Auto Air Colors’ Custom Paints

The Wave of the Future Is Water?

1. The extreme beauty of Auto Air Colors’ custom paints revolves around the fact that they are legal anywhere in the world to use, thanks to their miniscule VOC composition. They are available in 4-ounce to 1-gallon containers and come pre-mixed in more than 185 unique colors featuring pearlized, metallic, iridescent, candy, hi-lite, color shift, semi-opaque, and flakes. At 0.01 percent VOCs, they exceed all current European requirements and any possible future US specifications.

2. Steve Vandemon of Vandemon Absolute Custom Paint, has been using Auto Air Colors paint for quite a while. This is his IWATA LPH 400 spray gun with available air/mixture nozzle specifically engineered to accommodate waterborne paints. Most major spray-gun manufacturers have WB (water borne) tips optional.

3. Shaking the Auto Air Colors’ bottle to agitate the included mixing marbles is absolutely essential to ensure good results. Strain paint after mixing then pour into gun cup.

4. Steve sprayed a test panel with the same basecoat and Auto Air Colors red to check for potential problems. Here he shot air in between coats to facilitate drying.

5.Steve shot from about 24 inches away, starting slowly with light two-tack coats. He then waited and slowly built up with more coats. Absolutely do not shoot Auto Air Colors paint to look wet. If you do, the paint will separate and appear to have extreme fish eye, not to mention drying time will increase significantly.

6. Steve slowly built paint coverage as he pondered murdering his barber.

7. Notice the slight powdery sheen as the last red basecoats were sprayed onto the tank.

8. Applied correctly, the Auto Air Colors paint will lie out and appear flat visually. In Steve’s California shop, on a dry, warm December day, the red base was ready for the next step within 30 minutes.

9. Steve took several passes as he dusted on 4501 Hot Rod Sparkle White to impart a coarse and vibrant metalflake-like appearance over our red basecoat.

10. In damp climates, use anything from your old lady’s hairdryer to a bank of heat lamps to accelerate the drying process.

11. Auto Air Colors’ 4501 fully dried and was ready for Steve to lay out a set of flames with 1/8-inch-wide 3M masking tape.

12. Freehand, Steve laid out his style of flames. You can learn at home by drawing flames on a flat surface then attempting to lay 1/8-inch masking tape on top of the flame’s profile you’ve drawn. Only the masters are capable of freehand.

13. The completed 1/8-inch flames were ready to accept the application of transfer film.

14. Steve laid the transfer film over the tank evenly then squeegeed out any wrinkles in the film’s surface.

15. Next, Steve exposed the area to be painted (posi-tive space) and left the area to remain red (negative space) covered with transfer film.

16. The positive area (flames) was ready to be sprayed using the exact same technique described in step five.

17. The flame’s positive space was sprayed with Auto Air Colors’ 4201 Brite White. Steve then highlighted the flame’s hooks with 4103 coarse Aluminum Base.

18. With the 4201 white and 4103 silver completely dry, Steve removed the transfer film and the masking tape to expose the 1/8-inch masked flames.

19. Next, Steve mixed a special blend of House of Kolor urethane stripping enamel.

20. He then pinstriped the flames with the House of Kolor urethane stripping enamel. In a future issue of HOT BIKE we’ll have Vandemon teach you how to stripe.

21. Here’s the tank getting force-dried after being cleared with PPG 2012 urethane clear.

22. There’s that notorious hair cut. Bad news.

23. Top angle of the completed tank. Very sharp.

24. There you have it. Auto Air Colors a fully EPA-compliant 0.01 percent VOC custom paint that even a dummy can use at homeOe naked!

The wild tech story on the following pages features Auto Air Colors’ revolutionary new line of waterborne custom automotive paints, but first please permit us to present a brief historical overview of traditional paint’s inherit properties.

As strange as this may sound, your grandma and custom paints have a lot in common. Remember at Christmas time, after dessert, staring into an empty shiny aluminum pie pan with grandma’s famous raspberry goo smeared on the bottom producing a deep candy reddish purple color? You sat there mesmerized in a catatonic fantasy imagining how bitchin’ your Stingray would look in a color like no other kid’s bike. As time passed, so did your grandmother, but your love for candy colors never died.

Moving right along, in 1969 as a 13-year-old adolescent with hairy armpits and the complexion of a cheese pizza, you decided to ride the bus to the local automotive paint-supply store. As you walked into the place, a strong, harsh chemical fragrance like glue struck your flaring nostrils and instantly gave you a headache whilst you ogled metalflakes, candies, and pearls. After 15 minutes, a pleasant euphoria set-in and the pain in your brain faded away. The guy working at the paint store was cool and set you up with all the paints needed to replicate the intense candy colors of your deceased grandmother’s Yuletide pastries. Intoxicated with the gluey goodness of acrylic lacquer, you re-boarded the bus and returned to your mom and dad’s garage to custom-paint your chopped Stingray.

Life behind a spraygun started out great as you buzzed on coat after coat of candy apple red over a base of coarse metallic silver, but then your mom started screaming at you about the smell that permeated the kitchen and left her mouth numb. When dad got home from work, the two of you had a lengthy discussion. It was decreed, you can ditch church and paint while your parents worship.

On Sunday morning, once again, you buried the family garage in a fog of acrylic lacquer fumes, but this time events took a turn for the worse. The pilot light on your mom’s gas dryer ignited the volatile paint fumes and a violent explosion leveled the garage and most of the houseOe you were reunited with your dead grandmother.

The moral of this story is not that traditional paints are dangerous and should be banned, but they are definitely on the EPA’s hit list and if it has any say, they will be banned. This said, we can now bring the focus to our featured product.

Auto Air Colors’ custom automotive paints are the future, due to their waterborne base as opposed to traditional solvent-based paints. Auto Air Colors are non-flammable and can be used around pilot lights and other exposed flame sources without fear of an explosion. This means both DIY guys and shop owners won’t be forced to experience the costliness and embarrassment normally associated with shop-fires, explosions, or harmful fumes (half the painters we’ve known are no longer with us). The VOC (Volatile Organic Compound n synthetic organic compounds which easily vaporize and are often carcinogenic) content for Auto Air Colors is 0.01. When used in conjunction with the required urethane clears, produced by such quality manufacturers as House of Kolor, PPG, or Dupont for a topcoat, the VOCs are reduced considerably. At this point in time, without having very much experience with Auto Air Colors, it is hard for us to say or to give an absolute 100 percent recommendation to our readers when it comes to long-term reliability or provide a toe-to-toe comparison with traditional custom paints. We can tell you that we are conducting in-house feasibility studies as well as staying in contact with other custom painters who are currently using Auto Air Colors. For a more in-depth look at Auto Air Colors visit its website at and feel free to share your Auto Air Colors, experience with us.