Old School Flames


Russ Allen

Hey everyone, here's a lil' tutorial for some SIMPLE Old School Flames. There could be loads more detail added to these, but this is what the customer wanted so here it is:

The colors were chosen by my client and I was notified on a very short notice about this one so it was really rushed and far from perfect, so take it for what it is....

Here's a pic of the materials used with a list to follow:
project materials up close.jpg project materials.jpg
List (from left to right, back row first):
- DeWalt Compressor, Blue Tack Cloths, Green 3M automotive tape 1/4" (also 1" Green 3M not in pic), Wicked White 4oz bottle with siphon feed cap, Wicked Reducer, Wicked White Base, Respirator with Charcoal filters, Windex (amonia free), SprayMax 2k ClearCoat, GreenStar Masking (actually vinyl transfer paper, lol but works awesome) and brown masking paper.
- Touch up gun (import from Coast Airbrush) with regulator valve and water separator inline, scissors, Badger 360 airbrush (used in siphon position for this project), xacto knife, air nozzle (for blowing dust and debri from project) and tweezers, lol. Oh, and Prep All wax/degreaser (not pictured)

The colors on this particular project are, yup, get ready for this, Chevy Orange, Custom mix blue and Wicked White. My client had already had a friend of his to spray the Orange basecoat and all I did on this project was the flames.

My Client Supplied the Blue Paint he wanted which I will add here once I get the pic taken, along with mix ratios that I used. Its a 3 part mix, Nason Blue Full-thane paint, Nason Catalyst and Nason Reducer. (pics to follow).......
Step 1: Prep work

I stared by wiping the hood down with Prep All Wax/Degreaser to clean any residue from the surface. Then I use the blue tack cloth from the pic above to make sure I remove any lint or dirt from the surface.

I then get my 1/4" Green 3M automotive tape and begin laying out the flames (NOTE: The flames are my clients design, he told me how he wanted them and I started laying the tape. He wanted the job done that night and I didnt get there until 7pm after I got off work from my other job so the layout was very rushed, lol:

Step 1 laying out the flames with tape.jpg Step 1a.jpg
Top view and driver side view. I started by finding the center of the hood and laying a piece of green tape for a guide line. These are far from perfect and I wasnt really pleased with the layout but the client liked it so thats what matters.

Step 2: Laying the Masking

Once I got the flames laid out with the 1/4" 3M tape, it was time to pull out the masking tape. I use GreenStar Vinyl Transfer paper for my masking paper, its low tack and I had it on hand already. So take your masking and cover all the flames, make sure your masking is clear or transparent so you can see the green tape underneath it, you will need that for this step. Once the flames are covered with the masking, take your Xacto knife and carefully glide it, with light pressure, over the green tape underneath, then remove the lower portion where the flames will be:

Step 2 laying the masking.jpg Step 2a.jpg Step 2b.jpg
I also taped off the front end of the truck to keep overspray from getting everywhere.

Now you're ready for step 3, laying the blue​
Last edited by a moderator:
Step 3: Laying the blue

Now that the flames are masked, I cover the windshield with the brown masking paper and also cover the wheels and components surrounding the work area with it. This is what I used the scissors for to cut the thick brown masking to length.

Step 3 laying the blue.jpg Step 3a.jpg Step 3b.jpg

Once I had the front end, windshield, wheels & axels covered with the brown masking paper, we pulled a tarp over the cab to keep overspray off of it. Then I mixed my blue paint. Client had a custom blue mixed, Nason/DuPont Ful-Thane Paint (8 parts), Nason 483-15 Catalyst (1 part) and Nason Medium Reducer (2 parts).

I wiped the hood down once more with the Prep All Degreaser and tack clothed it off and then laid one light tack coat, let that flash about 5 minutes, then came back in with 3 wet coats, making sure to let each coat flash for about 10 minutes on the heavy coats or in our case about 15-20 as humid as it was, lol.

Once I had the blue laid, we sat around for about 2 hours and enjoyed a few beers and talked about good times only to find that the paint wasnt going to cure in time the first night so I let it set overnight to cure.​
Last edited by a moderator:
Step 4: Laying the Wicked White edging

Once you are done with the blue, be sure to wipe it clean once it cures with PREP ALL WAX DEGREASER (if its a urethane based paint) to remove any overspray or dust particals and tack cloth once more. DO NOT USE PREP ALL WAX/DEGREASER WITH WATER BASED PAINTS

Now its time to start throwing some white paint to accent the flames a bit. Here's where I use my Badger 360 as a siphon feed and mix my white in 1 part paint, 1 part reducer, in this case, 4oz bottle, I filled just under 1/2 full of reducer, then filled it with paint leaving about a 3/8" gap from the top so it would mix easier. Load the airbrush and then just start going around all the edges of the flames with the white. This is Wicked White so its waterbased, so that means light layers, especially since I had to clearcoat it that night so I had to make sure each coat was curing as I went along. I used 4 light coats of white to get it to where the client liked it:
Step 4b.jpg Step 4 laying the white edging.jpg Step 4a.jpg
Last edited by a moderator:
Step 5: Clearcoating

Before clearcoating, make sure to wipe down your work to remove any overspray from the white as there will be some. I used the Windex glass cleaner to do this on this particular project, but I generally use SprayMax Wax/Degreaser but was out. DO NOT USE THE PREP ALL DEGREASER AS IT WILL REMOVE YOUR WATERBASED PAINTS!!!!

I chose to just use SprayMax 2k rattlecan clear because the customer just wanted the flames clearcoated, he didnt want his Orange base to be as shiny as the flames. So anyway, on this SprayMax 2k Clearcoat, you need to shake the can for no less than 2 minutes, then take the red cap from the top, place it on the bottom of the aerosal can and press down until you feel it puncture the hardener in the base of the can. Once its punctured, I hold the red cap in the bottom of the can and shake for another 2 minutes (no less), yup, your arm will be tired as hell, haha.

Once I have it mixed well, I spray a light tack coat over all the flames and let if flash 5 minutes or so, then I just lay wet coats until the rattlecan is empty. Making sure to over lap your previous coat of clear by 50% on your wet coats. Let the wet coats flash for 10-15 minutes before you spray your next coat.

Normally this is where I would color sand, buff & polish, but the client didnt care to since this is just a rock crawler and he knows it will be all scratched up after his first run, lol. So there was not much labor in the clearcoat on this one.

Last edited by a moderator:
Finished Product:

Step 5b.jpg Step 5a.jpg Step 4c.jpg Step 5 remove masking.jpg

Fairly simple flame job. I would have loved to put some skulls and done candy over them but wasnt what he wanted and the time limit I had on this wouldnt have allowed it.

The good thing about doing this one, I will get some awesome advertisement from it and these guys destroy these things, so its pretty much job security cause they will be back after their first run wanting to repaint something, lol.

Hope this helps someone out there. This is just the technique I used, I've never done these flames on a vehicle, just once on a lil' golf clube so Im no pro. If anyone has any suggestions to make it easier for me Im all ears. Im just trying to pay it forward and help someone else out with these tutorials hopefully!!!

Good luck and if you try the tutorial, post your pics, would love to see em'!

NOTE: Theres still some info I will be adding into the tutorial when I get home to make a couple more things a bit more clear.

Thanks and Keep slingin' that paint!!!!​
Thanks for the info!! I get request to do vehicles, but wont do them...reason? Too much work!!! lolol!
Very educational for me. Thank you for your time and effort you put into this. And the warnings are always very helpful.
Thanks heeps for that Russ, a really good tut, old school flames is still very much in favour especially with the Harley boys, and add a bit of pin striping in there and you got a winner:)
love it :) thank you - that's what makes this such a great place to hang out
Thanks for the info!! I get request to do vehicles, but wont do them...reason? Too much work!!! lolol!

@ Meeshell, this paint job took less time than one of my golf clubs I always paint or the tshirt I just recently posted, lol. I had it taped and masked in less than an hour. Sprayed the blue in less than 30 minutes (with flash times included). Then the next evening once the blue cured I did the white and ONLY clearcoated the flames is that took about 2 hours. So all in all not bad!! So with cure times it took probably around 4-1/2 hours. You should try it. Now it takes longer if you have to color sand and clearcoat or even basecoat, but most of my clients have all that done, all I gotta do is the artwork usually, lol, love it that way!!! Im in and out, hehe
Thanks again everyone, really hope this will help some of you out! Those more advanced may have easier techniques, so if theres someway to simplify my tutorial, please feel free to make suggestions, Im all ears and I dont want to lead newbies in the wrong direction!! Thanks
Thank you Mitch, much appreciated! Just hope it helps others out!!
Hey Russ,
Great tutorial and flames they look real cool. keep up the good work.