At first, it is hard to imagine someone painting a 2018 911 Porsche Turbo with a brush, but that’s what you’re looking at. And while it looks handpainted, it doesn’t. How’s that for a statement? Though it is handpainted, car paint gets buried in a clear top coat. It then gets color sanded and rubbed out. Looking like it was hewed from a solid chunk of green titanium, it glistens and catches the light differently than straight metallic car paint. But there is no such thing. Is this the next big thing in automotive paint applications, or just a dead end?
What company created this car paint job?
This is the product of Carlex, a company that takes on special builds for clients. Carlex also does custom paint jobs. Besides the unique finish on the previous-generation 911, it has also completely redone the cabin with aged brown leather. Porsche built these between 2015 and 2018.
Of course, sprinkled throughout the Porsche is Carlex Racing identification. But it’s that shimmering British Racing Green car paint that gets your attention. Without knowing the exact details, we can take a stab at the process.
How was this car paint job created?
After primer, the painter applied a coat of green with plenty of reducer and retarder. The reducer thins it out, and the retarder keeps it wet for a longer time. You would need that to be able to go back into the paint if you don’t like a particular brush stroke.
And you’ll need a steady pinstriper’s hand to lay in the paint strokes. Smaller panels will be easier to do, but when it comes to the overall body sides, you can’t do it one door or one fender at a time. You’ll need to lay down a single paint stroke from front to back so that it flows from panel to panel.
How can a brush-painted finish be so smooth?
That’s also why you’ll need a retarder. You don’t want the car paint setting up before you get to the end of your paint stroke. As it dries, it will shrink slightly, which keeps the strokes but smoothes them out a bit. Then, you lay on your clear coats until the finish comes out smooth. But there is more to come.
Color sanding and then machine polishing are next. In some ways, it is like metal flake paint. It lays down rough, as it is just flakes mixed into a tint or clear substrate. But with enough clear applied and then color sanded, it comes out smooth as glass. It just takes many coats and lots of sanding. For the brush-painted surface here, there is much less to clear out to keep the strokes but not the streaks that will otherwise show up in the highlights. Got it?
Is the cabin modified?
From top to bottom the cabin has seen a redo. Besides the chocolate brown aged leather, green leather inserts carry the exterior into the interior. Green plastic interior bits also get green. Unique baseball stitch-like stitching and sewn patterns add interest. Alcantara covers the headliner.
The 3.8-liter boxer mill also received modifications. It now registers 572 hp, which isn’t quite up to current Porsche Turbo standards but should be thrilling enough for this British Racing Green goer.