Paint matching for the LT
My 05 LT is the graphite with lower region a kind-of gray/silver. I have also gone to a local automotive aint shop in the Puget Sound region (Seattle) and have explored what it would take to purchase both colors for touch-up work or painting helmets or whatever. Here is what I encountered and what I have done to engage the problem:
First, the LT is painted with Glasurite. The formulations for the graphite and the lower bike region are different, not just due to color, and also involve an additional step with the lower color. Just to get set up to 'shoot' Glasurite would be cost prohibitive (in excess of $1k). Also, the catalyst has a shelf life of only two weeks. Paint shops frequently applying Glasurite can absorb the initial cost of purchasing all the components required and also absorb the on-going costs since this paint is OEM on a number of European vehicles and costs of continuing operation are passed on to the consumer.
As an alternative, the local paint shop took digital photos (using their instrument)of the upper and lower region of my LT and formulated the pigmented paint accordingly. The clear coat for both colors is the same. PPG is the paint company and they have what they call a 'European' line of paint which is purportedly a real good match to OEM Glasurite at a fraction of the cost. Even so, i walked away with a bill slightly over $300 which included a very pricey reducer, etc. I am planning this winter to use both paints on an experimental basis to see how well they match the OEM paint...some adjusting may result until the right tonation is achieved. Once this is achieved, quarts (minimum) can be purchased. The PPG catalyst shelf life, once the container is opened, is also two weeks. I have the formulation at home for both colors (I'm at work). I would be willing to share this information on the paint formulations if anyone chooses to PM me.
NOTE: I am also going to experiment with using a product called 'Bloxygen', available from Woodworker's Supply of New Mexico. This is a pressurized cannister which is filled with, I believe, Nitrogen or Argon??????. I build high-end furniture. Once paint containers are opened, the nozzle of the aerosol is poked down into the opened paint container, the lid is kept mostly on, and two to five seconds burst of gas is inserted, the aerosol is rapidly removed, and the lid secured. The theory is to replace the oxygen with an inert atmosphere, thus, reducing oxidation/aging of the paint. I don't know if this will prolong the life of the catalyst...we'll see.