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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.
 

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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.
 

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Mississippi Rider
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:hitanykeyi 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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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.
 

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Mississippi Rider
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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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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".
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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yeah..I know the stuff you mean now. Like the VHT Flameproof paints.

Not sure what I'll do with the trim rings...maybe black. I know some folks have said they catch a lot of glare from them and the black helps with that. And yeah working on gauges are several months from now for me too.

You'll feel tons better once you've got that engine torn down and really know what you've got and how bad or not it really is. I wanted to make sure I had enough engine left to work with on mine...so I could plan the cost of this project better.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
After this discussion I'm considering a glossy coating...

*ignorance alert*

Can you buy clear coat as a spray, like the rattle cans?

I'm assuming I can buy all of these supplies at a place like Auto Zone...but I haven't checked.
 

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not ignorant at all...heck I'm trying to figure all this out and learning as I go and I haven't shot the first spray of paint yet!

The problem with all the rattlecan paint, whether it's primer, color or clear is that it doesn't have the hardeners in it which allow it to fully cure and give the best fuel and chemical protection.

I will tell you that a legitimate option if you wanna go cheap is to use a clear coat that comes in a can where you trigger a release button on the bottom of the can and it injects the hardener at that point. Sorry I don't have the name of it or the brand, but I've read about it and was considering it as option, before I decided to spray gun the whole process. The regular type clear coats at Autozone and elsewhere won't last 5 minutes when gas hits them and they'll stay sticky.
 

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Mississippi Rider
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doing a can job i wouldnt recommend clear coating your tank or fenders... thats the part you would be most likely to mess up applying and if you do mess up you will have to strip all the way back down. Just use high gloss paint and keep a wax job on it and youll be gold. wont take 20 mins a month to keep wax on it.

spray on clear coat is low quality regardless of price. somethings cant be replicated as well and factory clear coat is something you cant buy in a can.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Clear coating just seems annoying altogether...and I do like the raw look of flat black. Would I need to clear coat when doing that, or just sand, prime, sand, paint?
 

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Mississippi Rider
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thats just it. sand prine sand and paint...make sure you get sandalbe primer...if it doesnt say sandalbe primer then its not. of course you could also put on a satin finish which gives the paint a "fullness" or depth but not the reflective glare of gloss. remember if you get flat matte paint then any oil based liquids that come into contact with it will leave a hard to remove residue (stain).
 

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My spray can tips are ... Warm the paint in a bucket of really warm water. Spay in even sweeps and keep the spray going PAST your work before tracking back in the other direction. Several light coats are better than fewer heavy coats.

If you can, build a "spray booth" with plastic drop cloths to minimize dust. (wear rubber gloves and a dust mask) DO NOT rush.... Take your time and leave time between coats. A whole week before you clearcoat is not excessive.
 

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Ron/lance328`s recommendation for the best rattlecan paint for use on steel is RUSTOLEUM PROFESSIONAL HIGH PERFORMANCE GLOSS ENAMEL.

For the black plastic parts- neck covers, grill and coolant tank cover use KRYLON FUSION SATIN BLACK. His statement was that -"After two weeks you cannot scratch it".
 

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Just ran across this as a possible option too.
http://www.vhtpaint.com/rollbarchassis.html
From the threads I've been reading about it, it's used a lot in the 4x4 world as a very tough finish for bumpers, brush pans, etc..goes down easy...no clear coat necessary and very easy touch up if required. Comes in Gloss or Satin too. I think it would make an outstanding frame paint and maybe even tank and tins..since it seems to be chemical resistant too. Just throwing out ideas...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just ran across this as a possible option too.
http://www.vhtpaint.com/rollbarchassis.html
From the threads I've been reading about it, it's used a lot in the 4x4 world as a very tough finish for bumpers, brush pans, etc..goes down easy...no clear coat necessary and very easy touch up if required. Comes in Gloss or Satin too. I think it would make an outstanding frame paint and maybe even tank and tins..since it seems to be chemical resistant too. Just throwing out ideas...
Interesting for sure...do you think a tank could get over 250*F in the hot sun though? I may try to contact them. I'd love to have an all in one solution.
 
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