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Painting Tank and Side Cover

This is a discussion on Painting Tank and Side Cover within the Motorcycle Discussion forums, part of the General category; Ladies and Gentlemen, How is it going? I am currently riding an 81 cb750 custom. The guy who owned it ...


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Old 06-20-2006   #1
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Default Painting Tank and Side Cover

Ladies and Gentlemen,

How is it going?

I am currently riding an 81 cb750 custom. The guy who owned it before me removed all the stickers and two tone paint, and painted the tank and one sidecover he had turquoise.

Things are looking pretty scuffed up and i've found an original side cover with the two tone paint.

So, my question is, would I be crazy to try and paint the tank and side covers my self? I live in an apt. with a balcony which is where i would do my work... Again, would i be crazy to try this with a couple of spray bombs and a tarp covering my balcony?

If i'm not crazy, a few questions,

any tips on general procedure ?

do i need to prime it?

what type of paint do i want to use?

is there a way to find out the original color paint that was on the tank?

Thanks for all your help.

Luke
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Old 06-21-2006   #2
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Default Painting Tank and Side Cover

I would not try to do this out of an apartment, for many reasons. My father and I have painted many cars, motorcycles, boats and other things in his shop, for many years. I've operated spray guns all my life. There is always lots of overspray, the fumes will upset neighbors, the sanding alone is a mess, you could never tape off enough stuff to avoid a mess, etc.

The preparation is 90% of the job in a paint job. You need to know what you are doing. Yes, it needs to be primed. You have to clean it up completely, including getting off years of wax and crud, first. Then sand thoroughly, then prime, then sand again, then wet sand, wipe down, prime again if necessary (maybe with a nonsanding primer or sealer), then spray. Spraying is a skill that does not come naturally. It's not that easy, and it is harder on small, rounded objects.

Take the items off and take them to a paint shop.

With all my experience -- and I live in a house with a garage, and I have compressors, guns, etc. -- I just commissioned a paint shop to do the tank on my Aero. I was quoted $275. The aggravation I will save will be more than worth that, and I wouldn't even need to buy any tools, sandpaper, etc.
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Old 06-22-2006   #3
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Default Painting Tank and Side Cover

Thanks for the input, you're likely right. However, lets say i wasn't worried about overspray and neighbours. ... and I am not looking for a show room finish... am i still out of my mind?

What if i wanted to clean the tank with an alcohol or water based cleaner, spray on the primer, and spray on the paint.... does anyone have any experience with an approach like this ? or can you jmark comment?

Thanks,

Luke
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Old 06-22-2006   #4
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Default Painting Tank and Side Cover

There is almost no way it will come out looking good. But if you just want it to be a solid color and reasonably new looking, then I would just go to Home Depot and buy a can of spray Kilz, some acetone, some 120 and 220 sandpaper, and a spray can or two of whatever color you like in Rust-Oleum. Rub the parts repeatedly with acetone to get off old wax and dirt, sand with 120, spray the Kilz on (two coats, ideally), sand with 220 (do not sand off the Kilz) and spray the Rust-Oleum on. Try out the paint first on a piece of cardboard or something to get a feel for the distance needed to get clean, even spray. Too close, it will run, too far away, it will look dull and spotty. When spraying the parts, try to keep the can/spray at the same angle to the surface, and the same distance. Move your arm and hand around to the shape/contour of the part. Don't try to do too much in one coat. Let it dry for a few minutes before going over again. If you get runs, stop. You will have to let it dry at least overnite before sanding out the runs. If you get orange peel, forget it, you will need to start over (but this is unlikely with the Kilz).

I wouldn't do this. And I don't know how well Rust-Oleum will hold up to gas spills on the tank. Maybe contact the company, and maybe there is another brand of spray can that will do better. But using a spray can will be easier in your setting than trying to use spray equipment. And if used properly, should do ok. Again, I would never do this, and you will be very lucky if it comes out tolerable. But worst case, you can then take it somewhere, have it sandblasted and have a pro shop do it right. You'll be out less than $30 and will have learned a lesson.
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Old 06-23-2006   #5
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Default Painting Tank and Side Cover

With the bike looking as good as it does for it's age, I would rather have it done professionally, they will match the colour up and put all the decals on, saving you a lot of time and preparation work.
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