For my 1945 Chevy 1/2 Ton, much of my color name, chip and number research was of limited value. Here in Boise, we have a Wesco Paint and Equipment store. They cater to the hobbyist, but offer professional grade materials. Once I had the above academic info about colors to proceed, I went to Wesco.

I was lucky to get the most experienced associate behind the counter, Andy. It universally came to be true, the best way to match original vintage colors is to match actual panels taken into the store.

I took 4 panels in, representing 4 different colors. For varying reasons, their “electric eye” did not work on my panels. So over a 1 week period, Andy mixed by eye, my 4 colors. His results are very good.

Therefore I conclude, to match vintage colors, it is best to thoroughly clean patches of color on actual panels of the vehicle and take them in to the paint store to be matched. Andy said the old factory names and numbers are obsolete and were for different types of paint. He said they are useless to him, even the Chevy name “Brewster Green”!

Also, on the Jim Carter Turret Gray that I initially purchased, I took Andy a panel representing that color. He mixed a closer match. Also, the line of paints he mixed for me include a hardener, which the Carter paint does not. Andy could tell from the “feel” of a well-cured sample, it did not have a hardener in it and it was therefore, far less durable. If you are going to the trouble of matching and repainting, using a hardener is essential.

Initially I thought I wanted to have my restoration be a “Patina Driver” grade of job. Then the question arose, should the interior be different grade from the exterior? As the interior phase of the project progressed, it became obvious that there were going to be so many new parts, that I have settled on “The 3 Year-Old Truck" look. By that I mean, on the parts that I am painting, I’ll do the best paint job I can, without much sheetmetal straightening. You can see this philosophy illustrated in my attached photos.

For Reference;

Andy sold me all my colors in Omni MAE Acrylic Enamel. There are 3 parts to this paint; color, hardener and reducer. He also provided a mixing cup, used to get the correct ratios of the 3 parts. I mixed for the same viscosity as used for conventional high pressure spray units. I found using the mixing cup a bit confusing and needed to call Andy to explain it another time.

On the economy Campbell/Hausfeld HVLP Turbo spray unit I already own, given the info on the spec sheet of the paint, I was pessimistic it would work. I cleaned and manicured it to the max to improve my chances. IT WORKS!! The unit came with 2 needles. I installed the one for thin paint. It only provides 4 PSI and 54 CFM.

FYI, because of environmental concerns, HVLP systems are becoming far more popular, even in professional shops. They have much less “over-spray” to get into the atmosphere.

I took my resulting painted panels in to Andy to get a critique and find out if he thought I could squeeze out any more quality from my spray unit and technique. He exclaimed, “That looks really good”! He felt I was maximizing everything.


Attached Images
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