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Sportster Motorcycle Custom Finishing Here is where you can discuss various ways of customizing your Sportster motorcycle or Buell motorcycle.

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  #21  
Old 20th December 2017
mshred mshred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippysmack View Post
I hope I haven't offended you earlier and I don't take you for a novice.
I have done body work off and on for many years and I'm no expert. But, what I have posted has worked well for me. I have tried to post the steps I have taken (hopefully haven't left any out) in this thread in response to your questions as well as others who will read this later. It really depends on the finish you are looking for. Some like a smooth popping finish and others are fine, and actually strive for textured finishes.

Both primary colors and clear can be painted over. The only issue would be chemical compatibility. Do a light test spray on a lower side and see how it lays down. You wouldn't want to test spray a round edge, as in the transition from side to top. As you probably know, sanding curves usually ends up in taking off more base than you realize if the test spray had to come back off. If the test area lays down smooth, then your good to go. Wet sand the transitions and continue. Assuming your technique is smooth (From the same distance all the way across the piece, start from one side off the piece, over the piece and don't stop spraying until your past the piece) -

If the test spray bubbles, wrinkles or pits, then it has to be wet sanded back off. There is nothing you can fix by adding thicker coats. Smooth the transitions back out.
At this point, you either have impurities still left on the existing (even though you just can't believe that can be) or incompatible paints. The toughest thing with impurities is that sometimes you can not see them until the paint goes down. Running water over the piece as I suggested earlier can help you spot them. I've had pits, wet sanded the Hell out of the existing, re-sprayed to find the pits are now in a different spot. They moved.
If the new paint won't lay, your choices are to clean (wet sand) , rinse repeat or switch paints. Then retest.
Not offended at all, your previous posts are good info and trust me I didn't take it the wrong way...was just making the statement because I know I sound unsure when asking if spraying over scuffed up clear is acceptable...it's not my first walk in the park, but it is of this nature.

That said I guess I will try it over my current base. The wet test is a great idea, I did it the other day when I finished sanding but will do it again once more before painting.

I'll try to keep posted in here how it all goes
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  #22  
Old 20th December 2017
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Hippysmack Hippysmack is offline
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My father had a chopped Triumph when I was a kid. It had a 'cracked' dark orange painted Sportster peanut tank on it. Looked awesome. People took pictures of it and lots of compliments. I asked him when I was a kid how he got the cracked look in the paint (in app. 1-1/2" squares all over). He said he pulled a nail thru the paint before it dried. I tried and tried to duplicate it later in life. I asked him again a few years ago before he past away how he did it. I guess confession is good for the soul. He said he was drunk at the time and painted it really thick with a gallon of orange and a brush. It was so thick that it cracked (in the right places) when it dried. Wish I had a picture.
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  #23  
Old 20th December 2017
Dave L Dave L is offline
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I painted a Tank once with the Duplicolor rattle can paints. Paint and sand many light coats, no orange peel. But, make sure you use a clearcoat that is gas and oil resistant. I learned the hard way. There is one I found that you have to activate the hardener by pushing a button on the bottom of the can. Just make sure your ready for that last step as it has a shelf life. I cant remember but think it was Spraymax 2k. Even then dont be afraid to let it dry and wet sand with a 1500 or 2000 grit. Then I used polishing compound. People could not believe I painted it with a spray can.
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  #24  
Old 27th December 2017
mshred mshred is offline
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Hey guys update! So I have painted the front fender and gas tank (rear fender needs to be redone)

I finished with 400 wet, gray base primer, then used duplicolor prefect match lacquer in the GM dark cherry metallic color. After full coverage of that, I used dupli color clear Effexor to add some glitter and then lastly some blue duplicolor metal cast that worked as a candy to make it blue but with a seriously purple shiny undertone. It actually looks awesome!

That said, with the clear being next step (I have to use gun clear which is fine by me since I can't get 2k clear in an aerosol here), do I need to wetsanding my color before laying on the clear to smooth it out? Or will wetsanding and buffing the clear give me a smooth enough finish? I ask only because my color coats are metallic and do have some slight orange peel texture and I don't want to clear if wetsanding the clear still won't make it look right. I am under the impressoin thugh that wetsanding the color coat, especially a metallic color like mine, will screw with the finish and thin out the color coat too much.

Any input is greatly appreciated! I'll post some pics when done, all I have is video at this point and the lighting inside my house does not do the color and undertones justice
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  #25  
Old 27th December 2017
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Hippysmack Hippysmack is offline
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Any orange peel you have now can not be smoothed out by adding clear... or any other color on top. If you are trying to remove the orange peel that is. A light wet sanding over the primary..... light.... should not take off much of the layer. This is where the 1500-2000 is your friend.

If you are good with the texture you have now and are simply wanting a smooth outside coat, you still should lightly wet sand it to give the clear something to hold on to. A light wet sand, then a light coat of clear. Repeat until you get the smoothness you are looking for.

Sometimes the primary color finish will still have high or low spots that you'll only notice after the clear goes on. The clear can be used for multi-purpose as in protecting the primary color first, then smoothing out lines, then achieving more depth. A dip in the finish can be smoothed out straight with the addition of more clear in those areas. In speaking of clear, the only finish I won't touch is the last one.

Light layers over the textured primary, wet sanded between layers should allow you to get a smooth outside coat. But, it may take a good few layers. Be patient with it.
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  #26  
Old 11th November 2021
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JimVonBaden JimVonBaden is offline
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Sportster style tank on my XS400.

Prime, sand, paint, sand, paint sand, paint sand, polish, wax:




Finished product.
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  #27  
Old 11th May 2022
FrijjMagnet FrijjMagnet is offline
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That yellow looks really nice! I'm gonna be having a go at stripping back to bare metal and spraying the bike maybe later in the summer. Thinking of doing the bottom half of the forks, the slip ons, the air filter cover (It's all peeled off cheap chrome covering so definitely needs doing) and then once I've played enough I'll look at the fenders and the tank, gonna start with smaller bits first though. Also; it's hard to get a warm day that isn't humid in the UK lol
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