Need some advice from the Guru's


Double Actioner
Hey all,
I have an issue, the answer of which is more than likely I can't do it but I'll post it up anyway :)

A couple of people in the car club I'm a part of have seen some of my work and believe I would be able to do a good job on their car.... they already have a bonnet mural and a tailgate mural done by another bloke years ago. They want something they have designed that fits with that theme (hell horse, skulls and stuff) down either side of the car.

They want it done over Christmas.....

The car is in a colour top coat light blue and I'm pretty sure the existing murals are done in urethanes, not sure if clear coated or not, I need to check it out a bit closer. I would do it in water base wicked/tridents.

Question 1:
Will they look blatantly different? As in the colour vibrancy? between the water based and the urothanes.

They will not be side by side, they will be on the sides of the car, while the others are on the bonnet/hood and tailgate. I have no interest/time at this point in learning how to spray urethanes.

The water based will need to be clear coated which brings me to the next question.

Question 2:
If a clear coat is used over a base coat that has no clear coat, will it have a different gloss/depth and hence would the whole car then need to be clear coated for it to look right?

NOW, I also have a space/time issue, with little of each, I have some holidays planned but of course they are for family time and some relaxation. Issue is, they are throwing some nice cash my way that would help a lot and it would also be a nice addition to my portfolio.


I'm also a bit inexperienced with clear coat, so would rather get a panel shop to do that (this is their club/show car after all), that would probably cut into a chunk of the cash.

Question 3:
Has anyone had luck with local panel shops that they just get to clear coat?

Thanks heaps for your time guys and gals.
First off being it has graphics on the car right now ,the car should have a clear coat on it to protect what is already there.
As far as using Wicked /Tridents , make sure you scuff the area you will be applying the new graphics. Have you did any work on metal? If not make up some practice panels and work out the design. Water base paint to not act the same as urethane paint does. Trident has been know to lift more so than wicked when doing your tape outs.
Yes waterbased paint has to be clear coated as far as luck with local bodyshops doing the work I have had great luck with that but I have also known the people running them for years and years.
Can you stick some photos of the car up mate? Not that ill have any answers but I'm keen to learn from this thread.

538412_4069079415142_148996793_n.jpgi did this on a car bonnet a while ago now and i have to say i loved working on it. i have been asked by lots of people now to do car stuff and have 3 porjects lined up on cars trucks etc! my advise wud be to go at it slow, take your time. and as mentioned above use to scotch bright to scuff the area up. it shud have a matt finish, also make sure the area is super clean. and u shudnt have any problems at all! good luck :)
Thanks guys, will try and find a pic.
MM, I figured it should have a clear coat but wasn't sure if it was a necessity with urethanes... I have done a few metal panels, I've tried to keep most things I paint automotive for the practice 2k primer, paint and clear coat etc.
My main issue now is with time and a place to paint it, whilst taking my time :)
I'd deffinately like to do this stuff more often and it's gotta start with one hey :)
OK, this is it after they got the new wheels put on.... Sorry no mural shots.

I haven't seen what they want on there yet or how big but they have a lot of room to play with :)
When I've worked on metal panels I've scuffed up with. 600 grit then applied a clear base coat sealer as a mid coat and then applied the design.found this to work great. I used auto air sealer. Inot sure if this is the correct way but definately worked for me. Clear coating put a dusting on and let it dry a bit then apply a few wet coats.Interested if anyone has a better method as well.CheersTufty
I use either a red scuff pad or 600 grit wet sand do my paint reclear pretty thick than done unless need for color sand and buff but pretty good with the ol' spray gun so that can usually be avoided
Question 1:
Will they look blatantly different? As in the colour vibrancy? between the water based and the urothanes.

They will not be side by side, they will be on the sides of the car, while the others are on the bonnet/hood and tailgate. I have no interest/time at this point in learning how to spray urethanes.

I have matched urethane colors using water based paint successfully many times. The only time I've run into issues doing this is when the existing artwork has a lot of candy in it. Then it becomes a pain... True candys don't exist in the water based paint world. Other than that, follow the advice the others have given and good luck!
I agree with Wicked art, I am not as experienced as many here, but I have matched uro colours with waterbased, only with bikes not cars. I would think carefully about the design you want to do, and how to incorporate the colours already used in the other murals into that design. You can add other colours also, but to keep the over all look of the car consistant, I personally would try and stick to the same palette. Then I would cut a hole in a piece of card place it over one of the colours (to help focus on that colour, I think Mitch does this in a vid, possible the Denise tutorial) and then try and mix your paint to match (remember it will look different depending on what the base colour is, the car is blue, so will you paint directly onto that colour, or will you do a base painting in white for example), and then do that for all the colours, making notes on what mixtures/ratios you used, and you should be good to go.
As far as clear coating goes, if the rest of the car was cleared a while ago, it may appear dull next to the new clear, and will probably need to be cut and polished, If you can't find a friendly sprayshop, then I suggest giving a price for the artwork only, and get them to arrange for it to be cleared themselves, unless you can charge enough to get a decent mark up on it without scaring them off. Sounds like a fun project, wish I had room to paint a car!
is it possible the car has a flattened clear coat and that's why he's uncertain? in that case any part you re clear would need to be flattened or else it'll look like a temporary tattoo if ya know what i mean. and i think getting the same degree of flatness might be tricky as well.
I still have to have a closer look at it, although I've had to turn down the job due to not enough time, they may still want to get me to do it at a more mutually convenient time.... we'll see :)

Thanks again everybody for all your input :) always awesome as usual.
For completeness ;)
I checked out the blokes paint job, looks like the main body hasn't been cleared but the art work definately has.... Snapped some pics of the existing murals.

Ok, gotta blur out the number plate before I put the tailgate up :)


  • ImageUploadedByTapatalk1355144416.667312.jpg
    198.5 KB · Views: 11