Monday, August 13, 2018

Painting my car (in 23 dimensions)

(; Seth Auberon (ed.), Wisdom Quarterly

Inside the 23-Dimensional World of A Car’s Paint Job
Painter Coco Gonzalez (Christie Hemm Klok)
Hue. Saturation. Luminance. Sparkle. Fixing a door ding is about way more than color. (Also: Why the sky is blue and clouds are white).
Adalberto Gonzalez may well be one of the best painters of cars in Northern California.

He doesn’t work in the eye-popping sparkle-and-shine mode of Cali low-rider culture, and he only rarely finds himself refinishing an Italian exotic.

Gonzalez, who goes by the nickname Coco, runs the paint room at Alameda Collision Repair, a high-quality shop that fixes slightly more than 13 cars every day, six days a week.

Painting a panel, from a simple ding to something much, much worse is the last stop in a car repair, which makes it a bottleneck.

What makes Gonzalez so good is that he's fast. He is an artist at uncorking the bottleneck. But unlike most artists, if you can perceive even the faintest hint of his work, he has made a mistake.

You’re thinking, big whoop. A car comes in, a 2015 Toyota Camry, let's say, in Ruby Flare Pearl (that’s red) needing a bashed-in door Bondo’d and sanded. You just go to a shelf and take down 2015 Toyota Ruby Flare Pearl, click a canister into an airgun, and swoosh, you’re back on the road, right?
Nope. Car companies have put 50,000 to 60,000 car colors on the road, but even a big body shop like Alameda Collision Repair has just 70 or 80 colors on its shelves. Turns out Gonzalez isn't just a fast painter, he’s a fast matcher. “I get the closest one,” he says, “and then I match the color.” More

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