First Motorcycle Paint Job! Questions Regarding Acrylic Enamel


New member
Ibought my first motorcycle last year. Pretty beat up '82 Yamaha XJ550 Seca. It's been a great ride so far and I've decided to fill insome dents and get rid of that old rusty and faded paint job!

I'vestarted already, but now I have a few questions. As much as I wantto ride it next week, I'd rather take the time and do it correctly.

So! I currently have two coats of acrylic enamel (Dupli Colorrattlecans), a black undercoat and a white top coat (and of course aprimer layer at the very bottom). I was planning on doing somethingto have the black show through in stripes, but now I think I'll justput the black stripes on top afterward.

Sofar I've wetsanded with 400 grit sandpaper between layers, I thinkI'm going to kick it up to 600-800 for the next wetsanding.

Question1 : How many coats do I need with this stuff?

Theinstructions say paint can be applied up to an hour after starting,10 minutes between coats. Did two light coats and two medium coatsfor the entire white coat. No running but it looks like it is onthere pretty thick. My concern is it says to give 7 days to let thepaint cure before applying another coat.

Do Ineed 3-4 white coats to make it look good? That'd take me 2-3 moreweeks to get done because of the curing required between coats.

Question2 : Should I put on a clear coat?

Thepaint professional at NAPA said a clear coat wasn't required overacrylic enamel, that the paint was designed to have a professionallooking finish without it. Should I put one on anyway? Will I needthe standard 3-5 coats of that or would 1-2 do it considering it isover acrylic enamel?

Question3 : Should I do anything differently on plastic pieces rather thanmetal/fiberglass pieces?

XJ550sare known for not having any cheap side covers on the market. Ibought XS 500 covers and have converted them to fit. Only concern isthey're plastic. I suspect everything is the same, but thought Ishould check.