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Old 02-01-2014, 09:35 AM   #1
harleyman75
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Default your thoughts on painting bike

Hi All, first off let me say that I've only been a member since 10/13 and found this site because of a problem I was having rebuilding 75 superglide. I've only posted a few times but constantly view site--the input on this site is the best anywhere, with that being said let me explain my question. Is attempting to paint the bike by myself a worthwhile endeavor or am I biting off more than I can chew? As always thanks for all your input---Greg
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:22 AM   #2
Rob Axel
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

I say give it a shot....worse case you strip it off and get someone else to finish it....either way the bike is gonna have to be broke down (if you are doing the frame)...
Im not sure how hard it is to get painting supplies in NJ....here in Ga it is fairly easy...
I will say this....USE A GOOD EPOXY BASED PRIMER!!!! dont use cheap lacquer based stuff..what you spend now will save you a bunch in the end!! and remember everything else will be built on this.....it will be your foundation....
Seriously, give it a shot...you will need a good air supply and you can section off part of a garage with plastic and use a simple box fan for exhausting the fumes..
Oh.....a dust mask IS NOT A RESPIRATOR! disposible ones are available reasonably cheep....
I could go on for days regarding supplies, cleanliness, equipment, SAFETY..ext...Hit you local book store....just to see what you are in for....
with that being said.....I have seen really "decent" paint jobs with a "rattle can" that impressed me.....but 90% of good results were from good prep work .
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

+1 on the epoxy primer. just f*ckin go for it. youre gonna tear it doen anyways, right? as said b4 if it comes out like shit bring her to maaco for an awesome result.
ha!
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

I hadn't done any moulding or paint work in 30+ years until 2011. I found a local painter who let me use his shop and supplies and he watched over my shoulder and kept me from screwing up. I paid him like he did the work, but I got to learn from him and the paint turned out way better than if I'd just done it in my garage.





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Old 02-02-2014, 09:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

Give it a shot! Plenty of accomplished painters here to give advice! At least one semi-accomplished painter too, me, and I'll help where I can.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

+1 ,make a run at it.

My Easy advise would be 2 color rattle can + spray on 2K Acrylic PolyUrethane.
Get glazing putty, filler primer in a rattle can (Enamel) and sand paper 220-1000, can of prepall and tack rags.
Fill, sand, spray, + repeat over and over and over and over and over etc...
Spray base coat let sit then wet sand w 400-800.
Tape off base coat with that yellow frog tape, then spray second color.
Remove tape wet sand, prepall / tack rag clean then mix and spray clear lightly misting first coat then med to wet coats 3-5 deep. Then let sit, wet sand with 1500+ and buff with rubbing compound.

I'm no pro but I like the intro of half can half mix n spray to dip your toes in the water.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

+1 on giving it a try yourself.

One of the best feelings you can have in the motorbike world is having some fella on a high dollar bike ask you "Who built this?" or "Who painted that?" and seeing the look on his face when you say"I did."
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyman75 View Post
Is attempting to paint the bike by myself a worthwhile endeavor or am I biting off more than I can chew? As always thanks for all your input---Greg
I'll play the devil's advocate here.

Hell yes, it's a worthwhile endeavor! But . . .

Painting is not for everybody and a good paint job takes a lot of work.
My honest opinion is that painting is kind of a pain-in-the-ass and there will always be guys that do a good job twisting wrenches and guys that do a good job with paint, but not many who do both well. I've seen more than a couple of bikes that were torn down for paint and then stayed torn down until they were sold as basket cases.
For first time, go with rattle cans as lowkeyfilmz mentioned. Another option for rattle cans is to go to a auto paint supplier where they can load a quality automotive paint into a spray can. It can get kind of expensive that way, around here it's about 20 or 25 bucks a can, but you'll be working with good paint. I think painting is like any other skill, you'll never know if your suited for it until you give it a try. Who knows? You might say "painting sucks, I'll walk around the world bare-footed, buck-naked, back-wards, and blind-folded before I'd do it again" or you might say "painting is cool, I want to know more" .

Geo.
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

There isn't much more to be said than what's already been said, except to reiterate the MOST important part about painting. That is what ever flaws are under the paint will eventually show thru the paint.meaning if you "fill" a scratch bigger than say what 180 grit sand paper leaves behind, as the paint and primer dry and shrink the scratch will show thru, I've seen what looked like perfect paint jobs leaving the paint booth turn to shit 6months later when the evaporants in the paint,primer and body filler had totally dried. If I use two coats of body filler I will block sand all scratches out with 180 grit sand paper before applying second coat. If you use a grinder to remove paint or rust use a D/A sander to smooth the grinding marks with 80 grit sand paper before applying body filler. Also use a quality filler, and stir the hardener in don't fold it. Folding will trap air leaving pin holes in the finished product. I refuse to use putty of any kind as I've seen it trap air under it and when the sun heats the air a bubble raises.plus, it never really seems to dry.
If you are planning a multi color paint job use fine line tape to mask the edge of the split then when you are un-masking fold the tape back over itself so it "cuts" the edge as you are removing it. Basically , you will put your forefinger on the sticky side of the tape, doubling the tape over on itself and run your finger along the tape you are removing. If you just grab the end of the tape it and pull it at a 90 degree angle from the surface the paint laying on the tape may stay with the part instead of the tape leaving a rough parting line that is hard to deal with. I use polyurethane paint and the brand I use does not allow for sanding between the base coat and clear coats, although some do. I do however run a tack rag over the part to remove dust before the base coat and any subsequent coats. Of course I will wash the part with a good wax and grease remover just prior to painting.
One last neat trick is once you have got the part clear coated spray a fog of a different color over the clear coat before you start wet sanding. If the part is black fog white on it, when you have wet sanded all the white off you know all the imperfections are gone. But be careful not to burn thru the clear while sanding or buffing.
It sounds like a lot, and the devil is in the details, but it's really pretty simple once you get your feet wet. Good luck sir.
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

Tattoo, I thinking of a midnight blue pearl with a silver pinstripe along edge of fenders and outline of tank. I already painted the frame before rebuilding bike and no there is no body work needed. The only things I have right now is time,bike, garage and possibly a compressor. What do you think about spray can paint?
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

Thanks for advice Rob when I get a plan together I'll let you know---Greg
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

Thanks Tomsoftail, I'll keep you posted--Greg
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

Thanks for the input---Greg
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

Go for it.

I won't give you any painting tips because there are plenty others places for that kind of info.... all I can tell you is that I have painted several cars and other stuff in a home garage with great results. Don't do the rattle can job.You can do better than than.

Get yourself a decent compressor, an inexpensive paint gun, and some auto paint from an auto paint store. Shooting primer, paint, and clear is easy if you follow the directions that come with the paint (mixing, drying, flash time) and take your time so you don't get drips. It's not that hard and don't let people scare you.

By the way.. last month a buddy wanted to paint his panhead. Tank, both fenders, and hard bags. I was moving so didn't have all my stuff. I set up a 10x10 EZup with a plastic tarp around it for a paint booth. I used a small touch up gun that just happened to be in one of my moving boxes and I used a friends nail compressor (small ones used for finishing nails). I shot the whole bike in single stage black and it came out flat, smooth, and shiny.

Point is don't be afraid to do it yourself. It's a great feeling to say.. "I did it myself!"
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:34 PM   #15
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

OK that's a done deal-spray gun here we come. Now if you guys can send some suggestions on materials needed---type of spray gun(siphon or gravity feed)the amount of primer,paint clearcoat etc.(I painting a gas tank and both fenders)size of compressor needed-something about a water trap on compressor air line?,and just about any information that you think will help,I will start checking stores etc. Again thanks so much Greg
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:47 AM   #16
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

THAT is a loaded question!....like asking here what is the better E.I. for a Triumph, boyer, Pazon, Sparx, ect?
seriously, that information is abundant and you should do a search. Not that I wont help, but the information on guns, compressors, primers, tape, clear, base pigments, manufactures, will also depend on the availability in your area. Some states wont sell to the average guy on the street, only to "licensed" shops (EPA, disposal, stuff like that)....
Do a search online and here.. there is a wealth of info. Just remember not everything your read is gospel.....it is what may for that one person....
..some advice I can give you....DONT RUSH IT!!...take your time and the attention to detail throughout all of the steps will show in your finished product!
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:59 AM   #17
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Default Re: your thoughts on painting bike

Thanks guys I'll reach out for more help-if you don't mind- as I get going with my search for materials. I do have a question though--should I have the parts sandblasted to remove existing paint?---Greg
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:01 PM   #18
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Tattoo, there's only one coat of enamel
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:21 PM   #19
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I can't tell you which gun is better, but I can tell you the differences I've noticed. Syphon feed guns don't seem to leak as much,but you have to be careful not to bump the part with the bottom edge of the cup. Sounds stupid, but it happens. Screw on lids on some cheaper gravity feed guns suck,clear seems to lock them up and make them difficult to close good. Also if you inadvertently pull the trigger without the air attached a steady stream will gravity feed out.sounds stupid, but it happens. They both spray about the same. I prefer all metal construction, no plastic cups for me!
As far as compressors go, you need to be able to maintain 35 to 65 psi for about five minutes. When I started 30 years ago I painted a fridge and dishwasher for a friend with small compressor like air brush artists use. It was a pain but I made it work, I think a 2 horse compressor with a 5 gallon tank would do nicely. And it's handy to have around when you're not painting.
Be advised your friends are going to want you to paint everything for them when they find out you can do this. That's the down side!
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:17 AM   #20
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..actually they will want you to do it for free....
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