Shannon stands poised for the "Silver Shoot Out". 18 silver shades stand in our way to find out who's top dog in the Silver Squirt Corral.
Street Rods are built using a variety of paints and shades. Silvers play a big part when building your ride so we will discuss what shades work best with natural aluminum parts such as intakes, alternators, A/C compressors etc. Cast iron parts have the same dilemma as choosing the correct shades makes the difference in looks and longevity. As pictured we have an array of aerosols we use to get this problem solved.
Shaking aerosol paint is very important. Some brands settle out more than others and some paints mix up quicker than others. Cast Iron silvers are especially stubborn due to the heavy pigments which allow heat tolerance. In addition a cold can does not spray well and can clog up the nozzle resulting in poor performance. We usually have no problems spraying in the summer months of Texas when it is 90-100 degrees. Our winters here in San Antonio range 30-60 which is not that cold compared to northern states where it can really affect the spray quality. So warm up a can to room temp for best results.
If you need adhesion between aluminum or steel, before you put down any of the Silvers excluding high heat products like cast iron etc then this is the best you can find in an Aerosol can. Aviation sources like Falcon Crest have it and many other suppliers.
Apples to apples comparisons are the only true test. We use BASF spray cards to test colors for coverage or coat quantity needed. They also give you a consistent smooth panel to determine if the metallic separation is what you are looking for and overall shade is satisfactory. You can purchase this and other styles like Duponts checker board spray out at most local auto paint stores. Remember to test spray out twice and spray the part once!
Shannon is spraying in our mechanics small parts detail booth. An exhaust fan for adequate ventilation is important when spraying any kind of paints. Notice the infrared orange heater. This warms up the parts and the cans before spraying which provides consistent results. If your parts are cold the paint can run and or take too long to get covered properly so be aware of the surface temp and seek a minimum 70 degree parts surface temp if at all possible.
East Woods 1283Z Reflective Alum. As seen in the reflection of the sharpie pen it is a good candidate for reflection paints. These types of silvers are generally used for dash odometer parts that were originally plastic chromed and tail lights or bulb reflection. This brand has a very nice spray with a super fine mist and covers well in about 2-3 coats. Reflective paints are not the most durable and if clear coated a dulling effect will take place so be sure to test if you opt for clear protection.
Rustoleum 7718 This is the most reflective paint I have seen out of an aerosol can. As seen by the sharpie pen reflection, it is pretty much a mirror. It has a very narrow spray pattern, approx one inch wide. You have to be careful spraying odd shapes with this stuff as you can get runs if not patient. Covers good with a smooth spray. 3 coats usually gets it done on most surfaces.
DAP 873 This paint flashes in a slow/dry time also. We use this to duplicate original Cyanide Cadmium found on a lot of classic vehicles as it is the closest thing I have ever seen that looks like real cad plating. Durability like most reflective paints is on the low side as seen in the finger nail scratch test across the test panel. Be very careful during assembly to avoid marking it. It does harden up somewhat after it sits for a couple of days. Quite a bit of reflection as seen.
Rustoleum 1915 This paint is considered in the Reflective zone also but a bit more dull then the three previous paints as seen in the sharpie reflection. All of our test results were photographed in direct sunlight. In the shade they darken a bit, the way most under hood parts will usually be seen. We photographed them this way to show you the metallic size of each paint. Viewed in this lighting you will know if you can live with it or not. It has super fine particles and a decent spray. Covers in 3-4 coats
Tempo 1140 heat range is 250 F This paint mottles quite a bit during spray out and has a slow flash/dry time. The adhesion is excellent as is all Tempo aircraft aerosols. It has a certain look that can be used for a variety of parts if you can overcome the spray out problems. Some reflection as seen with sharpie pen.
EastWood, Ti-coat 34127Z Fast dry with good coverage fuel and solvent resistant and a 300 F heat tolerance. It's a cool looking paint formulated to look like titanium. We have not found it to match anything we generally build in our shop. But you never know what we might have to match in the future. Keep your options open!
EastWood Silver Cad 1903Z This paint has a blue tint! I am not sure what cadmium this will duplicate but it does not match up to any thing we have seen in our shop. It is very transparent which means many coats to cover. As seen very little reflection to the sharpie.
EastWood Clear Zinc 10280Z This clear zinc color also has a slight bluish tint. Still not sure where this would be used for a duplication to most color surfaces of parts on the market but having an arsenal of silvers to get your machine looking just right is mandatory. It sprays fair but needs a final mist to get good metallic separation with no mottling.
EastWood Argent Silver 1291Z A good spray and excellent flash/dry time, covers quick. This is very close to many muscle car wheels, G.M. especially. A nice shade that could be used on many different parts of your ride.
EastWood Detail Silver 1285Z Excellent spray covers very quick 1-2 coats. Nice shade for many parts. We use it some for interior parts.
Krylon Dull Aluminum 1403 This is the standby for aluminum intakes, alternators etc. Looks good, covers great and cheap to buy. Must final mist as it will tend to mottle a bit. As seen only a moderate reflection.
Seymour Stainless Steel. 16-054 This sun light photo shows a bit of metallic but in most instances parts sprayed with it will be shown in lower light such as under hood, suspensions, drive shafts etc. It looks like bare steel. We use this stuff a lot.
EastWood Aluma Blast 1254Z Sprays very nice and flashes off quick. This is a close match to Krylons 1403 You may want to get a can of each and compare to your parts. Keep in mind that brand new intakes from different MFG's will have different shades. A restored intake that has been either glass beaded, aluminum oxide blasted, pecan or walnut shell tumbled, acid washed etc changes the way an aluminum shade looks so you have to have the arsenal to get things dead on.
East Wood Carb renew 1329Z This stuff comes in small baby cans and sprays very light. Aside from that it is almost a dead on match to most carburetor bodies. We rarely use it because we rebuild and refinish all of the natural metal on our carbs as we do not want any streaking from gas during use. For someone on a budget or if you have an older or rare set of carbs that you like the look of and they are beyond taking the natural finish to perfection then consider it. It has NO metallic look to it whatsoever.
Plasti Kote 285 We step in to the cast iron silvers used on exhaust manifolds, master cylinders, suspension parts and any thing else you may want to consider. I like this paint as it sprays very nice and is inexpensive and also covers great. It does not tolerate high heat, Max 500F so using it on headers or cast iron exhaust would not be a consideration. For all other parts its a good pick.
EastWoods spray Grey 1258Z Spays nice, covers real quick and the heat tolerance is very low; It will not take the high heat associated with exhaust manifolds. Slightly darker then the Plasti Kote but a nice look
Seymour Cast Iron 16-2668 You need to shake the daylight out of this stuff for it to spray good. The metallic does not show in low light like most of the parts would be seen on a car. It takes the heat very good so exhaust manifolds are no problem. We have used it for years. Warm the can in the winter months in order for it to spray decent or you will be bummed.
VHT Cast Grey Flame Proof This stuff will go up to 2000F but they recommend curing it by running your engine or oven heat! That's a lot of work for most people to deal with but that is what it will take. It can tend to clog and sprays a bit poorly but looks good once you get used to its spraying habits. You can find all of these paints at familiar stores such as East Wood, Lowes, Home Depot, WalMart, Auto Parts etc call around to your local suppliers and experiment for best results.