Everybody’s Scalin’ – Back in Black?
Hey all, Happy Friday to ye’. Time to talk paint.
Last week I was doing a simple JConcepts Ford F-250 rattle can job, painting a truck solid pink (don’t ask!). Yes, that dark orange body at the top of this page was supposed to be pink. Whoops.
I’m decent at solid color paint jobs these days, having done around 75 probably, but I made a simple mistake and am now paying the price. I mean, I literally am “paying the price” because I have to buy a new body to do it over again! What mistake did make?
Let’s talk about backers, or backing paints. This is what’s sprayed on top of your main color, either to help seal it in, change the pigment to match a certain shade or bolster it.
I just want to add one qualifier before I get into this – while I’ve painted a bunch of bodies, I don’t consider myself a painter. I’m just a guy that has learned a few tricks and makes due. Take of my advice what you will!
Now, many folks do not back their rattle can jobs because certain bold colors don’t reeeeeally need it. I.e. something like a solid blue or green. However, when you start getting into lighter, thinner metallics and neons, a backer becomes essential unless you want a partly see-thru body.
Brief aside- if you are needing a very specific color that isn’t available in a standard spray can, you can try and get it by spraying VERY light coats of several different ones, then finishing with a backer. If you are looking for that specific of a color though, you are usually much better off going with mixed airbrush paints and/or a painter.
Ok, back to it. White backing paint typically brings out your main color by brightening it up. So you’d think that on the flip side, black would darken it. While this is true in some cases, black paint can also wildly overpower your main color and, in certain cases like mine, completely change it.
This is what happened with my neon pink. I wanted a deep, dark pink and so I used black to back. What happened next was a flagrant violation of the color wheel! My pink was now orange. Ugh. I immediately called a painter buddy of mine who laughed and said “ALWAYS use white when painting with neons. Maybe a silver if you want to darken it up some, but never black.”
Well, there you go. I thoroughly screwed the pooch on this one. Whoops. It’s a mistake I won’t make again.
You will want to use white with neons. I think this is especially pertinent for scaling given how often we try and recreate those flamboyant striped paint jobs of the 70’s and 80’s!
Remember folks, be careful when you back in black.