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How to Mix Paint for Pinstriping

by Don Kress

Standard automotive paint is seldom used in pinstriping vehicles. More common is the use of what is called sign painter's one shot, a type of enamel paint that, unlike normal automotive paint, does not require clear coat. Mixing colors to create custom colors is easy and quick, requiring only basic measuring tools so that you can faithfully recreate the color in the future, if necessary.

Use the color wheel to determine the approximate color you want to obtain. The wheel itself will provide you with the necessary primary colors to create the color you wish. Purchase the necessary sign painter's paint needed according to the color wheel to create the color you desire. If the color you want is a shade darker or lighter then what is available, use the color wheel to determine the correct lightening color needed.

Pour the entire can of base color into the paint mixing cup. The base color is the color closest to the color of pinstripe you wish to attain.

Add small amounts of the lightening or darkening color to gradually tint the base color. Record on a piece of paper the amount added each time so that you have a reference for recreating the paint in the future if you wish. Mix the paint thoroughly with a paint stick.

Dab a small amount of the mixed paint onto a scrap piece of cardboard with the paint stick to check the color of the paint as it is mixed. When the color is satisfactory, transfer the paint from the paint mixing cup to the clean paint can and label it with the amounts of each type of paint that you used.

Items you will need


About the Author

Don Kress began writing professionally in 2006, specializing in automotive technology for various websites. An Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified technician since 2003, he has worked as a painter and currently owns his own automotive service business in Georgia. Kress attended the University of Akron, Ohio, earning an associate degree in business management in 2000.

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