What do you write?
Sperm, UTS

Tell us a little about yourself… How long you’ve been painting and who you’re down with etc.
Started around 1985-86, mainly taggin’. First public piece would have been a school commision in 1987 which was pretty poor to be honest… Wish i had a flick of it though to see if it was as bad as I think it was! Started to paint proper pieces around early 1988 and haven’t stopped since. I guess I was painting the hardest from 1989-1992. Buses, trains, walls… it all got done.

So what brands of paint did you use most frequently in the early years?
Dupli-Color, Smoothrite, Buntlack, Spectra, Krylon & Carplan.

^Sperm, ‘The Ill Shit PT2’, 5 Points, NYC. 2007.

Are you a can collector?

Can you still find old paint stock in your area?
It’s possible I guess, I haven’t really gone looking for it.

Any good racking stories?
Thorns was a DIY/Hardware store in the centre of the city with 3 different entrances. The paint was located at the back of the store so you had to go by one of the checkouts to exit the store. Sometimes the cashier would go off to help someone out and that would be a perfect time to fill up the bags, stuff paint up the sleeves and get the hell out!

One time me and an old painting partner got drunk one Saturday afternoon and decided to pay them a visit! They were the only hardware store to stock Krylon. We racked a couple of cans each and then decided to go bombin’ on a busy Saturday afternoon! We hit walls and buses right in the middle of the city centre in front of anyone and everyone… people were like WTF..??! We just didn’t give a shit. It was a funny time I’m really surprised we didn’t get caught that day! Guess that was more a bombin’ story!

^ ‘Sperm/Krime’, The Dell, Norwich, UK. 1990. German Buntlack cans in action!

^Classic Piece Breakdown: ‘Krime’ Fill: Buntlack ‘Lilac’, ‘May Green’, ‘Rich Green’, ‘Rose Pink’, ‘Violet Red’. Background: Krylon ‘Dark Blue’ & ‘Red’. Outline: Smoothrite ‘Black’. 3D: Dupli-Color. Highlights: Smoothrite ‘White’. ‘Sperm’ fill: Carplan ‘Sahara Beige’ & ‘Ivory’ & Dupli-color ‘Yellow’.

Any favorite old paint stores?
The one I mentioned above, Thorns. Mainly because it was the easiest place to rack from and the only place to stock Krylon, they also stocked Smoothrite.

Best discontinued paint, and why?
Hmmm… I think the old style Buntlack. The colors were so fresh back then, and from what I remember it was nice thick paint and it even had a nice smell. Smoothrite deserves a mention also… Nice and thick, good coverage, great for outlining – Not so good on the choice of colors. Sure we never used stock caps on Smoothrite. I can vaguely remember swiping caps from large Carplan paints, I think they had 3 different types of caps on random cans. They had a Red caligraphy type cap, with a Black adjustable centre.. Was pretty rare to find those and at the right angle would produce a nice skinny line. Think there was an Orange dot too, maybe a Yellow dot, but those were best to avoid.. then there was the reliable Black dot.

Carplan & Dupli-Color had a wide range of colors but also had a lot of rubbish. The Pastels were good and the rest was mainly a bit hmmm? The Blues were decent enough, 3 maybe 4 different shades that were useable. ‘Caribbean Blue’ is the only name I can remember though. Same goes for the Greens.. Hycote ‘Applejack’ was nice, and I think there was a Jade and a Clover..?? (Might be getting muddled with another brand here), and again some of the others were ok and a couple of the Browns were decent enough. Carplan was all male cans… there wasn’t many female cans in the UK, although I think Spectra Chrome was male.

Started using Sparvar around 94. Remember it being the best out there at the time.. Purples & Pinks!! For Buntlack we had to travel to London, to the ‘London Graphic Centre’ in Covent Garden. We had to go down to the basement with a member of staff to pick colors, so it was pretty difficult to rack as there always seemed to be a member of staff present. Way too expensive paint even then, (1988-1991), it was £4.50/£5.00 a tin! But it was dope paint, nice and thick, and a nice selection of colors, inc. Pink, Purple & Lilac which from every visit I always bought at least 1 of those colors. I hear it’s about £10 a tin now and the formula has been changed for the worse..??

Never really bothered with mixing paint.. seemed to be too much time and hassle.. I just wanted to PAINT!

^Classic Piece Breakdown: ‘Spy’, The Dell, Norwich, UK. 1990. Fill: Buntlack ‘Brown’, ‘Pink’, Dupli-color ‘Cream’, ‘Yellow’ & ‘Beige’, Smoothrite ‘White’. Cloud: Buntlack ‘Grey’. 3D: ????. Background outline: Krylon ‘Light Blue’. Cloud outline: Krylon ‘Dark Blue’. Outline: Smoothrite ‘Black’.

^Classic Piece Breakdown: ‘Kesm’, Trackside dub, Norwich, UK. 1989. Fill: Spectra ‘Chrome’. Outline: Smoothrite ‘Black’. A great combination!

Any good racked cap/can combos?
I did get some nice caps from a Deodorant brand, not sure which though, could of been Lynx before they changed it? They’d fit nicely on the Spectra chromes for a fat line.

‘Worst paint ever’ award goes to?
Probably Holt’s. I was given £30, (cheapskates), to do a board for a jam and ended up trying out Holt’s as it was the cheapest – BIG mistake! Watery, weak, no coverage.. soaked into everything – The only thing it had going for it was that it was cheap! – about 30p a tin in the bargain bucket.. think i would rather have a Mars bar than waste 30p on that rubbish!

What are some of your best painting experiences?
Has to be visiting New York a couple of years ago. Painting a handball wall and also painting at 5 Points. Good times! It does’nt get much better than that!

How do you feel about the brands of Euro paint and their impact on the scene?
I think its great. The Belton Molotow Premium range has it all really.

^Classic Piece Breakdown: Anglia Square, Norwich, UK. 2007. All Belton Molotow Premium apart from one of the Greens which was Montana Hardcore.

If you could choose a few cans to have on your shelf, what would they be?
Krylon ‘Pennant Blue’ would be nice!! Also Smoothrite ‘Black’ & Buntlack ‘Lilac’ in the old original style.

Any other comments?
Many thanks to Meal… Also shouts to the UTS crew: Meal, Cor, Worn, Dest, Vino, Gnasher, Cook, Norms & Slyle.

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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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