Mechanical and Technical For mechanical and technical discussion

Old November 15th @ 09:08 pm   #1
R1_Demon's Avatar
From: The Devil's Playground

Motorcycle: Shift Red 2005 Yamaha YZF-R1
Hey all,

I was wondering if anyone here does painting for a living. I just had some questions. I'm going to start stripping down my track plastics soon (maybe even this weekend) and come up with a color scheme to paint them. I like doing this kind of stuff, but I was hoping for some assistance in sand paper choices.

This is what I do know:

1) I need to clean up and then sand down the fiberglass race plastics so that they are ready to go for paint

2) I was going to paint them a base coat of white to make them all even (right now the upper is white, lower is black and the tail is primer).

3) I want to then mask off my design and shoot the paint I need to shoot, then clear coat it all (after I place the stickers on the plastics as well)

Okay, now here are some of the questions I have.

1) What grit sand paper should I use to clean up the plastics and get them ready for a base coat? (I was told 200 grit)

2) Once I sand down and prep for base coat, what grit sandpaper should I use to prep the base coat for another base coat ? I'm guessing a higher grit sandpaper than used to initially prep the plastics, right?

3) Once I put on my color coat that i want to paint (the design or whatever), what grit sandpaper do I use to get the orange peel out of the paint? This would be color sanding, correct? Basically how do I prep it for the clear coat?

4) Then I want to apply the decals that will be on the bike....that will be okay to do prior to shooting the clear, correct? or should I shoot one coat of clear first, then apply the decals/stickers and the shoot more clear over them?

5) How do I buff/polish the clear coats to make the paint really come out?

Basically I figured it'll be fun to paint the plastics myself. I did it before on my very first bike and it came out okay, but since I painted the bike when it got cooler out (towards night time), I fogged the paint and the clear didn't come out too shiny. Only on certain parts that i did during the heat of the day, so I'm ONLY going to shoot them during the day when it's 70+

But I mainly wanted to know how to and what grit sandpaper to use to wetsand the pieces. Do you use water all the time (even when prepping the plastics initially?) and wet sand or only on the final base coat prior to clear or on the clear coats or what?

I'm hoping someone with painting experience can give me some info. I'd like to do it myself, so that's why I'm asking for the info. Sorry about the drawn out thread. :)


Old November 16th @ 06:50 am   #2
SHWELL's Avatar
From: Deltona, Fl
Good questions Matt..
Old November 16th @ 10:06 am   #3
scsshell's Avatar
I have 2 brothers who are autobody dudes..... I can send your list to them and see what they say. k?
Old November 16th @ 12:49 pm   #4
BrightAngel's Avatar
I'm not positive on this, but I think your sanding procedures can differ between brands of paint, and depending on what you're going for.* The tech sheets for House of Kolor paint are mildly informative, and there are also how-to books and videos out there on the web.* Check out:
Or call James... or you and Ross could get going on it together and share the cost of the equipment.... I know he's been wanting to do some painting.
Old November 16th @ 04:20 pm   #5
i just finished sanding my entire bike

i had to reshape some of the corners because there were some deep gouges, i did that with 80 grit.

to remove the rest of the paint, i used 280, and if i had to do it over again i probably would have used 400 or higher after that to remove the scratch marks from the 280, i can still see them under the paint.

whatever you use GET VELVASEAL! that stuff is amazing at hiding the deep gouges. you can pick it up at Charleston Auto Body if the place you take it to paint doesn't know what you're talking about.

have them put on one or two coats of that before your base coat and you will be very pleased.
Old November 16th @ 10:16 pm   #6
R1_Demon's Avatar
From: The Devil's Playground

Motorcycle: Shift Red 2005 Yamaha YZF-R1

I almost forgot where I posted this thread. I was looking for it and it kinda got buried. I think from the update of the software it made it look like the last post for this thread was in July or something. LOL

I got some info from someone that used to paint, but any and all info I can get, would be appreciated.

Digi - I appreciate the info about the Velvaseal. I'll have to check it out.

Shell - I would appreciate it. If they have time to write down some info, it would be truly appreciated.

Angel - thanks for the link. I'm going to check it out now. Like I was saying, the more info, the better. :) I know a lot of it is done with experience and even the type of paint (such as what you were saying), so that's why I want as much info as I can get.

When I bought my first bike (92 Katana 750), it was painted a dark metallic gray (again, NOT my fav color), so I decided to repaint them myself and did. However, I didn't do any wet sanding and such like that. I mainly just sanded down the body, shot it with metallic purple paint, let it dry, then masked off my graphic/design I did and then shot the design with paint (and pinstripe). Then I clear coated all of it. It didn't come out too bad, but since I was rushing a bit, I kept painting as the sun went down...well, the cool air fogged the paint so it came out lighter than I wanted. So, some parts of it didn't look that great and some parts really looked good. All in all it came out okay, but I want to try to do a better job this time.
Old November 16th @ 10:51 pm   #7
sorry, the place i bought velvaseal was at Charleston Auto Parts, not body. they are Carquest franchises.
Old November 17th @ 09:39 am   #8
scsshell's Avatar
Okay Matty.... Here's the scoop I got from my bro Marc.

On question 1, prepping plastic for paint, does it already have paint on it, if so 240 grit is what I usually use, if it does not have a coat of paint on it I would use around 320 to 400 grit. And this is with a small DA sander.

question 2
, Make sure you use a sealer coat before you put on a base coat. I usually will spray on three coats of a base coat on the parts. I don't usually wet sand the base coats, but I do let the base coat set up between each coat and use a tack rag to wipe off any lent or other foriegn objects out of the color. If the base coat has any metalic in it you will not be able to wet sand your last coat of base usually, as it will affect the appearance of the metalic.

question 3, I usually do not wet sand the base coat at all unless there is a bad imperfection in the paint job. Then I will wet sand it with water and 1000 grit wet or dry sand paper and shoot one more light coat over it. Depending on what you are using for a base coat (I use ppg DBU base coat) and it sprays like the old laquers and goes on very dry which it makes it hard to paint and make orange peel. Most orange peel now adays come from the clear coats.

Question 4, I would put on the base coat and make sure that the parts are free of lint. Use a tack rag and wipe it down, If you have to wet sand anything out of the paint, again use 1000 grit wet or dry paper and use water. Apply the decals over the base coat. After the base coat has set up for several hours, put soapy water in a spray bottle and lightly spray a layer of water over the part you will be putting the decal on. Then lay the decal on the part. With the soapy water under the decal it allows you to move and or make slight adjustments to line up the decal. After it is aligned take a small bondo spreader or sguegeee, and run this over the decal, forcing the soapy water out from under the decal. At this point the decal will be affixed permenantly. This is sometimes a lengthy process, Most base coats have a 24 hour time frame that clear can be applied without doing any sanding between coats. so you can base coat the parts and add decals one day and clear the parts the next morning

Question 5, At this point apply at least three coats of clear coat four coats if needed, but not always recommended. This allows several things to be done. One, You will take 1500 grit wet or dry sand paper and wet sand the clear with soapy water. This allows you to sand out any orange peel. Two, it allows you to sand out any lines that show between the decal edge and the paint. Three, it allows you to sand out any pieces of dirt etcetera in the paint. The other thing that needs to be taken into consideration is being plastic parts, and the durability of most high voc clears nowadays you may have to add a flex addative to the clear. This allows the parts to flex without fracturing the paint job.

Question 6, After wet sanding with 1500 grit, then I use a three stage polishing process. Starting with a light to medium compound with a cutting pad. Then a light compound with a polishing pad. Then I use a glaze type compund with a foam pad which basically fills in the swirl marks from the polishing and give a very high gloss finish.

I didn't know there were six questions..... but maybe he was just adding some info....

Hope this helps.
Marc has been doing this for about 20+ years. He and my other bro and my Dad used to buy classic and antique cars that were crap and restore them (my Dad was the mechanic) My Dad even built a 2 bay paint shop next to his 12 car garage so the guys could do everything right there! Pretty cool.... Wish I had some pics to share. The things they have done are just mind blowing!!
Old November 17th @ 10:22 am   #9
i'm shooting the base/clear coat on my bike tomorrow. i repaired my fairings and built a spray booth complete with fans and air filters to keep the dirt and dust out. shit looks damn good so far.

Old November 17th @ 10:37 am   #10
be sure to drain your compressor tank before using. you don't wanna have to redo everything because of water in the line. if it takes more than one day then drain it every morning.

pressure should be at least 120psi at the tank regulator and 30psi at the gun regulator.

get a HVLP (high volume, low pressure) gun, gravity feed for short. it saves paint. i can easily paint a bike with one quart of each primer / base / clear, probably two bikes if needed.

buy a water separator ($6) that removes line condensation. it hooks to the air line right before the gun regulator. have at least a 25ft air line too. HVLP gun --> psi regulator --> water separator --> air line


paint, pros, sandingany

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