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  #1  
Old 11th October 2017
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Thumbs up Rattle can paint jobs

Pics, tips and tricks of how you did it! I want to reprint my sportster, was going to hit the factory paint with some paper, then primer and then a good automotive spray paint and 2k clear, but would love to see how others here have done it....I know there are older threads, but pics don't work anymore since photobucket got all wonky.

Any tips, tricks and pics are appreciated!
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Old 11th October 2017
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I wet sand 800 grit or 600 grit and spray bomb everything I have
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Old 11th October 2017
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All I can say is make sure it's hot when you clear. Makes a night and day difference in the final result.

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I have rattle canned jetskis and bikes with professional results.
The key is prepping and more prepping. Strip the parts to bare metal. Bondo any imperfections and feather it out smooth with 600 grit. I use sandable primer and 600 grit between coats to get it perfect.
I use Duplicolor rattle cans found at any auto parts store. Follow the instructions. Spray a light tack coat first. Then followed by several light coats. 10 minutes dry between coats. Then wait 30 minutes.
Apply Spray Maxx 2k clear coat. I use the glamour gloss finish. Found at auto body supplies or online. About $30 for a rattle can. Again start with a light tack coat. Then apply 2-3 coats. Wait 10 minutes between coats. If you do it right there won't be any orange peel.
I can paint a bike for about $75. My Buddy sent his pieces to a paint shop for $600. Mine looks better.
For best results do it on a warm day with low humidity. Otherwise the paint may look cloudy.
I wish I could show you some pics but the whole Photobucket thing.
Good luck
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Old 11th October 2017
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Rattle can finishes are notorious for orange peeling. It goes on so thick and to get a good 'wet' look in the paint when finished takes getting a conform look while spraying. A couple brackets or something is relatively easy while a tank or fender isn't.

Color Scheme:
Painting is a subjective artistic expression. Do not let anyone influence you against what You like or want whether that be color, simplistic, intricate, balls in, balls out and etc. Everyone will have different opinions on what looks best. The only person you have to impress is You.
I have seen an entire 57 Chevy two-toned with exceptional orange peel and it was awesome. The thing about orange peel is it is generally written off as poor workmanship. From a whole fleet of brand new 1 ton trucks, every one of them had white orange peel that was lightly sanded and clear coated. From a distance, you couldn't tell it.

Weather:
Sunny and 78 degrees was my magic number in Alabama. Too hot and the paint will dry before it hits the piece and instant orange peel and BBs will form in your finish.
Cooler weather and moisture thereof will not allow the paint to shed the solvent fast enough to produce a gloss see through finish.
You can also paint inside a garage or paint booth at night when the weather is cooler during the summer to escape the BBs.

Prep work:
If you are simply wanting to repaint your tins, the call is up to you as to how much material to leave and take away. Keep in mind, any scratches holes, imperfections in the existing paint, slight dents and etc. will be amplified with future coats unless taken care of now.
Sometimes your existing paint job can be touched up with painting pens available at local auto parts stores depending on what and where needs a touch-up.
Most fuel tanks are not made in symmetry as you normally see the finished product. Fabrication marks, unequal sides, warp-age from welding nicks, dings and you name it are the raw products. To account for this, Bondo is used to even out the surfaces and imperfections on the bare metal before priming and dry sanded smooth before painting. It is only necessary where the imperfections exist and not the entire piece. The bondo also will keep you from trying to cover or hide imperfections using paint as your drapery.
A 'tack' cloth is very useful to do a once over on a dry piece before spraying to remove any sanding residue or debris (there are things you just don't see until After you sprayed). Do not use it while in a quick second or third coat as it will stick to and pull the finish and that just gets ugly.
Rubbing alcohol applied with a lint free rag is also useful for that but it is also used as a paint thinner so use very light pressure.

Applying Bondo:
First follow the instructions of course. Apply in thin layers and dry sand with a coarse grit sand paper or sanding sponge to get a rough draft of the contours. You can wet sand with medium or fine when you get closer to the surface you want but dried Bondo will soak up water so you'll need to be sure it is dry before applying paint. It is not necessary to prime over Bondo but unless you used it on the entire piece, it's just easier to spray the entire piece. Primer will also soak into the Bondo and create a slicker surface during the next wet sands.

Sanding: Only sand your piece for the purpose at hand using the proper grit to achieve that purpose whether that is to reduce, shape, contour, strip or resurface.

Dry sanding:
This is good for rough surfaces and finding / creating contour lines, removing rust & stickers and other general initial prep. Medium will cut the sanded area down to finer pores and then fine/ super fine respectively. There is no special formula to sanding other than keeping even pressure while doing it so as not to create thinner areas in places. Be sure to clean the surface thoroughly before painting over it. A tack cloth gently pulled over the entire piece several times will remove a lot of the sanding dust. Alcohol applied with a lint free cloth will remove the remainder of debris that may be stuck to the piece thru heat transfer.

Wet sanding:
This can produce (arguably) a slicker surface than dry sanding and it also lets you see what the finished product will look like after the clear goes on. When the water dries up, it looks dingy and lifeless, as it should. After it dries, look for differences in surface texture to reflect areas that may need re-sanding. Wet sanding between coats (both primary color(s) and clear coat(s)) will also bring out the imperfections in the piece that you will be able to spot and repair before wasting a bunch of time spraying and removing. Simply pouring water over the piece will do that also.
Careful while wet sanding clear coats as you can end up completely removing previous coats without knowing it. This is where the choice of finer grit comes into play.

Grit:
This is a variable subject. It depends on what you are sanding and what finish you are comfortable with.
These are general statements and can be changed, adjusted as the need changes:
60-80 is for rusty areas, removing stickers, imperfections, finding initial contours, ripping all the previous paint off etc.
120-400 for fine tuning lines, contours.
600-1200 for general finishing, sanding between primer / primary coats, sanding out imperfections from the previous spray, etc.
1200-2000 between gloss coats.

Priming: Again, primer is only necessary if you are down to bare metal. A light spray of primer can also help you smooth out rough areas while using it as a filler for imperfections.
Priming over existing paint isn't generally necessary unless there are spots that are rusted or bare metal. Prime all bare metal areas first. But, keep in mind, any paint you apply is only as strong as the previous paint. I use a couple coats of primer (sanded to metal) then wet sand with 600-800 as madnss said. I use sanding sponges (my preference) which allow me to control the pressure applied and the sponge conforms to the piece while holding a water hose over the piece in the other hand while sanding. When done sanding, run your hand over the piece with water still splashing it to remove all residue from sanding and it won't dry there and friss up your next layer. I use a stand made from 2x4s for holding tins.

Applying colors:
Color layers go on light as possible without getting too thick in some spots (spraying past the piece on each side during each pass while keeping a uniform distance from the piece. It is not important to worry about shine of the finish at this point. Even flat paint will pop when clear is applied over it. It's very important to get even layers.


Layers:
Apply them according to the label. Generally 20 mins or so worked for me. Paint won't be runny but tacky. After an hour or so is too long. The solvents start fuming heavily over the last layer while leaving the paint and will destroy your next layer if not allowed to fully vent. There is a myth about how many layers you can actually put down. Truth is there is no end to how many layers you can use. The drawback is in maintenance. Thick layered paint on a tank will melt away if you spill gas on it And wipe it off before letting it dry. I will let it dry thoroughly and buff it with Turtlewax.

Multiple colors: You can lay down a base coat, let it dry and tape off areas to add two-tones or graphics. Because of the thickness of rattle can layers, there will be a ridge between the different colored areas that were taped off. This is not a problem. Let it dry, lightly sand (or feather) the crease with fine sandpaper enough to knock it down some. This doesn't have to be smooth but just keep the crease from being predominately taller than the rest of the paint. Cover the entire piece with a light clear coat and let dry. Then you can wet sand the creased areas, apply another clear. Repeat until the crease or ridge is smoothed out. The trick is to lightly build up around the crease so when you sand at the crease, you can feather it into the buildup on each side. While, at the same time, not allowing a huge buildup on the entire piece which means you will be wet sanding most of what you just sprayed off except at the creased areas. Once you have it all smooth, come back over the entire piece with a layer or two of clear and your done.
The art is in repetition and patience. You can get as intricate as you like.

Drying time:
Read the instructions on the can regarding drying time. Each formulae can be different. But, in general, if done lightly, I have wet sanded after a few hours using Duplicolor. Sand too hard then and the heat from sanding will simply melt and mold the new paint job though instead of sand it.
Curing time of the finished product might surprise you to know. Depending on how many layers you have applied, it could take months to cure. The last thing you want to do is bolt fasteners, lights etc. on an uncured paint job. They'll sink into the finish instead of on top. You made a beautiful piece, don't get in too big a hurry and screw it up.

Clear coats:
Again, as stated earlier, good warm temps in the sunshine produce better looking clear coats but trial and error in different settings will reveal what works best for you. Apply them evenly and wet sand with 1200-1500 grit unless you have some imperfections to get rid of with 600-800.
Another remembrance, spraying with a fan pointed away from the piece will help keep things from falling in your paint. It can also pull things in your paint as well. But, every time I sprayed with a fan on, the clear coat fogged over. As the solvents leave, it will eventually clear back up. I once wasted a good paint job trying to remove the fog... just didn't wait long enough.
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Last edited by Hippysmack; 19th December 2017 at 03:51..
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  #6  
Old 11th October 2017
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https://brianadams.smugmug.com/My-First-Gallery

Here is a pic of my most recent rattle can work. I used the method described above. No orange peel and no wet sanding needed. A professional looking paint job straight from rattle cans.
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Old 12th October 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madnss View Post
I wet sand 800 grit or 600 grit and spray bomb everything I have
Over factory paint?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitewalls View Post
I have rattle canned jetskis and bikes with professional results.
The key is prepping and more prepping. Strip the parts to bare metal. Bondo any imperfections and feather it out smooth with 600 grit. I use sandable primer and 600 grit between coats to get it perfect.
I use Duplicolor rattle cans found at any auto parts store. Follow the instructions. Spray a light tack coat first. Then followed by several light coats. 10 minutes dry between coats. Then wait 30 minutes.
Apply Spray Maxx 2k clear coat. I use the glamour gloss finish. Found at auto body supplies or online. About $30 for a rattle can. Again start with a light tack coat. Then apply 2-3 coats. Wait 10 minutes between coats. If you do it right there won't be any orange peel.
I can paint a bike for about $75. My Buddy sent his pieces to a paint shop for $600. Mine looks better.
For best results do it on a warm day with low humidity. Otherwise the paint may look cloudy.
I wish I could show you some pics but the whole Photobucket thing.
Good luck
Dude those pics look unreal! No wetsanding even in the clear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippysmack View Post
Rattle can finishes are notorious for orange peeling. It goes on so thick and to get a good 'wet' look in the paint when finished takes getting a conform look while spraying. A couple brackets or something is relatively easy while a tank or fender isn't.

Weather:
Sunny and 78 degrees was my magic number in Alabama. Too hot and the paint will dry before it hits the piece and instant orange peel and BBs will form in your finish.
Cooler weather and moisture thereof will not allow the paint to shed the solvent fast enough to produce a gloss see through finish.

Priming:
Priming over existing paint isn't necessary unless there are spots that are rusted or bare metal. Prime all bare metal areas first. But, keep in mind, any paint you apply is only as strong as the previous paint. I use a couple coats of primer (sanded to metal) then wet sand with 600-800 as madnss said. I use sanding sponges (my preference) which allow me to control the pressure applied and the sponge conforms to the piece while holding a water hose over the piece in the other hand while sanding. When done sanding, run your hand over the piece with water still splashing it to remove all residue from sanding and it won't dry there and friss up your next layer. I use a stand made from 2x4s for holding tins.

Applying colors:
Color layers go on light as possible without getting too thick in some spots (spraying past the piece on each side during each pass. It is not important to worry about shine of the finish at this point. Even flat paint will pop when clear is applied over it. It's very important to get even layers. Wet sand with 1000-1500 grit.


Layers:
Apply them according to the label. Generally 20 mins or so worked for me. Paint won't be runny but tacky. After an hour or so is too long. The solvents start fuming heavily over the last layer while leaving the paint and will destroy your next layer if not allowed to fully vent.

Drying time:
Read the instructions on the can regarding drying time. Each formulae can be different. But, in general, if done lightly, I have wet sanded after a few hours using Duplicolor. Sand too hard then and the heat from sanding will simply melt and mold the new paint job though instead of sand it.
Curing time of the finished product might surprise you to know. Depending on how many layers you have applied, it could take months to cure. The last thing you want to do is bolt fasteners, lights etc. on an uncured paint job. They'll sink into the finish instead of on top. You made a beautiful piece, don't get in too big a hurry and screw it up.

Clear coats:
Again, as stated earlier, good warm temps produce better looking clear coats. Apply evenly and wet sand with 1500 grit.


I'll probably add to this later as I am off to work. These are just my observations and I'm sure others have something to add or differ.
This is great info! Thank you! When wetsanding the actual paint color, after you finish does the clear do enough to bring out the shine? Or is the wetsanding process you describe just for clear?



I also have access to an hvlp paint gun, but something abuot offing it with cans and looking good intrigues the hell outta me....that's if it looks good when done lol
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The Spraymaxx 2k Clear Coat rattle cans have a very nice spray tip. After a little practice and learning the exact distance and coating you can lay it down smooth as glass. No wet sand needed. The pic doesn't lie.
I will be honest my first couple of projects did not come out quite as perfect. It took me some practice to get it right.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitewalls View Post
The Spraymaxx 2k Clear Coat rattle cans have a very nice spray tip. After a little practice and learning the exact distance and coating you can lay it down smooth as glass. No wet sand needed. The pic doesn't lie.
I will be honest my first couple of projects did not come out quite as perfect. It took me some practice to get it right.
That's the problem for me. I have now used it twice and it will be 6-7 months before I'm able to spray again. Can't get comfortable with it like that.

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Originally Posted by mshred View Post

When wetsanding the actual paint color, after you finish does the clear do enough to bring out the shine? Or is the wetsanding process you describe just for clear?
I also have access to an hvlp paint gun, but something abuot offing it with cans and looking good intrigues the hell outta me....that's if it looks good when done lol
Wet sanding can be done on any surface any time but it is unnecessary unless you are going for a really slick finish. It doesn't create a finish but enhances the possibility of a good finish. I have updated my previous post and things are coming back to me in spurts. I'd like to add the becomings of this thread to the Sportsterpedia is why I structured my post the way I did. I started this section in the wiki awhile back but got sidetracked elsewhere. http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/techtalk:refaint01
The first set of tins are mine. I used Duplicolor engine enamel with ceramic for the entire set except the clear coat which was Duplicolor clear rattle can about 10 coats total after taking some off out of consideration for wet sanding.
I sprayed the rattle can engine enamel into a bottle thru a funnel, added thinner, did the flames with an air brush (about six months to get used to the gun and to figure out the combination with the enamel). Clear just wouldn't sheen like I wanted it to until the summer ended and I had the perfect weather for me. So, lots of wet sanding from screwing up. I had to remove the paint in a few spots when I drilled the holes for the fasteners and lights. It is the consistency of leather to the touch.
The previous winter, I also learned at what temp that damn airbrush just wouldn't allow.
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