As one of Nissan's go-to guys, John Wargo of The Custom Shop decided to build a Nissan Murano for SEMA. Fortunately for us, he was in the process of laying down some dope graphics when we caught up with him. We followed along as he showed us some cool techniques that make the difference between an average paintjob and a well-executed one. John and his dad Vern Wargo are partners in The Custom Shop and have been credited with more than 72 feature and cover-vehicle paintjobs. John started painting when he was 14, and together, he and his father have more than 40 years of painting experience. John and his crew at The Custom Shop (Rich Lloyd, Shawn Guy, and Alex Betts) can tackle any buildup duty, including air suspension, body modifications, custom interior, and of course, mild-to-wild custom paintjobs.
For the Nissan SEMA project, the crew started with a stock silver Murano. The concept drawing by Sean Sancia depicts a lowered Murano with a black custom interior and sporting big rollers. The icing on the project is a modest but detailed two-tone paintjob, split by leopard flames and silver 3-D trim. For John, Vern, and their crew, this task wasn't going to be difficult. However, they were still careful not to procrastinate or underestimate the project ahead.
The entire Nissan was first disassembled and masked off to ensure that there wouldn't be any unwanted paint on any part of the vehicle. Once the first layer of graphics was taped and the two different tones were divided, the DuPont '04 Corvette Yellow and Nissan White bases were sprayed. With the bases laid, the graphics phase ensued. Once all the measurements were made and the flame scheme had been masked and cut out, the leopard spots were applied. After the flames were sprayed, shadowed, and pinstriped, the silver 3-D trim was shadowed and separated, creating the pop effect John was after. With the paint sprayed and all the masking removed, the Murano was cut and buffed to a brilliant shine. Follow along to learn what it takes to lay down phat graphics and do it right the first time.