Apart from riding your motorcycle, one of the best feelings is customizing it to suit your style and taste. Painting a motorcycle is one easy way to customize your bike to your preferred color and look. Painting your motorcycle helps take care of rust, minor dents and old paint that needs to be repainted. You can do it yourself and save costs but you may also consider having an expert do the job for you. This article is a great way to learn how to paint a motorcycle.
Choose a Painting Location
Before beginning your painting, you need to choose a painting location that is in the open or enclosed. Set up a separate painting room and line it with a plastic sheet along the walls to protect the walls. Hammer the plastic sheet using nails and a hammer. Use a masking tape to make the plastic sheet stick to the wall especially on the floor. Get a fan, a fan will fan out excess paint. To protect yourself from the spray paint, place the fan in a strategic position to direct the paint out of the room.
Light the enclosed room well by adding extra lights. Place lights on the floor and around your motorcycle as well. Proper lighting ensures you see every angle of your motorcycle and see what you are doing clearly. If a few extra lights is an expensive way to increase your room’s brightness, choose to add reflective mirrors and aluminium sheets on the wall. Adding aluminium sheets and mirrors has the same effect of increasing a room’s brightness as adding extra lights.
Prepare Your Motorcycle
Prepare your motorcycle for painting by removing and setting aside the parts you need to paint. Arrange all the tools you will need for the dismantling process. Alternatively you may cover the parts you do not want to cover in paint with thick paper that paint can’t get past. Stick the thickpaper on areas like headlights, taillights, the chair, wheels using a masking tape. If you choose setting aside of the motorcycle parts, begin by storing the bolts that have been unscrewed in a safe jar that is well labeled.
The tank is a good part to begin with as it is flat and broad making it easy paint. Use a sandpaper to rub off the old paint.
Remove Old Paint and Rust
Rub off the old paint by scrubbing the tank surface using a sandpaper in circular motion until the metal surface remains bare. Rubbing the old paint off using a sandpaper is a very tiresome process, take breaks in between and switch sides of the arms. Using a sandpaper to clean the old paint off your motorcycle leaves a lot of dust on the surface. Wipe this dust off the tank.
Make the Surface to be Smooth
Apply a layer of body filler on the surface you have just sanded. Make sure the body filler is well mixed to make it loose and easy to apply. A body filter hardens quickly so apply small patches in short periods till you are satisfied that the surface is well catered for. Re- sand the surface of the tank again once the body filter has dried. When you are satisfied with the smoothness, move on to paint the tank. This process applies to all the other parts.
Paint Your Motorcycle
Painting fumes are very toxic to your health, wear a gas mask to filter the air you breath and to protect yourself.
Apply two coats of epoxy primer to protect the metal surface of your motorcycle against moisture and corrosion. Depending on the brand you purchase to use, you should figure out which hardener you will choose to mix the epoxy primer with. Follow specific instructions on the epoxy primer’s packaging and go on to mix the primer with hardener. Carefully pour the resulting solution into your spray gun.
Spray 4-5 layers for outstanding results.
First spray lightly to cover around 40 percent of the surface. Spray a second and third time lightly to cover up to 90 percent of the metallic surface. For the fourth and fifth times spray heavily to cover the rest of the metallic surface.
The first to third layers will take around 35 minutes (make sure you read manufacturer’s specific instructions on the can) to dry. Repeat the procedure for each layer sprayed. After spraying your fourth and fifth layer, it may take 1 to two days to dry completely. The longer it takes to dry the better the results of your painting.
When your prime colors have dried to satisfaction, for a period of at least one and a half days, choose a color of your own liking that you are going to use to paint your motorcycle. Before you start the final painting, check to ensure that the surface is smooth to allow for the paint to be spread evenly. After multiple coatings, most primers leave a powdery texture behind. Use a well gritted wet and dry sand paper to remove the dust. Wipe the surface clean with a rag that has been dipped in a thinner after removing the dust from prime color coating.
Clean the spray gun to prevent the color paint you have chosen mixing with the primer colors. Mix the paint you have chosen with the thinner in a ratio recommended by the manufacturer. Mix the products thoroughly to prevent lumps from forming that clog the spray gun.
Apply a Clear Coat
Clean the surface by using a fine gritted wet and dry sandpaper in case you feel the clear coat has not been applied to satisfaction. Reapplying the clear coat after sanding to finish on your painting and you’re done.
A clear coat takes one to two days to dry or more days (up to five days) if you need better results. But thus will depend on the type of epoxy primer used and the number of paint coatings applied. Do not hurry the drying process of the clear coat as a clear coat is the actual finish of your painting. It acts to wrap all your painting.
Author bio: David is an automotive and motor enthusiast. He spent hours every day for his passion. Find out more about car repair at his blog.