Rattle-Can Painting? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Rattle-Can Painting?

So I'm planning on using a rattle can to paint several parts of my bike matte black (trying to get as much changed for the least cost).

I've read a bit and received some good info on how to paint it, I just have a few questions for those that have done it:

1) Can you paint anything that's not an actual mechanical component? I want to paint the following:

Tank
Fenders
Headlight housing
Tailight housing
Turn signal housings
Entire electronics cluster housing

I'm assuming that's fine? I know they are different materials (some plastic, some metals).

2) What prep work do I need to do before painting?

3) Any other tips?


Thanks a ton!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 05:38 PM
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you can use an Adhesion promoter or self-etching primer. And then paint with whatever you want. If you just want to keep them black, you might try a product called Back To Black first. It's a buffing polish and brings old oxidized plastic back to good luster. Also if you have a bench grinder..try getting a buffing wheel and use the light blue rouge stick which is graded for use with polishing plastics. I plan to resurrect many of my older parts using these methods. Hope that helps.

New rider/mechanic of '85 VN700 Vulcan. (25k miles)

Link to bike restoration blog:
http://trailofthewolf.blogspot.com/s...%20Restoration
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 07:51 PM
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I rattle can-ed my Nighthawk (below) with Dupli-Color Honda Nighthawk Black Pearl and Dupli-Color Clear. I can tell you the Dupli-Color Clear will not stand up to gas spills on the tank- I read this and have been very careful to not spill any. There is a 2 part rattle can clear available but I forgot the name of it, I plan on using it in the future. I'm not sure if you need clear for matte finishes so this may be TMI.

The headlight housing being chrome with be TOUGH to cover correctly and have it match the rest of the bike's color.

turn light housings should be the same as what I did with my fairings, sand them smooth, make sure no debris is left, and prime, sand, prime, wet sand, paint, wet sand, clear (or matte, not sure of the process).

The tail light housing and gauges are chromed plastic. I've never painted this, but have heard it's tough but not nearly as tough as the true chrome headlight housing. Try the self etching primer or adhesion promoter as suggested.

HOWEVER- if your gauge housings are in perfect shape without scratches, I'd gladly trade you my scratched up housings for them. I'll even do the prep work on them for you!

Your tank and fenders are metal, so you could do what I did for my Nighthawk tank (the fairings and rear cowl are all plastic). What I did for my Nighthawk tank (I'll leave out the dent repair and bondo I did) was I stripped all the paint off the tank to bare metal (do not do this on plastic pieces as the stripper will melt the plastic) and sanded in varying grits starting about 800 up to 2000. I then used alcohol to remove all the dust and let air dry then immediately put self sealing primer on it. I then sanded that using the same process and finally wet sanded with 2000 or higher grit. Let dry. Again, apply alcohol to clear the dust etc, and I then put the black pearl color on. I had a hard time sweeping the can too fast because I didn't want to lay the paint on thick, and I was accidentally "fogging" the paint so I had to slow down my sweeping motion. Once I corrected this, and had a nice even finish, I wet sanded with 2000 again, alcohol-ed, let dry, and then cleared waiting about 10 mins or so between coats. I ended up with a great finish and get compliments on it all the time. Not trying to brag, but no one believes it's my first paint job.

If there's one thing I read that one should take to heart, it's PREP, PREP, PREP. You can never prep too much. If you see the slightest imperfection at the primer stage, sand it off. You get the smooth as glass look from the prep at the primer stage, not in the paint or clear. I worked in my garage without a booth downdraft so I was constantly worried about contaminents. And don't paint when windy outside.

PM me some of those links to doing a matte finish. I'm putting together paint ideas for my vulcan and shadow and would love to know how to matte paint correctly since it's all the rage. I'm thinking about doing my tank and fenders half matte, half gloss in this certain striping/flaming effect. If not I'll probably go all gloss with the effect/stripe done in a dark gunmetal on top of black.

One last thing, DO NOT use Rustoleum primer, because I read there is something in the rust proofing there that reacts something terrible with the paint (unless you use Rustoleum paint). General rule that I read is use the same manufacturer of primer and clear as you will for the paint color, that way everything is guaranteed to be compatible.

1985 Vulcan 700 (VN700A1) - 18,960 miles - bought for $600 - was told it only needed carb idle screws and fuel lines to run correctly - it used to start

1983 Honda Nighthawk 750 (CB750SC) - 30,000 miles - 95% fully restored
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 10:02 PM
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i have matted out several parts of my bike including the side covers, guage covers, headlamp, turn signals and exhuast. Let me tell you what i learned the hard way.

1. must sand all surfaces regardless if they are metal or plastic

2. must prime all surfaces regardless if they are metal or plastic

3. cant use the cheap paint. you may not have to use the most expensive either but if you dont sand, prime, and use good paint then the paint will come off very quick and you will have to redo it all.

ALSO for a cool look I dont mind sharing with others.. I matted the headlight housing flat black but then painted the outer ring that holds the bulb in a high gloss black which created a nice constrast.

If you sand down the chrome on the exhaust and use exhaust paint then you can get a nice look and after six months mine has not had any issues. To me it looks better than the wrap and its alot cheaper.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 10:07 PM
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My speedo and tach covers are in bad shape too. Here's a pic:


I plan to sand the chrome down, fill the bad spots with some bondo, primer and then repaint with the chrome paint. If they hold up great, if they don't I'll probably order the new housings, but they're not cracked or anything..so I figure it's worth a shot.

New rider/mechanic of '85 VN700 Vulcan. (25k miles)

Link to bike restoration blog:
http://trailofthewolf.blogspot.com/s...%20Restoration
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 10:26 PM
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i repainted everything ur showing with a rattle can...took my time...and all my buddies thought i had bought new parts. take ur time and do the proper prep work and ull come out money ahead and a good mod.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 10:34 PM
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wolf, my tach is in worse shape than yours, but not by much. My Speedo housing looks slightly better than yours. But thanks to the other posts, I now know how to repair them using exhaust "chrome" paint. I'll also do that with the "headers" that are on it, since I just have straight pipes coming out of the engine- no mufflers. I guess that means mine has been "de-goated".

1985 Vulcan 700 (VN700A1) - 18,960 miles - bought for $600 - was told it only needed carb idle screws and fuel lines to run correctly - it used to start

1983 Honda Nighthawk 750 (CB750SC) - 30,000 miles - 95% fully restored
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 10:39 PM
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i will say that anything crome will have to be roughed up pretty good for paint to stick, other wise it will probably peal in time
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 11:11 PM
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Joshua...if you've got a big cavernous space up under your battery box..or you can see your R/R from underneath the bike..then yeah...you've been degoated.

So what is this chrome "exhaust" paint?? I was planning to just use your standard chrome rattlecan paint. My current exhaust is nasty looking...and it's Mac pipes which sound like crap from the youtube videos I've watched. I'd like to put Cobras on mine personally. They have a deeper rumble and don't seem to be quite as screaming loud as the V&H pipes. Dunno for sure yet...just what I've listened to on YouTube. I'll probably clean up and mount what I've got first and then go from there.

New rider/mechanic of '85 VN700 Vulcan. (25k miles)

Link to bike restoration blog:
http://trailofthewolf.blogspot.com/s...%20Restoration
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 11:28 PM
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High temperature aka High heat paint. I've seen it in the paint section at autozone. It's usually offered in purple, blue, green and red "chrome like" finishes, and silver as well, with the silver replicating chrome coating. Probably sold with some kind of special primer. I was going to use it to refinish my gauge housings, but some of these posts have me thinking about doing them and the headlight in matte black with the trim rings in gloss black.

Of course, painting gauge housings are months and months and months ahead of where I am now with the bike, I have yet to get my engine pulled.

1985 Vulcan 700 (VN700A1) - 18,960 miles - bought for $600 - was told it only needed carb idle screws and fuel lines to run correctly - it used to start

1983 Honda Nighthawk 750 (CB750SC) - 30,000 miles - 95% fully restored
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