I'm usually not a fan of unpainted carbon fiber parts on a car. Unless it's a black or dark-colored car, the contrast between the carbon fiber and the car itself just isn't something I like, especially in the case of larger parts like a hood or a trunk. I know there are others who do like that but it's just not usually something I'd go for. I'm especially against the look of an unpainted hood on the 2015-2019 WRX and WRX STI because of the panel of paint between the hood and the grille itself. It looks odd to me, so I had pretty much ruled out the idea entirely for my Hyper Blue STI.
The idea of hood vents, no matter how functional or useful they might be, had always been something I wanted to add to my car at some point. However, the only two ways I had seen this achieved was with either a carbon fiber hood or cutting holes in the stock hood. Neither option really seemed desirable until I saw what a fellow Hyper Blue STI owner had done with his. He had painted the entire hood to match and left the vents on either side in carbon fiber. A hint of weave showing through with the rest dressed to impress. I loved the idea, found a hood, and got to work!
Paint-matching the factory Hyper Blue color was easy. This car isn't that old so there's really no fade to worry about. Plus the M3Y paint doesn't have any tricky metallic or pearl coat to mess around with so the only tough part was the vents. The paint line around the vents after masking them off would've been easy to spot and feel if it wasn't done properly, so we sanded them down to have a nice finish when the clear coat was applied. The end result was a crisp line between Hyper Blue and Carbon Fiber while maintaining a smooth glossy texture along those lines.
I'm incredibly happy with how this hood turned out. The larger hood scoop is much more obvious and the side vents add some contrast and detail to the car. Once I've finished building the new air dam to feed my top mount intercooler, it'll be even better. For now, I'm just happy with how this aggressive hood has transformed the look of my car.