Arsn or Arsen

Classic Piece Breakdown: Arsn: Fill: Rust-Oleum, ‘Gloss Orange,’ Rust-Oleum, American Accents ‘Indian Spice’ & Rust-Oleum, American Accents ‘Honey.’ Designs: Krylon, ‘Hunter Green’, Artissin, ‘Blue’ and ‘Mint Green’ and Rust-Oleum, ‘Dark Blue.’ (Artissin is a new artist brand made in America). Outline: MTN 94 ‘Dark Purple’ with Rust-Oleum, ‘Fern’ frosts. Highlights: Rust-Oleum, ‘White.’ Background outline: Rust-Oleum, American Accents ‘Orchid.’ (used the remainder of Indian Spice can from ARMN also pictured)

Tell us a little about yourself… How long you’ve been painting and who you’re down with etc.
Started messing up the neighborhood in the early 90’s with firecrackers and spray paint, but didn’t realize what graffiti was till 1994, and didn’t take it serious and start doing pieces until 1997. Got into freights a year later, and that’s when I started to really notice quality differences in brands of paint. Crews – BMC, Circle T /(T), ITD, YME, DUC, DIE, FDA.

So what brands of paint did you use most frequently in the early years?
The early years were strictly Krylon, a lot of hunter green, jade, school bus yellow, leather and medium brown, mauve, and of course picking up anything that came out that said “new” on the cover. Discovered Painter’s Touch and American Accents a little later, one might say they were kind of the gateway paint to the OG Stop’s Rust line.

Classic Piece Breakdown: ‘Arsnholysm’ Fill: Rust-Oleum, ‘Gloss White’ faded to Rust-Oleum, ‘Harbor Blue.’ Designs: Rust-Oleum, Industrial Choice ‘Light Gray.’ Outline: Krylon, ‘True Blue.’ 3D: Rust-Oleum, ‘Orange.’ Highlights: Krylon, ‘Flat White.’ Background outline: Monster, ‘Purple.’ Cloud: Rust-Oleum, American Accents ‘Green Apple.’

Are you a can collector?
I’m more of a former collector, not actively digging or trading but will buy/rack/talk down the price of something in a store if I see it. I still check out the occasional hardware store if its one I missed or if it has that feel to it. I was laid off from my day job for a bit and would hunt like crazy for a while, added bonus was getting a ton of user paint for cheap as a throw in with the deals.

Can you still find old paint stock in your area?
I think we did a pretty thorough job of digging back in the early 2000’s, and a lot of the places we’ve hit, or even missed, have gone out of business since then. I think there are some spots that could have something, there’s just too many places out there to rule out a find. Old stock now could even be considered a Krylon score, pre-360. It’s amazing that we used to go out hoping to settle for a hot pink or even a baby blue, and now I’d personally settle for a 4 year old can of flat white or ultra flat black that could take NY caps.

Any good racking stories?
I’m allegedly a portly fellow, so usually the most I could get when I racked was 2 or 3 cans in the waistline, but there have been a few times where I got over. One time we did a production with cereal characters and I went into a couple of stores with an empty cereal box, needless to say the free prize inside that day was the paint! Surprisingly it fit 3 cans and I was able to jock a couple additional bonus colors. End of the day’s tally was in the high teens, and the scheme worked at one of the big box stores as well. My boys knew a guy in the paint department who’s now actually in some hugely successful boy band in Europe, and while they were talking I was adding some spray paint shaped marshmallows to my Lucky Charms box. I was never big on racking and gave it up a long time ago, but I get a lot of bulk/closeout deals and hardly ever have to buy full priced paint. I do make exceptions for new colors and old favorites.

Classic Piece Breakdown: ‘Secret Weapon’ UPFE’s never die: Krylon Teal Blue faded up to PT Country Blue with color choice “secret weapon” blue (don’t know the actual name, only how we referred to it), Black outline/3D with fancy paint green dashes, Krylon, ‘Hot Pink’ Border.

Any favorite old paint stores?
For me it would have to be a local chain called Town Paint and Supply. I got a lot of baby blue, school bus yellow, and avocado from them…and a ton of American Accents Indian Spice and Autumn Gold. They’ve mostly gone out of business/sold out, and the one or two left for sure don’t have any leftovers. Also, I’d like to say a personal type of store that was a favorite as well was industrial supply stores. They had paint and nobody ever seemed to buy it, so they were nearly always a success when it came to old stock. Collectors often overlooked them too.

Best discontinued paint, and why?
I love the Krylon colors, cans and nostalgia, but for me it was Rusto because it could be used longer. Krylon cans seem to have a higher seam burst ratio, especially ‘Sunset Orange’… seems like almost every can of that I have bubbles at the valve opening or leaks at the seams. I have Rusto’s from the late 70s and early 80s that I’ve used and they work with almost no pressure loss, whereas Krylon seems to lose its pressure much faster. Best colors for me would have to be ‘Avocado’ in both of those brands, ‘Baby Blue’/’Harbor Blue’, ‘Hot Pink’, ‘Brick’, ‘Adobe’ and AA ‘Indian Spice’/’Autumn Gold.’

Classic Piece Breakdown: Oldie but goodie! Fill: Rust-Oleum, ‘Festival Green’ with Rust-Oleum, ‘Avocado’ whirls and ‘Winter Gray’ Painter’s Touch designs. Outline & 3D: ‘Black’ with Rust-Oleum, American Accents ‘Indian Spice’ dashes. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch ‘Berry Pink’ & ‘Pretty Pink’ double border. Cloud: Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch ‘Country Blue’ & ‘Grape.’

Any good racked cap/can combos?
Stoner glass cleaner tip on Rusto! (Boston Thins for the win!)

Worst paint ever award goes to?
Zynolyte, Champion, Plutonium G (just because it’s shaped like a dildo, the name is horrible, and it feels like I’m gonna end up on a terror watch list for Googling the name).

What are some of your best painting experiences?
CN flats, autoracks, and abandoned shacks. Trips to Pennsylvania, Maryland, Maine and Montreal. Lots of good folks and good freights along the way. Blizzards, close calls and everything between, but nothing spectacular really stands out. May 2000 to mid 2004…a lot gone done, with a lot of good friends, plus we hit the sauce pretty hard. Stuff still gets done, just not as much on my end.

How do you feel about the brands of Euro paint and their impact on the scene?
I think they have their place. I think that the domestics have certainly made it easier to make the switch by changing old formulas and packaging aspects. If it’s not getting more diluted in thickness, it’s getting harder to spray it fatter. The switch to thinner paint (Krylon) was only made worse by the switch to female caps and Danvern fan spray tips. I highly recommend the female tips from Trout Art Supply – they’ve saved me from having to rely on Euro paint too heavily, though I do enjoy the extra colors that are available for use.

Classic Piece Breakdown: Spek-Arsn Cherry/White: This was a good night, met up with Spek after work and hit up the local Michaels who were the go to spot for Krylon back in the day. Picked up some Cherry Red and Flat Whites to go along with some Rusto Whites we were already sporting. Get to the layup and Ichabod had already beaten us to the left panel on this Golden West. Decided to sidebust him and add these Red/White pieces with Green Apple borders. Funny thing is that this flick is spotted on Flickr a few years later and the Cherry Red has totally outlasted colorwise over the AA Green Apple which has obviously faded. Photo Credit: Someone on Flickr (don’t get butt-hurt if I stole it from you and don’t remember!)

If you could choose a few cans to keep on your shelf, what would they be?
Krylon, ‘International Harvester Red’ for piecing/outlines, endless supply of ‘Clover Green’, AA ‘Indian Spice’, ‘Harbor Blue’/’Baby Blue’, ‘Black’, ‘White’, ‘Pastel Aqua’ (used one once by accident), and ‘Avocado.’

Any other comments?
…Never did score a spot with a Jungle Green find! Peace to the homies Space, Epik, Spek, Aves, Mes, Owl, Jec, Monoe, Ich-the-bod, Dwel, Drift, Groe, Bare, Point, Tint, the Maine contingent, Norms, and finally Kem for all the help of late. Also, peace to anyone I’ve left out and met along the way. If this were the Oscars they’d be playing me out by now. Lastly, thanks to the guys at CMC and support your local hardware retailer (and have your pets spayed or neutered!)

Piece color breakdowns –
One of my favorite schemes: Rusto Avocado to AA Leafy Green top to bottom fade. Navy or Regal Blue Krylon outline / 3D with Popsicle Orange bursts. Baby Blue border, clover green fill effects and Krylon flat white highlights.

Classic Piece Breakdown: Epik-Arsn ARMN Choo: Arsn: Fill: Rust-Oleum, American Accents ‘Indian Spice’, (in the RS), faded into Rust-Oleum, American Accents ‘Honey’ with Chase Colorspray, Ultimate Enamel ‘Fuchsia’ (good thick stuff but male valve and smells like lemons!) and Krylon, ‘Grape’ designs. 3D: Valspar Gloss ‘Mediterranean.’ Outline: Rust-Oleum, ‘Night Tide,’ (Boston Thin), with Rust-Oleum, Painter’s Touch ‘Keylime’ border. Rust-Oleum, ‘Fern’ bubbles and MTN 94 blueish/white highlights. Photo Credit – Rockoe Dennis (Flickr)

Dedicated to the Preservation of Spray

Cap Matches Color is focused on the collecting, preservation, and dissemination of spray paint culture. Its vintage spray paint focus covers topics from spray paint use, to spray paint acquisition, to the design of the spray can graphics themselves.


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