Custom Painter Charley Hutton’s switch to PPG’s Envirobase High Performance waterborne paint resulted in brighter colors with easier color-matching, he says.Shown in PPG’s booth at the recent SEMA Show, the ’39 Oldsmobile Series 60 Convertible named “Olds Cool” won the 53rd annual Ridler Award at the 2016 Detroit Autorama and glows in a custom-mix metallic Envirobase High Performance waterborne finish by Charley Hutton.

Industry celeb Charley Hutton discusses his switch to waterborne paint

Hutton says PPG Envirobase High Performance gives truer, brighter, cleaner colors

Las Vegas—When he was asked to try PPG Envirobase High Performance waterborne paint, Charley Hutton, owner of Charley Hutton’s Color Studio in Nampa, Idaho, hesitated changing from a system that was working.

“I got to play with it, and once I did, I realized I was able to create colors that were so much cleaner and more brilliant than what I could do before. And now with modern technologies and how they’re able to grind the pigments finer and finer to get that transparency, they’re able to achieve that custom candy look without the amount of work it used to take us,” he said at the recent SEMA Show panel discussion, “Color Matching & Styling: More than Painting by Numbers.”

Hutton said he wants the paint on his cars to “look like I just stretched the color over the top. Whatever you spray takes on the profile of the surface. So, we spray over a wet-sanded surface.”

The repairability of waterborne is “10 times easier than it used to be,” Hutton said, which is important when building a custom car and assembling thousands of painted parts, as well as when painting a car intended to be driven and receiving its share of road rash.

Hutton said he found Envirobase’s metallic control to be more forgiving of environmental and spray technique irregularities, which results in a consistent color match.

“We could take 10 painters and make a batch of EHP waterborne silver and a batch of solvent silver,” he said, “and pour the batches into 10 different guns and have the painters spray them. All of the waters will match. And I’ll have 10 different shades of the other. For the ’39 Olds, in just engine parts, I had 119 pieces in the booth at one time, and I’m spraying each one individually. So color matching is extremely important, because the judges love to find anything wrong with it.”

Hutton said he sprays multiple color cards to visually capture the true color effect when working to meet a customer’s expectations. He noted at a recent car show, two cars parked near each other were painted in one of the colors from PPG’s Charley Hutton Ridler Color Collection, one in solvent, and one in waterborne, and it was wonderful to see that his collection is so popular in both waterborne and solvent.     

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.