Regardless of whether you're walking through a parking lot at your local cruise night, or across the fairgrounds at a major event, it's easy for your eyes to become overwhelmed by vibrant, glossy paintjobs. Pearlescent bodies covered with flames, graphics, and even metalflake highlights seem to call for your attention at every corner.

However, it's the subtle cars that seem to easily gather crowds with their non-metallic bodies covered in simple postwar color combinations. If you factor in a car sporting original, well-worn factory paint, most of the time the crowds around it will get even deeper. There's nothing more pure than a hot rod running some of Detroit's original vibe showing off its wear and tear as the decades have passed. Original patina makes a statement all on its own, regardless of whether it's been on the street since it left the production line or if it was hauled out of a barn the year prior and just brought back to life.

What happens, though, if you are building an era-correct hot rod and want that aged look for your new creation? There are a number of ways to inject the soul into your build to establish a look that appears to have weathered the years gone by. A properly executed patina'd paintjob should not only look the part, it should also cause anyone checking it out to ponder whether it's always been there.

The team at the Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop in Greenfield Center, New York, builds some of the most well-recognized, traditional hot rods in the country today. Each one is an individual statement melding vintage style and performance along with the appearance that the car is decades old. Their signature patina'd bodies have become the benchmark for the look, and we were able to get the lowdown on just how it's achieved.

Team member Matt Schmidt let us follow along as he prepared to age a newly fabricated rear roll pan for a 1932 Ford coupe. With the bodywork and initial priming portion of the job completed, it was time to focus on turning back time. Once the panel was sanded smooth with up to 320-grit dry, he followed using a maroon scuff pad, being sure to work it into every crevice and contour.

Schmidt then prepared the panel for the next step by first blowing it clean and then washing it thoroughly with PPG Acryli-Clean DX330 wax and grease remover to remove any contaminants from the surface, and then dried it with a soft, white cloth. To begin the creation of the illusion, Schmidt mixed some PPG Kondar DZ7 Acrylic Primer Surfacer Red Oxide with a dash of Duracryl DDL9300 black acrylic lacquer to attain just the right shade. Mixed in a ratio of one part paint to one and a half parts thinner, he began the application to the surface of the roll pan using a 1-inch bristle brush. The primer was then dabbed into key areas that would naturally wear or deteriorate due to age and abuse.

This is where the artistic skills come heavily into play as you plan out the future to create the past. Many of the areas received additional coats to build up the surface since they will be worn through as the procedures reach completion.

Once the surface had sufficiently dried, Schmidt followed by mixing the mid-coat, which will act as the breakthrough color to accentuate the look once the wet-sanding process begins. PPG Washington Blue Duracryl Acrylic Lacquer and DX685 Urethane Flattening Agent in a ratio of 9-ounce flattener to 1-quart gloss thinned with lacquer thinner in a ratio of one part paint to one and a half parts thinner were sprayed onto the panel in two heavy coats.