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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I need to find someone who paints bikes in Illinois close to Chicago. I let two of my friends attempt to paint it because they said they knew how to paint. They ended up using the whole quart on only 3 pieces and still missed spots. They had runs all through the primer that showed up through the black paint of course. The other pieces just have primer on them with lots of runs. I know every piece will have to be re-sanded.

If someone knows a painter who can do a good black paint job for around $350-$400 next week please let me know. The pieces are off a 04 ZX-6R 636.
 

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only if you lived near NC... You could do it yourself you know. Not that hard. If you find a buddy with a compressor, grab yourself an HVLP sprayer for cheap. The work is mostly in the prepwork. Spraying is easy but also vital. If you want some more detailed advice about DIY, just ask.

even without a compressor, you can do a good job with spray cans. You just have to do more prepwork and sanding because of the inconsistancy between layers. I've had some good success with a $30 spray can job that looked as good as a $700 job. From a foot away, they look almost the same quality. Then again, I'm anal about my work and strive for perfection.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know I won't be able to do it myself. The two guys who tried to painted both just finished school for painting and it still came out horrible.
 

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JBaz said:
just ask.
I'll take that liberty. :)

So, as far as I understand it, you have to do an assload of sanding, then some more sanding, and when you're finished with that, you sand it some more with small grit paper. After that, you spray on a bunch of coats of primer, then a bunch of coats of paint, then clearcoat? Am I correct, or totally misinformed? I'm interested in giving the whole thing a shot. As far as doing the amateur (ie spraycan) method, what kind of supplies are needed, and how much? Perhaps one of those electric sanders would make the job easier and faster?
 

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do you know what kind of paint it was? what brand? Was it gloss black?

Did they prep the primer good? wetsand it down? If they have runs in the primer, before paiting, that's not good. Sounds to me, they don't know what they are doing. Even if they came out of painting school.


The way I do it depends on the grade of what my paintjob will be. If I want flawless, near perfect paint job, I'll spend a lot of work hand sanding and preping the pieces. You need various sized grit sizes ranging from 80, 220, 400, 600 and if you want 800 and 1000 for a much finer paintjob, but totally not necesarry.

First off, you'd need to sand down what you have now. You don't need to dig in deep, just scratch the surface. If you have very thick paint on there or if you have some bondo work, use 80 to get the shape and smooth it out. Otherwise, just use 220. The technique for sanding is to be gental, don't rub it in. Just glide your hand over the piece your sanding with the sandpaper like your wiping your ass... wait what? lol

You need to be as even and consistant as possible with how much pressure you applying when sanding. Next is to use a 400 wetsand gritt paper. Use a bucket of water with a few drops of soap (lubricates the sandpaper to increase durability of the paper, otherwise they'll go out very quickly). Dip the 400 paper in the water and start wetsanding. Again, be as even as possible and make sure your being light about it, No need to dig in. If you sand lightly in one spot, you can feel the difference from the 400 and 220 easily. Sould feel much smoother to the touch.

**NOTE: humidity plays a huge factor when priming and painting. Try to spray when dry**

Once you get the whole piece wetsanded to 400, next comes priming. Priming is very important stage. You usually do a sealer, then a few coats of primer. But now days, primers are pretty good at keeping moisture out that you can use that as a sealer. This doesn't really matter if your painting on plastic as plastics don't rust. Primer is used so that paint has something to chemically bond to it very easily. Your spraying technique is also important as you want an even coverage. It's actually better to have overcoverage since you can just sand the primer down and get it level.

Just go side to side when spraying. Only spray when your hand is in motion and going in one direction. Don't keep it on when you change directions. Just keep it straight, even, level, and a consistant distance from the piece your primering (6-12", depends on the sprayer/nozzle/can). Before you spray, wipe the area down with denaturalized alcohol to clean all the oil and dust off. Then Spray the first level on thick. Double back and spray a quick light coat. Then wet sand with 400. Wait till dry (depends on type of primer) then wipe again with alcohol, two light coats of primer and wetsand with 400. Just remember, when wetsanding primer, just be as light as possible and don't dig in. If you over sand, you'll have to apply another layer of primer if you go through the primer and then you'll have an inconsistancy. Just make sure you get the area's where you overlapped in spraying called orange peels when you sand. They can show up and look awful on the paint job. Once you have the final layer of primer on, I usually sand it with 600 gritt lightly and wipe with alcohol.

And this point, your ready to paint, but I'd wait and leave the primer to dry for atleast 24 hours to cure properly, but depends on the type of primer. If you are doing a quick and dirty rattle can job, you'll have a lot more sanding to do. Otherwise, it's just spraying for now on. My experience is limited to stage 1 paints where the clearcoat is already mixed in with the paint. I find that they are easier to deal with since they take out quite a bit of work for you, but they really are good for solid types of paint jobs, which we are doing.

For a rattle can job, 1st coat is a heavy coat, but don't over do it. You don't want any runs or drips. If you still can see the primer, don't sweat. Wait 10 mins, then apply a 2nd coat. Then dry for an hour or so, sand with 400 or 600 gritt. Wipe with alcohol, spray another one or two light coats. wait 15 mins till dry. In between each layer and check to see if your making any runs or dripps, your best at sanding those out before moving on to the next layer as each layer on top of that will amplify the effect and ruin the good paint job. Remember, only do light sanding between one or two light layers.

You can go up in gritt size to 1000, even 1500 and 2000 if you want, but for rattle can job, you really hit the diminishing returns when you start using 1000. I say put a good decent 6 light layers of paint on the piece or until you don't see primer anymore. Lighter colors will require more paint/layers. On the last layer, use rubbing compand. Let the paint cure for a day or two.

Then you can get a can of clearcoat and add three coats of that. Wait 15 mins before each layer, you don't need to sand, but check the label and make sure, some clearcoats apply on foggy and require some light sanding. I have limited knowledge on clearcoats. After clear is applied, you can wax it using any kind of car polish but it's best to wait a week before doing so.


Now for a spray set with using a stage 1 paint, you don't need to sand anymore beyond this point. It's purely spray skills and time. Just do light coats and one pass only. Forget the 1st heavy coat. For every layer you spray, wait 15 mins, then apply again. Repeat until you are happy with the color. With one pass light coats, usually 8-16 layers is good. Depends on the color and what you want. Let it dry and cure for about a weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah I bought Dupont Chromabase. They didn't know what they were doing. They didn't even know what to mix with the primer.
 

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well, when you buy paint, you are given the mixing ratio for that specific paint. They differ from brand to brand, paint to paint, and color. Now days, you have to also mix in a hardner for the paint to dry up, kind of like glue. That's what most dupont lines have.

Read above for some details, but letting you know now, I'm not an expert, but I've done some painting before. Mostly rattle cans, but I have my own equipment now. My color experience is also limited to gloss black and metallic silver (only two colors I love besides red). Silver is a bit more difficult since its not just a solid color, but has metal flakes in it and when it runs, you can tell from far away. It's a bit hard to apply on curvy surfaces and I'm still iffy on it. Nontheless, practice makes perfect.

I've also give friends semi-free paint jobs for practice. They just pay for materials since it just seems like a waste to paint scrap metal. What do they care, they stunt and crash every week. I should paint their bikes pink. lol

oh and personally, I sand by hand and thus why I take a long time to do the prep work. You can do it with a sander, but you don't get the feel for it. It's also hard with the curves on a bike faring and hard to reach places.
 

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You guys lost me with the block. By block, do you mean any kinda block? aka something hard with a flat surface that you drape the sandpaper over and use the whole thing like a sponge to clean (sorta)? And this is only for flat surfaces? Aren't most bike plastics at least somewhat curved?
 

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A sanding block is a piece of hard rubber that the sandpaper attaches to. This lets you put an even amount of pressure on the item you are sanding. Otherwise you can get ghost lines in the paint.
 

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You can buy the rubber sanding block from any hardware store for a few bucks. But as long as you sand consistantly and lightly, you shouldn't have to worry about ghosting lines even if you sand by hand.
 

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A little bit of bringing back an old thread, but I have yet another question regarding painting. Say I have a big piece of plastic, painted and looking fine, but there's rash on one small section. How does one do it so the paintjob blends in with the old, if it's all a continuous surface, meaning no creases where it would be easy to separate the job from the rest of the work? (and no, I didn't crash or drop my bike... long story)
 
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