The Car: StarChaser

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StarChaser has gone to car heaven. She was rusting shut and bees were nesting
in her nooks and crannies. I had my mechanic take her away.
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I miss the fun we had driving her, but NO … I am not planning on painting my current car … at least not yet. My current car is a Saturn though, so you can imagine the theme I’d pick if I did that. 

I used ordinary “dollar store” acrylic craft paint coated with spray varnish, and it seemed to last for a season or so. There were some spots where it was flaking off, I think because I didn’t prepare the surface well, I forgot to varnish it, or because the weather was too cold when I painted it. So I scrapped the flaky paint away and over-painted it with new designs. With no upkeep, many sections lasted well over 4 years.

This is a painted tribute to my spirit-cats,
Minou and Punkin.

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My friend D’arcy had the idea for this rainbow butterfly design.

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Children loved it. I caught tourists taking pictures of it. Some guys seemed really distressed by it for some reason. You should see the faces they made. I don’t know what’s up with that – I didn’t paint on THEIR cars, heh heh … but sometimes I got really cool reactions from the people I would least expect to appreciate it. Most people reacted quite well to it. I remember one stereotypical biker guy looking up at it – at first he was like a deer caught in headlights, but then he smiled and bellowed “Yeah!” as we drove past, and you could hear him laughing a block away. 

Jupiter was the gas tank cover!

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I really did this because I was bored, had a lot of paint I wasn’t using, it was starting to have a lot of chips and rust, and this car put me through hell in 2003 (brake jobs, new tranny, she really set me back). In a way, it was my way of expressing something positive instead of staying frustrated. And it covered up a few rust spots. The weird thing is I had a lot less “car trouble” once I started painting. Coincidence I am sure 😉

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Above the driver’s side door it said “Everyone is someone else’s weirdo”.

FAQs:

Who did the artwork?

Me, myself and I. Yes, really.

How long did it take to do that much artwork on your car?

About a week or two, if I did nothing else. But I did this over time, a little here, a little there.

Why did you do this?

For fun! And because it was rusting up and I did not have money for a new paint job (or a new car for that matter). Nobody in their right mind would ever steal THIS car. It was easy to find in parking lots. I was hoping to get some business to but that didn’t really pan out.

Why the (expletive deleted) did you do this?

Lighten up. It was my car, not yours.

Why didn’t/don’t you paint the roof?

Who is gonna see it besides birds, truckers, helicopter pilots and angels? And besides, it is hard to get up there without a ladder.

What other sorts of things do you paint?

What have you got?… I have painted mailboxes, duvet covers, t-shirts, furniture … I love “non-traditional” media and surfaces. Yes, I have done some fine art canvases too.

Can you paint my car?

Sure, if you got about $3,000 and can live without your car for a week or two.

Do you do mural work? What does that cost?

That depends on the complexity and size of the project. I’d actually love to volunteer to paint for children’s hospitals or other charities at a low rate or for the cost of the paint though. That would be fun, and it would be cool to brighten someone’s life … if you know of a hospital or community centre open to the idea let me know!

How did you do it?

I used ordinary acrylic craft paint coated with 3-4 coats of spray varnish. I primarily use a sponging technique with some brushwork for detail. I didn’t sand it or do anything other than clean the surface with soap and water.

How long does it last?

Well, I started this in 2003. I found I had to do small touchups in the spring, but the painting style (sponging) is very forgiving. And with acrylics, if you don’t like something, you just paint over it. One paint job would last a year or two, but I can’t guarantee it. If you want something permanent, I’d have to research the cost of actual car paint. I’ve never used it. 

Would you do this again?

In a heartbeat – if the right vehicle comes along. One day I dream of finding a trailer, on old Volkswagon van or a camper van to play with! I don’t know if I will do it on my primary vehicle again.

Other Art Car Sites:

Gawd Bless Rectangle Auto Supply! … if you live in the Niagara region, and need an affordable, honest mechanic, drop by and tell them I sent you. 

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