#11. Olga's 2008 Honda Fit

May 2009

What a joy to paint such a new car! The surface is so smooth and nice! When I clean up a drool or wipe off a mistake, only the 1-SHOT itself comes off -- not the paint underneath, as has happened with older, jury-rigged cars I've painted.

I loved buying the powdered aluminum for the glitter. I just like esoteric things. Who even knew you could buy such a thing? Not I. It turns out, though, that mixing the aluminum into the paint just gave it a metallic look, not the glittery look I was hoping for.

Andrea had given me a glitter gun, but in the first place, it required a pretty full hopper to use it and I wasn't willing to dump out that much of the expensive aluminum powder. In the second place, I wasn't sure it would blast into the paint hard enough to stick or if it would work when the surface was more vertical than horizontal, like the slanted hood of the car. In the end, my simple ignorance kept me from using any more glitter than I did.

I only used it on the name of the car, Lakshmi, which I'd written in Sanskrit. It was a reverse at first. That is, the name itself was the car's finish, surrounded by a dark magenta cloud formed by a loose sponge -- that egg-carton sponge people use on top of their mattresses. When I cleaned off the paper that was protecting the actual shape of the characters, I saw that I could easily (yay!) paint the insides lavender, so I did. And then I just took spoons full of glitter and dumped them onto the wet paint.

Well, that was a mistake, but not a fatal one. The result is that very little of the lavender shows through. When the car's in the shade, the name looks a bit muddy, with lavender and aluminum together. In the sun, though, the glitter's fabulous.

Next time, I'd use 1-SHOT clear-coat and fill it with the aluminum. Then I'd brush it on wherever I wanted glitter.

As it happens, Olga's delighted with just the name being glittery, so whew. The picture below shows "Lakshmi" before it got dry enough for me to wipe off the excess glitter. In fact, you know the nature of glitter: Olga will be finding it everywhere for months to come.

The next time I agree that type really needs to be used on a car, I wonder if I'll just charge a lot extra to buy vinyl from my sign-maker friend Gordy. As a typographer, I really hate seeing bad type. That "Lakshmi" was the size and font of a typewriter, but I blew it way, way up -- about 1100%.

With the other Sanskrit phrase, I was able to find it whole and in a nice script (Sanscript -- heh) online. I blew it up (with the help of Office Depot for eleven whole cents) and carefully cut it out. I put it on the car, using a glue stick so the fine edges would stay stuck. Then I used that loose sponge again and poofed a cloud of paint around the type. This is not for the faint-hearted. I let it spend the night outside, and then I went out and started picking the painted-over paper off the car. The paint certainly wasn't cured by then, but it was dry enough that I could soak the paper with water and peel it off that way. I used a mineral spirits-soaked Q-tip to clean up the type inside.

What else?

Well, Olga loves her car, which is great, of course. In fact, she and Liz are still raving to me about it whenever I talk to them. And why not? I still feel excited inside when I start off in my car each day, and especially when someone new sees it and is surprised and pleased by such a thing. I bet I'll never get tired of driving an art-car!

And yes. See the hyphen. I've decided that, from this day forth, I shall hyphenate the thing. Or maybe I should just rush the natural transition (like global warming) and jump to a non-hyphenated compound word: artcar. Yep. That's it. You just witnessed evolution!

1 comment:

  1. Artcar Nation agrees with you. Artcar is one word.