street glide/flat black ghost flames

gtc73

New member
Ah!, so the challenge is on. Haven't been here for a while so I am doing some reading to see who has done this and with what results. I am considering taking the airbrush to my flat black street glide. I'm thinking about adding some ghost realistic/hot rod flames, which are basically free handed hot rod flame licks with a "twist".....

the challenge is, whereas the bike is "flat or matte black", is it a "ready canvas" to just start spraying some flames/licks.

So the BIGGER question is, what to use for the ghosted flames....ie, something like a black ice/pearl,,.,,,,or a very VERY dark shade of grey, almost black in and of itself. I'm really looking for these flames to be next to invisible....well....that will be the challenge anyway.

So, anyone do this? do I need to prep the flat black by scuffing? or can I just start spraying after cleaning and de-greasing.... I guess I'm looking at flat on flat....cause I won't be clearing this....or don't want to anyway. Which brings to mind....if I use like a wicked colors black pearl, and then don't clear over that, will that stuff eventually just wear/wash off.....or because of the flat black, will the wicked colors basically become permanent.

thanks for any feedback...
g
 

gtc73

New member
So I'll reply to my own thread to keep this all together. I am going to start out with a test panel. I bought some black license plate type blanks. I also bought a can of John Deer black paint which I am told is a perfect match for the HD flat black or satin black paint.

Whereas my head is headed towards a real ghosty hot rod flame, and btw, not a whole lot of them......the "painter" in me wants to do some marbleized affects as well. So .... happen to have some brilliant silver metalic paint from The Custom Shop, which I'm considering using to MIX with some nice Black Cherry Candy.

Now the problem may be that the black cherry candy is actually a "tinted clear".....which my guess is, once applied to a flat black base paint, will create a "glossy affect"....so I'm gonna want to dull that down somehow.

TEST PANEL1 --- so I'll have a flat black test panel. I'll tape off my hot rod flames....then what I will do is use the old "balled up polly plastic" as my brush, and dip it in the "black cherry candy/metalic silver", then lightly dab/press this onto the flames....and see how it comes out. The goal is DARK DARK BLACK CHERRY in the shade....but when the sun hits it the metalic silver base will make the black cherry POP!!.... pictures will be posted....wish me luck.
 

JT Airbrush

Member
Looks like a great project. Even though the bike is flat black, you still have to sand and clean it to ensure your new paint sticks. And you will need to reclear the entire part with a flat finish clear coat. I airbrush mainly with Wicked and Auto Air and even though they dry with a relatively flat finish, they must be cleared. Even if you use urethanes, you still need to clear coat. To do the marbelized effect, you need to first apply the silver metallic with the plastic bag, then spray your candy on top of that. This technique will looks cool, but it is not even close to being a ghosted effect. It will stand out rather boldly and the underlying metallic will give you a nice sparkle in the sun. Normally, I pinstripe the outline of a hotrod flame like this.
 

TAZ

Administrator
I agree, you have to reclear it. Base is very delicate.
Assuming your S-G has the factory paint job, your finish is really a matte or satin finish. (H-D calls it Denim).
You'll definitely need to practice to get the mixture perfect to match the other parts.
You'll also need to prep the tank before airbrush and reclear.

I would suggest some very dark grays and a some subtle licks of pearl if you plan on doing the fire look.
Or, use the same if you plan on doing the Hot Rod licks.

If you do the black cherry look, you may want to use silver, spray it onto your plastic and put it on the surface quickly.
Then coat that with a candy red or brandywine. This should give you the effect you are wanting.
You'll need to practice this as well
 

gtc73

New member
arrg!! oh well I kinda figured as much, but figured I would put it out there for input. Thanks.

Wondering what spraying flat clear over candy will do.....I'm not looking for glossy flames or licks....want to keep it all flat.

Also, is there a "flattener" that can be added to clear to give it the flat or matte look?
 

gtc73

New member
Time to start breaking and making some new rules when it comes to sanding and clearing.....that's what test panels are for!! :):)
 

gtc73

New member
So guys? as this project continues to "morph", I'm thinking the best thing for me to do is spray flats on flat. Can anyone advise my on flat paint(s) for airbrush work? brand? website?

thanks....
 

JT Airbrush

Member
Yes, there are flattening agents you can add to clear to create a matte finish. As Taz stated, you will have to experiment to determine how much flattening agent you need to put into the clear to match the existing finish on you bike. As far as paint, if you want to use urethane, try House of Kolor or Inspire airbrush paints. If you want to use water based, Createx Auto Air, Wicked, Illustration and Candy 2/O are all automotive grade. All the paints dry relatively flat, but you still must spray a clear coat over them, no matter what brand of paint you choose.
 

gtc73

New member
So am I reading/hearing that it really doesn't matter whether I spray "flat paint"......because once I spray flat clear over the paint it will appear FLAT?......my concern would be spraying a paint that has a gloss to it, then spraying the flat clear over that and still have a shine or glossyness to the underlying paint/artwork. Bottom line? will flat clear knock down any glossyness to any paint under it? thanks guys....and I know....test panels to be sure!!!
 

JT Airbrush

Member
All automotive grade paints dry relatively flat. This means they have no significant gloss to them. The gloss or lack of gloss, comes from the clear coat. In your case, there will be no gloss because you are using a flat clear coat.
 

TAZ

Administrator
Just pretend you are doing a 'gloss' job. Then instead of gloss clear, you will be spraying clear with flattening agent.
If you are doing this over a stock H-D paint job, like I mentioned, it is not flat. If it is flat, your bike has been repainted.

I like using "OneChoice" flattening agent. Be sure and put the lid on as soon as you are done.
It's made by PPG.
 

gtc73

New member
Howdy Taz!,
So sounds like I am confusing flat with matte? ie, the HD Denim is ?? matte?? as apposed to flat?...sooooooo......if I am reading right....matte has a little more shine to it them flat....which is completely flat like a primer ?

so in the end.....when I do the final clear....I assume I have the choice of flat or matte then , is that correct? and I know I have to test this, but for conversation purposes, wondering if the pearl in a pearl black ghost flame will show through the matte or flat clear in the end.....interesting....

I'm thinking I'll fine line tape off the hot rod flames, then outline the flames with the black pearl (to make the flames stand out), and possibly a super dark grey pearl on the flame bases and tips....hmmm......should be a fun project....
 
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