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Old 07-31-2008, 10:43 AM   #1
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ken worley's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 3
Year: 81
Coachwork: thomas
Chassis: transitliner
Engine: cummins VT235 (555c.i.)
Faux Stainless Steel-Look...Possible?

Name's ken.

I have an '81 thomas transitliner which I converted about 2 years ago.(sorry no pics, lost all in a computer switch, and haven't taken new ones, yet)

I lived in the coach for a year, and all interior systems are working well.(yay.)
Now I am finally getting around to exterior finish.(Just nearing the end of about 100 hours of sanding.)

I am having trouble imagining a way to make the thomas' boxy, utilitarian bodywork look not so communist-bloc-buslike.

I am toying with the idea of attempting to paint the bottom half of the sheet metal to mimic stainless steel.
Has anyone attempted this?
Can it be done without ending up looking totally cheesy and lame?

And, if it is possible, it leads to another problem:
What color to paint the top half...

If I could use a dark color, it wouldn't be a problem.
I've seen coaches sporting S.S. under cobalt blue, or root beer brown, deep candy-glosscoat-style, and they look killer.
But I live in phoenix, az....It's gotta be a light, reflective color.(and I don't want a 3-tone, with a white roof.)
But I can't pictur a light color that might look good above a SS bottom.

I've searched all the pictures(i think) in this forum's galleries, and haven't seen a faux S.S. paint job, but maybe someone has done it, or seen it done, and could reccomend paint brand, technique, etc.

BTW, I don't have a million dollars....I can't really afford more than a few hundred for the paint itself, so the 7OZ. spray cans I've seen online for six bucks each won't work for me...I intend to use a wagner spray machine, and any tips on thinning, primer type/color, anything really, would be appreciated.
I do know the wisdom of "A good paint-job is 90% prep-work", and have that sorted, but the other 10%, the painting-experience/knowledge base, necessary to ensure an acceptable finished job is not part of my skill-set.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:46 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: vancouver island bc
Posts: 1,028
Year: 1965
Coachwork: thomas
Chassis: chevy
Engine: 350
Re: Faux Stainless Steel-Look...Possible?

i love those old impalers thats why i have one for 12 years! powder blue with ss looks good for a light color how about tremclad aluminum paint with fake painted in hardware like rivits or handles? buy a small can and give it a try thats the cheatest way i can think you mat be able to add something to the paint to enhance,then clearcoat!? oh yea my impaler is a 65 ss still got yours smitty? timbuk
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:30 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 755
Re: Faux Stainless Steel-Look...Possible?

Nice car!
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