Flake paint has been one of the most radical custom paint applications to ever spray on a custom ride, and if you’re looking to create a bold metal flake finish reminiscent of the ’70s-era show cars, vans, and custom bikes, then choose Ditzler. This “Big Flake” Retro look from PPG’s Vibrance collection can be sprayed using the waterborne process, which will allow a thicker and wetter film that can help level the flake.
When flake is sprayed on to dry, like with solvent, it stands up on end and appears dirtier and harder to cover with clear. When you apply the flake with the waterborne system, there isn’t as much of a heavy coat of clear (also like solvent) that can eventually pull the flake down causing a run or drip in the paint while you continue to apply more coats of flake. Solvent will do this from time to time, plus you don’t have to shake your gun around to keep the flake from settling down at the bottom of your spray cup, because with water the flake automatically floats in the can, allowing an even spray of continuous flake.
After the flake is covered over your desired base, leave just enough of the basecoat color to get a better look and sparkle than with over-covering the base. You need some base to complement the flake to add a nice reflection. From there, you can go ahead and lay down the clear in solvent to burry that flake down.