The newb vs. the Rattlecan!! - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 173 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Wink The newb vs. the Rattlecan!!

Greetings. See my intro in the new members section if you want more info about me and my bike.

I am going to repaint my all but new and barely broken in 1992 VN750. I am a crazy sort and always up for adventure so I want to do it myself. I do have a compressor but don't really want to buy a gun or learn how to use it so I'm just going rattlecan. Scoff if you must, I've seen good results this way. Not by a newb you say! Oh well, everyone starts out as a newb.

My first trick is this. Over the past three years I've been picking up tins on eBay and I have an entire spare set. So my plan is to paint them, then swap them out on the bike. That way if they turn out poorly, well what do you know I have another set I can start on. Back and forth until I like it, or if I want to try different paint schemes, etc. What they hey, right?

For those playing along at home I have probably $225 into my second set of tins. The fenders and side covers are easy to find and can be had cheaply if you wait. The tank is harder as you all know. You can pay $200 for a totally whipped one some days, and then a month later see a decent one squeak by for $40. I just scored a very nice one, almost no interior rust and only one small ding to bondo for about $85. I was happy with that.

I've googled and researched and there is certainly a lot of information about rattlecan paintjobs on bikes out there but it seems to me they all assume a good bit of familiarity with the process, tools, etc. I have none, so I will write mine for the next newb. I assume you know what I know- absolutely nothing. I'll also do my best to identify exactly what I am using, where I got it, and what it cost.

So for any newbs (and you vets please correct me if I am mistaken about anything) to repaint the tins we first must take the old paint OFF. That is the first step.

On the advice of another friend I decided to go with chemical stripping of the old paint. Some places on the 'net say you don't have to remove the old paint. Just scuff it up and call it primer. That doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Other methods of removing the paint- sanding, sandblasting, heat, can damage or distort the metal. I'm not looking for more problems to fix, so I am going to try the chemical method.

I say try because I have not done it yet. Was going to start but the air temp here is only 50 degrees today. The stripper can says it needs to be at least 70. If there is one thing all the info about doing this says universally it's "be patient" and "take your time on prep" so I decided NOT to begin the stripping today. But I wanted to get in motion so I took some photos and started this thread.

Stand by for all the blow by blow updates!!

Oh, color scheme. For visibility I want to paint it a light color and I think the coolest light color is pearl white. Haven't 100% identified my source for that in a rattlecan, so if anyone has a suggestion shout it out. I figure I have plenty to keep me busy with the stripping and prep while I look.

So anyway, going to paint the tank and fenders pearl white (or if not the coolest white I can find) and the side covers matte black. I am considering doing them (and other removable accent pieces- like say the neck side covers, radiator cowl, etc.) in something like truck bed liner material. For the color and the texture. Get a rugged feel in there. So over all she will be a cool white on a flat black or rugged textured black frame.


The Motley Tins!


The front fender. I am going to try this first. Wonder if those scratches will come out with the paint or will I have to fill?!


My magic bullet. Tal-Strip Aircraft coating remover. Says it's for 'aluminum and other metals'. Cost was $8 at the Advanced Auto Parts store down the street.

I will let you know how it goes when I find time to work on it on a day that is warm enough! If I am about to do something stupid just hollar. I might well ignore you as I do learn well by making mistakes, but I do promise to acknowledge you were correct after I complete my bungle!!
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post #2 of 173 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 10:45 PM
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hey man.. im glad your taking the initiative to do it yourself.... one thing ill add to your thing is and i cant stress enough a good paint job is in the prep work... the better and smother it is before you spray the better the paint is going to be.... you can check out the House of kolor paint line.... they have some awesome pearls that you can get in a spray can.... i actually sprayed my helmet with the lime time pearl ant it looked awesome.... another thing you might want to look into is dupli-color has a clear that has metal flake in it that gives a brliant burst when light hits it.... good luck and keep us updated

Mike Reppert
2002 VN 750
1980 Monte carlo

"I am not over weight ,I am under tall" Denny
^^^^^ i completely agree^^^^^^
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post #3 of 173 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 10:48 PM
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Good luck and yes please keep us updated on your progress. That front fender looks to be just deep scratches so you shouldnt need to fill.


Peace

"You came out of your mom looking like SHlT. She thought you were beautiful. Don't know what scared me most, your looks or her judgment."











Pictures of the "Ladies"

Last edited by wkrizan; 04-27-2009 at 10:50 PM.
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post #4 of 173 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 11:00 PM
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yep, prep and prep, and then a little more prep. Get things fairly smooth with 400 grit paper, then start wet-sanding with 800, and work your way up. 1000, 1500, 2000. A coat of paint in between. You dont need to strip the paint all the way down to the metal as long as you scuff up the paint really well. the factory paint will adhere much better then the rattlecan. the rattlecan works just fine. I redid my tins this year in flat black and it turned out really well.
The spots you have deeper scratches maybe, but just use the 400 to feather the spots out. If you do get doewn to the paint you need to use a self-etching primer. Dupli-color makes this, they sell it at wal-mart in the auto section.
There have been a few posts on here lately about painting. check them out.

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post #5 of 173 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 11:55 PM
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Cool warm the cans

a number of years ago (ok, like in the 70's)... i read an article in Road&Track where a guy painted his Ferrari with spray cans. he warmed them up in hot water before using them. i remember the result came out real good, he did multiple light coats.. however when he added up what all the cans cost, he could have gotten it painted by an auto body shop.

at any rate.. i think warming the cans up in warm water might be a good idea.. keeps the paint from coming out in heavy chunks.

96 Vulcan 750
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post #6 of 173 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 12:01 AM
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yeah I have heard about that. I know I would set my cans on the heat vents before painting. but I did that cuz they had been out in the garage. and I wanted all the materials involved to be above 60 degress
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post #7 of 173 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 12:40 AM
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You don`t want to heat the cans over 120*F. But at that temp the paint flows very smooth and even.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
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July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/11-vn750-general-discussion/9127-top-ten-items-you-would-suggest-new-owner-do-his-new-ride.html
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post #8 of 173 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys! I had read about the keeping the paint warm. Best method I saw was a bucket of hot water. I have a gas grill with a side burner. Maybe I'll heat water in that and transfer it to another bucket periodically to keep the temp where we need it. Assuming it's a cold day and not already 90 degrees air temp! I would think on a hot summer day you'd be warm enough just in the air.

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Originally Posted by Jace Bror View Post
yep, prep and prep, and then a little more prep. Get things fairly smooth with 400 grit paper, then start wet-sanding with 800, and work your way up. 1000, 1500, 2000. A coat of paint in between.
OK, here is a good example of what I mean by confusing newbs. I am talking about the prep phase and you say to use these progressively more fine sandpapers. OK, I assume you are saying to do this before painting, and then you say a coat of paint in between... so now I guess this sanding is after each coat? So prep and primer and then 5 coats of paint, one for each step of sandpaper you described? Are the last 2 clear coats? Then the very last coat, is it sanded also? No one is ever clear about that.

Wet sanding I finally think I understand. That's something else people assume you know how to do. Is that the thing where you have one of those block/spongey sanding blocks and you dip it in a bucket of water with dishsoap in it periodically?

Also I think you are describing all hand sanding, although initially when I thought you were talking about sanding the paint down as prep work I pictured a DA (Dual Action) sander. But I think you meant manual work, right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jace Bror View Post
You dont need to strip the paint all the way down to the metal as long as you scuff up the paint really well. the factory paint will adhere much better then the rattlecan.
This is the best argument for this I have heard. I presume you mean the factory paint will adhere to the metal better than the rattlecan primer. Is that what you mean?

I might do say the half of the rear fender that goes under the seat first now with the chem stripper and just scuff the rest and see how it comes out. I believe your argument but is this another consideration:

They sell different colors of primer, and darker primers seem to be for darker finish colors. I have dark green fenders and a black tank. Both dark, but I wonder if they will contribute differently to the white paint and make them not match? Maybe it won't make that much difference. Just trying to anticipate. It helps me process what I'm being told and what it all means.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jace Bror View Post
If you do get doewn to the paint you need to use a self-etching primer. Dupli-color makes this, they sell it at wal-mart in the auto section.
OK, I think I follow you. Tell me how close I am. When you say "if you get down to the paint" I presume you are talking about the prep method that involves just scuffing the factory paint. So are you saying to do that I just need to get past the factory clear coat? If so, how will I know when I'm that far? And I presume this will be done with hand sanding. Wet not necessary. Do I need to progress grits or anything or just use one? If so, which? 400?

Quote:
There have been a few posts on here lately about painting. check them out.
Been reading 'em, here and elsewhere. I found them to have 80% of the needed info with the last 20% inadvertently hidden by the assumptions of the writers. I have never painted anything but walls, houses, and misc. little doo-dads. Never anything automotive.

And then of course there is the conflicting advice- you have to get to the metal, you don't have to take off the old paint, rattlecan is fine, never use a rattlecan, by a gun from Harbor Freight, etc. A guy can go insane listening to it all!

So that's why I plan to be so exhaustive and clear with this!

Also, I am in Omaha, NE. If there happen to be any members in my area who want to work on this together and do their bike as well I would be open to that. Garage buddy?
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post #9 of 173 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 08:27 AM
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No where near Omaha NE but I'm definitely doing my own paint job as a noob as well. I'm still in the information gathering stage and this thread is helping. I believe in 95% research, 5% execution. I plan on grabbing a practice fender this week and seeing what a lot of sand paper and little elbow grease can do to it. After that its rattle can base black then green flames. The flames are the part I can't wait to do. I have some artistic ability and know exactly what I want but I'm a perfectionist and refuse to let haste ruin the job.

Anyway, welcome to the forum and keep us posted. Good luck!
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post #10 of 173 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 10:00 AM
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what we meant by prep is the ammount of time you take before painting tpo make sure the whole area is smooth and silky before you decide to start spraying.. do nice even light coats until its completely covered... now some people say not to sand the color and just wait till you spray the clear but others say you should sand the color to make sure its all uniform.... now like i said if you get drips or runs just let it dry and take a razor blade to it at a 90 degree angle.... scrape lightly and then repaint the area... when you get to the clear it can be dificult to get the right covereage without getting runs.... so same applies with that too... i would suggest atleast 3 good coats of clear before you decide to start sanding.... now you can go wet or dry but when you sand what you are looking and feeling for is that all the dimples are gone and the sheen of the clear coat is completely gone.... it will look like frosted glass when done correctly.... then you get a buffer (orbital/directional) and start with a larger cutting compound... wipe off and go to a smaller cutting compound..... wipe and then to a polishing compound.. once it is to your liking you can goahead and throw some wax on it.... again feel free to ask questions and dont be afraid to use youtube... thats where i got most of my info from... and if your like me and learn faster by seeing its alot better

Mike Reppert
2002 VN 750
1980 Monte carlo

"I am not over weight ,I am under tall" Denny
^^^^^ i completely agree^^^^^^
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