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In The News Again – New York Times

August 16, 2014

Aaron Robinson, Executive Editor for Car and Driver recently interviewed me for an article in the New York Times about automotive preservation. It will be in this Sunday’s edition, just in time for the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance.

Bringing faded and cracked paint back to life is one of the trickiest jobs, said Steve Kouracos, a car restorer and paint specialist in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

“There’s no book written on this,” he said. “It’s really a talent. And if you use the wrong product, you’ve blown it.”

Mr. Kouracos employs an arsenal of old-school techniques, from rubbing on linseed oil to using wool buffing pads instead of modern foam ones. Linseed oil conditions the paint and acts as a stainless, odorless lubricant for sanding, he said, while the wool pads generate just the right amount of friction to melt and move around old paint, filling cracks and scratches. – To Preserve and Protect – New York Times

Another couple tips about preservation not in the article.

Paint preservation is a very long, tedious and costly process for people who are trying to preserve the patina of their classic car. A preservation is a methodical process. Moving section by section around the car a good preservation includes removing nuts and bolts, cleaning them, and applying an invisible satin coating and then the parts are re-installed. This process encapsulates years of history and preserves the patina that preservation artisans look for.

It’s important to remember that when chemicals are applied to old paint (such as single stage enamels or lacquers) they can stain and change the color under certain circumstances.

For those wanting to remove oxidation without damaging original paint without using harsh chemicals I have one other tip that I can share:  Using a little corn starch mixed with warm water to make a paste — and using a little elbow grease with a stack of cloth diapers or microfiber or terrycloth towels — will certainly help to remove oxidation and help to preserve the paint.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about paint preservation.

One Comment
  1. So fantastic! Congratulations 🙂

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