You can save a significant amount of money painting your own motorcycle. Not only is this a cost effective option, but it's a great hobby that allows you complete customization of your motorcycle color and coating. Below are a set of helpful instructions that will provide you with some direction in embarking upon a motorcycle painting job.
Necessary Materials and Paints for Your Motorcycle
Specialist paints are in a very niche but booming marketplace, with many people looking for paints such as Tank Paints as well as Military Camouflage paints and Automotove Coatings. Andrew Case, General Manager of Arcrite Paints says business is picking up nicely as we head into 2015 and he sees a lot more potential growth for the next 12 months ahead
Creating Your Own Custom Paint Booth
To create your own paint booth in a convenient and appropriate location such as your garage, basement, or shed, be sure to protect your walls with plastic sheeting. This will not only protect your walls from the paint you will be using, but it assists in the appropriate reflection of light to facilitate better vision while completing your project.
Once you have placed the fans in your windows, taking care to tape around the fan edges, affixing them to the plastic surrounding them, be sure to create the best lighting you can provide in your paint booth.
Employing temporary fluorescent lighting fixtures that can be purchased inexpensively at Home Depot or Lowe's is a smart idea. These fixtures are quite effective for this type of project and simply need to be plugged into an outlet for use.
If you require an extension cord or cords to access an appropriate plug for your lighting fixtures in your painting both and don't have access to one, you will need to get one.
Necessary Tools for Painting Your Motorcycle
To complete an effective paint job on your motorcycle, you will require at least two paint guns, an air compressor, air hose, and a regulator that includes a water trap. The first paint gun will be utilized for primer and the second will be used to apply a base coat and subsequent clear coats.
Safely Preparing Your Motorcycle for Painting
Check your motorcycle's fuel and oil tanks prior to painting. Be certain that they you pressure test them and be sure they are free of leaks. You will then be ready to begin sandblasting the metal elements on your motorcycle to remove any old paint. If you don't have a sandblaster at your disposal, you can sand them with sandpaper.
Once you have completed your sanding, wipe down the parts you have sanded with a degreaser that is not oil-based prior to painting. Mixing filler in small batches, apply filler to the low spots. Be mindful that it hardens quickly so mixing the filler in smaller batches is a good idea.
Apply the filler as smoothly as possible to avoid excessive sanding. Once the filler application dries, sand it with 80 grit sandpaper, checking for nicks or low spots. When you have located nicks and/or low spots, fill them with filler and repeat the sanding process.
Once you have completed filling and sanding any imperfections from the motorcycle and you have a smooth surface on which to work, it's time to prime your bike. Apply two coats of epoxy primer.
When it's dry, use a spray bomb of black paint, spraying it very lightly over the surface. This will highlight any defects in your fill work. You can then utilize light finishing putty, applied in even coats using a foam sanding block wrapped in 80 grit sandpaper followed by 120 grit sandpaper and then 400 grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface to fix any spots in which you are experiencing difficulty.
It's now time to apply the final primer coat. Once the last coat is dry, utilize 400 grit sandpaper to roughen to surface to facilitate better base coat adherence. Prior to applying the base coat, apply a coat of epoxy sealer to provide a smoother surface that is free of any bubbles.
Read the paint instructions carefully and take care to follow the advice with regard to times between coats. Additionally, be sure you properly mix the paint and apply it the temperatures are within an acceptable range. It's best to apply your paint in a temperature-controlled building.
Applying Your Clear & Base Color Coats
When applying your color coats, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully. You can subsequently apply a layer of clear coat. After the initial coat of clear has dried, use 600 grit sandpaper to wet sand it until it's smooth. Sand your surface until any ridges disappear.
If you intend to paint graphics on your motorcycle, now it’s the time to do so. You may then apply another coat of clear tank paint. You may require two coats of clear paint on bikes with graphics painted on them.
You many then wet sand your motorcycle with 600 grit sandpaper between applications of each coat of clear paint. After sanding the last coat of clear with your 600 grit sandpaper, sand it again with 1,500 grit sandpaper. To create an even smoother finish, follow up your 1,500 grit sandpaper with 2,000 grit sandpaper.
Polishing Your Newly Painted Motorcycle
You will require a variable speed polisher equipped with a buffing pad and polishing compound to complete your paint job. When you shop to purchase your supplies, ask a salesperson to suggest an effective polishing compound to utilize.
Once you have purchased your buffing pad and polishing compound, you can then begin to buff your newly painted motorcycle to create a shiny, new surface. You can then truly enjoy the job you have completed yourself to your own specifications and standards!