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Discussion Starter #1
(Any chance we can get this put up as a sticky somewhere?)

Here is a write up from another board I'm a member of. I've seen this method in use and it does work. It's too dang long to put into one post, so if you want to save it, just copy/paste to a Word file to save it for quick reference.

http://vancouver.globat.com/~sundialmotosport.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7943



Here is what I use:


Here are the supplies that I used to shoot a nice 2-color rattle can paint job. If you need to buy all the stuff for the first time it can be done for about $130.

$8.00 "Aircraft" chemical paint stripper
$12.00 Bondo
$12.00 Packs of 250, 400 and 1000 grit sand paper
$3.00 A firm sanding sponge or very flexible small sanding block
$8.00 two cans of Primer-filler
$2.00 Cheap primer (of a different color than the filler primer)
$5.00 Primer-sealer
$7.00 Two rolls of blue masking tape (1" and 2" works well)
$2.00 A sharpie marker
$3.00 A tack cloth
$25.00 About 5 cans of paint color#1 ($5.00 each)
$10.00 Probably 2 cans of paint color #2 ($5.00 each)
$10.00 2 cans of clear coat ($10.00)
$6.00 Turtle Wax liquid rubbing compound
$10.00 Mothers carnauba wax
$8.00 For my bike I made tape checkers, so I also bought 4 rolls of 3M reflective tape ($2.00 each for 1.6" x 30" rolls).

It really is easy if you just take your time, let things dry all the way between stages, and don't sweat the small stuff. When you buy most of this stuff the first time you'll get enough to do several bikes. Once you have it all you might only have to buy the paint, and that should only cost about $50 when you paint your second bike. I believe that you can easily do this in about a month or less if you can budget 2 hours an evening.

When using rattle can paint, I like to use Duplicolor fuel and oil resistant engine enamels; they're available everywhere. They usually cost about $5.00 a can, and they have a nice selection of a several dozen colors, plus you really need a fuel-resistant paint on the gas tank. Other guys have had good success with other brands, but this is what I use.
 

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Here is how I do it:

1. I start with a clean tank. If you need to line it do that first.

2. Strip off all the paint. Don't be lazy and do the bottom of the tank and the back of the side covers too. Don't use this stuff on any plastic parts; just the metal ones

3. Thoroughly clean it again. don't be afraid of using a little liquid soap -- just make sure it is clean and dry when you are done.

[/b]4.[/b] use that 250 grit and put some texture on the tank where the dings are so the Bondo will stick better.

5. Use your sharpie and mark all the dings. Develop a code you understand that tells you the direction, depth and type of thing you are looking at.

6. Fill those imperfections. Let it dry, sand it and do it a few more times. When I sand I ALWAYS use a wet-dry, automotive rated sand paper. It is worth it to but the good stuff. Cut out rectangles that fit your sanding block. I never dry sand any more. I like to use the garden hose with very low pressure, really just a fast dribble coming out. The water works wonders! It washes away the dust so your paper does not clog up and it lasts longer. It lubricates the surface, and I think it is the only way to go. Whenever I mention sanding, assume I am referring to wet sanding under the hose. Also assume that means that you have to have the parts thoroughly dry before going on to the next step. I use compressed air and a clean towel. Remember that Bondo, primer, paint, all this stuff is porous, so it remains wet even when it looks dry. That means letting it sit for a few minutes out in the sun after it seem completely dry is a good idea. A hair dryer works well too. Sanding means wet sanding.

7. Spray it with the primer-filler. Very lightly sand with the 250, and then lightly spray with the primer (make sure it is a different color from the primer-filler and that you spray a very even coat). Then lightly sand again with your sanding block. As the top layer of primer is sanded off it will help reveal imperfections -- high spots sand off first, low spots stay longer.

8a. Go back and fix all the imperfections you missed. Decide once and for all how perfect you are going to try to make it. Remember that some of these will disappear under all the paint and clear coat. Other imperfections will look twice as bad later. Just use common sense. This is critical prep work, and getting all these hard to get flaws out probably represent more than 50% of the total effort of the entire paint project. Be patient and stick with it. The filler-primer will fill a lot of the little flaws.

8b. After you are happy with the shape of it all, go to the store and buy some beer, sit down and drink one or two just staring at all your hard work.

9. If you are still happy with it then it is time to spray it all down with the primer-sealer. The sealer will prevent the lower layers of primer and Bondo from sucking up all your paint. This is a very important, but often over looked step. Shoot a light coat, let it dry for 10 minutes and shoot another slightly thicker one. It just needs to cover everything. sand it with the 400 paper when it is dry.

10a. Time to shoot some paint! Take a moment and think about what you are about to do. Make sure you are painting in a place that is not too windy and not too cold. Humidity seriously affects rattle can paint, so if it is more than 65% humid, be very careful! If it is too humid, or if you shoot the paint too heavily it will cause the paint to wrinkle up. (Even if happens, it is not the end of the world. Wait for it to dry, sand it down a little and continue.) Remember that dust and bugs will land in your wet paint. That is OK! All that stuff will disappear when you wet sand it later. Do you have cats? Are the neighbor kids nearby? Do think there is any chance it will rain (and raise the humidity)? Will the paint get on something you don't want to paint. I know it sounds silly, but take a sec and make sure you are painting in a good, well ventilated environment. Surprises stink when shooting paint.

10b. Lets pause a moment and talk about correct rattle-can paint shooting technique. When spraying the rattle-can you need to hold the can as close to vertical as possible. The more full the can, the more willing itwill be to shoot correctly at angles other than vertical. An almost empty can will sputter and shoot poorly. Also remember the can needs to be properly mixed; a poorly mixed can miht have a slightly different color, and it might not dry correctly.
For the first coat I hold the can a little farther from the piece that is getting painted -- about 12". This helps give me more control over the even, light coat I am shooting for. Later coats are 8" to 10" and put a thicker, more focused, more wet coat layer of paint. When spraying, depress the can's button when the can is not pointed at anything (point it in the air, away from everything). That first burst sprays more than the rest, and it will leave a little run if it is pointed at the bike. Spray with even gentle strokes. It does not matter if you go u and down, side-to-side, or diagonally.
The important thing is that you keep the button depressed the whole time and you keep moving. With each stroke spray until you are off the piece before you come back for the next stroke -- while you go back and fourth over the piece, when you change direction more paint goes to that spot (it is like holding the can still for a moment over one spot) so it is important that the moment that your hand changes direction the paint is not pointing at your piece. If you pause or change directions while over your piece it will put too much paint in that one spot and possibly cause a drip. This is really very simple, but a little difficult to explain. The idea is to make it so that for every moment that the can spraying paint onto your piece, it is constantly same distance and moving at exactly same speed. Nice, easy, consistent strokes yeild nice, even, flaw free coats of paint. The #1 easiest and most destructive thing you can do to your paint while painting is to put too much down at once. This will ruin the paint. It is easy to put more down, but hard to take it off. Too much paint will cause wrinkle, drips, and other major screw ups. Just take your time and keep saying to yourself that you can always add another coat in just 10 minutes.

11. Make sure the piece is clean. Wipe it down with your tack cloth, and then put it back in a zip-lock baggy or else the cloth will dry out and become useless. Shake the can for 2 minutes and shoot that first, light coat. Keep the can abot 12" away. This first coat should NOT perfectly cover the whole thing -- it should be semi-transparent, bumpy and thin. It should look entirely satisfyingly incomplete, so don't worry! The most important thing here is to get it mostly even, and to keep it light! These light base coats creat a textured, stick layer for the final coat ro stick well to. It makes the finished product stronger less likely to have runs, and have a better, more smooth glossy finish. At this point it is very easy to put down too much paint. It is very tempting to try to make it shiny now. DON"T DO IT!!!! Shoot the paint and then put down the can, check your watch, and go do something else for 10 minutes.
 

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12a. 10 minutes later. Shoot another light coat. Make it about the same as the first one, but . When you are done with this one the paint should still be a little bumpy, but it should now completely cover the piece and no longer be transparent. It will not look good yet. Again, for this coat it is even more difficult to stop at the right time. Shoot your coat and put the can down! Wait 10 minutes

12b. The third coat is usually is the last and final coat. As a rule, lighter colors are more likely to get 4 coats, and darker colors are more likely to get 3 coats. If you are planning on laying four coats, the third should be another light one like #12a above.

13. This is the last and final coat. Now is the time to shoot the paint a little more heavily. Your goal is a nice glossy finish. Use the exact same techniques as the previous coats, but move a little more slowly; a little more deliberately. I recommend having a bright light shining on your work for this last stage. As you shoot the paint and let it "gel" into a glossy, glas-like surface, keep the light's reflection on your work. It is OK if in some places it looks a little speckled -- the paint is wet and odds are that in about 30 seconds it will all magically flow together and the speckles will get sucked back in. When you are done with this coat pause and carefully inspect it. It should be look completely uniform and glossy. If not, wait 20 more seconds and watch what it does. If there are any places that are not glossy, then add a LITTLE more paint to those areas. Be quick and light with the paint. This is a very critical moment and a little goes a long way. When the paint is glossy you are just a breath form heaven and a breath from hell. You need to be very careful not to over do it. That is the mantra -- don't over do it. Remember that when it is dry will sand this beautiful glossy surface down, so don't freak out about anything. Just say calm, shoot the paint and put down the can. You can always come back and add another coat later.

14. Let it dry. Patience, My Young Padawan. Patience. Don't even think about touching it for at least 5 hours. But in the mean time admire you work. Good job so far! I recommend you wait 5 hours before you move your pieces. But I do recommend that they are moved to a safe place to dry. You need to wait at least 48 hours before you move on to the next phase and start the next color or the clear coat.

15. Two days later. Your paint has been safe to gently touch for a day now. You probably have some thoughts about your work by now. Either, "dang that's awesome!" or "dang, that sucks!" or something like that. You probably have noticed any significants flaws. Bugs, dust, hairs and other mystery specks in your paint will all sand out. Runs can be sanded out, but they are a little more tricky. Areas that are not glossy will be sanded too. If you think your flaws are especially bad you can address them with some sand paper -- mild flaws with 1000, major flaws with the 400 -- and then shoot one more light layer of paint. Otherwise, gently wet sand it all with your 1000 paper. Make sure the paper is good and wet all the way through so it is nice and flexible. You should not use the sanding block; instead just use your hand. Listen with your fingers and feel for any differences. This is a very satisfying thing for me. When you are done the piece should be uniform and slightly dull. Don't worry. The clear coat will make it shiny.

16a. If you are doing a 2-tone paint job, now is the time to mask off the piece. I use all sorts of tools to get my tape straight -- graph paper, rulers, paper measuring tapes, sharpie markers, mirrors... all sorts of things. Crooked and accidentally wiggly lines look bad. Make triple sure the tape is right before you paint it! Ask a friend, ask your wife. Put it down for 10 minutes and drink some tea. And then go back to it. These things are important to get right the first time. If you are sure the lines are right, then go back over them, carefully tracing all the seams with your fingers, pressing the tape one more time to ensure no paint can sneak under it. Think: do I need to mask off the bottom, is there any way for any paint to get anywhere I don't want it? A little seepage can sometimes be sanded off, or you can go back with a small, fine paint brush and paint over small flaws.

16b. When all the 2nd coat prep work is done, wipe it down with your tack cloth, and then follow the above instructions and shoot your three coats of paint, and then let it dry. I recommend waiting about 5 to 8 hours before removing the paint. If you wait too long the tape can mess up your paint... Let all dry another 48 hours, inspect for flaws, and wet sand with the 1000 paper.

17a. So this is it. Unless you are adding decals, stickers, checkers, or something like that you are now ready to shoot the clear coat. Make one final inspection of your work. It is easy to fix flaws now with a little sanding or a little paint applied with a brush, and a little harder when they are under the clear coat. How is the bottom of the piece? Did the paint get botched where it was sitting while it was wet? Double check this stuff.

17b. Shooting clear is nothing different from above. Three coats. The first two are light, and you take it home with the last glossy one. remember to use your tack cloth first to get all the dust. The Duplicolor fuel-resistant clear coat is very susceptible to external forces. It does not like high humidity, and it will wrinkle up the paint under it if that paint is still wet, or if you shoot the clear on too heavily. The solvents in the clear simply will wreck havoc on the other paint, so be very, very careful with this stuff. It will either make or break all the hard work you have been doing over the last week or thereabout. So remember, just like all the other paint, simply take your time, use a steady hand and shoot nice, light, even coats. If you have a bug land in the paint don't worry. If it is a gnat, completely ignore it. Same with dust and other debris. It will not be noticeable, but the big old gouge mark where you dig it out will be a huge glaring flaw in the paint. Small flaws will all sand out, so just stay cool and shoot your paint and wait!

18. Let it dry again. The clear takes 7 days to cure, but it can be handled after one day and I have always sanded it after 48 hours. Wet sand with care, do it lightly. Focus on any flaws or texture. You do not have to make it perfect. Sand it all, but focus on any problem areas. Remember you are not done just yet!

19. When you are done sanding dry it all off and whip out the rubbing compound. I like to use a turtle Wax brand liquid rubbing compound. Get a clean t-shirt that you can sacrifice. Get an old one from the drawer, not a rag to apply this stuff. I will cut off the sleeves and one for application and the other to remove the polish. Apply the compound liberally to your new rag and using a tight, small circular motion spread the stuff all over your piece. This is the secret for a true shine. The rubbing compound is a miracle worker. It will take out small scratches, swirls, "orange peel," bugs and all the stuff. Be thorough applying it and thorough removing it. Remember that rubbing compound is sandpaper, and it is removing paint, but only a little. After it is all removed (using your remover sleeve) go back and use the rest of the clean t-shirt to really clean and shine it. This is one of those glorious moments. It will just shine, but you are not quite done yet.

20. Ah the final step, and my favorite. The carnauba wax. I like to use Mother's carnauba wax it comes as a paste in a little plastic tub. It just smells good! Get another clean rag that you can dedicate to only this purpose for the rest of its life, and another to remove the wax. Liberally apply it just like the rubbing compound, and then wipe it all off. That's it! It should shine brilliantly, be perfectly smooth, and very, very slippery. I once had a fly slip and fall off of a freshly painted, freshly polished and waxed gas tank. I promise that is a true story! I think it just got dazzled by it all.

You are now done! The finished product in front of you should be a glorious, shining, thing. The guys will drool and the girls will swoon. The kicker is that you did it, and it only cost about $100. It is not perfect, but that was not your goal. You've got a seriously stunning paint job on your daily driver, and odds are it is a show stopper.
 

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great post. good info.
 

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I've found JBweld worked to fix the imperfections on my gsxr fender. It held the crack together nicely too except you can't tweak it to much or it'll re-crack.
 

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Great post :)

Only comments to add are two:
1. Buy some de-waxer/de-greaser from the auto-body store at the same time. Use it before washing initinally and prior to initial spray - removes all the oils from fingers, wax, as well as soap residue.
2. If you have curvy parts on the bike (or car) a sanding block doesn't work well on, cut a few pieces of radiator hose in different diameter and wrap it with sandpaper, works well for contours/recesses while still providing a decent even backing pressure.
 
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Dang...I was hoping Brad painted his bike!

Instead..."how to bed liner your bike";D
 

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Remember, if you follow these steps, your bike will look like his......
 

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shoot, i know i should have wrote down what i did when i painted my R6 2 weeks ago
i just dont agree with stripping it to bare metal, just sand it smooth and primer over it. and also use spot putty over body filler, anyways bondo is a company name, its called "body filler" it is really diffcult to smooth body filler completely smooth, thats why companies make spot filler. when i bought my paint i went to RMS and had them paint match the color of my R1. 1 qt of paint, 1 qt of clear, hardener, strainers and thinner costed me 85 bucks, it was there cheap line but hey, on a race bike i thought it would work great. most paint supply places will rent a paint gun as well. but rattle can can work if you take your time.
 

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I've found JBweld worked to fix the imperfections on my gsxr fender. It held the crack together nicely too except you can't tweak it to much or it'll re-crack.
Grind the backside clean and use a patch of fiberglass cloth with structural filler worked into it to back-up the repair, then grind the front of the damaged area.

On the front, use a Dremel-type tool to cut a "V" notch through the crack - just until you can see the patch on the back. Then use the filler (not body filler, but some structural filler) to fill the notch and just slightly past. After it dries, hand sand the area to match the original contour.

Sand the repair and the surrounding area w/400 wet before spraying primer.


Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Remember, if you follow these steps, your bike will look like his......

Nope, I didn't do this to paint my bike. I didn't have the time or place to paint it properly, and I had some flaking paint/rusting metal (from previous owner's damage).

That's why I did a quick bed liner paint job. Bed liner looks better than rust any day.

any before and after pics?
Again, not my write up. But, when I finally get around to getting my GT back on the road, I'll take the SV apart and follow the above steps to finally make it look good again.

And yes, I'll take lots of pics.

If you go to the first link in the write up, you'll see pics of bikes that members of the site painted following his instructions. For those that are too lazy, here are a few from it...





 

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Not meaning to bump this, but I had a question. I recently did this method of painting my bike, using duplicolor engine enamel white. Now, the difference is that I bought some spraymax 2k urethane clear coat... and want to use that over the base. Is this possible? Or is it going to cause the paint to chip and crack. I am giving the duplicolor 7 days dry time before clearing it like the instructions say, but I want to make sure.
 
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