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Old 09-10-2008, 06:50 PM   #1
reckon
the cake is a lie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Motorcycles: 82 Yamaha Vision / Yamaha TZ 125cc turbocharged APS/BF speed record bike
Name: Joe
How to paint a motorcycle without a compressor & spray gun

(thanks to mike23w for the reformatting )

Materials and Costs

- Adhesion Promoter.....1 cans. $24.24. Bulldog. (KLE ETP0123B)
- Acid Etch Primer......1 cans. $15.65. U-Pol #8 Acid Etch Primer. (UPO 741)
- High Build Primer...2-3 cans. $15.44. U-Pol #5 High Build Primer. (UPO 763)
- Guide Coat............1 cans. .$8.53. U-Pol Guide Coat(UPO 2043)
- Base Coat...........3-4 cans. .$5.04. U-Pol Power Can - Gloss Black (UPO 803)
- Clear Coat..........4-6 cans. $15.15. U-Pol #1 Clear Coat (UPO 796)

Total: $205.80 + $30.19 shipping to CA + $15.95 tax.
Total: $251.94
* Calculation of total used highest number of cans (3 high build primer, 4 basecoat, 6 clear coat). Prices as of 3/1/2009.

Prices and product codes are from http://www.tcpglobal.com.


(open thread)

Introduction
This is NOT a "how to paint with rattle cans" article.

Instead it deals with how to get truly professional results WITHOUT having a compressor, or spray gun, and the $350 in accessories IN ADDITION to the compressor and spray gun,.....read and enjoy

Background
I have been painting motorcycles, cars, bicycles and just about anything that will hold still long enough for something like 35+ years now.

I started off like most, with rattle cans in the garage or driveway, but I got bitten bad by the kustom kraze in the early seventies, and wanted to airbrush and pinstripe, just like Ed 'big daddy' Roth, so I went out and got brushes, paints and a paasche VL (good ol airbrush) and just completely screwed up perfectly good looking motorcycles, cars and bikes for a couple of years or so (all my own, thank god), but eventually I learned the rattle can way, the hard way, the easy way, the fast way, the super uber quality way, and just about everyway in between….

I spent so much money on paint and airbrushes, and compressors and supplies I had to start my own restoration-custom paint business, and did just that for many years.

Being an avid biker since I can remember I would get MANY requests to paint motorcycles, and more questions ABOUT painting motorcycles than any other, the ONE question that kept coming up over and over was “can I paint my motorcycle with rattle can paints and get good results, that LAST?”

Since most of you can probably (or already have) figured out the hard way, and the “it looked good for a week” way, in this article I’ll detail how to paint a motorcycle using nothing but rattle can, or “spray bomb” paints, and get truly professional LONG lasting results. (7+ years looking perfect is not at ALL uncommon) it’ll cost a bit more than your typical spray bomb job, and the toughest thing will probably be convincing people that it really IS a rattle can job.

Preparation
  • LOCATION
    First off you’ll need a space to paint free of any ignition sources, and with good ventilation: usually painting outside with the ground wetted down, and then the piece moved into a sealed up garage or shed after painting works VERY well,

    HOWEVER! be VERY careful about over spray settling onto neighbors property as nothing will piss off a neighbor more than finding the family truckster dusted with paint over spray after they saw you shooting your bike yesterday (so you get tarps, and offer to cover the nearby cars or whatever if need be)

  • RESPIRATOR
    Second thing is you only get two lungs, and only so many brain cells per lifetime, so go get a GOOD charcoal canister dust/mist/vapor respirator, and WEAR IT WHEN YOU SHOOT.

  • PAINT SUIT
    Most of the crap that lands in a paint job (professionally called “nibs”) come from YOU, NOT the surrounding area as it might seem, so when you get your respirator, get a .99 cent disposable PAINT SUIT AND HOOD, and WEAR IT WHEN YOU SHOOT, not so much to protect you from the paint (which it DOES), but it also contains all your skin cells, hair, dandruff, sanding dust, yada yada.

    besides half the fun of painting is having someone you know see you while your painting, when you look like someone from the andromeda galaxy,…. and if you like peace and quiet, know that 99% of people will NOT approach a person dressed like he’s going to a nuclear radiation accident!

  • TEST PANEL

    The BIGGEST (and most common) rookie mistake is to try and "learn" how to shoot ON the thing you are trying to paint, DO NOT DO THIS unless you have experience shooting MOTORCYCLES and that’s the rub, just because you know how to lay glass on a car hood, or fender, don't think you can just start shooting bikes with totally new spray can products and not have a learning curve, so take my advice, and make your mistakes on the practice piece, and not your R1, or BMW or whatever.

    Get a section of old fairing, or a piece of something roundish (old helmet?) and pretend it’s the bike, shoot and sand everything EXACTLY like you’re going to do on the bike, sort of a dress rehearsal, you’ll have plenty of paint leftover for your project, and you’ll KNOW what each product will do and if you mess up you can just wipe it all off with thinner, or grind it off with a sanding disc and start again. practice on the test panel till you feel comfortable , then shoot the bike.

  • PAINT QUALITY
    There is a HUGE difference in WHAT ACTUALLY goes IN a spray can, and only a few dollars difference between garbage, and gold, so forget about going to the hardware store, or any discount auto supply, or wal-mart.

    Look in your yellow pages under “automotive paint supply” or “color shop” and you should find several professional auto body supply shops

    Some can actually make custom spray cans so you can get ANY automotive color you can think of (and afford), so if you REALLY love that crazy orange color shift on the Lamborghini Murcelago, you can get it put in a spray can, THAT COLOR would probably be a $200 dollar spray can, but you get the idea, billions of color choices, and truly professional basecoat urethanes in a spray can.


  • PRIMER QUALITY
    The ETCH PRIMER, and the HIGH BUILD PRIMER are also critical to durability so again, avoid cheap hardware/auto supply look alikes, and buy the primers at the color shop, and you’ll get the results I promise in this article.

  • PURCHASING SUPPLIES
    There are also MANY places online that will ship these products, simply do searches for the names of the products listed and you should see several suppliers of these, and similar products available for shipment.

  • BRANDS
    Good brands to stick with are: SEM, or U-Pol (my personal choice), or EVERCOAT. At this writing, FINISHMASTER carries “SMART” brand, which apparently is simply repackaged SEM products, good stuff.

Public nuisance, practice panel, safety stuff, and paint quality were covered.

Let's get started.

Methodology
  • TEAR IT DOWN COMPLETELY
    Clips, grommets, EVERYTHING, as nothing looks more amateur than tell tale over spray on rubber or shiny bits, because they should have been removed, not masked off.

    Remove the petcock from the tank (or mask off the HYOOGE fuel pump thingy), REMOVE THE GAS CAP, and carefully mask off the neck.

  • CLEAN THE FREAKIN’ THING!
    Paint will not stick to oil or grease, wax, cheeseburger drippings, or taco juice and that includes the oils from your hands. (taco or not)

    Plastics, and painted surfaces can be cleaned with alcohol or mineral spirits or wax & grease removers like PPG’s DX330.

    Once cleaned DO NOT TOUCH IT WITH BARE HANDS, USE GLOVES.

  • REPAIR IT
    You’ll have to repair any damage like cracks, broken tabs, rash deep enough to make a hole, etc,…
    • For fiberglass you can use standard “home depot” fiberglass resin and cloth and get great results, but to really do it right you should use a slower setting epoxy, it sticks better, and remains much more flexible after it cures.

      Marine grade epoxy by TAP is by far the most durable and flexible. complete instructions for fiberglass repair are also available at TAP, follow them COMPLETELY.
    • For non-fiberglass fairings (90% of them are NOT fiberglass) first you have to ID the plastic.

      Look for a mark on the inside surface somewhere it’ll look like this :
      >PA6+AS+MD10<
      or
      >ABS<
      or whatever your particular plastic is will be inside the “> <” marks.
      • For ABS you can get really good chemical welds (bonds) using MEK as a bonding agent (methyl ethyl ketone: available at any hardware store, sold as a paint thinner/stripper).

        Take a q-tip and wet it with the MEK, then brush it along the crack.
        It’ll seep into the crack, then using moderate force push the two broken pieces together until you see some melted plastic ooze from the crack.

        Hold it that way for a minute or so.

        Then once it’s set, but still wiggles.
        Using wide 3” masking tape, stretch the tape across the crack. Inside and out to hold the two broken halves together and leave it set for at LEAST an hour.
      • For any other fairing plastics you pretty much have to weld it.

        So go find a body shop that “repairs bumpers”, or a plastics shop and have the pieces welded.
        Having whoever is doing the welding work to pay EXTREME ATTENTION TO WARPING, as 1/8” thick plastics melt at VERY LOW TEMPS, and it’s just incredibly easy to accidentally melt a vent or warp a mounting tab.
__________________
Joe Loewinsohn
no longer repairing plastics due to health reasons
------------------------------------------------
"you can fix anything, you just can't fix everything"

Last edited by reckon; 05-22-2009 at 01:49 AM..
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:51 PM   #2
reckon
the cake is a lie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Motorcycles: 82 Yamaha Vision / Yamaha TZ 125cc turbocharged APS/BF speed record bike
Name: Joe
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • REPAIR IT: Tank Dents
    • If it’s shallow just fill it using METAL2METAL(a special aluminum based body filler that won’t crack over time.)
    • For deeper ones you’ll need to have the dent lifted by a body shop. they weld on copper studs and gradually lift the dent, then grind the studs off, leaving you a nearly flat surface, ready for the next step.
    • FILL IT once ALL the repairs are completed, using a HIGH QUALITY body filler (again, go to the color shop, NOT the hardware store, or auto supply) but any filler that you get at the color shop will work.
      Get the best one you can afford (METAL2METAL, or RAGE are the best, but $$$$$)

      Now on a hard smooth surface (I like a piece of glass window) mix up the filler and the hardener (follow the directions on the can for the ratio of filler to hardener, except use half as much blue hardener as they state for anything made by evercoat) mix it very very well, until it’s all one uniform color, and using a flexible putty knife, or a spreader, spread it VERY THINLY over the areas that you repaired dents, or where you have weld seams, use ALOT of pressure for the initial stroke, then less for the final strokes, and think “drywall guy”, not “cake froster”.
    • REMEMBER: WHATEVER YOU PUT ON WILL NEED TO BE MOSTLY SANDED OFF
      So get it as thin and as perfectly shaped to the piece as humanly possible, it’ll be less sanding later on, and you get MUCH better results when it’s just a skim coat of filler, and on a motorcycle, a skim coat is all you need.
    • NOTE FOR WELD ONLY PLASTICS
      Before topping with anything: filler, paint, primer yada yada, you have to shoot an ADHESION PROMOTER like bulldog or others, and follow the directions on the product label for how to sand, apply, top coat window, etc,…
    • Remember when you sand the filler or primer with the bulldog under it, you will probably blow through into bare plastic around the edges, that’s normal.

      So before you top with more etch, or primer, you need to shoot the PAP(Plastic Adhesion Promoter) on JUST the bare plastic spots again, and let dry properly.

      THEN proceed to add more filler, or shoot primer, or whatever.
    • NOTE FOR PINHOLES
      Sometimes when you sand the filler you will have some pinholes, you can fill these with a GLAZING PUTTY (I like metalglaze from evercoat) which is just runny filler, you mix it up with the hardener just like the filler, and apply a super thin skim coat over the pinholes, which will fill them, then when it cures (10 minutes) sand with 180-220 before sealing/priming.
    • Once the filler/putty has cured (some can be sanded in less than10 minutes) you need to shape it, or “block” it.

      Use 100-150 grit sandpaper (ALWAYS dry sand filler, NEVER EVER WET-SAND FILLER) on a hard block that’s longer than the area you are working on (rubber sanding block, wood, plastic, square bar, etc,…).

      Sand in an “X” pattern along the length of the repair area, going back and forth curving your strokes to the shape of the fairing or whatever and sand until you can no longer feel a bump when you run your hand across the repair area.

      If you followed the above instructions for not glopping the filler on, this will take minutes, not hours.

      Again be careful about oils or waxy things, USE GLOVES! the sanded filler is VERY PORUS, just waiting to soak up the next thing that touches it.

      Once the filler is all smoothed, the pieces need to be sealed, but before we start shooting anything. Here’s some
  • SHOOTING TIPS
    When shooting any of these paints, remember that they cure by evaporation (except the clear coats).

    The more you pile on, the longer it takes to cure fully so you can move to the next step.

    So don’t hose the thing down, shoot in an organized fashion:
    - Start at one end and finish at the other end.
    - Shooting everything in the same order for each coat and each layer of paint.

    That way you wont get mixed up and shoot more coats than you need to or forget to shoot a piece or whatever.

    When you shoot try and overlap each pass by about 50% and move up or across in an organized fashion so you don’t waste paint.

    Wasting $3.85 a can paint is no problem, but when you shell out $35+ dollars a can, you’ll appreciate these tips.
  • ANGLING THE FAN
    You’ll notice that high quality spray cans always have a fat fan tip.

    Most are the “mini cigar” shape.
    If you hold the can 6” away from a piece of paper and shoot a quick shot.
    You’ll see a 3” to 4” mini cigar shape fan pattern, usually vertical.

    Now look at the panels you are working on.
    If you shoot with the can vertical and perpendicular to the surface (needed for proper paint flow) sometimes half the fan pattern shoots out into the air, or an adjacent area (neither is good) or the fan is aimed the wrong way.

    If you tip the can, the paint wont flow properly SO using your fingers or a small tweezers, twist just the light colored flat tip on the nipple so the pattern shoots at a different angle.

    NOW when you shoot a panel holding the can vertical almost ALL the fan pattern lands on the part, or inside the vent, or whatever.

    It’s better use of paint, less waste ($$$$), and almost no over spray on adjacent pieces.

    This is why you need to practice on the test panel, to get used to stuff like this.

  • NOZZLE & CAP care
    For this type of painting, you generally use the entire can in one shot (sometimes multiple cans).
    So, soaking the caps in thinner isn't needed unless you only use part of the can, and plan on using it again sometime in the near future.

    After shooting a coat while waiting for the coat to flash off (dry by evaporation) inverting the can and spraying to clear the cap wastes paint (again these are $20+ a can paints).
    Instead get a can of compressed air, like for cleaning keyboards. then remove the cap from the can, blow a couple of shots into the nipple underneath the cap, and then wipe off any remaining paint from the spray tip, re-install the cap, and your ready for the next coat.

    This is ESPECIALLY necessary with the AERO-MAX, or U-Pol spray clears as they get gummy very quickly, and if you don't clean it immediately after shooting a coat, it won't spray right unless you soak it and blow it out.

  • SUPPORTS
    I like to hang the pieces using coat hanger hooks, but use bungee cords and some kind of weight to fasten the bottoms as well, so they don’t blow all over when you start shooting.

    I usually hang them on the open lip of the garage door (when shooting at home). Then transfer it inside to hooks on the garage rafters for drying/curing time.

    You can also use barstools, sawhorses, hat racks, pretty much anything you can hang a fairing on and don’t care if it gets paint on it.
    I also like to use those roller stands like for table saws, but I take the roller off, and make a little support to fit inside tail sections, or uppers, and fenders fit lengthwise.
    Whatever you choose, just make sure the part is secure, accessible, and you can get to all the areas that need painting.

  • SEAL IT
    Using an ACID ETCH NON SANDING PRIMER/SEALER.
    (I like U-Pol #8 Etch spray primer)

    These primer/sealers are designed to go over just about any type of bare metal, fiberglass, or PREPPED PLASTIC (has had PAP applied), gripping the surface with acid etching and provides a top-coat able surface that can be directly painted over with NO SANDING NEEDED.

    In 25 years I’ve never met anyone that loved to sand things down, so I’m sure most of you will be with me on this.

    REMEMBER: this is the foundation layer to your whole paint job, just like with a house, make a crappy foundation, and you get a crappy house, so presuming you have already shot your test panel, ALL THE WAY THOUGH TO THE CLEAR, then start shooting the bike parts.

    • WARNING!! we put the filler over the bare plastic and metal for a reason. We covered that filler and bare metal with the etch primer to seal that layer off from the layers we are spraying over it.

      You CANNOT put body filler OVER acid etch primer!!!

      Body fillers use a peroxide based hardener (either BEKP or MEKP) and the ACID in this etch primer will deactivate that peroxide IF you try and put filler OVER etch primer, so obviously don’t.

      If the piece still needs some filling and shaping, you need to get ALL THAT DONE BEFORE SHOOTING THE ETCH PRIMER.

      Say you shot the etch already, and CRAP! you discover someplace that needs some more filler, no worries, just spray a THIN coat of the high build primer (the step after this one) over JUST THAT SPOT and let cure (kinda like it was an adhesion promoter, and in this case it is), then sand with 180 grit paper to rough it up then spread the filler over the high build primer, and then shape once cured.

      The snafu is that filler will stick MUCH better to bare plastic & metal than to primer, so try as hard as you can to get all the filler/shaping work done before shooting the etch primer.

    Shoot two good coats of the etch primer, waiting about 15 minutes (at 70 degrees) between each coat (use a timer! don’t guess!).

    DO NOT SHOOT MORE THAN TWO COATS!!

    just make sure every last bit of each piece is covered, look underneath from below and inside the vents especially the upper surfaces of the inside of the vents, as it’s easy to overlook those spots

    Make sure you have an even coating all over, use a flashlight if necessary to see any thin areas.

    Let cure overnight (at LEAST 8 hours at 70 degrees.
    Add an hour for every five degrees under 70).

    Again DO NOT TOUCH WITH YOUR BARE HANDS, always use gloves from now on.

  • HIGH BUILD PRIMER
    The etch primer is a pretty thin layer.
    You’ll probably still see some coarse sanding scratches, and stuff like that.
    We’ll use a much thicker building primer called “high build” over the etch primer, and block that flat (that’s sanding, remember?).

    This will fill those sanding scratches, and leave a nice smooth, but porous layer to put the color coat on (basecoat).

    I like U-Pol #5 high build primer.
    This stuff is just amazing for a spray can primer, and it costs like it’s amazing too at nearly $20 a can or so it’s not cheap.

    Two or three cans should cover the bike (standard 7 piece sprotbile) and a few test panels so not really that expensive when you see what it’ll do. (or compare to renting compressor, and buying QUARTS of primers)

    Shoot the BOTTOMS of the pieces FIRST when the can is full of paint, then later as the can empties, you’ll need to flip the pieces over to shoot the bottoms of stuff, as the can wont have enough paint in it to invert the can.


    We need to shoot a nice thick coat of primer all over everywhere we applied the etch, and we are going to shoot more coats.

    A coat is one pass over all surfaces with the afore mentioned 50% overlap as above.

    For the high build, shoot 2 to 4 coats, letting each coat dry for about 15-30 minutes between coats.
    Once all surfaces are covered, let the pieces sit at least overnight.
    With a full 24 hours being the preferred cure time.

    At 70 degrees, add 2 hours cure time for each 1 degree increment below 70.
    DO NOT TRY AND PAINT BELOW 60 DEGREES!

    NOTE: sometimes when shooting primer, on the second or third coat, you might notice some pinholes open up.
    If you get these at this stage, simply dab your gloved finger into some fresh primer on masking somewhere, and dab the pinhole with your finger until it fills with primer, then let dry for at least 30 minutes before making another pass over the dabbed pinhole.

    When you sand in the next step, you will level the “dabs”.

  • BLOCKING PRIMER USING A GUIDE COAT
    Once the primer is fully cured it must be sanded before you can paint over it.

    You sand to level out the surface and smooth it, but trying to tell WHEN the surface is level is tough, and on crazy shaped sprotbile pieces where EVERYTHING is round or angled, it’s practically impossible.

    So we’ll use what’s called a GUIDE COAT.

    All a guide coat is, is a speckled coat of a contrasting color primer, you’ve probably seen it but didn’t know what it was on cars having body work done, or in progress.

    The darker color speckles settle into the low spots of the scratches, and pits, and as you sand you start leveling these defects, and as you do, the guide coat starts getting sanded out.

    So when you can no longer see the guide coat anywhere, the surface is flat and smooth, and ready to shoot the color coat (basecoat).

    Spritz a mist coat of any darker colored SANDABLE primer on all surfaces that you shot the high build, or simply buy guide coat (SEM or U-Pol) at the color shop when you buy your paint ($3 bux a can)

    You block sand the high build primer just like you did with the filler.
    But you use a much finer grit, what grit you use is determined by what the final color will be:
    - use 320 to 400 (wet) for solid colors like red or white or black, and
    - 400-600 (wet) for any kind of metallic finish.

    Start your sanding like your shooting, in an organized fashion, moving to the next area only when the area your working on is completely done, this way you wont miss anything.

    If when sanding you “blow through” to bare plastic or metal, no worries, just complete sanding all the pieces, and then once they are all block sanded smooth shoot another LIGHT coat of the high build,
    JUST on the areas of bare plastic or metal (remember the PAP for weld only plastics!), let cure then sand LIGHTLY, and move to the next step.
__________________
Joe Loewinsohn
no longer repairing plastics due to health reasons
------------------------------------------------
"you can fix anything, you just can't fix everything"

Last edited by reckon; 05-21-2009 at 09:36 PM..
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:53 PM   #3
reckon
the cake is a lie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Motorcycles: 82 Yamaha Vision / Yamaha TZ 125cc turbocharged APS/BF speed record bike
Name: Joe
  • Color Coat or Basecoat
    Here’s where you just have a ridiculous amount of options, and literally any color you can find in the custom painting world, can be put in a spray can.

    So figure out what color you want and either go to a color shop that can make a custom spray can, or order online from one of the many custom spray can suppliers (do an internet search for custom spray cans).

    Once you have your cans of basecoat (again 2 or 3 should cover a 7 piece sprotbile), you just need to shoot the bike EXACTLY like you did with the etch, and the high build, starting at one end and finishing at the other, and do this the same way for all coats.

    TIPS: “less is actually , less”.
    Since the basecoat dries in minutes a common mistake is to just start hosing the thing down, shooting multiple coats and this really is a bad idea.

    All the color coat needs to do is cover what’s underneath (called “hiding”), and be an even tone, so when you shoot the clear coat the color doesn’t look blotchy, or “mottled”.

    Shoot a coat, then wait 15-20 minutes, and shoot another, then wait another 15-20.

    Then check the pieces, looking for any thin spots, or places you missed, if it needs some touch up, shoot those areas, and then wait 15-20 minutes (USE A TIMER! DON’T GUESS!) and check it again.

    Once you have hiding, and it’s all an even tone, pack it up and wait till the following day to shoot the clear coat.

    AGAIN DO NOT KEEP SHOOTING JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE HALF A CAN OF PAINT LEFT!!!

  • CLEARCOAT
    Everything usually goes really well UNTIL you get to the clear coat.
    Then it all falls apart fast.
    With clear when it goes wrong sometimes there’s really nothing to do, except blast it all off and start over.

    Ooccasionally you can sand the fully cured clear coat with 400, and re-apply more clear.

    This is why shooting that test panel is so damn important, and the one thing almost NO ONE ACTUALLY DOES.

    Since you’ve now read over 3,000 words of instructions.
    If you only follow ONE of those instructions, shoot that test panel until it comes out as beautiful as you can stand it.
    THEN and only then start in on your bike.

    This MAY mean buying some of the stuff twice (like the high build and clear) but the difference between a pro painter and every novice I have ever seen, is the pros make mistakes just like anyone else, but they make those mistakes on the test panel and NOT the project.

    There are TWO types of clear coats you can get in a spray can that I’ll recommend
    • one is MOISTURE activated (moisture provides the hardening action) and
    • the other is a real honest to goodness 2 part polyurethane clear coat in a special one use can.

    A) U-Pol Clear #1 this is a moisture activated clear coat, very high build (it’ll spray thick) and just water clear when fully cured. Shoot this JUST like all the other coats (organized fashion) EXCEPT, the first coat should be a light coat, wait a full 20 minutes, then shoot full wet glossy coats after that (it’ll be THREE coats including the initial “tack” coat)
    B) RM AEROMAX urethane clear coat. This is the real deal, an honest to goodness 2 part catalyzed polyurethane clear coat in a special one use spray can. At almost $40 a can, this is not cheap stuff, but if you add up what it would cost you to shoot your bike with a polyurethane clear coat (compressor rental, spray gun, paints AND supplies) it’s actually very cost effective.

    Using either of these types of clear coat:
    • SHOOT A COAT OF CLEAR
      That’s ONE even pass over each surface.
      For fairings I shoot lengthwise starting at the bottom (only a full can will shoot UP, remember?) and work my way up to the upper surfaces (always with that 50% overlap) then move to the next piece.

      For street bikes I like a total of four coats, for race bikes you can get away with only two coats.

      BUT!!! YOU MUST WAIT AT LEAST 15 MINUTES BEFORE SHOOTING THE NEXT COAT.

      Here's a great trick for determining when the previous coat is ready for the next.

      On the masking somewhere (gas cap area?) touch your gloved finger to the clear after shooting and pull it away.

      Directly after shooting it will pull away clean with some clear on your finger, and the surface.
      After 2 minutes you see "strings" when you pull away.
      After about 15-20 minutes it will just be tacky, and will no longer "string".

      When it’s no longer “stringing” it's ready for the next coat.

      This is assuming a 70 degree painting area, colder will take longer, hotter will be faster, don't paint under 60 degrees or over 85 degrees for best results.
    • the U-pol will take a few days before it’s hard enough to assemble and ride, but the aeromax clear can be assembled the very next day.

    DO NOT WAX EITHER OF THESE FOR AT LEAST 60 DAYS, to give all the trapped solvents in all the multiple layers time to “gas off” (evaporate)

Painting can be one of the most frustrating, tedious, complicated tasks, and at the same time one of the most rewarding.

You’ll probably spend a few hundred painting your bike with these types of paint, but you get nearly professional results, and at less than half the cost of having it shot at a paint shop

It’s really empowering to know this stuff (makes getting deals and slightly blemed bikes a SNAP for you) and it’s also nice to know you took part in more than just the selection of components and assembly of your steed.

When you mention that you used rattle cans for the entire project, most people either won’t believe you, or think you’re a Mozart prodigy with a spray can.

To quote one of my favorite painters (Craig Fraser):
“PEACE, LOVE & ISOCYANATES”.

Ride safe out there.

(thanks again to mike for the awesome reformatting: it really makes this info easier to follow, and refer back to while working on the project)
__________________
Joe Loewinsohn
no longer repairing plastics due to health reasons
------------------------------------------------
"you can fix anything, you just can't fix everything"

Last edited by reckon; 05-21-2009 at 09:44 PM..
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:02 PM   #4
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OK, I like rattle cans too,but (and that's a big but)

The colors available are so limited as to virtually afford no real choice what so ever. They fade in the ultra violet like a maidens' virtue at a biker fest. Your better off buying an hvlp gun of quality and hitching it to a portable compressor of little or no value in order to at least approximate a professional job. Beyond that the rest is all elboe grease and raw talent or at the very least the willingness to admit a mistake and begin anew.
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Buellshite View Post
The colors available are so limited as to virtually afford no real choice what so ever. They fade in the ultra violet like a maidens' virtue at a biker fest. Your better off buying an hvlp gun of quality and hitching it to a portable compressor of little or no value in order to at least approximate a professional job. Beyond that the rest is all elboe grease and raw talent or at the very least the willingness to admit a mistake and begin anew.
^^^^^ Dude, I don't even know where to begin.....

Reckon,

You are such a badass, your write up is fan-fukn-tastic. Thanks for taking the time to write this up and make a sticky. Copywrited?

Oz
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:24 AM   #6
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^^^^^ Dude, I don't even know where to begin.....

Reckon,

You are such a badass, your write up is fan-fukn-tastic. Thanks for taking the time to write this up and make a sticky. Copywrited?

Oz

yes it is.

and thanks, it should save us some writing, even though it's geared for spraycan use, the prep work will work for either, so for painting questions,you can just point em up here.
there's also some pretty cool tips and trix in there if you read it through.
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Buellshite View Post
The colors available are so limited as to virtually afford no real choice what so ever. They fade in the ultra violet like a maidens' virtue at a biker fest. Your better off buying an hvlp gun of quality and hitching it to a portable compressor of little or no value in order to at least approximate a professional job. Beyond that the rest is all elboe grease and raw talent or at the very least the willingness to admit a mistake and begin anew.
I did NOT expect to see this, after doing 5 years of research, and spending over $400 of MY OWN MUNNY to check ALL the products out and make sure they'll do what I said they will, and I really don't want to start shit in my own write up, but, dood, your insulting my prowess, so ok, I'll bite......

what you wrote is complete and utter buellshite, alright because it's DEAD WRONG

you can PUT ANY BASECOAT IN A SPRAYCAN*, and this system WORKS.
*at this writing, that's over 3 MILLION color choices, so WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
I can tell you did not even READ the write up, did you? just the title, huh? because these are NOT your typical "rattle cans"

so I beg your pardon sir, but you are WRONG,........

(oh and btw, the spray gun and compressor SHOULD be matched to scfm output/usage, or it'll shoot like crap, but your obviously an expert (where's your book?)

and if you like (or IF you can) do better than THIS, then I suppose you can talk shit:


OR THIS:



these were BOTH painted with this method and type of paint, the yellow KZ has the aeromax clear, and the montessa has the U-Pol clercoat.

the yellow KZ pic is 5 YEARS after painting, and paul just LOVES that POS so he puts about 25K a year on it IN THE CITY, riding it nearly everyday.

so the point here is, unless your going to read ALL the material, you probably shouldn't write negative comments that are incorrect, and unless your willing to do what I did (research, work, spend YOUR money, more work, THEN write it all down), then you probably shouldn't have commented at all.

(and whats with the "ultra violet-biker fest" thingy? good weed? did you drink some utopias beer?)
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:18 PM   #8
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Thumbs up Great read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buellshite View Post
The colors available are so limited as to virtually afford no real choice what so ever. They fade in the ultra violet like a maidens' virtue at a biker fest.


I shot this in my garage with colors I chose right out of the Dupont paint chip catalog and had the local jobber put them in aerosol cans for me. The job turned out flawlessly and you couldn't tell that I didn't use a gun. Over a year of racing later it still looked good w/no fading. Why? because it's the same paint!




Even the lightning bolts were painted.



Even after this 80mph highside the paint didn't chip or crack.

*Too bad the same couldn't be said for me.

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Old 10-16-2008, 09:05 AM   #9
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Hey Reckon,

Do you have any tips for painting engines?
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:24 PM   #10
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Hey Reckon,

Do you have any tips for painting engines?
for liquid cooled motorcycle engines, pretty much any type of "engine enamel" works well, with stuff from the above companies, like evercoat, or smart, or SEM costing more, and working better and lasting longer.
for the BARRELS of an air cooled motorcycle you'll need a high temp (over 400 degrees) paint, so read the labels carefully before you buy. you can also use super high heat paint, like for header pipes, but you'll find the color selection pretty limited.
also keep in mind that ANY coating will retain heat to some degree so keep that in mind when running the bike after painting, you may notice it's running hotter than it used to,...this may affect nothing, or it could be a problem on a bike that ALREADY runs hot.

TIPS:
CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN:
it just can't be too clean, so get some degreaser(janitor in a drum), or dawn detergent, and wash and scrub till you think it's just ridiculous, and then 10 more minutes
for bare aluminum or steel use an etching solution (metal prep=phosphoric acid concentrate) after the washing/degreasing and follow the directions on the bottle to the letter for best results,....typically you don't use primer on engines, just paint right over the etched/prepared surface.
for motors that are painted, follow the cleaning steps, then scuff with a red scotchbrite pad till it's dull all over (no shiny spots) and paint.

KEEP IT THIN:
with engine paint, less is actually less and the thinner the coating of enamel is, the longer it will last (no I'm not kidding), so shoot for hiding and as SOON as you can't see whats underneath STOP SHOOTING,...then wait a few hours, and look at it in full sunlight to see if you missed any spots, or it's TOO thin in places, then just touch up those spots, and let the paint cure for 2 or more days BEFORE YOU START IT ,then just run the motor for 15 minutes or till it's at running temp and then let cool completely(3-4 hours), and then go ride the crap out of it.

you can paint the CANS of an exhaust system with any of the above paints, but the header pipes need special super high heat paints following the "keep it thin" mantra and several heat-cool down cycles or baking in an oven first to get any kind of lasting results, and even then the coating fails sometimes, which is why I recommend powder coating for header pipes with the newer ceramic composite powder coats.

I've seen sportbike motors painted with the above steps with just duplicolor high temp engine enamel (not the best, but ok) last for years without needing to be re-painted IF they got it clean, didn't heat blister the paint by running the motor too soon, and kept the coating thin.
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:47 PM   #11
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Red scotchbrite, got it. I've already been degreasing like a mofo. Its a prepainted motor, so no bare metal anywhere. I've gone over lots of it with a wire wheel brush, getting out all the icky stuff. Sounds like I should be good to go
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So here we here we go, now its time to decide, because a true believer's always ready to die.
If it's true what they say, then it doesnt matter anyway, and if it's not then you just threw it away.
The beginning of the end starts right about now, but we're gonna make it through somehow.
So in the end if you've always believed, then you better give it all when you give it to me.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:19 AM   #12
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To wetsand or not to wetsand

Hi Joe,

My fairings are cracked and scuffed and I plan to fix and repaint. I will definitely be using your write up for the process, so Thanks for taking the time to do that!

Also I had one question. I've read a number of other articles on painting and the majority of them say to wetsand the clear before buffing. Yours is one of the few that didn't mention anything about wetsanding the clear coat. Is this something that needs to be done, or should I not worry about it?

Thanks
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:44 PM   #13
reckon
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Hi Joe,

My fairings are cracked and scuffed and I plan to fix and repaint. I will definitely be using your write up for the process, so Thanks for taking the time to do that!

Also I had one question. I've read a number of other articles on painting and the majority of them say to wetsand the clear before buffing. Yours is one of the few that didn't mention anything about wetsanding the clear coat. Is this something that needs to be done, or should I not worry about it?

Thanks
the QUICKEST way for a new painter to completely screw up a brand new paint job, is to try and wetsand and polish it, which is why I left out the other 4,500 word write up on wetsanding and polishing

there is lots of info on wetsanding and polishing on teh internetz, and probably several you tube step by step how to's as well, if you do a couple of searches.

generally you try and shoot so the last coat of clear is the "finish coat", and try to get it as wet and glossy as possible, but some people don't feel the need to practice, and they feel they can just sand out all the defects after and polish it, where as I lean toward the "if you shoot it right, you wont need to wetsand and polish" school, which is why I kept harping on that practice panel in the above write up over and over and over, as I really feel this is what separates the noob, from the advanced intermediate, and professional)
if you DO get peel (rare with these paints), or a run, I ALWAYS would suggest that you sand out the defects with 600 grit wet, then scuff the rest of the panel with a GREY scotchbrite pad and then re-shoot just the clear on that panel, rather than try and sand the run or peel down and then polish, it's just less work, you get a nicer end result, and no chances of burning through the clear with the buffer (INCREDIBLY easy on a motorcycle)

so I would suggest ONLY spot wetsanding any specks(called "nibs")or tiny runs or sags with 1200, then 1500, then 2000, and then polish JUST the tiny 1" (or less) sanded areas using a rotary buffer and a 3" foam buffing pad (available at any finishmaster store) and some "micro-finishing compound" which is like rubbing compound, but much finer grit, that dissolves in about 2 minutes of buffing, so you pretty much CANNOT over buff and get swirl marks.
it is RIDICULOUSLY tedious to try and hand buff a sanded finish, I know it can be done, because I've seen it, but we are talking about 10-15 minutes wetsanding, and 5 minutes with the rotary buffer (no a random orbital will NOT work) compared to about 4 to 10 hours of hand rubbing with compound using "power by armstrong"

these paints cure out faster than the cheaper spray bomb stuff, so with aero-max clear you can sand and polish out defects the next day, and with the U-Pol you wait about a week.

last thing, never ever ever WAX (silicone, or carnuba) a fresh paint job for at least 45 days to give all the trapped solvent gasses a chance to escape before you seal it all up with a wax.
for something to use as "wax" while you wait the 45 days, use a "HAND GLAZE", which is essentially a silicone and carnuba free polish which will need to be re-applied every other week or so, until the 45 days elapses.

ok so, try and shoot it right, practice more (or at least SOME), and google or you tube for more detailed info on wetsanding and polishing (also known as "color sanding" or "cut & buff").

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Last edited by reckon; 10-23-2008 at 04:20 AM..
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:02 PM   #14
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Just wanted to say thanks for the fanastic write up. I'm in the middle of collecting fairings for a track set, and I will DEFINITELY be using this thread for when I attempt to paint them. Thank you!

Steve
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:37 PM   #15
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I'm in the middle/end part of painting my fiberglass track fairings. All I have left is clear coat and an extra 40 hp worth of stickers. my question is: Is there something that I should spray/use on the inside of the fairings to protect the paint from the heat?

I'm using the dupli color paint from kragen
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