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Old 03-19-2014, 05:31 PM   #1
Skyshadow OP
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cheap bastids airhead painting thread

OK, I just ordered my PD tank and cannot even get a reply to any email I have sent to several body shops. So I am thinking about doing the paint job myself.

Now..a gas tank it not a fender....it will get gas so needs a decent clear coat on it. My G/S is blue so I am looking at a house of Kolor Lapis blue base coat and a Spraymax 2k 2 part clear coat.

thoughts?
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:38 PM   #2
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Take your time. The prep is the widow to the final product.

Clean and wipe with ?? before paint and do not touch with bare hands.

Flies little footprints are cool in someone else's paint job.
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:10 AM   #3
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This thread might be worth reading through. Scroll down about a page or so and read through 69chargeryeehaas posts. He's painted a few cars with Rustoleum, thinners, and a few cheap foam rollers and brushes. No spraying and all the the mess/hassle that that involves. Some more information here. I'll be using this method to paint my tank sometime this year. I'm not really a huge fan of the high-gloss wet-look paint jobs that people seem to be getting these days. I think the enamel look will suit my bike better.
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:10 AM   #4
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They're a PIA to support .

I made 2 wooden cradles to paint, bottom first, top second . They take a couple days to paint . Blend the different coats in the center of the knee pad area, in case it's not perfectly smooth . I used Polyurethane mixed at a local BAP paint jobber . $42. per quart, BMW wanted $40 for a pint of meracesh red . Used BAP 630 Urethane top coat, 3 coats of it, @ $38. qt . Forget, thinner, costs, they're minimal however . I did not use any of the add ins for plastics, vynl, etc . 3 tough years on the road, the paint is still sticking to the tank, with no chips or damage . Take your time, it will show in the end . After doing 2 of them, I wouldn't do another for less than $750, and I'm not looking for work .
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:12 AM   #5
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Love the idea of being able to do a decent paint job in my single car garage with a roller... I'm trying it on one of my G/S tanks that will be for off road explores... Now to go check if it comes in alpine white:)

Thanks for sharing that tip!
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:45 AM   #6
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was thinking basically hanging it from the hasp carrier to paint.
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:57 AM   #7
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wow....checked out the roller page...very cool. I have used rustolium before brush on and it is as the page suggests.
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:54 AM   #8
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I have rattle-can sprayed several bikes now, with satisfactory (to me!) results... the KEY to the whole thing on a gas tank is to have a final coat that does not disintegrate with gas spills.

Prep, paint, wetsand, etc, and then clearcoat with SprayMax, a 2-part-clear-in-a-rattlecan. Read directions carefully and do not ignore safety warnings, this stuff is nasty to the lungs, but pretty durn easy to paint with! Google for where to find....



I am at a really slow connection, so cannot load, but there is some description of the product and pics of results in my 80ST sigline thread, if you are interested.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:22 AM   #9
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I used auto-air waterbased(no voc), it gets a catalyzed uerathane clearcoat (very tough stuff) after I did all the airbrush work a local painter with the correct safety set-up shot the clear coat for me.. but untill the clear coat is applied if you don't like what you have soap, water and a scotchbrite pad lets you start over..
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:02 AM   #10
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You CAN do this. It isn't hard. It just requires patience and attention to detail. It won't be as perfect as if you pay someone $500, but you're probably the only one who won't notice. That said, professional paint is of higher quality than rattle-can paint in most cases. You might want to check with the cheap-o paint shops in your area. You could probably get one of them to spray and bake the tank for under $200. It'll come out looking good. I didn't have time to paint a replacement fender on my son's car last summer and did this and they did a great job and the paint has held up fine. If you do go this route, make sure you tell them that ALL the prep work is done. All you want is top coat and you'll probably have better luck getting a response. But if you tell them that, make sure you do the prep I lay out below.

If you do want to give it a go there are a couple of things here that I'm assuming. First, you don't have a compressor or spray equipment. If you've never used spray equipment, this isn't the time to invest or learn. You can get excellent results with a spray can if you take your time. We'll get back to that. Second, if this is a new tank, it is already in primer. Those are my assumptions.

Like others have said, the key is prep. If your new tank is in primer, sand it again with 400 grit. Get the best quality automotive primer in a can you can find. I recently used some Rustoleum with good results. Make sure it is sandable primer.

Figure out a way to hang the tank, now. You do want to hang it so you can paint the whole thing at once. Otherwise... crappy results.

Before you spray the tank wipe it down with a good quality wax and grease remover. Mineral spirits will work but not as good as stuff designed for this purpose. Make sure you use a lint-free cloth not paper towels. An old T-shirt is hard to beat. Let it dry for a couple of hours hanging from your already prepared hooks, taking ridiculous care NOT to touch it with bare fingers. It does matter.

When dry, give it a light coat of your primer. Then another. Then another. Give it several light coats. This is the other key to painting and where experience is SO important. Spray paint does tend to run easier than air systems because the paint and propellant are mixed together. And nothing's going to run like a gas tank with so many angles and surfaces.

Let it dry in a warm place for a day or two. If you have a warm attic hang it there.

When it is good and dry, sand the hell out of the tank and then sand it again. Don't sand in circles but in long strokes along the length of the tank. Try to keep all the sanding in the same (general) direction as much as possible. I like to water sand with 600 grit but some people disagree, saying the primer absorbs water. It was the way I was taught and its always worked well for me. Take care sanding along creases in the metal, you'll sand all the primer off before you know it, leaving silver streaks.

Again, hang it up in a warm place and let it dry. Inside your house is good since humidity will probably be lower there. When completely dry, it should be almost a satin finish. I really love the look of water-sanded gray primer. I could do a car and clear coat the water-sanded primer and be good with it.

As before, you want to wipe it down with your wax and grease remover then let it dry. Yeah, there is a crap load of drying time here. Patience. The hard part is over.

Color coat. You want to find the best quality automotive enamel you can possibly find. My local O'Reilly's will actually mix paint for you and put it in a spray can. I haven't tried it but am intrigued. Go by an automotive paint store and see what they recommend. At any rate, once you have the paint, it is time.

Make sure it is well-mixed before starting. The key to getting a good paint finish is to NEVER dwell on a spot. Ever. Never, never, never, never dispense paint if the can/sprayer isn't moving. Not even a little dab. To paint, you aim the nozzle past the part your are painting, start moving, press the nozzle, and then you cross the area you are painting completely, before letting up. It is like shooting skeet. Ideally there is going to be as much paint in the air as there is on your part. Also, you MUST maintain a constant distance from what you are shooting (painter talk for painting something.) Your arm is hooked to your body and there is a STRONG tendency to move the nozzle in an arc. If it moves in an arc, you get less paint at the sides of the arc and more in the middle, right? You have to use your whole body. Be one with the can/gun. It's a Zen thing.

From this perspective, a motorcycle gas tank is about the hardest thing to paint properly because it's pretty dang close to a sphere. But it can be done. Just make sure you keep the can about a foot away and apply light coats. If at all possible, don't do it outside. Bugs and dust will make you angry. If you must do it outside, make sure the wind isn't blowing. I mean, no wind at all. Zip, zero, nada. Spray paint is super susceptible to wind.

Assuming this all works, and you get your final coat on there, hang the tank somewhere warm and dry and let it sit for at least a week before you touch it. If at all possible, hang it in a warm attic and wait two weeks. The longer you wait, the more the paint will cure, the better it will resist scratches and fuel spills.

It this sounds like a lot, it is because it is a lot and is why people charge top dollar to do it for you. Others may do it differently and if so, I'd be happy to hear your methods and incorporate what makes sense into the way I do things. Always looking to improve on my methods.

For what it is worth, all cars used to be hand painted with brushes and rollers. The paint was thick and glossy and FAR better than sprayed, but took a long time to cure. The ONLY reason manufacturers went to spray is because they can build more cars/bikes, faster.

MotorcycleWriter screwed with this post 03-20-2014 at 08:10 AM
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorcycleWriter View Post
Make sure it is well-mixed before starting. The key to getting a good paint finish is to NEVER dwell on a spot. Ever. Never, never, never, never dispense paint if the can/sprayer isn't moving. Not even a little dab. To paint, you aim the nozzle past the part your are painting, start moving, press the nozzle, and then you cross the area you are painting completely, before letting up. It is like shooting skeet. Ideally there is going to be as much paint in the air as there is on your part. Also, you MUST maintain a constant distance from what you are shooting (painter talk for painting something.) Your arm is hooked to your body and there is a STRONG tendency to move the nozzle in an arc. If it moves in an arc, you get less paint at the sides of the arc and more in the middle, right? You have to use your whole body. Be one with the can/gun. It's a Zen thing.
great advice... I'd also add if using a rattle can, make sure to stop after 3-4 passes and mix the paint again.

I've noticed with all the places I have been sourcing parts and services lately have been horrible at email replies. Is their inbox overloaded, or a spam filter issue? I don't know. I'd give the local shops a call. I found a few paint/auto body web sites in my local area and used their pictures to make my choice. Cost me $650 for the tank, fenders and battery covers. That included taking a few small dents out of the tank, and fixing some cracks in the batt. covers, prep, paint, pin-striping and rebadging. I'm sure I was charged a little extra for the flat clear coat finish I chose.

I'd suggest if you have a few hours one day, drive your tank around to the local shops, get quotes and use the shop you liked the best!

Compare costs too. Good auto quality paint is not cheap and you may find the cost of having it done at a shop is not that much more, but that all depends on how much you value your time

The PO of my bike rattle canned the last paint job, but it started pitting and rust bubbles started to form under the paint. Prep is everything, the PO just painted over the stock paint, and so the result was mediocre at best
Here is a comparison for ya. Good luck.

side by sidenew paint tank
rattle can paintprofessional paint
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by big_mark View Post
This thread might be worth reading through. .
I put my bike back together about 3 years ago. I used this roll on Rustoleum technique: 1. because I'm cheap 2. because I had spent way more on restoring the bike then I'd planned already and 3. I figured that I could always take the fenders, tank, and side bags off and have them professionally painted later.

Well after 3 years of year round riding here in Portland OR, I gotta say it's holding up well. I didn't put a clear coat over the paint which means I wax it every once in a while. Then the shine comes right back. I just walked out to the parking lot and snapped these pictures.


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Old 03-20-2014, 02:23 PM   #13
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some good advice here and some I am going to take. First though...I need to wait until this shit snow melts and it gets warm enough to paint.....
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:39 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Olliew72 View Post
Looks great. Is this the Rustoleum you used?

http://www.rustoleum.com/product-cat...tective-enamel

or

http://www.rustoleum.com/product-cat...tective-enamel

Also, what rollers did you use, and where did you get them? Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:01 PM   #15
squish
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Before you give up on having it painting
Talk to some local hot rod guys, find out the good shops in town
Swing by a few of em, and chat them up, if you're doing a common color, like black
They might be willing to work with you, especially if you do the bulk of the prep work
And or finish sanding, the stuff that costs them time.

Rustoleum is the way to go if you are short of cash and long on time.
I've seen some really really nice jobs done with rollers and lots of color sanding

No matter what painting isn't about painting. It's all about the prep work.
And dont' rush the process.

Make a stand to hold the tank in the position it is on the bike.
This is especially true if you plan on laying down metallic paint.

It's not that hard to fab up some two by fours and a couple of dowels

Just make sure it's tall enough and narrow enough that you can paint the underside of the tank
while the whole shebang is still stable.
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