Project Greystone V: Prep for Paint

August 9th, 2011

Text and Photos by Jason Mulligan

Adding Some Style With BASF Automotive Refinish, L&G Enterprises and Stylin’ Trucks

A custom paint job whether mild or wild is one of the most attention-grabbing aspects of a custom truck. The combinations are truly endless using different colors, graphic elements and other tricks. When the time came to apply new paint to our crew cab Silverado project dubbed Project Greystone, we wanted to keep with the theme of creating a custom truck inspired by luxury vehicles. Our goal was to keep the truck monochromatic and complement the factory Greystone Metallic with a slightly darker top color that had the same level of pop with metallic mica. A few custom tricks and graphics where scheduled to be laid over the top before it was all sealed in clear and buffed to a perfect shine. Lastly, the truck was outfitted with color-matched door handles, RECON smoked LED taillights and a Street Scene gen one bumper cover from Stylin’ Trucks.

We headed to L&G Enterprises in San Dimas, California, where Theresa and Jason Contreras run the body and paint shop. The shop has a 20-year history that also incorporates the Custom Truck Shop. A full team of body and assembly guys backs up painters and a detail crew, ensuring our project would be in good hands. The shop offers full insurance repair in addition to the custom paint jobs that Theresa, with her background in graphic design and art, takes care of herself. We determined the colors we wanted and started planning the graphics and other elements that we wanted.  Lexus colors had always caught our eye and charcoal gray seemed like it would compliment our factory Greystone Metallic (213M) and have plenty of pop and highlights in the sun. We looked up the code in a swatch book and matched it to our factory color to ensure that the tint and mica worked together and the colors would matched well. Lexus Smoky Granite Mica (TOY1G0) is the name of the color we will be using for the top of the truck, while rebasing the bottom in the factory Greystone. Black and silver would also be used and mixed with the other colors for the graphic elements. With the colors selected and a plan in place, it was then time to start the prep and paint process.

In the past couple of years, restrictions have been implemented with the goal of reducing pollution from harmful fumes released during the painting process. Waterborne paints use a water-based color and reducer for the basecoat rather than solvents. The result is a lower VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) level, or reduction of harmful fumes being released into the air. VOC refers to organic chemical compounds that have vapor pressures that can affect the environment and peoples’ health. For the state of California, the maximum VOC level allowed for basecoats is 3.5.

BASF has spent years researching and testing to implement its lower VOC waterborne line of paints.  Because they’re waterborne, the paint systems require slightly different spray methods, drying times and other techniques. Training was the next step after research to ensure that all of the shops could properly apply the paint system and remain compliant and competitive. The R-M Onyx HD Waterborne line from BASF features all of the great colors and drying advantages of the company’s solvent-based parents but is compliant with VOC waterborne restrictions. The basecoats use 80 percent less solvent, making our air much healthier for everyone. The low VOC levels not only comply with current regulations, but also do less harm to the environment and the painters themselves. BASF R-M Onyx HD system leads to an overall 90 percent reduction in VOC levels over previous systems, yet have the same quality and color matching. Clearcoat and primers remain solvent-based systems, as protective qualities are needed.

One of the most important steps in any paint job is proper preparation prior to actual painting; sanding, cleaning and masking will help ensure a problem-free finish down the line. Next month, we will begin the graphic application process and finalize the paint job using BASF R-M Onyx HD Waterborne paints at L&G Enterprises.

BASF Automotive Refinish Gaylord’s Bed Lids
800.201.1605 562.529.7543 (http://www NULL.basfrefinish (http://www NULL.gaylordslids
L&G Enterprises Grant Products
Dept. STTR (http://www NULL.grantproducts
882 W Cienega Ave.
San Dimas, CA 91773 Grillcraft
909.599.2203 (http://www NULL.grillcraft (http://www NULL.landgenterprises
Magnuson Products Inc.
RECON Accessories 805.642.8833
877.37.RECON (http://www NULL.magnacharger (http://www NULL.gercon
McGaughys Suspension Parts
Street Scene EQ 559.226.8196
888.477.0707 (http://www NULL.mcgaughys (http://www NULL.streetsceneeq
Snow Performance
Stylin’ Trucks (http://www NULL.snowperformance (http://www NULL.stylintrucks
Stainless Steel Brake Company
Project Greystone (http://www NULL.ssbrakes
Bassani Exhaust Toyo Tires (http://www NULL.bassani 800.953.8696 (http://www NULL.toyotires
Energy Suspension
949.361.3935 (http://www NULL.energysuspension

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