PPG Aerospace
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Just for Fun

While building his ‘shop ute’, Mick Jones had enormous fun combining the full suite of VIBRANCE COLLECTION® products with all his creative skills to craft something truly unique.

‘Run-of-the-mill’ was never going to cut it when it came to Mick Jones building a shop ute for his business, Dipit Kustoms, in the Brisbane suburb of Geebung. As well as being an ‘everyday driver’ with the ability to cart a modest load, it had to tick a number of important boxes, Mick explains.
“From the moment I started painting, I always wanted a rat rod like this. It also had to be a really cool looking pickup that I could use to take my daughters around before they get too old to want to hang out with dad. At the same time, it’s about showing people the type of paint finishes we can do. As well as cars and bikes, we do custom paintwork on pretty much anything you can think of, including quite a few coffee machines and bathtubs, and this highlights that funky side of the business.”
A mate at Deathwish Hot Rods sourced the ’42 Chev base car and then performed a six-inch chop, along with channelling the chassis so it sits nice and low. In addition, all the panel work has been smoothed out and panel gaps tightened up. Because the compact cabin was tight for Mick’s tall frame, suicide doors have been fitted and the interior customised to be stylish and comfortable while liberating as much space as possible. Under the bonnet, is an ultra-reliable GM LS1 V8 with an aftermarket cam that creates a nice lumpy idle, along with a ‘chunky’ note from the custom exhaust. The boys at Spot On Performance also took a real beer keg and converted it into a fully operational fuel tank that sits behind the cab.
Given his long-term partnership with PPG, the epic paintwork became a close collaboration been Mick, PPG Queensland Training Manager, Mark Haywood, and a full suite of PPG products. This included ENVIROBASE® High Performance waterborne basecoat and the new Vibrance Collection range which now includes primers and a clearcoat, as well as market leading special effects finishes. After being blasted, the body was given an anti-corrosive coating before VCP 150 Epoxy Urethane Primer was applied, followed by VCP 250 High Build Primer – both from the Vibrance Collection range. When it came to colour, Mick went into full-on creative mode.
“I have a great, longstanding relationship with Mark Haywood and he gave me some excellent technical advice on dealing with different things on the body. We also talk all the time about different ways to do things and come up with different effects. I always planned to do this sort of aged, rusty and textured look. I have done different versions before and, each time, I start with a base colour and then add different paint effect layers over the top. There can be anything from three to seven colours depending on how deep you want it to look.”
“I started off with a layer of PPG solid white over the whole car and then did a layer of (Radiance® II) Candy on the inside of the doors, the door jams, under the bonnet and the chassis. It mimics where you would see unweathered original paintwork. For the rest of the body, I mixed six different colours and began applying layers. People ask how I know what to do but, as a painter, I just trusted that when I walked into the booth and started painting it would all work. First, I applied brown over the white and as soon as I did that I knew where I wanted to go with the whole job.”
As well as taking advantage of MIRKA abrasives and tools throughout the job, Mick also used the one SATAjet X 5500 spray gun from start to finish. Thanks to the unique ability to tune SATA’s latest premium spray gun, it worked perfectly, says Mick.
“I used solid colours, pearls, Candy, Wet-On-Wet, VCC 580 Custom Clear and matt clearcoat and it was all painted with one gun. I just chopped and changed between different versions (I-Nozzle and O-Nozzle) of the SATA X-Nozzle System. For example, when putting on all the Candy and the colours for the aging look, I found that the I-Nozzle setup gave me more control. I would just mix the different colours in SATA RPS Cups and, literally, switch from one to another. Whereas, when putting a really good coat of clearcoat on, the O-Nozzle setup really worked well.”
It was a real highlight watching it all come together over the three months it took to do the paintwork, says Mick. Although his business is already flat-out, he sees this new shop ute as a real conversation starter.
“Often, people don’t understand the possibilities we can offer. Using PPG paints, I can match colours or copy the look of pretty much anything. It makes painting a lot of fun!”