Yes. Capital letters for that one. This shit is getting out of hand. I posed Saturday that I was thinking about plastidipping my Civic wagon before our overland trip. The subsequent days have been spent fretting over color, finish, sheen, flake, and all the other myriad of options. It has been exhausting.

Note: There are going to be a lot of brand names, screenshots, prices, etc on this post. No one has paid me for this post. DipYourCar.com and PaintWithPears.com just happen to be the two sources I’m primarily looking at.

The biggest revelation of the weekend is my goto of a matte finish won’t work. The Civic has a lot of hail and miscellaneous body damage and apparently a matte finish highlights this rather than hide it. (How I am planning on addressing that is another topic entirely.)

Shit.

Ok, so semi-gloss and gloss finishes are a bit of a different look than I am used to, but I am open to it. Unfortunately this opened me up to looking at all the crazy, advanced finishes available, including those not sourced by DipYourCar.

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Further, my primary color consultant on this, George, thinks I shouldn’t go with blue as... well all my cars are either blue or grey. This is a fair point.

Also, which George didn’t point out but is more of a problem to me, Taylor’s XTerra is a beautiful shade of blue, so when we do group photos adding an additional blue to that might look... weird.

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Additionally, I’m still hemmed in by the Civic’s interior being a sea of blue.

Goals

So, straight away I decided to start trying to take an engineering approach. Catalog my options, goals, and budget. Budget is easy: excluding body work I want this to cost less than $500. So basically that gives me $450 to spend on stuff with the assumption $50 will go to tax and shipping.

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So... goals. I have them.

  1. Look good IRL
  2. Coordinate with the interior
  3. Look good in photos
  4. Make me (and other people) smile

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I think 1-3 are pretty self explanatory.

Number 4, however, has been the problem child. I want this to look good, but not look like I’m taking myself or this car too seriously. Striking the middle ground between cool and bro has been more difficult than I’d anticipated.

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A lot of the time I’ll try to imagine what something looks like and, yup, looks like I’m taking myself seriously..

Bright, over the top colors would solve this, but, aside from blue, these won’t work with the interior. Neutrals would, but I’m concerned they’ll look too serious.

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Overthinking this? Yes. 100%.

Color and Finish Options

My options list has grown and shrunk as the days have worn on. The problem is I am finding this project entirely too consuming. I cannot overstate how much time I’ve spent on it.

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Seriously. This is the real problem. I just need to pull the trigger.

Anyway... options.

Blues

Despite my earlier assertion, blue is still top of the charts. Current leader is a metallic candy pearl blue or a slate blue. Or both. Or maybe a slate blue with a interference candy top coat?

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Slate Blue
Screenshot: DipYourCar.com
Blue interference pearl
Photo: PaintWithPearl.com

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Sky Blue Candy Pearl
Photo: PaintWithPearl.com

The thought of an ice blue metallic is also pretty cool. This is very close to the OE color too which is... something.

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Teal Candy Pearls
Photo: PaintWithPearl.com

Teal is also in the front of my mind as an option. I think it wouldn’t be revolting with the blue interior and is certainly different than my other options.

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Teal is certainly... cool.
Screenshot: DipYourCar.com

Brown

Yeah... brown is in the running. DYC sells two browns I like, one called “Root Beer” and another called “Motor Oil”. A brown manual 4WD wagon does sound like fun, but I’m also not... sure I’m there.

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Neutrals

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Really the only neutrals left in the running are grey or black with a blue interference pearl or something to make them slightly... more. The largest benefit of going with a grey or a black is that they’re good bases for other colors, if and when I decide to change it down the road.

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My concern is this will not fall in that valley of cool but not taking myself seriously. Also while I love the look of iridescence I don’t know that it’d fit with the overland vibe we’re going for.

Glow

Yeah, I am still thinking about this. The problem is I have yet to see a car that was done in dip, not wrap, and/ or what it looks like when not artificially charged. (Sunlight, headlights, etc) Every video I’ve seen is a wrap and usually charged with a video light or a UV flashlight. Every video I’ve seen done with spray the effect is very blotchy.

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Screenshot: YouTube

I think glow just doesn’t lend itself to spay as spray paints rely on layers to get an even coat. If you have an additive effect, like glow, you’ll never get an even application of glow material over the surface.

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So as cool of an idea as it is, I am worried the execution would be lacking. Plus, if it was awesome and viable, every bro truck in the universe would be sporting it. Since they’re not we can only conclude it is a fool’s errand.

Top Coats and Finishes

There are a variety of color shifting additives and finishes available and all of them are making me fret over the possibilities. The forerunners are some of the light color shifting metalics, like the Nightshade below:

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Could be cool?
Photo: PaintWithPearl.com

On the insane end of the spectrum, for an absolutely staggering amount of money I could do “Holographic pearls”. At $65 per 25 grams (for reference everything else I am looking at is in the $10 - $15 range) these are certainly striking and I think over a metallic blue they’d be stunning.

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Nothing wrong with posting a photo of a photo on a professional website... right >_>
Photo: PaintWithPearl.com

But, again, $65 per bag, of which I may need more than one, would pretty much blow the budget for this project.

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Interference and ghost pearls, as mentioned in the “Blues” section are also on the table.

Forerunners as of writing

Writing this has helped cement my feelings... sort of. Here is a list in no particular order:

  • Force Teal
  • Sky Blue Candy Metallic
  • Root Beer
  • Slate Blue

If you put a gun to my head and made me choose right now, it’d be Slate Blue. A safe choice, but not a bad one IMO. Yesterday I was leaning towards Sky Blue and in the time I took to edit this post I’ve started to gravitate towards Teal.

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Hopefully I can put this to rest sooner rather than later, because it is seriously harshing my calm.