Painting 101


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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Rednaxs60
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Painting 101

Post by Rednaxs60 »



Having just finished painting my 1500 - Pearl Glacier White, 3 part paint system, and my '85 Limited edition - 2 part paint system with two colours and pinstripes, thought I'd reflect on what I did, had to find out, and my trials and tribulations. My latest comments are on thread viewtopic.php?p=364636#p364636

I have commented on several other threads, including my own (must do a final update on mine), but would like to bring my experience into one thread including recommendations.

Going to do my musings in Word then copy/paste into this thread.

More to follow. Cheers


"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
"My '85 FI model is not a project bike, it's my retirement career"
Ernest
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Re: Painting 101

Post by Rednaxs60 »

What you use will/can dictate how you are going to approach your paint project. Is this a one-time paint project, or will you do multiple paint projects? What is your budget, where will you paint, what is available in your area for painting supplies, your timeline, your climate? There are a lot of considerations; however, it’s mostly damn the torpedoes, onwards and upwards.

My painting was done with a combination of spray can and paint spray guns. My painting projects were primarily to keep me busy, and a learning experience. Had a lot of mistakes and "oops" along the way, and did a lot of garage cleanup after some very novice painting. Did all the painting in the garage. Would clean the garage to minimize dust, etc, but did not dwell on being too anal-retentive regarding this.

I learned quickly that what I thought was going to be a quick job was not. Doing a fresh paint job on a 1500 Gold Wing is no mean feat. There are a lot of parts and pieces to disassemble once you get going. I disassembled everything. A shop probably would have taped around chrome and such, but I was not going to do that. This added quite a bit of time to the project, but the finished result was quite good. Have had a lot of complements on my work, always good for the ego, and makes the work worthwhile.

The same happened with my ’85 Limited edition. There are not as many parts/pieces to paint, must mention that I did the accent pieces as well on both bikes, but because of the two-tone paint scheme and the pinstripes, it was actually more challenging.

I have to mention that if 2020 had been a normal year, I would not have started these projects. The C-19 issue afforded me a good reason to embark on these projects. So far, I have spent 10 months working on these projects, including an engine rebuild of my ’85 1200.

A quick paint project of these two bikes would not have worked for me, too picky. When you consider a project such as this, be very liberal in your time assessment. Work, life, family and such will change the schedule as you go.

It’s very easy to get discouraged when doing a project of this magnitude. With everything going well, time can seem to drag on. When you make a mistake, or have an “oops”, time for a coffee and rework. Sometimes better to redo the panel in its entirety than to do a patch. Sanding, priming, base colour, clear done over – adds to the timeline, had a few of these. When these happen, it can make you accept that which is less than acceptable, but is good enough. This will happen, but try to resist, it will be worth it.

Your work space will impact what you do and how it is done. You need space to store that which is not being worked on or has been completed. (picture of exercise room) A small space that gets cluttered and there appears to be no end in sight can add to the overwhelming aspect of this project. Come up with a game plan at the start regarding storage, it will pay dividends in the long term.

Determine what you are going to paint, and what you are going to do regarding prep work. Plastic such as ABS, or metal. This will help determine what you are going to do.

Before you start, look into what is available in your area regarding paint and paint products. Get an estimate on what you may need. Spray can paint may be more available, but may be more expensive. Do you have a compressor? There are inexpensive paint spray guns available that are easily used with small(er) DIY home compressors.

What I have mentioned is more a guideline for success. The better your initial planning, the better chance you will have for success.

Good luck as you go forward.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
"My '85 FI model is not a project bike, it's my retirement career"
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Re: Painting 101

Post by Rednaxs60 »

I have read about and seen pictures of very good spray can paint jobs. Patience, practice and preparation of the pieces to be painted are the key to the paint job, spray can or paint spray guns. My practice was in the doing. Had some very messy days because of this. By the time I started the paint job on my '85 Limited Edition, clean up took less time and my spray gun setup was getting more refined.

For myself, spray can or rattle can as some call these, was primarily for priming of parts/pieces. The best primer I found was the 1K epoxy primer. 2K epoxy primer is good and because of the activator is a better product, not by much, also more expensive. 2K epoxy primer has a pot life of approximately 48 hours, use it or loose it. The 1K epoxy primer does not, but you will use it quick enough a pot life is not considered. There is a difference in price that makes the 1K epoxy primer more economical.

Colour of the primer is critical to a good job. Light colours, use a beige colour. For blacks/browns, a darker colour can be used. I would only use the black colour primer under a black colour coat. I will caveat this by mentioning to use what you have, no sense in wasting it. I have used black primer under light colours, not optimum, but works.

Priming can improve the finished product. I primed every panel I painted on my 1500. It was easy to do because it was a single white pearl colour. The 1K epoxy primer is a high build primer in that it will fill in more than just fine scratches, not much more, but noticeable. Provides a good starting surface for the base colour(s) and finished product. I did do some priming on my ’85 Limited Edition, but since I was dealing with two different metal flake colours and pinstripes, I did not want to lose the base outline of the two colours or where the pinstripe was to be.

Epoxy primer has a recommended top coat paint requirement. Most that I have used recommend to top coat within 7 days. After this time period, the recommendation is to start over, apply new primer and then top coat within the required time.

Not all spray cans are created equal, same for paint spray guns. The major issue with spray cans is the nozzle. There are several different styles of nozzles used.

There are nozzles that have an adjustable spray, horizontal or vertical depending on the surface being sprayed.

The spray fan is different. The tighter the spray fan, the harder it is to get a good overlap of the paint that can result in tiger striping.

Some nozzles are easier to hold open to apply the paint. The harder it is to keep the nozzle open, the more difficult it will be to have a consistent finish. Nothing worse than letting up on the spray nozzle half way through a paint pass. When this happens, we are inclined to start immediately that can result in excessive paint in that one spot. Better to regroup and start the same paint pass from the beginning.

Using either a spray can or paint spray gun, you should always start the paint pass off the piece being painted, and terminate the paint pass off the piece being painted. This results in a more consistent application of paint on the piece being done.

Paint cans, depending on what it is, can have varying designations. Different designations are 2X, 1K, and 2K. For primers, 1K and 2K are primarily what you will see. The 1K primer is a premixed primer with the both epoxy components mixed together. The 2K primers have the base in the spray can and a small cylinder inside that is punctured mixing the two components for use. The 2K primer as mentioned has a pot life of approximately 48 hours. It is a use it or lose it proposition. The 2X designation on a spray can only denotes that there is supposed to be twice the product in the can then a regular spray can of the same content(s).

You can use spray cans that have the primer and colour coat in the same can. This can lessen the amount of time spent painting.

You can have custom spray cans made with your favorite colour. These are more expensive than a regular colour spray can, but give you the flexibility in what the product is. The handling of these custom spray cans is critical as well. Most spray cans bought off the shelf require to be shaken for some one to two minutes before use. The custom spray cans are not shaken. If you do the ingredients will foam inside the can and the product when sprayed will not be as expected. These spray cans need to be gently rocked back and forth for some 30 seconds or so to mix the ingredients. Make sure you question the paint store where you get these custom spray cans as to how to mix prior to use.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
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Re: Painting 101

Post by Rednaxs60 »

On to my favorite, painting with paint spray guns.

I chose to use paint spray guns for my paint projects because I had never painted with a spray gun before. I had used spray cans, but for very small projects. I also felt that the finished product would be better with a paint spray gun.

I did a lot of research regarding this issue, and found quite a bit of information on the type of spray guns, nozzle sizes, HVLP versus LVLP paint spray guns, how far the paint spray gun should be from the piece being painted, quality of paint spray gun, cost of a paint spray gun, pressure setup, fan pattern setup, and on to infinitum. There was very little information regarding painting of motorcycles in small spaces and what size and type of paint spray gun would be best for this type of project.

I found a paint store with a very knowledgeable paint guy who had painted motorcycle parts in small spaces. He was knowledgeable about what I wanted to do, had a lot of good suggestions, even loaned me one of his high-end mini paint spray guns to try.

I bought several paint spray guns based on my research and what was available. I Am going to cut to the chase and get to the reality of a motorcycle paint project. You do not need a full-size paint spray gun for a few reasons.

You are painting small parts/pieces. You probably are going to be painting in your garage or a small space, not a spray booth. The cost of full-size paint spray guns can be prohibitive, and the compressor size to properly operate these spray guns is generally not being used by the DIY paint guy such as me. The nozzle size of a full-size paint spray gun is more than necessary. You will probably use spray cans for priming purposes.

Having mentioned this, my recommendation(s) for a paint spray gun are that it has a 0.8 mm nozzle, definitely no bigger than 1.0mm. It is within your budget. The Iwata LPH 80 that sells for upwards of $400.00 CDN can be substituted with a Meiji F55 for $200.00, or even one of the offshore copies. Even though I had bought some more expensive paint spray guns, live and learn, I ended up painting my 1500, Glacier Pearl White 3-part paint system, with an inexpensive Princess Auto (CDN Harbor Freight equivalent) 0.8 mm nozzle on sale for $20.00 paint spray gun(s). Cost less than a case of beer and is a throw away after the project is finished if so inclined. These inexpensive paint guns are always going on sale so no need to stock up just in case. The most important detail when using these inexpensive paint spray guns is to clean after each use. Done for the day, take the time to clean the paint spray gun for the next time you will use it.

There are a lot of videos on the web regarding painting with these inexpensive paint spray guns. Most people who post these are professional painters and the finished product is very good. There are videos by backyard painters and with patience and practice, their paint jobs are very good as well.

The smaller mini paint spray guns give you more flexibility with where you can paint. The paint fan pattern can be tailored to what you are painting. Painting pinstripes needs a very fine spray pattern. The paint field of a side panel can use a larger fan pattern.

Paint spray guns give you the ability to adjust your compressor pressure so that you are painting at a consistent pressure at all times. Paint spray cans do not afford you this benefit. Paint spray cans have the annoying timing of running out of product in the middle of a paint pass, spitting what is left out the nozzle and probably affecting the finish.

Every time you adjust the spray pattern of a paint spray gun, make sure you adjust the air pressure coming into the paint spray gun. As you open the fan pattern, you will need to add more pressure to compensate.

Mini paint spray guns allow you to use a smaller DIY home compressor. CFM is the name of the game. Mini paint spray guns that use up to 3-4 CFM at 90 psi are good. The less CFM required the better. The mini paint spray guns from Princess Auto need 3-4 CFM at 60 to 90 PSI. My home compressor can accommodate this, no problems. My Meiji F55 mini paint spray with the same 0.8 mm nozzle sizing requires up to 2 CFM at 15 to 30 PSI at the gun.

There is a difference between the caps for the same nozzle size between the various mini paint spray guns. The 0.8 mm nozzle cap for the Princess Auto mini paint spray gun – on sale for $19.99 CDN – is roughly 1/3 larger than the 0.8 mm nozzle cap of the Meiji F5. This difference affects the paint fan pattern, and requires more CFM to operate correctly as mentioned above.

There is a benefit to buying a more expensive paint spray gun. You can get different nozzle configurations depending on the paint spray gun.

The bottom line so to speak, is that expensive is not necessarily the best. The tool used is only as good as the person using it. Practice and patience are the name of the game with a paint spray gun.

I have experimented with the detail spray guns from Princess Auto, go on sale for $15.00 CDN, with the 0.5 mm nozzle and different cap configuration. These are not the best, nor the worst. I can get a 0.5 mm nozzle set for the Meiji F55 that will be better for any future paint projects.

Price of the paint spray guns will always be a consideration. The Sprayit models that are low volume low pressure have a not bad following, can be purchased as a set, or individually. Have the 1.3 mm nozzle model and thinking about the 0.8 mm nozzle model as well. Use very little CFM and are reasonably priced. The 0.8 mm nozzle Sprayit mini spray gun is approximately $60.00 CDN.

Stumbled onto the Meiji F55 mini paint spray gun when I was ordering CERAKOTE for my 1200 paint project. Only one distributer in Canada in Ontario. It is a similar mini paint spray gun similar to the Iwata LPH80, but with a side mounted paint pot. Have used both top and side mounted mini paint spray guns and both are good. The one advantage with the side mounted paint pot is you can adjust it to suit how you are spraying.

The bottom line so to speak, is that expensive is not necessarily the best. The tool used is only as good as the person using it. Practice and patience are the name of the game with a paint spray gun.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
"My '85 FI model is not a project bike, it's my retirement career"
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Re: Painting 101

Post by Rednaxs60 »

There are more paint formulations and types available to you when you use a paint spray gun. Not to say that you cannot get what you need in a spray can, just that it may be more challenging to source a provider depending on where you live.

For my 1500 with a Pearl Glacier White 3-part paint system was not available to me in Victoria. Not a problem, what are the alternative(s)? This is where developing a relationship with your local paint guy is very advantageous. My paint guy sourced a suitable alternative, recommended quantities of the base colour, pearl and clear coat. Researched and recommended the alternative base colour, it is a little whiter than the Honda base colour, but not noticeable to those who did not do the painting.

The paint system for my ‘85 Limited Edition was the same. When the OEM colour code for the gold metal flake was used, the brown metal flake colour code was also identified. The issue with the brown metal flake colour code was one of the ingredients was not available. My paint guy sourced and used a different product that did the same thing.

I also did the brown trim pieces on the ’85 Limited Edition. The colour for accent pieces generally is not specified so it can be challenging to duplicate. It was on the 1500, a blue that took me three tries to get a close match. The brown accent on the ’85 Limited Edition was much easier. I used the same brown metal flake paint formula minus the metal flake, worked out well.

My paint guy mentioned that my 1500 Pearl Glacier White 3-part paint system was by far the most challenging and difficult paint job to tackle for the first time. Necessity being the mother of invention, this was what I had to do so on with the challenge. This 3-part paint system had a base colour coat, pearl coat, and clear coat. The base colour and pearl coats are low VOC paints and its just like applying house paint. The clear coat is not a low VOC paint and a respirator is required. Must caveat this, wear a respirator whenever you paint, inside or outside. Protective clothing such as disposable coveralls is your choice. Protect your eyes as well.

My ’85 Limited edition is a 2-part paint system, base colour with metal flake, then clear coat. Doesn’t take as long to paint.

I applied 3 coats of the base colour, pearl when required and clear coat. I could have used 2 coats of the pearl for my 1500, but I was doing the 3-coat thing and it worked out. You can put too many coats of the pearl on and the effect you want can get washed out, so be careful in this respect.

I have mentioned that practice and patience is key to using a paint spray gun. This is easily achieved depending on your personal circumstances with inexpensive paint from your local hardware store. Buy a quart of whatever, some reducer, grab a piece of whatever and do some practice pieces. Don’t be afraid of the dreaded paint run. This can be taken care of by adjusting your technique – speed of travel and distance from the piece, and paint consistency. You will probably get to a skill level where you don’t think about paint runs – just getting the product on the piece in question, I know I did.

Paint spray guns afford the most flexibility with regards to paint colours. I mentioned about practicing with paint from your local hardware store, no reason you can’t use this paint for your paint project. Lots of inexpensive paint choices at these places including Home Depot and Loews.

I used paint spray cans for primer applications. This was done as a convenience and painting primer with a paint gun can be a challenge. Most information I found regarding this requires a full-size paint spray gun and a requisite compressor to provide the necessary CFM. Not the most economical way to prime the number of pieces needed, but the most convenient.

When I started painting the 1500, I inevitably had mistakes and various “oops” that needed attention. This is where the relationship between you and your paint guy comes in handy. I would take the offending piece with me or just drop in to discuss the issue with my paint guy. Ultimately, he would come up with a solution to my problem that worked a treat. Learned a lot through this process. Each mistake, or “oops” required a specific fix so won’t be delving into these in this thread.

Paint you mix for a paint spray gun can last a long time. Paint mixed with a reducer can be stored in an air tight can for future use. This does not apply to clear coat – this has a pot life and once mixed must be used, any extra must be disposed of. It will not change in colour or consistency. It can be used in the future for touch-ups, or to redo the affected piece/area. You can mix up a new batch of paint, add the left over, then paint away. I would not be using a used spray can after a while to duplicate the finish that I had when I did the initial paint project – personal preference. Availability of the paint spray can product, custom or otherwise, may also be an issue after a period of time.

The last paint system that I was introduced to was a one-part system that does not require a clear coat application. I used this to do some small black pieces, the rear upper motor mounts, battery box and a few others. My paint guy provided a high gloss black that was to be mixed 3 parts colour, 1 part activator – same as for clear coat, and 1.5-part reducer (3:1:1.5). I had primed the pieces with 1K epoxy primer than applied this paint system. The gloss was the same as if I had used a clear coat. Another advantage was the low VOC of this paint, did not have to contend with the clear coat smell and fumes. I have installed these pieces and would recommend that if you are inclined to look into this paint system and do use it, let the parts/pieces cure/harden for a while.

A lot to consider on either front, paint spray can or using a paint spray gun.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
"My '85 FI model is not a project bike, it's my retirement career"
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Re: Painting 101

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Next item that I have found handy is the airbrush. Small handheld paint guns that do a great job on small paint projects such as accent pieces. I have viewed videos where a person has used an air brush to do a car body panel repair and paint with an airbrush.

These are inexpensive, but can cost as much as a full-size paint spray gun. The amount that you are willing to pay for one of these will depend on what you will be doing and how many times. Look for these on sale.

An airbrush uses very little paint to achieve a decent result, and because of this, the adage that many light coats of paint are better than one thick coat is the norm. Paint drying time is less, less overspray, can be done virtually anywhere, and you have a lot of options regarding paint and types of paint available to you.

An airbrush is good for water and solvent based paints. Water based paints are easily used with a 0.2 mm, 0.3 mm, and 0.5 mm tip size. Solvent based paints are better used in the 0.5 mm nozzle size. I have used a 0.3 mm nozzle sized airbrush for a couple of small paint jobs and it wasn’t too bad.

There are a host of products available, some that need mixing, some that do not. Hobby/craft stores are your best bet for touch up paints, depending on the colour.

There are videos that can be viewed regarding using automotive paint in an airbrush.

Airbrushes are either single or dual action. Single action is where you control the air and adjust the product delivery at a different place on the airbrush. Dual action is where you control the air and product delivery with the same mechanism. This is similar to a dual action paint gun.

There are top loading airbrushes, side loading airbrushes and bottom loading airbrushes. I have used top and side loading airbrushes and find either to be good for what I wanted to do.

An airbrush may come with multiple nozzle sets, generally a 0.2 mm, 0.3, mm and 0.5 mm. You can change these as you go and for the requirement, but I’m of the opinion that dedicating an airbrush to one nozzle size is the way to go.

You can get an airbrush set that has a mini air compressor included, a set that has a larger more robust compressor, or no compressor at all. My first airbrush set had the mini compressor and it is good for very small jobs. I eventually hooked the airbrush up to my small garage compressor and it worked so much better. The fitting required to do this are easily found on line.

Using an airbrush requires the same patience and practice that paint spray cans and paint spray guns need. Practice with one before using to do your project.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
"My '85 FI model is not a project bike, it's my retirement career"
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Re: Painting 101

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Time to slow down and add up some of the cost of doing business to this point.

I like to use at least two paint spray guns when painting, one for colour, the other for clear coat. When I did my 1500, would have liked to have 3, the third being for the pear application. Let’s stick to two right now because most of the paint jobs being done are not using a pearl coat.

Cost of two inexpensive paint spray guns here in Canada from Princess Auto - $40.00. An airbrush or two - $60.00. These two items will last a long time if cleaned and taken care of.

Paint for your project. For a 1200, base colour and clear coat, with reducer and activator, say $200.00. This is not out of the ordinary, especially for a first timer. We all make mistakes and have the odd “oops” so a bit extra paint is always good. A spray can paint system can easily approach this number as well depending on the paint, where you get it, must consider shipping and availability.

An air compressor is a must. If you have one, great, if not, can you borrow one.

Labour costs and time expended are not applicable. You are doing this for you, and as such, the payoff is in the finished product including bragging rights.

Up to now you can be looking at a $300.00 bill, your mileage may vary (YMMV). But it’s a budget estimate, and with all budgets and work projects expect to spend more than you would actually think. Have a contingency fund available for the unknowns. If you need it, it is there. If you don’t use it, even better.

Other expenses are for the prep work and that is still to come. Supplies for the prep work include sand paper, various colour scrub pads that are used in lieu of sand paper, primer, dent filler – bondo type product to name a few. Let’s add in paint filters, paint mixing cups, stir sticks, cleaning solvents, DAWN dish soap – a must for any project, rags, drop sheets – dollar store variety, breathing respirator, disposable overalls if so inclined. These can easily add up to another $300.00.

For a budget of $600.00 for your first paint job, you can get a very good quality paint finish that can rival that of a paint shop. It can be done. This estimate does not include the prep work that I will be commenting on. It is based on you doing the stripping, cleaning, prep work such as filling holes, fixing cracks, etc, priming and painting.

If you do more than one paint job, the costs are reduced each time because you become more proficient at it, and you already have the painting gear available. As for the inexpensive paint spray guns, use once and throw away if you like. Cost is less than a case of beer, and we’ve all been down that road.

With the experience from painting my 1500 and 1200, I feel that a budget of $500.00 CDN is quite acceptable for a quality looking paint job, and quite a bit less expensive than having a paint shop do the work.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
"My '85 FI model is not a project bike, it's my retirement career"
Ernest
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Rednaxs60
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2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom (sold)
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: Painting 101

Post by Rednaxs60 »

This is the part that is the most time consuming and critical to achieving a very good finish product. Preparation of the parts/pieces to be painted.

Time and budget will always dictate what you are going to do and achieve. I had no idea when I started my 1200 engine rebuild and paint project how much time I would need, even though I realized that family requirements and just plain living would play a part in the timeline.

Budget is something that you deal with and make a decision on what to do when it comes to this. Either the issue becomes part of the project or it does not.

Time on the other hand is a nebulous concept that is hard to quantify. What is your time worth? I can say that this has been the issue many times throughout my paint projects especially during the parts/piece’s preparation phase. There is no doubt that we are all capable of doing the work, but there are a few considerations.

Do you have the equipment? I have read quite a few restoration threads and I’m jealous of those that have a lathe, welding equipment, media blasting equipment, and other really neat, nice to have equipment.

I have the pleasure of being able to use our double car garage as my workspace. The only requirement is that the Mrs’s car be in the garage overnight, small price to pay for this luxury.

Bought a media blasting unit, but the setup, and cleanup was time consuming and messy, and with a project such as mine, setup and cleanups have to be extremely beneficial – time is money so to speak.

What did I spend the majority of my time doing, sanding, ABS crack repair, priming, figuring out how to do the job. Once the parts/pieces were ready for paint application, building/making jigs to make the paint process easier.

I built a small paint booth with a fan attached. Kept the overspray down to a tolerable level. I put together a lazy Susan so that I could turn the parts/pieces and minimize handling during the paint process. Use this lazy Susan for the engine rebuild as well, supports the full weight of the engine.

To do a good job I recommend taking every part/piece apart. Remove all chrome, emblems, lights and anything that is attached to the parts/pieces to be painted. Ziploc bags are your friend to keep everything orderly and to make the install of these after all is done easier.

Before proceeding, wash and clean every part using DAWN dish soap. May take a few tries to get all the crud off each part/piece but this is extremely necessary. Don’t shortchange yourself at this juncture, you will notice it later on if you do – may look good but a little grease/oil will be problematic later on.

Once you have everything taken apart, wash and clean again.

Be careful taking off faux chrome strips as these are generally not available and the size of some of this faux chrome is different from what you an get today.

Take note of all areas to be repaired from crack to missing plastic. ABS panels are easy to work with and repair, just takes time. Generally, have to build up the area over a few days.

Hairline cracks in the original finish have to be removed. Remove the material around the crack sown to the base material, seal and build up to where you started the repair process. A fine body filler can be used to expedite this process. If you do not do this, you risk having these cracks visible in the new paint finish.

If you are working on a paint finish that is in good shape and still well adhered, don’t remove this – not necessary. Feather the edges with sand paper, preferably wet/dry. Prime the entire part/piece to prepare for paint application.

This is a good time to install ABS pieces to strengthen various areas such as where racks are attached to lids.

If the part/piece to be painted is in good condition overall and does not require any repair(s), the red/grey scrubbies you get from your local paint store are good for scuffing the OEM finish so new paint will adhere.

If you are more comfortable using wet/dry sand paper, start with a 600 grit (use wet), and then finish with 800 grit (use wet).

Once you get to this point, have all repairs done, initial sanding done, and parts/pieces primed, take some time to look at your schedule and make sure you have not missed anything.

Some of the parts/pieces of your project may be in terrible condition. Exhaust headers, centre stands, swing arms, anything that is open to road crud may be, no probably is, in rough condition. You have a decision to make and take with these parts/pieces. Do you take on the cleaning and restoration of these, or do you send them out to be done?

My paint project blossomed as time went on. This was mostly because of parts availability, and couldn’t go anywhere anyhow. I had to decide what my time was worth, could I be doing something else that only I would be doing because of what it was.

I had an estimate of what it would cost to have media blasting done by a shop. Having 5 or 6 pieces media blasted, ready for primer and paint application, and spending say $100.00 CDN for this service while I am progressing the work required was in my mind a good use of my time and money. I do know that the more part/pieces taken in at one time further reduces the cost per item. It’s a cost benefit issue, and has to be worth it to you.

Media blasting of parts/pieces is one of the few ways to get a good surface finish that will look good once the final coat(s) of paint are applied. It is sometimes the only way to get through the accumulated rust and crud that has built up over the years.

If you are going to prime and paint, standard media blasting is the order of the day. If you want to keep the OEM look without removing a lot of surface material, vapour blasting is an option.

Vapour blasting is a water-based media blast that removes surface crud and leaves the surface finish quite smooth. If your intention is to paint the part/piece after media blasting, do not have the part/piece vapour blasted.

When you paint a part/piece, or have it powder coated, the finished product is generally crud/crap resistance for a while depending on how you use your bike. When you vapour blast a part/piece, the surface area is unprotected. There are not a lot of products available to protect a vapour blasted surface.

When I had the engine parts and pieces vapour blasted, the fellow doing the work recommended ACF50, a good product but it is a fluid and as such, would collect all sorts of crud/crap over time. I wanted a protectorant that would hopefully reduce this probability, and aid in cleaning the various parts/pieces after the bike is back on the road.

I researched this requirement and found a product produced by CERAKOTE; a gloss clear coat specifically formulated to protect all sorts of aluminum finishes including a vapour blasted surface. The product is MC-5100. Contacted the company regarding this product and the company mentioned that it can be used on a vapour blasted finish. The company also mentioned that most of its MC clears would work as well.

This product is a one stage application, put in a paint spray gun with no reducer and apply. Only need one coat. It is also good for protecting painted surfaces. My hope is that this product will stand up to the rigours of the motorcycle world. Time will tell.

The preparation phase is the most critical aspect to achieving a good factory like finish.

In good weather I spent say two hours painting the motorcycle parts/pieces. This was for one or ten pieces setup to get to painting generally took me two days. I would spend 3 weeks prepping the parts pieces for these two hours, sometimes longer depending on what had to be done. Read any thread on painting and you will find this mentioned as being the most critical part of the paint project.

During this phase of the paint project, you may very well get discouraged because of the time it is taking. I went through this mindset many times and still having these thoughts. Unless you want the project to become a backyard lawn ornament, don’t lose heart. My friends here mention that I love doing this type of work. I keep correcting them mentioning that it is the end result I live and do this for.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
"My '85 FI model is not a project bike, it's my retirement career"
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Rednaxs60
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Re: Painting 101

Post by Rednaxs60 »

The last bit of info I'd like to share is regarding doing pinstripes. There is a lot of info on the web, and of course, the person doing the pinstripe is in a controlled environment and has been doing it for years.

Honda mostly used a decal for the pinstripe requirement(s) on its motorcycles. These decals are no longer available for older motorcycles, and as such, can be a challenge.

You have a few choices available to you. You can take the original part/piece in and have a decal made, have a pinstripe artist do the work for you using a brush, have the pinstripe spray painted on by a professional, or you can agonize over the pinstripe and do it yourself.

I looked at all these options, and being an economical Canadian, I decided to tackle the pinstripe myself.

The pinstripe process had to be incorporated in the overall paint process. I had two colours to contend with as well as the black pinstripe. Before I could clear coat the parts/pieces I had to have the colours and pinstripe completed.

The pinstripes that I had to duplicate was one at 1/8th inch and the second at 1/16th inch, with a 1/8th inch gap between these. The 1/8th inch pinstripe was the predominant stripe and was the separation between the two paint colours. I covered this pinstripe with the 1/8th inch pinstripe tape and used this to paint the gold and brown metal flake colours. Once the colours were done, I taped for the pinstripe.

There are tapes that come in various sizes, and flexibility. These are colour coded regarding the flexibility of the tape. Fineline tape products are very good and what I used. The colours from most flexible to least are: red/blue/green. I would recommend the red and blue tape colours. The red specifically for a pinstripe size of 1/16th inch.

You have to determine if you are going to do an exact duplication of what is there, or can you modify the pinstripe just enough to make it look OEM, but easier to lay out the pinstripe tape. Sharp bends can be replaced with a very fine corner.

Once you determine the process you will use, determine how you will apply the paint colour. A 0.5 mm nozzle airbrush will do a good job, as will a 0.8 mm nozzle mini spray gun.

Preparing the part/piece for the pinstripe will take the same amount of time as if you were doing a much larger part/piece because you have to ensure that you protect the painting that has been done up to this step. 2-3 coats of the pinstripe paint colour will be sufficient.

Make sure you inspect the taping you have done to create the pinstripe required before you paint. It is possible for the pinstripe tape to move, had this happen, and if the tape moves and you do not catch it before you paint, you will be correcting the mistake, BTDT. Could be a small fix, or a complete repaint of the piece.

You will notice that there are small ridges where you have had the pinstripe tape. This is normal from what I could find. These will smooth out a bit when you apply the clear coat.

Being meticulous at this stage will result in a great looking product.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
"My '85 FI model is not a project bike, it's my retirement career"
Ernest
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Re: Painting 101

Post by minimac »

I, for one, learned quite a lot from you posting this. At some point I'll be tackling this and you've given some good advice. Thanks for sharing from your knowledge and experience.
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Rednaxs60
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2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom (sold)
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: Painting 101

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Thanks. Had a lot of "oops" along the way, but such is the learning process. Painting the pinstripe was definitely the most challenging and thought provoking aspect of the 1200 paint job. Have a post on the pinstripe painting details to include.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
"My '85 FI model is not a project bike, it's my retirement career"
Ernest
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Rednaxs60
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1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition (sold)
2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom (sold)
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: Painting 101

Post by Rednaxs60 »

PRESENT DAY

As I mentioned the pinstripe process took the most time. Had to think a lot about how I would do it. I won't get into the test/trials that I did, just the end process that I used with some of the issues I encountered.

I mentioned in the thread on painting my '85 1200 that I had to maintain the separation between the gold and brown metal flake colours. This was easy to do except that I had to consider the pinstripe as well. The OEM pinstripe was a decal and was applied before the clear coat. Here is a pic of the pinstripe decal, just a small piece:


This picture shows the two side covers, one with the pinstripe removed, the other with it still on. You can see the outline of the removed pinstripe:


You will also notice that the 1/8th inch pinstripe is up against the brown metal flake colour and in essence is the separation between the two colours.

Noticing this, I determined that I would use 1/8th inch Fineline tape to outline the brown metal flake colour. When I applied the tape, I noticed that it was almost impossible to curve the tape around the small corners as shown here:


Even though the visual shows a sharp corner on the outside of the pinstripe, there is a small curve at the colour interface. I adjusted my thought process and where there was a very small curve next to the brown metal flake colour, I replaced it with a sharp corner and taped accordingly.

6 MONTHS AGO

Started the paint process and had to determine the best way ahead to keep the two-colour profile and do the pinstripes.

I decided the best way ahead, after several trials and thoughts, was to outline the brown metal flake colour with a 1/8th inch pinstripe tape and spray the two colours, gold and brown:


I indicate in the one corner that I could not curve the tape as much as was required, instead I ran the tape out so the corner in question formed a sharp angle:

The orange tape in the picture above would be the 1/8th inch black pinstripe when the painting was finished as shown in this picture of the front fender:


This picture of the front fairing shows the front fairing painted with the 1/8th inch pinstripe still attached. This pinstripe tape separated the two colours, and will be the 1/8th inch black pinstripe:


Once I had the gold/brown colours painted, I taped for the pinstripe painting. This picture indicates the taping process I used for this:


This process was used on all the panels that needed pinstriping. Here are a few pics of the finished products:




Hope that my explanation is understandable. I have thoughts on how I might do something like this again so the I can use a primer as well, but that is a whole new story.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
"My '85 FI model is not a project bike, it's my retirement career"
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Wildwilly018
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Re: Painting 101

Post by Wildwilly018 »

I know this section is on painting bike parts, but maybe some of you painters can tell me what preps have to be made to paint a cartop carrier like on my trailer. Since buying a different color wing yrs ago, I have been wanting it the same color as this bike for yrs now and not the grey of the bike I built it for.
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Re: Painting 101

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Wildwilly018 wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:35 pm I know this section is on painting bike parts, but maybe some of you painters can tell me what preps have to be made to paint a cartop carrier like on my trailer. Since buying a different color wing yrs ago, I have been wanting it the same color as this bike for yrs now and not the grey of the bike I built it for.
That top is probably ABS or some other plastic. Need to know. If the finish is good, I'd clean and such, light scuff with a grey scrubby from your local auto paint store, then 1K or 2K epoxy primer - 2 coats. Apply the colour you want and should be good. You can do an adhesion promoter coat(s) as well before you apply the primer. Do a small area such as a corner to make sure everything sticks/bonds.

Spray cans for the primer and adhesion promoter. I would consider using a mini spray gun from Harbor Freight to do the top mainly because of the size. Spray cans versus mini paint spray gun is a personal issue, but cost for spray cans can add up quickly.

If you have a small DIY compressor, say capable of 4-5 CFM, the mini paint spray gun from Harbor Freight should work well - get these on sale for $15.00 USD - get two, one for colour, one for clear coat. There are other options with LVLP paint spray guns. You can use these mini spray guns on other home projects such as painting inside doors, cabinet doors, polyurethane on outside items and such.

Definitely need a respirator for spraying the epoxy and clear coat.

Just some thoughts to consider.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
"My '85 FI model is not a project bike, it's my retirement career"
Ernest
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Re: Painting 101

Post by Wildwilly018 »

Rednaxs60 wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:21 am
Wildwilly018 wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:35 pm I know this section is on painting bike parts, but maybe some of you painters can tell me what preps have to be made to paint a cartop carrier like on my trailer. Since buying a different color wing yrs ago, I have been wanting it the same color as this bike for yrs now and not the grey of the bike I built it for.
That top is probably ABS or some other plastic. Need to know. If the finish is good, I'd clean and such, light scuff with a grey scrubby from your local auto paint store, then 1K or 2K epoxy primer - 2 coats. Apply the colour you want and should be good. You can do an adhesion promoter coat(s) as well before you apply the primer. Do a small area such as a corner to make sure everything sticks/bonds.

Spray cans for the primer and adhesion promoter. I would consider using a mini spray gun from Harbor Freight to do the top mainly because of the size. Spray cans versus mini paint spray gun is a personal issue, but cost for spray cans can add up quickly.

If you have a small DIY compressor, say capable of 4-5 CFM, the mini paint spray gun from Harbor Freight should work well - get these on sale for $15.00 USD - get two, one for colour, one for clear coat. There are other options with LVLP paint spray guns. You can use these mini spray guns on other home projects such as painting inside doors, cabinet doors, polyurethane on outside items and such.

Definitely need a respirator for spraying the epoxy and clear coat.

Just some thoughts to consider.
Thanks for all the advise Rednaxs60. I have a lot of stuff and tools in my garage from HF and trailer kit came from there, but considering we are both in Canada, in this difficult time, we are in, getting from HF is a bit difficult now. I will figure something out. I knew with the dimple like surface that it had to be prepped in some way. And find a color close to my old 88 GL1500. Thank again for the reply.
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Re: Painting 101

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Wildwilly018 wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:24 am Thanks for all the advise Rednaxs60. I have a lot of stuff and tools in my garage from HF and trailer kit came from there, but considering we are both in Canada, in this difficult time, we are in, getting from HF is a bit difficult now. I will figure something out. I knew with the dimple like surface that it had to be prepped in some way. And find a color close to my old 88 GL1500. Thank again for the reply.
Oops, should have looked at where you are located, my bad, I'm in Victoria. In this case, Princess Auto mini paint spray gun, goes on sale for $20.00 CDN:




Comes with a 0.8 mm nozzle. Painted my 1500 in it's entirety with this spray gun:


Works well with a smaller compressor:


. Take the colour code to an automotive paint store and it should be able to mix it for you.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
"My '85 FI model is not a project bike, it's my retirement career"
Ernest
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Wildwilly018
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Re: Painting 101

Post by Wildwilly018 »

Rednaxs60 wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:28 pm
Wildwilly018 wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:24 am Thanks for all the advise Rednaxs60. I have a lot of stuff and tools in my garage from HF and trailer kit came from there, but considering we are both in Canada, in this difficult time, we are in, getting from HF is a bit difficult now. I will figure something out. I knew with the dimple like surface that it had to be prepped in some way. And find a color close to my old 88 GL1500. Thank again for the reply.
Oops, should have looked at where you are located, my bad, I'm in Victoria. In this case, Princess Auto mini paint spray gun, goes on sale for $20.00 CDN:Small Paint Gun.jpgSmall Paint Gun Specs.jpg Comes with a 0.8 mm nozzle. Painted my 1500 in it's entirety with this spray gun:Video Goldwings - 2.jpg Works well with a smaller compressor:Senco Compressor.jpg. Take the colour code to an automotive paint store and it should be able to mix it for you.
That's ok buddy. I noticed you were in BC when I seen HF. I will keep that in mind on the sprayer. The color code is still on the underneath side of the gas cap lid. Bike is 33 yr old, but I think paint color is still great and vibrant, so should still get a good match.
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Re: Painting 101

Post by jarheadfred »

I have been thinking of picking up a reasonably priced Air Brush System to do touch up painting on my GL1500. Having never done anything like this the articles are extremely helpful. I really detest having to pay someone to do work I can do myself. Don't get me wrong some/most things should be done by professionals,just not everything.


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