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Thread: Painting a motorbike.....and getting it right

  1. #1
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    Default Painting a motorbike.....and getting it right

    Hi, I've dabbled in painting bikes a few years back with varied success and made a lot of mistakes along the way but have now decided to give it another go and want to get it right from the outset this time. What i have is a bare metal tank and some new gel coated fiberglass panels........

    Do i etch the bare tank then 2k prime or will 2k straight on do?
    Will the gel coated panels need a etch coat?
    What grade paper or sanding disc is best to use before the base coat?
    In the past i always had trouble with the masking tape leaving marks on the base coat when doing 2 or more colours, it didnt seem to matter how long i left it to dry before masking i always had this problem. Always used good quality low tack tape but in the end i resorted to clear coating each colour to get around it which was more time consuming that it needed to be.

    Thanks in advance for any advice and hope this isnt a bit cheeky for a first post

  2. #2
    Veteran Painter chopolds's Avatar

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    There are usually several ways to do a job, when doing paint and body work. My method is to use a good epoxy primer over bare metal and fiberglass, after being washed and degreased, and sanded well. The epoxy I use ( House of Kolor) you can also use as a "filling" primer, one that you can put on rather thickly and sand out minor imperfections. Most folks use PPG or Dupont paints, and their epoxies are used for adhering and sealing bare metal and 'glass, but then you use a urethane hi-build primer afterwards, to sand out.
    Etch coats were pretty much made for metal, not a real advantage on fiberglass. At least the regular etch primers I'm familiar with. There are also vinyl etch primers, but I don't use them.
    Usually 400 grit to 600 grit, wetsanded, is a good final sand before painting.
    Tape residue is always an issue. Use a great quality tape in the first place, let the paint dry as long as possible, and you can use a pre-paitn cleaner, or a white Scotchbrite pad to remove any tape residue you get.
    And your using a clearcoat between colors and taping, is a common thing among custom painters. Protects the base color from any issues, and provides a safe surface to sand if any of the second color blows through the taped areas. I use an intercoat clear, for fast dry and tape times.

  3. #3

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    Good tips Chopolds. I'm gonna do my first motorcycle paint project right after we finished installing the Moto metal wheels and new tires on the current truck project. A close buddy here had good results with Dupont paints so I'm gonna give it a try as well.

  4. #4
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    With regards to using a intercoat clear over base to eliminate tape residue would using a solid 2k colour instead of base work aswell? im not fussed about drying times etc

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