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Tailgate letter painting procedure

#1
I need to paint a tailgate with this color scheme.
Which would you recommend?
1. Spray base background, mask off for tan lines and lettering, shoot tan base, remove masking, then clear.
or
2. spray base background, clear, mask off for tan lines and lettering, shoot tan base, remove masking, then clear again.

Any recommendation for an off white/light tan color to closely match the letter color shown below?
tailgate.JPG
 
#3
Spray light color for lettering/stripes. Use fine line tape for stripes and apply vinyl paint mask letters. Spray dark background color, remove tape lines/letter masks then apply clear.
The trick on that photo is getting the letter masks to fit the embossed letters correctly. They missed a bit on the right side of the "O" but overall well done.
 
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#4
Yes, shoreline beige looks real good. I also saw AMC matador fawn beige as another possibility.
Good idea on spraying the beige first. Any recommendation on what brand vinyl mask paper would work best?
 
#7
I stock and use PASK brand vinyl paint mask. It works well with base, don't soup the base on and give each coat plenty of flash time.
There are other brands from Avery, Orafol. Google paint mask vinyl, you may be able to buy smaller quantities without buying a stock roll. But it's not expensive.
If there is a sign shop near you may want to look into having them cut the paint mask letters for you. But be advised someone would have to know what they are doing to make the letters fit the embossed letters on the tailgate. Not going to be a stock font that can be typed and cut. The letters will have to be hand digitized to fit the embossed letters. It is time consuming.
Back in BC (before computers) I cut plenty of mask by hand. However, once something is set up right in the software the precision of plotter cut lettering or graphics is nice and can be repeated.
 
#9
Could you use tracing paper to make a copy of each letter and then transfer it to the masking vinyl? Just asking because I have never tried it but like the looks of that tailgate and may try something like it in the future.
 
#10
Could you use tracing paper to make a copy of each letter and then transfer it to the masking vinyl? Just asking because I have never tried it but like the looks of that tailgate and may try something like it in the future.
Yes but it may be hard to determine the edge of the embossed letter in the metal.
I would start with some white paper over the raised lettering taped all around the perimeter so the paper lays flat across all the lettering. Then use wide-1-1.5", flat graphite which can be cut from a carpenter pencil (side ways) to rub just the top of the embossed lettering. If done neatly it should show the letter edges just on the top flat part. That may be enough to get it done but I guess there is a possibility of a variation between the embossed metal and the actual letter that the factory originally printed on them.
I don't know exactly how the factory did this way back before vinyl but my best guess is they set up a jig, used a silk screen and printed it. Anyone know about that I would find it interesting.
 
#11
Finally about to paint this sucker. What vinyl tape would you guys recommend for the outline in beige? I like the 3m blue vinyl, but it doesn't come in 3/16" which is I think what I need to duplicate what's in the pic. I have Scotch fine line tape, but it won't bend for the sharp radius.
 
#15
I tried to bend the 3/16" tape around the curves, but no go. I had some 1/8" 3m fine line tape that did the job. 1/8" was the right width. Got a little leakage when I sprayed the blue, but just touched up tje beige with a brush, then shot the clear. I'm pretty happy with it. Here it is after 3 coats of UC, sanded, then 3 more coats.
20180731_184729.jpg
 
#18
I took tracing paper and a black crayon with the paper taken off, then put the tracing paper over the letter and used the side of the crayon to highlight the edges of the letter. Cut out the letter from the tracing paper and then retraced them onto Avery vinyl mask paper. Cut out the letters and then placed them on the tailgate after spraying the beige color. Then sprayed blue, then 3 coats of UC, sanded then 3 more coats of UC. It didn't layout as well as I wanted probably because is was more humid then I'm used to spraying. My customer said the color looks too light after seeing the picture above, so he may want me to repaint. o_O
 
#19
One thing that helps with leakage is to paint the first coat for your letters with the background color
and then the letter color coats over that. that way any first coat leakage will be the
other color.
 
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