Motorcycle And Chopper Painting Tutorial

Feb 5, 2008



Plastic Filler

Finishing Putty

Primer and hardeners

Epoxy Sealer

Paint for Base Color

Clear Coat/Hardener

80,120,400,600,1500,2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper


If you're like me, you don't have the luxury of a down-draft spray booth in your garage. Here's what I did. I cleaned out a storage area that's attached to the rear of my garage. I covered the walls with white poly, and installed a multi speed fan in the window. I then went around with a roll of insulation tape and sealed the edge of the fan to the surrounding poly on the walls. Now onto lighting. After the first time you attempt to paint anything, you'll quickly realize just how important a well lit paint area is. In fact when it comes to lighting, the brighter your booth the better. A friend of mine gave me two four-tube florescent light fixtures, which I hung on opposite sides of my new spray booth. It's good to have reflective walls. Lining the walls with white poly not only saves your walls, but it's also quite reflective....


Before I go any further, I want to stress safety. It's a very bad I idea to paint in a room that's attached to your home. In fact, it may not be legal in some municipalities. Also, paint fumes are not only super toxic, they're highly flammable. Make sure your lights are wired properly, and that your fixtures are fully encased with lens covers attached. Last but not least, make sure you have a good quality respirator with the correct filters for the type of paint you're using.


For tools you'll need at least two spray guns, an air regulator with a water filter, a compressor, and of course some air hose. As fore mentioned, you'll need 2 paint guns... one for painting primer, and another for painting base and clear coats.


Make certain your fuel and oil tanks are pressure tested and leak free before you start. Ideally, it's good to sandblast your metal parts, especially if they have old paint on them. If you decide not to sandblast, make sure to sand them really thoroughly and wipe them down with a non oil-based degreaser prior to starting the job.

The next step is to add filler to the low spots and any trouble areas. It's a matter of personal preference, but I like to apply a coat of epoxy primer prior to spraying on the base coat. This provides a nice base for the filler to adhere to. prepare your filler in small amounts (it hardens fast) and apply it smoothly and evenly onto your work piece.

After the filler has stiffened, sand it smooth with 80 grit and look it over for any low spots or nicks, then fill and sand again. After the necessary rounds of filler and sanding are finished, it's time to spray on the primer.

Lay down a couple of coats of epoxy primer. After the primer has dried, get a spray can of black paint and very lightly spray it over your work piece. This is the guide coat. The thin black spray will show any waves, low spots or defects in your prep work. To fix the trouble areas that the guide coat exposed, you'll want to use flowable putty instead of filler. Apply the putty in thin even coats, then smooth it down with 80 grit sandpaper (wrapped around a rubber sanding pad). Once you get the high spots sanded down, smooth it down even further with 120 grit, then finishing it with 400 grit. You are now ready for a final round of primer. Once the primer is dry, sand it thoroughly with 400 grit to provide a toothy surface for the base coat to adhere to. I like to spray on a coat of epoxy sealer just prior to applying the base colour coat. In addition to providing a really nice surface for applying the base color, it also prevents any solvents from popping through and forming bubbles in your clear coat. Make sure to follow the paint manufacturers specification sheets with regards to mixing times, mixing ratios and painting temperature. Not following the instructions will cause you much me.


Time for the color coat. Spray on the color coats as per your paint manufacturer's spec sheet. Now comes the clear. After the first round of clear is dry, wet sand it down with 600 grit. You'll notice rows of ridges appear in the clear as you sand. Continue until the clear is even and the ridges are gone. If you are painting graphics on, now is the time to do it. After applying your graphics, cover them with another round of clear. It may take two or more rounds of clear to completely bury the graphics. Be sure to wet sand flat with 600 grit between rounds of clear. After the last round of clear has been sprayed, sand it down flat with 600 grit as before. When it's nice and smooth, finish it off with 1500 grit. If you want to get it crazy smooth, go for a final session of 2000 grit.


Now for the gratifying part. The final step is to polish it to a mirror finish. You'll need a multi speed polisher, a buffing pad, and some buffing compound. There are lots of different brands of buffing compound on the market. Your local auto body supply store will be able to recommend something.

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This little tutorial is meant to give you a basic idea of the paint process.
For more in depth guide visit the link below.

Motorcycle And Chopper Painting Tutorial