Pinstriping and hand lettering is one of those lost arts that you seem to need Jedi-like skills to make perfectly straight lines and symetrical designs. But we’ve learned over the years that some of the secrets are in accessories or little add-on things you can put in your painting kit to make things easier and more repeatable. If you’re just starting out there isn’t much we can do to help you jump ahead and become a master pinstriper other than practice. But we can give you some tips on accessories that will help you get better as you get more brush time under your belt. Read below for 5 of our top items we think will help you master your craft.
- The Beugler Pinstriper- This is a tool that’s a trade secret and been something we’ve offered for many years. The Beugler has a barrel or reservoir that holds a small amount of paint and when you set it down on the surface and roll the wheel on the head it distributes the paint over the face of the wheel which you can roll across the panel leaving a pinstripe that is the width of the wheel and easily repeatable. There are different width wheels that allow you to change your stripe. This is a user-friendly way to make perfectly proportional pin stripes with no runs, blobs, or bobbles like with a paint brush. We’ve found the Beugler to be extremely handy when running belt line pinstripes on large vehicles as you don’t need to stop and reload your brush as long as the reservoir in the barrel stays full.
- Magnetic Guide Strip- If you’re trying to run a straight line or a slight curve in a panel you always want to try and find a comfortable spot to rest and drag your hand as you go. If you’re just starting out, have shaky hands, or just don’t have a good spot to follow you can use a magnetic guide strip on the vehicle. If you’re worried about scratching the paint you can put painters tape down on the paint and lay the magnetic strip over the tape for safety. Use the edge of the magnetic strip to rest your hand on or use as a guide to follow the line you want and create a laser straight pin stripe.
- One Shot Paint Flow Enhancer- Depending on the climate you paint in you may find that some days your brush just doesn’t slide across the panel as smooth as you’d like or isn’t leveling out the same. This could be caused by the temps outside, the humidity, or just an unusual panel that the paint isn’t “taking” to like other days. That is where the One-Shot Chromaflow 6000 Flow Enhancer Comes in. Use a small drop or two into your mixed paint and you will find that your paint will level out better and flow onto the panel with ease. This is out go to trick when doing intricate scroll work or curves in our design and need the best flow of the paint. Most hobbyist pinstripers and sign painters will get years of use out of a single can so you don’t need to buy it often!
- Thin Line Pin Striping Tape- It doesn’t matter how good you are at pinstriping you may find that you will need to lay a pattern or design out onto a panel to follow when striping or lettering. Standard Crepe masking tape doesn’t tend to flex well and is difficult to turn corners with. For masking large straight runs standard masking tape works well but Thin Line plastic tape will stretch, flex, and bend around curves in designs. This makes it the ideal tape for laying out custom art work like flames onto a panel before painting. We suggest having a roll of 1/8″ and 1/4″ widths in your pinstriping kit.
- One Shot Hardener- If you’re pin striping a vehicle or panel that might need to be handled in the short term or maybe you want to top coat the panel with a clear coat or a custom effect you will want to convert your One Shot paint to a 2k paint. The upside to this is that you will have a lettering or pinstriping that can be handled in short order and will also cure a little quicker in cold temps. With an activated One-Shot Paint you’ll also be able to apply a 2K Clearcoat or top coat over the pinstriping or lettering. Be mindful though that there will be a much shorter pot life to the paint you mix so if you’re doing a large job or you tend to work slow you may want to only mix small batches at a time. Wasting materials sucks!
If you want to see all of our DIY Pinstriping supplies you can visit our site HERE.