Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pimp my ride (or just my light fixture)

Charlotte got picked up from school in the chicken limo on Friday, thanks to a friend's surprise birthday party.

Friday was also good for me, because I discovered that auto spray paint is the best.stuff.ever.

If you have not been using auto spray paint, you are missing out.  It is at least twice as expensive ($7 for the cans above at my Advance Autoparts, which are 8 oz vs. the standard 12 oz Rustoleum can), but it sprays out in a super fine mist making it almost difficult to get drips.  I am a terrible spray painter, so that is pretty key.  Ready mixed stuff comes in a variety of nuanced neutrals, as well as a few random bright colors (you've been in a parking lot).  I originally thought I'd spray paint this fixture a light gold with mica particles in it, but ended up with something called "Pebble Beige" that has a pearl/metallic but not glitter finish.  It is a Nissan color, incidently.  It is that elusive metallic that you are not sure if it is silver or gold...I think it will be nice in my (almost completely) light blue bedroom.

You have to scuff or sand and wipe down with rubbing alcohol or another degreaser.  The instructions recommend priming chips with their "filling" primer.  Because I had one good afternoon to paint (must be at least 60 degrees, according to the can) I skipped the primer and I kind of wish I hadn't.  It "fills" paint chips and nicks, so file that one away for another refinishing job.

I was going to prime the "candle" covers since they were plastic, but the Advanced Autoparts guy said to just sand with 800 grit sandpaper.

I ended up starting a third can of the paint--partly because this fixture was hard to get even coverage on, and partly because I was contending with significant wind towards the end (necessitating a few extra coats on the candles after several "mishaps").  But 5 to 7 thin coats later (not all full coats, just getting all the nooks and weird angles), I was left with this:

to be installed on Thursday.  Yay!

A little warning though--because it is such a fine mist, even spray painting outdoors required a mask.  I was warned by my office mate, super-handy Chuck, and I thought it was kind of a "oh, your pregnant...".  I don't normally wear a mask if I'm outside....but after the first or second coat I went a got a mask I had kept from my last paint stripping project.  And by the third coat I kind of wondered if I should have had goggles, too (I tossed the contacts just in case...you know, in an abundance of totally non-scientific caution).

Advanced Autoparts had lots of color options, and Amazon.com offers a large variety of color kits by car brand for around $30 each.  So start taking notes when you are in a parking lot.  And I hear that a specialty autopaint store will mix any color you want and put it into spray cans for you, which is handy if your friendly Benjamin Moore dealer no longer offers the service, but call ahead--unclear how common it is to get actual spray paint cans vs. the kind of "cans" that hook up to an air-compressor. Because I hear you need a really good air-compressor to do a nice paint finish, supposedly.

Also, Advanced Autoparts had "glitter spray" which puts a mica glitter clear coat over any color--like the Duplicolor Effex paint used in the above photo.  So its time to figure out what we can cover in glitter tastefully.....what is your vote?  Kitchen table top?  Lamp base?  Rast hack?

1 comment:

  1. Wow- a chicken limo ride will not soon be forgotten. I had no idea such a thing existed. And they all laugh that I want a giant air filled gorilla with teeth to have a Happy Thanksgiving sign on his tummy. This is seriously fun.
    The paint job is beautiful. I feel that this is a well kept secrete. I cannot even imagine all the cans and drippy paint jobs- things are looking up. I am all about the safety equipment- don't skimp. Lungs need to be forever.