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Discussion Starter #1
Hello again!

I got an air compressor with all the fixins for my birthday last month, and my wife has been trying to talk me into painting the bike myself since. Now that my "friend" quoted me $800 to do so, I'm seriously considering it.

The problem is I'm logical, not creative- almost to an extreme. I'm afraid of messing it up, although I'm sure I can do it with the right amount of preparation. Can anyone outline the process for me and perhaps give some hints as to the "best ways" to get a good looking DIY paint job?

TIA
 

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Giggity!
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My 2C worth... If your going for a solid color, logical will do just fine! ltms The process can be found all over the net as well as your local library. It's the creative part of a design you might want to ask help with. For that I would stop by a local sign shop. Find a design you like, ask them to show you some color combinatins & be sure to ask for a paint mask & not reagular vinyl. The paint mask is much easier to remove but aplies just the same. I like the mask because it's a nice Clean edge every time. No tape blead.
 

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all i can say is practaice makes purfict. its all in the prep, the mor time you spend in preparing what you are going to paint the better the paint job. frab something to practice on till you get it right
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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Practice moving the paint gun parallel to the surface you are painting, not in arcs. This avoids a thick application in the middle, tapering out to nothing on the edges.

The prep time is ten or twenty times as long as the actual painting will take. Sand out any imperfections until the surface looks and feels perfect. Anything you can see or feel during prep will show up X 100 in the finished job.

Remember $800 will buy a lot of paint. Even if you mess up and have to start over once or twice, you are still saving a PILE of money. I`m looking forward to seeing pics of the finished bike.
 

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I've been repainting my tins a gloss white. The sanding the original decals and paint down took forever, even with 320 grit sandpaper. I've been using the roll on method using Interlux Brightside boat paint (single part polyurethane vs., 2 part poly) since I'm cheap, don't have a compressor, and have never painted anything else other than plastic models when I was younger. I'm finding that this single part poly is amazing stuff. You can spray it or roll it on, and the manufacturer even supports both methods since it has some self leveling to it. Once my last coat dries tonight I'm going to do a final wetsand and then polish tomorrow.

I'll try to take some photos. I think it turned out quite well despite my efforts. :)

I've been looking at air guns and such and seriously thought about switching over to spraying. But I'm poor at the moment and I just want to ride the damned thing. lol

One recommendation though...Go to the junkyard and pay like $20 for an older car fender that's a decent size to practice on. The older cars have more surface area and the fenders have all the areas to practice on. e.g. Flat, curved, tight edges, etc. It's one thing I didn't do that I should have. The practice would have saved me a lot of time and effort on my tank.
 

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are you just painting a solid colour or are you doing some designs to it? Like Hoss said prep is everything. I repainted my bike a month ago, and I just used rattlecan. But I wet sanded like crazy. I went all the way up to 2000 grit. and I am really shocked at how well it came out. I have gotten a lot of compliments on it. and some from pros. one thing too is if you do it yourself when people give you the thumbs up, you can truly say thank you.

also if you screw it up. its easy to sand it down and start over. when you are sanding down if you come across any rust spots and sand down to bare metal you need a primer that is 'self-etching' wal-mart carries this in rattle can it is Dupli-color brand. its army green which doesn't matter. Also another thing to do is use some brush on vehicle undercoating to put under the fenders. it'll help against future rockchips.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
More great info! Thanks so much!

I find myself less worried about doing this on my own with your words (although I want her running again before I paint her).

I want to paint her solid gloss black. The only "design" I want is the bat-symbol on either side of the tank and maybe on the front and back fender in one spot (but probably just on the tank). That should be simple enough with a stencil, no?

Also, you mentioned rust and there isn't much, but I would like to kill it where I can. I've also noticed a few spots on the frame- is it a similar process to sand to bare metal and primer then paint over it? I'll be researching this more seriously now.. with your encouragement and support it looks doable!
 

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Good info above. My experience taught me to use high quality rattle can or automotive paint. Talk to the guys at the paint shop and tell them you are doing a bike cuz our paint is exposed to much more grease and gas. Some paints don't hold up as well as others. My guess is $200 for your materials (everything) if you get the good stuff.

Did you say how big your compressor is? Spray guns suck up the air. It's difficult to spray if you run out of air and got to wait for the compressor to fill up.3 to 4 HP minimum.

It's a lot of fun and a rewarding project, good luck.

DT
 

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Oh you got it easy. plus with gloss it will be easier to get a good clear coat that will protect it from gas drips.
As far as the frame rust, yeah sand it down and prime with the self-etching primer, and paint.
 

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since your doing gloss black make sure you do a good job with the prep work... any imperfections are going to show whit the black.... so sand.... body filer... sand..... body filler.... sand..... body filer and sand untill everything is smooth to the touch.... your hand will show more imperfections that your eyes will pick up.... then spray the paint o the specs of the manufacture...(paint+reducer) spray.... let it flash... spray again... let flash.... and go until it is smooth and uniformly covered... if you do get a drip or a ripple dont worry too much.... you can take a razor blade when its dry and at a 90 degree angle you can srape off the paint on the run or sag little by little.... then hit the area with a light coat of black and your ready for clear.. clear coat it.... sand and buff....
 

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since your doing gloss black make sure you do a good job with the prep work... any imperfections are going to show whit the black.... so sand.... body filer... sand..... body filler.... sand..... body filer and sand untill everything is smooth to the touch.
When you say body filler, do you mean glazing putty for the final steps?

DT
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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I`ve got a question for the experienced painters here. I believe that factory paint jobs are baked in an oven, which gives them extra hardness and durability. Could an individual improvise an oven for a bike with some plywood and a couple of heat lamps? Also, would it be worth the time and effort?
 

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The Professor
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I`ve got a question for the experienced painters here. I believe that factory paint jobs are baked in an oven, which gives them extra hardness and durability. Could an individual improvise an oven for a bike with some plywood and a couple of heat lamps? Also, would it be worth the time and effort?
You would have to keep the temperature around 170 for a couple hours and have a circulation fan to evenly distribute the heat and a fan to exhaust the fumes to prevent solvent popping. :doh:
 

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One recommendation though...Go to the junkyard and pay like $20 for an older car fender that's a decent size to practice on. The older cars have more surface area and the fenders have all the areas to practice on. e.g. Flat, curved, tight edges, etc. It's one thing I didn't do that I should have. The practice would have saved me a lot of time and effort on my tank.
I have been waiting to do my own paint job on the bike. I actually have some artistic ability and would love to put it to the bike. This is a GREAT idea! One question: with all the sanding that's needed, does anyone know if power sanders work with this type of project? I don't want to cut corners but if I can save some momo down-time I will... :motorcycl
 

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The Reanimater
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My Uncle was a Body and Fender man for 40years. He showed me a little trick to remove the Original Paint if your doing a repair job. Now this only works on the Metal surfaces. Take a little Propane Torch and Heat/burn the paint on the spot you need to sand down. Then take a wire-wheel to it. It takes it off down to the metal.
Just don't over heat the metal.


The sanding the original decals and paint down took forever, even with 320 grit sandpaper.

One recommendation though...Go to the junkyard and pay like $20 for an older car fender that's a decent size to practice on. The older cars have more surface area and the fenders have all the areas to practice on. e.g. Flat, curved, tight edges, etc. It's one thing I didn't do that I should have. The practice would have saved me a lot of time and effort on my tank.
 

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My Uncle was a Body and Fender man for 40years. He showed me a little trick to remove the Original Paint if your doing a repair job. Now this only works on the Metal surfaces. Take a little Propane Torch and Heat/burn the paint on the spot you need to sand down. Then take a wire-wheel to it. It takes it off down to the metal.
Just don't over heat the metal.
Hey JT --

Hmm, that's an interesting idea! I never thought about using heat to remove paint. :wow:

I recently painted my front fender and used spray-on paint remover from Advance Auto to remove the paint. Spray it on, wait about 20 minutes and wipe it off with a wet rag. I was surprised at how well it worked!! :rockon:
 

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dirt track - yeah i forgot that step... thanks for pointing that out....

and liberty pilot.... yeah you can use an electric or pnumatic sander but once you take the majority off you will want to go by hand because you cant get the same contours... either use a sanding sponge.... (looks like a long brick that is very flexible) or if you cant find one or dont have one just ise a normal dish sponge with the paper around it.. that way you dont sand more where your fingers are pressing.. again like said earlier... $800 for someone to do it bus alot of supplies to do it yourself and then you know how to do it afterwards...
 
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