Coachlining/ pinstriping

Coachlining/ pinstriping

Fine coach lining used to adorn almost all vehicles from when they were horse drawn up to mechanised transport in the 1980s when haulage lorries were still highly decorated and striped. Unfortunately, this type of work is rarely seen these days in the UK, although in America lining or pin striping as they call it is still very popular. So much so that pin striping is a class of work on its own, where stripers pull lines almost exclusively and don’t do much  lettering. Only practice will result in proficient coachlining/pinstriping, it is essential that all stripes are absolutely straight. Nothing looks worse than a line which is neither straight or even in thickness. Speed from a practised hand is the only way to do finelining.

A good method for striping lines is to run some lining tape a thumb’s width away from where you want the line and then using your thumb as a guide pull the line all the way through to the end. Take care to look at the root of the brush and not too much at the finished line as this can slow down the motion and possibly cause the line to waver. You look at the root of the brush to tell whether it needs recharging with paint, if so carefully lift the brush from the line and onto a pallet & refill the brush with paint. Getting the brush restarted on the line is a little tricky you need to relay it well before the end of the previous line so that the hairs can be gently lowered and the correct width of line is gained.

The brushes used for lining and striping differ from sign writing brushes. The coachliner is a very longhaired brush generally a mixture of sable and ox hair set in quill or ferrules and come in various sizes. The sword striper is a dagger shaped brush made from squirrel hair, it is a more versatile tool because curved as well as straight lines can be made with it. The paint used for striping is sign writing enamel, some good brands are Keeps, Wrights and Craftmaster the English varieties or One-Shot and Ronan lettering enamels from the USA.

Some examples of lining can still be seen in Brighton & Sussex.

British Inn Signs