems. Most lacquers finishes should not be wet sanded unless mistakes were made in application. No professional finishers I know wet sand (except when doing certain vintage type Gibson finishes, which take years of experience). I even use aerosol's for small jobs or when I'm lazy and don;'t want to pull out one of the HVLP's, and I haven't wet sanded in years.
    dan40 likes this.
  5. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    100% right on, it often takes someone unfamiliar with finishing products more than a few attempts to get to this way of thinking and ability (it did for me). I use to swear getting the perfect coat without wet sanding was like seeing a Unicorn, now not so much. Prep as always is key to a great finish.
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