Vintage Fire Truck for Texas Best Classics | Custom Art Feature
Paul and Kevin started Texas Best Classics, a custom and classic car company, to pursue their passion of building, collecting, and selling cars and trucks that range from rare and vintage vehicles to some of the newest made models you see on the street today. Catch them at a local car show and check out their most recent build happening at their warehouse located in Conroe, Texas!
The Project :
Texas Best Classics recently purchased a 1970 vintage fire truck for the shop that will eventually be transformed by Paul and Kevin into a bagged ramp truck. It will have the ability to transport their cars to car shows and customers. To begin the transformation of the vintage fire truck, Paul reached out to me to paint their unique pin-up girl logo for Texas Best Classics onto the doors of the cab. While I was there, they also requested I paint a large metal panel with the same logo in a patinaed style. This panel will hand in their shop as a backdrop for social media photographs of the cars they build and sell.
After coping with the historic Texas Blizzard of 2021, I was finally able to travel down to Conroe with my paint box and spend the weekend painting. My mama came with me on the trip so after the job, we could head down to the coast for a much needed mini beach vacation!
For a direct logo reproduction like this, where I trace the company logo directly onto something for painting, I use a local print company to enlarge the logo and print it out on thin drafting paper so it is scaled properly. In this instance, when I arrived at Texas Best Classics, I had three sizes of the printed logo. Of course, the size I needed to fill the space on the door of the firetruck was in-between the sizes I had printed. With some careful cutting and taping, I re-arranged their logo so that it would fit on the doors and still look like the original design. I used Saral paper to transfer the design onto the doors and the steel panel in chalk. I used Alpha 6 Corporation enamels to paint the logos.
You’ll notice the aged effect on all three logos for this project. For patina paint jobs like this, I use a very frayed and worn out brush with minimal paint and no thinner to block in the large areas of the design with colors.
This loose painting technique allows my brush to skip and drag over the metal which creates an aged look to the overall area. As the paint starts to get tacky, I take a blue paper shop towel and place it over parts of the design and pull it away to give the paint a dull textured look (Tip: Be sure your paper towel doesn’t have a flowery pattern because it will directly transfer to your painted design. This is why the blue shop paper towels are the best for this technique).
I’m always aware of where the painted logo would fade in its natural state, for example, if the truck were sitting outside with my design for many years. The edges of the logo design on the door, or places with previous rust areas, are perfect places to wipe off paint lightly with some mineral spirits or use the paper towel effect. Once the first layer was completely dry and my large shapes were lightly distressed, I came in with a small liner brush and added detail, highlights, and outlines. I did very minimal distressing to my paint in this step because I wanted the pin-up girl’s face and lettering to be legible and crisp.
Painting a distressed design is one of my favorite things to do. With this particular Texas best Classics logo I had a blast because it included one of my favorite things to paint: a vintage inspired pin-up girl. All three designs took about two solid days of work. We were so grateful and surprised to be invited to their family crawfish boil one of those afternoons. Coming from California, it was my mom’s first attempt at eating crawfish. The lunch was absolutely delicious and we had so much fun. I am so thankful for the hospitality and trust that Paul and Kevin with Texas Best Classics showed me on this trip. I look forward to seeing the ramp truck in all its glory at a future car show!
Kate did an awesome job! The detail is awesome and better than we imagined.
– Paul R., Owner, Texas Best Classics
The Tools I Used to Make This Art :
Cynthia winchell says
You did an amazing job kate! Your blog is so inspiring! Thanx for including pics of me in your blog! We had a blast at the crawfish boil. Paul & Kevin’s hospitality was overwhelming! Can’t wait to see the truck completely restored!