Fireflake red restoration

illf8ed

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
2,826
Country flag
Starting a new thread to post my search for the correct paint to restore the original finish on my newly acquired ‘69 750 S. Just finished some samples. Mixed .008” silver flakes in gel coat then poured onto wax paper for a test coupon. First the flakes are too large. Using a microscope with .002” scale built in I can see the original flake size is .004”. Got that on order now. Using Dupli Color candy red pre mixed, dipped the sample with up to three coats. First the paint is too opaque as three coats obscures the flakes. Also the color is too orange. Will try House of Kolors candy red next.
 

MichaelB

"Sons of Arthritus"
VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jan 14, 2004
Messages
1,289
Country flag
Keep going.
Looking forward to how this turns out.
 

Richard Tool

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
470
Country flag
Very interesting post - something way out of my comfort zone- keep it going please !
 

illf8ed

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
2,826
Country flag
I have viewed many posts and pictures on the subject. Mr Budgor your work is very nice, but the flakes used are not correct size, too large. My only hurdle is finding a red top coat of the right tone. There should be no pigment, just transparent toner so that the silver flakes in the gel coat show through.
 

illf8ed

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
2,826
Country flag
Formula for Candy Apple Red is here - http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthrea ... ber=465189

I have read a few times that the formula is the same for all years.
Thanks for this discussion. The 850 red metallic is quite different than the early 750 metal flake. Not sure the metallic was a silver base with transparent red over. In any case the 850 red is not the shade matching the ‘69 color. The search goes on.
 

NPeteN

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
1,058
Country flag
There was an original red flake S for sale in my area a few months back. I should have taken some reference photos.

It is definitely a color unique to the application. Sorry I can't help!
 

illf8ed

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
2,826
Country flag
There was an original red flake S for sale in my area a few months back. I should have taken some reference photos.

It is definitely a color unique to the application. Sorry I can't help!
Appreciate the help. I do have one rectangular place on the right side cover that has an unfaded area where a dealer sticker was removed. Just need to find a transparent red to match it.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Messages
3,903
Country flag
Rather than a tinted overcoat, you need the right color flake mixed with clear and it needs to go over a specific base color to get the correct shade. Then, the flake color tends to lighten when wet-sanded, which is necessary to smooth the roughness caused by the random thickness of the coat(s) with the flake in it. Then, it will take several coats of clear with lots of wet-sanding with progessively finer wet-or-dry until you're polishing with 2000 grit.

So anyone can see, matching the new paint to the old can be a bit of a crapshoot for all of us less-than-professional painters and anyone can understand (after doing their own paint) why the pros like Mr. Budger charge and earn what they do.
 

illf8ed

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
2,826
Country flag
Rather than a tinted overcoat, you need the right color flake mixed with clear and it needs to go over a specific base color to get the correct shade. Then, the flake color tends to lighten when wet-sanded, which is necessary to smooth the roughness caused by the random thickness of the coat(s) with the flake in it. Then, it will take several coats of clear with lots of wet-sanding with progessively finer wet-or-dry until you're polishing with 2000 grit.

So anyone can see, matching the new paint to the old can be a bit of a crapshoot for all of us less-than-professional painters and anyone can understand (after doing their own paint) why the pros like Mr. Budger charge and earn what they do.
Hi Danno

I would have to disagree. My original fiberglass tank is sanded to the silver flake in the gel coat. The flake size is .004”. Over this is a transparent red...still on the side covers. No doubt what you are saying is the current way, but not what Norton did.
 

NPeteN

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
1,058
Country flag
Based on what was originally on mine, I'd have to agree. I imagine all tanks were given flake then a tinted clear, blue, red, purple etc... Flakes are small.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Messages
3,903
Country flag
Hi Danno

I would have to disagree. My original fiberglass tank is sanded to the silver flake in the gel coat. The flake size is .004”. Over this is a transparent red...still on the side covers. No doubt what you are saying is the current way, but not what Norton did.
Gelcoat is a bit different than paint. Much thicker and a more coats of a tinted clear will darken the shade. Plus, 'flake was likely not available in 1967 in the myriad colors it comes in today. 1/4" thick would not be out of the question, but paint needs to be a bit thinner. The 'flake needs to be submerged in enough clear (or candy) to flatten the surface, which tends to be a bit rough. This is 2 coats of clear with flake mixed in and no topcoat.



Now with 2 coats of clear overcoat, wet-sanded between coats



And with 2 more coats of clear (1st one wet-sanded)over the pinstripes.



After this, everything was wet-sanded with 1000, 1500, 2000 and then polishing compound.

Final product.

 
Last edited:

illf8ed

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
2,826
Country flag
For my ‘69 the flake is already there but needs some repair on one of the side covers. I’m trying to match the original finish. It’s a nostalgia thing.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2015
Messages
1,555
Country flag
My dad was the foreman of a finishing shop for 35 years. He mixed all their colors, matching existing when required. You are asking for the hardest application. Touch up on a fireflake color to match an existing faded color is just about as difficult as it gets. It would be easier to match and respray the whole thing. I understand that you may want to keep the original paint for "originality sake", so you are looking for touch up on the side cover only. That probably needs a pro even more than a full repaint.

I would caution you about spraying "toner" to achieve your goal, which is clear material with some small amounts of color added to the clear material to change the hue of your paint. Any overlap with a toner spray pass comes out as "double" strength of the effect you are trying to produce. You can't mask it or you get a clear line from repair to original. It has to be faded in by the master...who is aware that extra passes with the gun change the tone, then the tone changes again when it goes from wet to dry... To be a perfect blend, it's artist quality skill set.

Once a client of mine bought a kitchen which I installed for him that trendy white toner finish that was popular at the time. He was raving about how much he liked it. I pulled him back across the room to look at his job and asked him if he could see the "stripes" where the spray gun overlap on each passe had doubled the toner effect creating a subtle striping of color. He was flaberghasted because it was obvious once he knew what to look for.

You should call Brent. He's your only chance to get a touch up of that difficulty right.
 

illf8ed

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
2,826
Country flag
Not really touch up. I’m going to get down to the flake in gel coat then spray red toner over again. I know each coat applied gets darker. I’m going to do one coat at a time until matching the one section that is original and not faded that was I under the dealer sticker I removed.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2015
Messages
1,555
Country flag
If I can tell a story,... Many years ago my shop partner had a job with matching veneer. The matched panels he bought were exactly enough for his job. His only problem was the top panel had been in the sunlight for years so the A face had a sunburn (for lack of a better way to explain it) The rest of the panels were all consistant in color. When he sprayed the job, that sunburned panel was redish compared to the others, so he asked my dad if there was anything he could do. My dad mixed him a toner with an invisible amount of green pigment in it for him to spray on that one panel to kill the warm tone that panel had. My partner sprayed two coats on the panel out of the cup gun. It looked better, but it looked like one more coat would bring it in perfectly. My dad told him not to spray the third coat, because when it flashed off the toner would be more concentrated and the color would be stronger than it appeared while the coat was still wet. My partner decided to give it that extra coat anyway after my dad left our shop. In the end, that panel that needed the toner was a just a hair off color on the cool side because of that extra pass my partner's eyes told him the panel needed when he looked at it when it was still wet.... My partner said later, "I should have listened to Arty!" and he realized that Arty had "the eye, the knowledge, and the touch" of a master.

My dad is gone 20 years now, his mastery was widely recognized in the New york area. He worked for a smaller union company as the foreman of their finishing room. When some of the big companies got in over their head on a particularly hard finish, they would hire the company he worked for so he could get them out of trouble.

Sorry for the rambling above, but my message is as I said above,...

Toner will seem more transparent when it's wet, so don't give it that extra pass because it's "almost there". When it dries it will "get there", and if you determin that it needs another pass after it's dry you can usually still do that, but you can't sand toner to even it out and you can't take back that extra pass.

Finishes like fireflake have a variable tone, so I bet the range is not as easily detectable to the naked eye. You may end up with a pretty undetectible freshen up. Good luck, I look forward to hearing it worked well.
 

illf8ed

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
2,826
Country flag
Yes, what you suggest is my plan. Now just need to find a transparent red paint. No luck so far finding what I want on line.
 

illf8ed

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
2,826
Country flag
I picked up a spray can of VHT Night Shades transparent red tail light paint this morning. Using my sample coupons one with .008” and the other wit .004” flakes have shot two coats of red over the flake embedded gel coat. Looks pretty god so far. In another hour will check the shade compared to the side cover that has the unfaded patch that was under the dealer sticker. Waiting one hour between coats.
 

illf8ed

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
2,826
Country flag
Just became VIP so I can add photos. Here is a comparison of the metal flake red under the removed dealer sticker and my test coupon using .004” silver flake in gel coat then sprayed with VHT night shade red.
8E98E12D-3153-4644-96BB-69CC5B740346.jpeg

CD333C05-9E60-45C7-8CE4-EC18D2B96E41.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Top