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here is what i just did for someone on the board.....they had a dished indian larry tank,

i cleaned it really good with mineral spirits, he still wanted some surface rust on so i kept it on, but for the dished in sides, i sanded smooth, primered, and put a few coats of metallic gold laquer



then wetsanded, if your going to lay leaf, you CAN leaf over bare metal, but unless its as SMOOTH as a babys ass, and your using real leaf, ANY imperfection, grind mark, pretty much ANYTHING is going affect the look/lay of the leaf. so my suggestion is to paint then leaf over the paint somewhat like i did. even if its a small part/line

then i would clear over the leaf only with a brush...rolco sells a crystal clear just for that.....then GIBBS over everything, after pinstriping....





plus, if you "burn" through the leaf when you are turning it you cant tell nearly as much as if you went over bare metal, and i think its going to be easy to burn through something that isnt smooth as hell.
 
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