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Old 03-15-2010, 11:25 AM   #1
switch
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painting plastics, help & advice

ok, so i wanna make a bike look somewhat presentable. plastics and tank look a bit 'rough' so i wanna sand them, and paint them in my own scheme. how does one go about doing this?

sand, clean, primer, paint, clear coat?

should one do a 2nd round of sanding after the primer coat?

can i use of those orbital palm sanders? what grit sandpaper for the plastics? what grit for the tank?

i'll also, be attempting some light fiberglassing and repair work.

any advice and info appreciated.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:40 AM   #2
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After the primer you can wetsand it with 600 then 1500.
I wouldnt use a orbital sander on the plastics the tank is fine use 180 grit.
For the plastics i would just use a very light grit in the 200's or wet sand.
I plan on painting mine soon its all in pieces just gotta get some free time.
If you have any more questions about painting let me know i worked in a body shop for a while.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:51 AM   #3
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cool thanks for the info.

so orbital sander for the tank with 180 grit.

then sand the plastics by hand using 200 grit paper?

and its not 'required' to wet sand after the primer?

and what exactly is wet sand?

i'm a total noob when it comes to this stuff

more questions to come once the project starts.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:25 PM   #4
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Wet sand is just what it sounds like. You keep the pieces wet while you're sanding.

Not sure on the grits to use, so I can't help much there. But you'll probably want to lightly sand after priming to make sure it's smooth.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:27 PM   #5
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you can buy "wetordry" (wet/dry) sand paper for wet sanding. you basically keep the paper and the area you are sanding wet. it leaves a smoother finish, and there is almost no bildup of sanding material in the sandpaper.
I believe you should use 400 grit on the primer, on a sanding block. go in criss-cross patterns, like an X. this will make for a smoother finish, with less waves. you can wet down the bodywork to look for smoothness on the panel. I have sanded with 600-grit between coats of color, and had good success.
Wait at least 24 hours to sand the color coat, as it will take longer to dry than the primer. Sun will help cure the paint faster.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:29 PM   #6
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And the primer is there for two reasons: as an adhesion promoter (so the paint sticks), and to give you a layer of easily-sandable material to be able to smooth out any rough sections (like where you will be patching the fiberglass).

You tube is your friend. maybe search for 'guide coat'
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:32 PM   #7
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:49 PM   #8
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awesome info so far, really appreciated.

so what grit would i start the plastics off with? start with 200 grit, then prime, then wetsand the primer with 400.

after sanding with 400, let dry then paint. resand paint coat if i feel like it, then apply second coat, let dry, then clear?

i guess i have the same questions for the tank. what grit do i start off with? and can i use the same methods i used for the fairings.

also, these are track plastics (hot bodies i.e. bodies)
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:57 PM   #9
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Dude I would just pay to have it done...lol
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:09 PM   #10
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im not paying to get these bodies painted. they're already rough as is. if i pay for paint its gonna be on a set of Attack or Shark Skins. plus i wanna learn something new. but if you wanna pay for the paint job, i'll let you.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
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so what grit would i start the plastics off with? start with 200 grit, then prime, then wetsand the primer with 400.
After you have completed the fiberglass repairs, WET sand the whole fairing with 400 grit. Then prime. Look it all over carefully and resand (wet) with 400 until you are satisfied with the smoothness/eveness of the surface.

Quote:
after sanding with 400, let dry then paint. resand paint coat if i feel like it, then apply second coat, let dry, then clear?
After wet sanding wipe it all down with a damp cloth to remove sanding dust. Let it dry thouroughly. Then paint.

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i guess i have the same questions for the tank. what grit do i start off with? and can i use the same methods i used for the fairings.
Yes treat the tank the same way. IMHO, it would be better to stay away from powered sanders as the are better suited to the flatter areas , like on a car. Bikes have so many contours that it will be very easy to sand through the primer or paint.
Also, I wouldn't use any sand paper rougher than 320 grit.

Quote:
also, these are track plastics (hot bodies i.e. bodies0
Fiberglass is fiberglass when it comes to painting.

2 things to keep in mind;
If they were previously painted with rattle cans you will have to repaint with rattle cans unless you remove all paint and primer down to bare fiberglass or Gelcoat.
The other thing to remember is that preparation is EVERYTHING. Paint will not hide any imperfection. Spend at least 3 times longer preparing than you will painting. If you want perfect paint have a perfect surface.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:15 PM   #12
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Oh yeah, sand after paint so the clear is smooth.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
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im not paying to get these bodies painted. they're already rough as is. if i pay for paint its gonna be on a set of Attack or Shark Skins. plus i wanna learn something new. but if you wanna pay for the paint job, i'll let you.
you can do it its not as hard as it sounds. Keep in mind that the paint jobs is as good as the preperation is, so take your time and do it right the 1st time.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:25 PM   #14
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once again thanks, i really like your method and instructions bumblebee. i guess i'll do it all by hand.

yea the plastics and the tank were previously rattle canned. so i guess no need to remove ALL the paint, just give it a good sanding.

one last thing lol

so after the first coat of paint, wet sand again, then clear? or can i clear after the first coat of paint w/o sanding?
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:27 PM   #15
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i agree amoney, while the plastics aren't in the best condition i'd still like them to look 'okay'. after this weekend's trackday, i'll tear her down and try to get it all done before my first race at TWS (Texas World Speedway). i'll keep this thread updated.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:45 PM   #16
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any recommendation on the fiberglass repair stuff? figured i'd just get it at the auto parts store.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:00 PM   #17
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you'll need to do several coats of base color. you'll probably not even end up doing clear, depending on how the rest turns out. do your first coat of base color very light, don't even worry about covering the entire surface. you will have a consistent color by the third coat of base color. you can get 'tack rags' if you want, to make sure there are no contaminants on your surface right before you paint. Remember, no bare hands on the surface after you sand it; don't want to get oils from your hands on the bodywork. And I agree with everything bumblebee said. Also be sure what you are going to paint over is solid - no cracks, no flaking, ect..
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:20 PM   #18
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once again thanks, i really like your method and instructions bumblebee. i guess i'll do it all by hand.

yea the plastics and the tank were previously rattle canned. so i guess no need to remove ALL the paint, just give it a good sanding.

one last thing lol

so after the first coat of paint, wet sand again, then clear? or can i clear after the first coat of paint w/o sanding?
If you are gonna rattle can then no need to remove the old paint, but if you are gonna use something like automotive base coat/clear coat then just light sanding will not be enough.
With rattle cans the clear will be optional based on how the final coat turns out. If it looks "good enough" then you are done.
If you are gonna clear over the final color coat, then sanding is optional, again, based on how it looks. You will likely have some runs and a little sanding with 400 then switching to 600 grit followed by polish may be enough, without the clear.
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