St. Petersburg Times | Sunday, September 19, 2010



The Waterborne method at SilverKing Collision reduces air pollutants and volatile compounds.

KENNETH CITY — Steve Smyrski prefers to tell his children that he's part of the solution, not the problem.  At least that is how he explains the opening of SilverKing Collision Center over a year ago with his wife, Darlene.  After a chance meeting with a representative from a chemical company who visited the dealership where he once worked, Smyrski learned about a new method of using waterborne technology for auto body painting.  Smyrski said he became interested when told that the new method reduced volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants.  The couple also was impressed that the new technology was being promoted by Chip Foose, host of the Ultimate Car Build-Off on the Discovery Channel as well as Jay Leno, who uses the method on his EcoJet.


The Smyrskis had planned on opening their own collision shop, "and this just clinched it," said Smyrski. The new shop at 5525 65th Way N was a timely move for the couple, who say they're ahead of the game.  In the next year or two, five to 10 states will have to switch over (to this method)," said Smyrski, referring to an EPA rule (that was implemented Jan. 9, 2008) to reduce hazardous air pollutants, which requires compliance by March 2011.  ""A lot of shops are scared they're going to slow their production down," said Smyrski. He explained that new vehicles are painted with the waterborne technology and that using solvents is not as effective in matching paints to new vehicles.


Water replaces liquid paint thinner for the benefit of mixing, painting and evaporation. That reduces the amount of toxic solvents used and makes the product more environmentally friendly.  According to Smyrski, by using the correct gun and eliminating overspray, less of the product is blown into the air, reducing hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds.


"Insurance companies are beginning to take interest in this technology," said Smyrski.


Training is part of the requirements of the EPA rule. Classes, sponsored by a chemical company based in Germany, are offered locally and occasionally at Pinellas Technical Education Centers.


In addition to the waterborne technology, SilverKing owners say the entire shop is green focused — including recycling most of its materials


By Carol Sheppard, Neighborhood news watcher
In Print: Sunday, September 19, 2010



Matthew Raghoo, 38, a paint and body technician at SilverKing Collision, prepares a 1957 MGA for the waterborne technology method Monday. Some states must switch to this method in the next couple of years to conform to a federal rule, the shop’s owner says



Steve Smyrski, the shop’s owner, compares paint chips with a vehicle’s color. The new method makes for better matches, he says.




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