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I am in the process of slowly recovering my project '82 GL1100.

She needs a paint job. What is the best way of going about this?

Should I do a rattle can job or should I invest in a cheap spray gun or should I just forget the notion of doing it myself and go get it professionally done??



Of course, I want it to look good, but I am also trying to do this on a budget.



I am leaning towards a cheap spray gun, but have never operated one in my life!!



Any suggestions / recomendations would be appreciated..
 

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if you have a compressor and spray gun, 100 buck's will get you enough paint and thinner, my suggestion would be to buy the paint with the clear coat built in. if not then buy some paint bomb's. hey didn't realize your not far from me.
 

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How about doing the prep work and see what a professional would charge to spray it? Maybe even check out places like "Maaco" and an "Earl Schieb". Both are cut-rate auto painters. They should be able to do a great job on a cycle, especially if owner prepped.

Terry
 

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If you want the end product to look good then your going to remove the parts that need prep & paint. That isnt a half hour job! so, if you take it that far, then spend some time & be patient when doing your prep work. lots of sanding to get all the scratch lines from the rougher paper out.

If you think you might want to give it a whirl & paint your own bike, which can be fun & rewarding, dont buy a cheap slobber gun. Rent a good spray gun, the watertrap for your air line & the compressor. That will give you a fighting chance on getting a good finish. You can practice on your lawn mower or even your buddies old chevy pick up! once your dialed in than start laying on the paint.

Prep work is 80% of the job! Dont forget the before pic's please!!!
 

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I've seen bikes, cars, trucks, helmets all kinds of things painted with cans, and I've only seen one person who could make it look even halfway decent. Everyone else looked at the end product with pain, the surface was uneven, rough, and looked like a colored orange peel. If you think You're the type who could enjoy doing it yourself and might want to do more projects, but a good gun. I bought one of the better end Craftsman guns and it's never let me down. If you figure this is the only major job you will do, and you have a tight budget, definitely rent one. Get some practice in and go for it.

Either way there are a few MAJOR things to remember while your spraying. One, beware of bugs, they are attracted to the smell, will land on your work and screw it up,keep the gun moving right to left and pull the spray trigger BEFORE you reach the object and don't release it until you have passed it.
 

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I have seen rattle can jobs that look like a pro did it. Its all in the prep and the brand of can you use. If you can find a color you like in an OE touch up go with that or engine paint. If you want to go the spray gun route be prepared to spend spend spend...... I had to repaint my V-Star (rusted gas tank) and had a friend with a paint room and equipment. Single stage paint from Napa was just over 200.
 

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If you are spraying, use a quality, catalyzed, paint. It is a very good idea to add "flex additive" for non-metallic parts, subject to bending from their original shape. Use the appropriate reducer for the temperature at which you will be spraying. Buy an inexpensive Zahn cup to make sure you have the paint manufacturer's suggested viscosity, before spraying.

If you don't use a paint booth, cover (not touching) parts with plastic, 2 mil sheeting to prevent dust, bugs and other particles from being permanently imbedded in your new paint.

If you have never used a paint gun or professional paint, it would probably be best to take your parts to be painted to a good body shop that can custom mix the paint to your original paint code.
 

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I agree completly with hatchetman. The prep work is critical. I am also NOT a fan of rattle cans as you just cannot get the finish of good quality paint with clear coat. You can get it to look good if you are incredibly talented but it will not last like a spray gun job.

Also be careful of the paint with the clear coat included in the paint. It again will look ok for a while but it does not take wax well so it will fade much more quickly.

I am in the process of doing the prep work on my 81 Interstate. I went to a professional paint company and got a custom kit of metallic paint that includes the paint, reducer, hardener and clear coat for under $200. I have a GWRRA buddy that is going to spray it for me when ready.

This is after the first medium sandpaper pass.
 

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Looks like a LOT of work. But, that is where it is at...
 

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Well I can do a lot of things, but spray painting is not one of them. Certainly looks like some nimrod painted it if I try to spray paint something.

On the financial side of things, time you buy a decent spray gun, and a dryer to keep the air out of the compressor dry, the paint, and all the cleaning fluids and equipment to clean the spray gun with, plastic to build a temp spray booth, rig up a fan for ventilation and the all important respirator , i can tell you from experience all that will cost as much as just having a professional do the job.

Doing all the prep work yourself is a good deal, then carry it over to someone who spray paints for a living. They make it look easy. Plus they have the good spray booth, no bug, dust, all manner of things settle on the paint. Once I did get a very good job, was quite proud of it, and at the very last minute a drop of paint dripped off the gun unto the job..........AWWWWGGG!! It is not an easy job.

Kit
 

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If you are thinking about a metallic colour keep in mind that the aluminum powder has a higher density than the other pigments. When the spraying paint hits the surface it will drive deeper into the layer and this will affect the colour. Consistancy is crritical.

The amount it is driven in is affected by about twenty factors including paint temperature, type of reducer (Thinner), spray distance, paint temperature, air temperature etc. It's really easy to get a blotchy job.

With a solid colour you can wet sand the errors out but sanding a metallic often makes it worse.

With spraying, too thin a coat gives you orange peel. Too much givesthe jobruns. The perfect paint job is a micro-micron less than a run. If you see a run in a paint job the finish will usually be perfect just above it.

As Hatchetman said sanding is 80% of a good finish. A gloss paint (Especially dark) will make every flaw show.

Pop me a PM if you want. I bike out of Brampton and often ride out through Gtown, Limehouse, Acton etc.
 

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I painted the tank on my 75 Honda CB 500T with spray cans and it looks dang good. I'm not through with final sanding and such but it looks pretty good to me. Of course I did a lot of prep work like mentioned above....that's the key. Plus a place to spray....with no little bugs flying around!

On another note, back in the 70s, a guy I used to ride bikes with bought a 66 Mustang from a guy that was in great mechanical shape except the paint was crappy.
One Sunday afternoon, after a few brews, we got some red paint, a couple of brushes and had at it!:shock:

Looked good from a distance!
 

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I painted my first car in a paint booth when I was 18. Actually, I used a paint brush on my mom's car before I started driving (lets no go there).

Assess your abilities and desires. If you really desire to learn, consider this a learning experience reguardless of the outcome. You got to learn at some point. If you do not want to learn, have someone else do it.

Do not use rattle cans. The overall quality, durability, material, endurance, and longevityis just notthere. I do use rattle cans for primer, doh. Now, they can mix a single stage automotiveenamel paint in a spray can, but that is usually for touch up.

If you can spray with a spray can, a spray gun is much easier. Really!

I recommend you learn with a single stage enamel. But hey, you will get more practice with a BC/CC urethane. Urethane is easier to paint for flatting and image reflection.

Find a buddy, get a case a beer, don't forget the paint, and go for it. Oh, get a plan together.
 

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it took me all winter, and part of the spring, to prep the bike, and paint, after the bike was completely disassembled
right to the frame , i used f varsal with a brush to clean all the part's, then sanded the frame.
primed the metal with etching primer. when all was said and done it got quite costly. but i liked the end result.it was more of a past time hobby for me.i have owned over 80 car's i built 2, and i have painted 10 or more of them,
 

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I not only need a buddy but I need a place & someone to take the tupperware off, let the bike sit while I get her painted, then reassemble Baby. This is the one draw back from living in an RV Park.:(:(:(:action::action::action::action::action::cooldevil::cooldevil::cooldevil::cooldevil::cooldevil::cooldevil:
 

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Last fall I did a quick rattle-can job on one of the Bates lids I plan to put on my current ride this spring. Turned out good with the exception of not prepping (sanding) down far enough, as you can see lines when viewed up close. But for a simple experiment, using spray cans, it turned out pretty darn good!

Too bad I've decided to go with a whole different color scheme...
 

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drknobs wrote:
And another shot...
Hey Vince, I'm sanding my bike now. I think your paint job looks similar to what I have in mind. Will you please pass on to me the color/brand etc. of the paint you used.
Thanks..
 

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So I found a solution to a cheap paint job actually 2 summers ago, and while its not exactly a 'do it yourself' kind of solution I find that most people don't consider it in their options.



Most tech colleges have a painting facility on location and are usually willing to take on outside jobs as a instructional aid.They, for little or no labor cost and the price of the paint, did a very nice job. I took in the bike whole and they broke down the bike, sanded, and painted. I must say they did a very good job.



I can't tell ya if this is common practice with most techs or if I just got lucky, but its an option that's, in my opinion, worth checking into if you don't want to attempt it on your own.
 

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Oh man I really hate Maaco. Here's my experience...

I took a1200 set to a Maaco shop last summer, had to call a few first because almost all of them wouldn't take it. Most of it had been lightly prepped by the last owner but everything was primered when I dropped off the set. They were supposed to finish prepping and paint. Coughed up $400 for the crappiest andworst paintjob ever.

When I was picking it up, I pointed out all the runs, drips, dirt underneath and the paint wasn't even the color I wanted. They actually had the nerve to look me in the eye, shrug and say it's a $400 paintjob. Toldthem it's fubar and they need to fix all the mistakes, they said it would be no problem but it would be about $1000 more. TO FIX THEIR OWN MISTAKES. It's awful hard for me to keep yelling at someone who doesn't care. So I left, thinking about finding them at a bar one night. I still haven't.

The only good thing out of that whole episode was that I found a painterbecause of this mess that I've used a few times since then. He initially wanted to charge $800 (which was a deal) but then chargedme 1,100because Maaco's paint was flaking off in spots and he couldn't tospray over their crap and I wanted a different color. So he used a razor blade and flaked the bad spots back far enough to prep. But the bike looks amazing now, Salsa Red.

And Maaco? All I can do was tell everyone I know about how much of a crappy paint job they did.
 
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