Kandies 101: History, Tips & Tricks
Kandies (Candy) The Chemical makeup of these finishes are toners/dyes and clear which give the colors their distinctive translucent/transparent look. Kandies are sprayed over a reflective base coat traditionally Metallic Gold or Silver. As the Kandy craze grew in the late 50 and early 60s in Southern California painters became more creative with their base coats. While many custom painters where using Silver and Gold bases. A custom painter by the name of Larry Watson took the road less traveled and used a Copper Metallic base which set Kandy Apple Red off the charts with it’s warm hue. Watson became the man for all things Kandy.
Bases will change the feel of Kandy top coats; the five most common base coats are as follows:
Gold: A warm feel.
Silver: A Cool feel.
Copper: A Very Warm and rich feel………. My personal favorite.
White Pearl: A Warm and Cool feel depending on the hue of the Pearl.
Black Pearl: A Warm and Cool feel depending on the hue of the Pearl.
Kandies are by far one of the most difficult finishes to apply due to its transparent nature, if the paint is not applied in a uniform fashion the finish will have light and dark spots and tiger striping…. So how do we get an even finish? Follow along:
A) Slightly over reduce your Kandy color by about 10%.
B) Walking the Dog….. When we paint 1:1 we walk the length of the vehicle or object with no interruption while making each pass…. Same with a Model, spray the length of the body without interruption to avoid unevenness in the Kandy finish.
C) Applying medium wet coats with a 50% overlap, you want to bring the color on slow. With Kandies the Trick is to bring the color on slow…..Never apply full wet coats with Kandies.
D) Tip & Trick……After 3 to 4 coats of Kandy cut the Kandy mix 50% with clear, Maintain the same reduction and application procedures
E) Apply two coats of the cut Kandy mixture, this mixture will aid in an even and uniform finish.
F) Apply two full wet coats of clear over the Kandy for protection of the finish.
A typical Kandy job on a 1:1 is 5 to 7 coats which can lead to a fair amount of material thickness, if you are going to paint a Kandy finish you may want to consider deeper scribe lines at the panel definitions.
Contrary to the belief of more is better…. You know the saying “I put 20 coats of paint on and it looks Yada Yada” Not so with Kandies as they have what’s called a ceiling color, once you reach the ceiling color (5 to 7 coats) you stop applying color…. If you continue to add color after you reach the ceiling point you lose DOI Distinctness of image. Meaning: You start to lose the reflectivity of the base coat which in turn makes the color look dull and muddy.
Kandies can be applied over any base coat and are not limited to the traditional five. Experiment have fun with it….. The only limit is your imagination!
Peace….. Jimmy “RASS”