“How To” Project- Using Alclad


-“How-To” Paint Project-

Using Alclad

by KB Kustoms


What I do to get a SpectraFlame finish on a car with bodywork (and sometimes even those with no bodywork because I personally think this looks more like the original Mattel colors) is:

  • Prime car and sand/repeat until the body work is absolutely smooth
  • Lay down a base coat of Urethane Jet BLACK, Hi Gloss…the more smooth and glossy this is, the better the chrome effect!! I sometimes will even clear-coat at this point just to get the ultra smooth surface!!!


You can use any enamel base black for this according to Alclad, but, they do recommend Automotive paints. And usually when you put Lacquer over Enamel, a bad reaction between the two will take place, but I have noticed that Alclad does not always follow this rule, so, just be careful what you use as a base coat…its always a good idea to test the compatibility of the paints first by spraying a junk body with the same type of paints you want to use BEFORE spraying your project car!!! If there are any reactions when the Alclad is applied, then try another type or brand of base color until you find one that is compatible. Let your base color dry pretty well before proceeding, but, don’t wait too long because Alclad is picky about its base coat being FRESH.


The dry times will vary depending on what type of paint you use, but, as an example, the Urethane I use dries to the point of being handled in less than 24 hours, the Alclad needs to be applied within 48 hours or a danger of it rubbing off comes into play. Just use this as a rule with your paints dry times and you should be fine for SpectraFlame finishes…something like full chrome and especially Black Chrome would be a lot more picky about this because they would not have any paint OVER the Alclad thus more likely to have problems with the chrome paint rubbing off if this “window of opportunity” is not strictly followed!!

  • Use the Alclad Chrome lacquer over this. Just a couple medium wet coats should do it. While its wet, it may look a little dull….don’t let that scare ya!!…Just give it a few minutes!!…As the Alclad dries, it should start to look like real chrome!!!
  • The Alclad dries very quickly so you can start spraying the color coats on within 10-15 minutes.
  • Do light coats of the color!! I have noticed that sometimes if I lay the Candy color on too fast or too heavy, the Alclad can have a reaction similar to “wrinkle or crazing”.
  • When you have it the color that you want, just clear it a few times and there you have it!!!

Now when Alclad chrome is covered with ANY other paint, the chrome effect WILL be diminished. However, it does have a nice sparkle/flake in it when coated with candy colors, and again, I personally this looks more like the the original SF used by Mattel in the late 60s!!! I use it nearly exclusively now for all my Candy paints and flames!!! It does not look the same as if you had polished or chromed the casting, but, it DOES look good and its a lot less work to do this as opposed to heavily polishing a casting first!!!



Here is one that I did a few months ago with this method. The flames are Chromalusion, but, the main color is Candy Cherry Red over Alclad.


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