in refinishing my original hood for my 1911 ford, i stripped away the top layer of old finish and under neath was this light blue finish. you can still see the stripping on top of the blue. was the original blue finish lighter than originally thought dark, almost black, blue finish with a layer of varnish which has turned black?
inquiring minds want to know. just food for thought.
Try using some mild polishing compound on the blue and you may be able to get a better representation of the original color.
The organic pigments in varnish based finishes tend to darken with age and exposure to light, so all this stuff about the original colors being so dark when new that they might as well have been black I think is bogus. It wasn't a technology limitation. They had the ability to make color back then.
Like Erik said, use a touch of compound on a small spot. Also try another spot with something harmless to wet it, like Prep-Sol or kerosene. You might be looking at oxidation on top from the effect of whatever stripper you used.
Those old color varnish techniques used have little in common with modern auto finishes.
This Google Book link is a 1911 description of painting color varnish finish on cars of the day.
The lake pigments were laid on first as a ground (base) coat, and then the lake pigment was mixed in layers above the ground coat. So what you might have showing as a bright blue could be just the last of the initial lake pigment, oxidized to give that powder blue hue.
https://books.google.com/books?id=fWYxAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA778&lpg=PA778&dq=lake+pigmen ts+in+automobile+painting&source=bl&ots=-du57xdvK5&sig=h1ijNdEuugbeHA8XhIMnMd8fI 14&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAmoVChMI8LjMhJ6XxwIVy8uACh09hgyD#v=onepage&q=lake%20p igments%20in%20automobile%20painting&f=false
I agree with Erik- Do some rubbing and see if you can see anything else. It could be the light blue is the remains of the original color varnish after the stripper ate away (and oxidized?)the outer surface, but it looks like the light blue is over the French gray stripe.
The French Gray stripe has a slight greenish hue. Look under the gray and you will find the original color.
It could be the dark stripe is the layer of paint that was under the gray stripe, and the gray stripe protected the under layer of paint?
Consider this: On an old, old painted wooden sign, let's say it had a dark background, with white lettering. Often the outer layer of paint, has peeled or worn off. But often where the lettering was, the original base layer of paint (the dark background) is still there, but the finished white lettering is long gone, as well as the background paint.
Your hood needs more forensic study.
: ^ )
There are places where it can be sent off for analysis. That's the only way to get a definitive answer. Even then, if you establish that the layer you're seeing is original finish and not a later recoat, it's still an educated guess as to what the original shade was since these unstable finishes shift over time.
actually, the finish was removed in layers by dry and wet sanding in stages. no liquid stripper was used to expose the color. its hard to tell, but the stripe was removed in a small area and the under color was blue pretty much as you see it.
only Henry knows for sure.
Sanding will make a darker finish look like that. Just wet a spot and see how it looks.
First time in over 50 years of being involved with paint that I have heard that varnish based finishes darken with age. Varnish its self does going from clear to yellowing to eventually black.
Most common problem with colors is that they fade. That color on Stuart's hood is exactly what I would expect to see remaining of a dark blue. Dark blue and maroon are well known for loosing their original hue.
Here is a page from a 1911 painting book Titled Carriage painting
Green made with copper oxide is an excellent example of a varnish based finish that will darken with age.
A blue from a 1907 car that I had analyzed, and I believe is comparable to what was used on Fords, was a mixture of Prussian blue (which is iron based and will darken with age), bone black, and white lead used as an accelerator.
Old old paint can be tough to find a proper match. Different types of paint formulations and bases react differently to time, oxidation, and sunlight. Some types like shellac bases and top coats do darken with age and other forces. Some other types, especially color base coatings fade badly in sunlight.
Definitely in the "For what it is worth" category, is a door that I bought a couple years ago at the Bakersfield swap meet. When I bought it, I figured that it had been repainted, and I hoped to use it on my '15 runabout because it was in slightly better condition and much more complete (I was actually hoping to use the original wood as well). After I got it home and tried to fit it into the runabouts body? I discovered something I didn't expect. While the door is a good fit into the runabout's door space, the door hinge is fully a half inch too high on the door for it to work in the '15's body. A recent discussion on this forum (I do wish I was good at searches, and yes, I do use Google) someone said that the 1914 body had the hinge about a half inch higher than all the later bodies. It would appear that the door I got is a '14 door. Or is it?
Other past discussions have speculated that the improved structure 1914 style bodies began to appear as early as July of 1913. A few people have offered evidence that some of the late '13 ('14 style) tourings were painted blue as were most of 1913 touring and runabout cars.
Looking at the door, it may be original paint (although there is a small amount of very old green paint on the top trim that clearly is NOT original).
Could the door be a late '13? Could it be evidence that some early '14 style tourings were blue?
Another related question I still have. Were the runabout bodies changed later? And if so? How much later? The problem with the '13 style touring body was the strength of the sub-frame supporting the rear seat. This was not an issue with the runabout and was not nearly as urgent to be corrected.
Since we are on the subject of faded blue old paint? I thought I would toss this into the mix. Just a little more pot stirring from little old me.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
The 1914 model year began August 1, 1913. The door in your picture is a 1914 or later door. Ford did not paint any Model T's light blue. The evidence to the contrary is simply overwhelming.
My 1915 was light blue when it came into our family 45 years ago. At that time the paint was quite old and looked a lot like your door.
Many examples of unrestored 1911 tourings exist. Paint exposed to the sun often fades to a light shade. You can find evidence of the original ultra dark blue / near black color in areas that were never exposed to the sun.
Read page 361 of Ford Methods and the Ford Shops.
The second priming of the body was a "blue-black coat" at least at the time the articles were written - 1914/15.
Right, but that has nothing to do with the topcoat which we are currently discussing.
My post was meant to be an elaboration on Wayne's post and your post regarding 1914 and 1915 Fords and your mentioning the light blue paint on your '15 Ford (which I presume was weathered based on your comparison to Wayne's photo).
Never intended to infer anything about 1912 Fords….
35 year old restoration that has held up quite well -
My '15 was painted baby blue including the top bows by some "restorer" in the 1950's. Undoubtedly it was his favorite color.
You can see Wayne's 1914 door has green John Deere shaded paint which undoubtedly is not original either.
Bob's '12 looks nice but the color is far too light. The real color is barely discernable as anything other than black, and only in bright light can you detect that it is in fact dark blue.
(Message edited by royce on August 08, 2015)
When you read some historical documents about Model T color, some owner asked Ford to have the car in red and some in dark green…in 1911. But the correct color is dark blue in 1911 but I would say; red and dark green have to be accepted at the same level of the original dark blue no matter what purist would say. The red made in 1911 for the touring was the same than the 1911 Torpedo. If I remember less than 5 Touring 1911 were painted in Red… Not a lot but it is what it is. So you are not supposed loosing any point in car show when your car have on of these 3 colors.
I have a 1908 Autocar that is complete and original. Autocars were available in only two colors. Brewster green or what they called automobile red. My car was Brewster Green but now looks to be black. The striping was red but it too looks black today and is visible only because it is raised over the body finish that it was applied over it. When I removed the acetylene generator the original finish was exposed for the first time and it was indeed green but a very deep dark green. The conclusion I draw from this is that colored varnish finishes just get darker, not lighter and the only way to replicate them is from an original location that has never seen the light of day and I am not certain that even then there will be some darkening from age.