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-   -   Painting Plastic Body Panels (http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/painting-plastic-body-panels-215913.html)

Shredder 03-03-2012 06:29 AM

Painting Plastic Body Panels
 
Hello

I just bought a motorcycle and I got a great deal on it but I absolutely hate the color of the plastic panels. There are six pieces I'll need to paint:

Front fender (1)
Faux tank (2 sides and 1 center piece)
Rear side pieces (2)

Is it feasible to paint them myself?

Five of these parts have graphics applied - I'm guessing these are under "clear coat" or something like that.

I have removed them and thought I could prep them by sanding with 400 or 600 paper but I'm just guessing that would be a start and I have no idea what type of automotive paint I should use.

I do have a small compressor and air tank and I'm not against the idea of buying a sprayer. I used one once back in college for an Industrial Design project I was working on - used several light coats of automotive lacquer and the project looked awesome. Did about three or four coats of primer with light sanding in between, then probably six coats of color and blah, blah, blah.

My ultimate goal would be to have a very durable flat black on all the six parts but my legs would be hitting the tank pieces (which isn't really a fuel tank - but that's not important). The faux fuel tank is made up of 3 pieces (2 side pieces and a center piece).

I'm guessing I could get a much more durable finish if I used a color and then covered it with several layers of clear.

Any help with this project would be MOST appreciated. I found this place by Googling "painting fiberglass parts."

Here's a link showing the body panels I'm going to paint --> Large Photo LINK

And - I hope you guys (& gals?) aren't upset that a motorcycle person is hanging out here.

THANK YOU!!!

Shredder 03-03-2012 07:34 PM

I hope this is a good idea --> without any help, I did some research and decided to go with this stuff:

LINK (paint)

Using these guidelines

LINK (painting tips)

The only question I have is that five of the six pieces have vinyl decals under the clear coat. What would be the best way to remove these vinyl decals prior to applying the primer coats?

Thanks

MARTINSR 03-03-2012 07:54 PM

If I didn't know better you were pushing Duplicolor with two posts here and one having links to Duplicolor.

But lets get something straight, Duplicolor has some decent products depending on what your expectations are. Just for fun I read some of the painting tips and when I got to number 8 I was reminded of something I hadn't thought of in years. Why? Because I remember knowing so little as to think that was a fact! It isn't, can't paint lacquer over enamel crap, geez, it is simply wrong. But in the world of spray can 1K Duplicolor stuff, I guess it is a good rule. But in the real world of auto paint that whole thing is nonsense.

If you want to paint your motorcycle parts lets talk about it, but don't follow the goofy cheesecake directions at Duplicolor.

You could sand and paint them right over that finish they have very easily. It will be a great base for a paint job. In a nut shell you would sand that with 600, base it then clear it with a matt clear.

Brian

Shredder 03-03-2012 08:13 PM

Thanks

I found these videos which might work well in case I decide to remove the stickers under the clear coat - looks very easy even though this is metal and my parts are all plastic:
LINK to video "removing decals under clear coat"

And this video has some interesting tips for painting plastic
LINK to "painting plastic car parts"

I can't comment about the tips from the paint company. I just thought the 3 step process (prime, paint, cover) seemed like a reasonable plan but I know very little about this stuff.

Shredder 03-03-2012 08:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MARTINSR
You could sand and paint them right over that finish they have very easily. It will be a great base for a paint job. In a nut shell you would sand that with 600, base it then clear it with a matt clear.

Brian

Is this a decent product after the base (primer?) --> LINK to spray can of black paint

And, if using this stuff (linked) would I need to still use matt clear as a final?

Thanks

MARTINSR 03-03-2012 08:19 PM

But if your parts are painted and cleared, you aren't painting "plastic parts", you are painting, painted parts! The paint you apply over it doesn't know whats underneath the paint and clear, if you just sand the clear with 600 and paint over it the CLEAR is the substrate, the plastic way underneath the clear is a moot point.

Brian

MARTINSR 03-03-2012 08:21 PM

You want to buy REAL auto motive paint and clear and shoot it with a gun. There are 2K real urethane clears in a spray can and you could get away with it but there are no satin clears in an aerosol can as far as I know.

Is there an autobody and paint store near you?

Brian

Shredder 03-03-2012 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Is there an autobody and paint store near you?

Brian

Brian

Yes, I live in Marietta, Georgia and we have a few.

Thanks a lot for your comments - it's starting to make a little more sense - I'm painting over paint.

Wouldn't I still need to remove the vinyl decals under the clear coat because if I didn't, there would be a visible "bump" where they were located under the new paint?

Thanks again

MARTINSR 03-03-2012 08:58 PM

It depends on how much clear in there. You can't go wrong to just wet sand the thing with 600 and see if you can cut it flat without cutting thru the clear. Often the clear is very thick. But if you do cut thru, then yes you will need to remove them, and if you do, you will then probably be hitting plastic, that will change everything and you will need to apply some plastic primer or adhesion promotor depending on how much you hit. It's that, or you sand it with 320 or so and prime a few coats to build it up so you don't have to remove the decals. But really, the right way would be to remove the decals unless you can sand it real easy with the 600 and not cut thru. Honestly, if you can do that, paint that sucker and leave the decals there, they aren't going to hurt a thing and it would save you a LOT of work.

Brian

Shredder 03-03-2012 09:29 PM

Brian,

You are giving me some phenomenal advice.

I genuinely appreciate your help.

I have some really great guidelines, some things to think about and I'm gaining confidence that the project will have a much higher probability of success which will definitely result from your generous words of wisdom.

Maybe I should post photos of my project here as it develops?

Thanks again,

Brad

MARTINSR 03-03-2012 09:39 PM

Sure post pictures and this is Saturday night so the forum is a little dead. Wait until tomorrow there may be other responses and other ideas too.

Brian

snydski 03-03-2012 10:52 PM

Strip it
 
Build up of paint causes shelling or chipping I say Strip it . The use of toluene paint thinner will blister the clear coat after a few seconds, and then can be scraped off with razor blade , if you don't get it the first time do it again you will definitely feel the paint getting soft . It is less caustic than paint remover which will work , but might melt the plastic . Then take a heat gun to the decal or use the "Wonder Wheel" as seen on TV to remove the decal. Remove any residue with W-D 40 and wipe with denatured alcohol. I would use a "Two Part" catalyzed polyurethane and retarder with recommended thinner most likely methyl ethyl ketone , but not too thin this paint is made for .0003 mils a coat , , wet coats that are applied with a HVLP (High volume low pressure) sprayer which works well with smaller compressors and these paints don't need a clear coat but they must be mixed well and strained . If you live by a Marina these coating are used for boats and bath tubs and even tile the other stuff can be got at lowes. The mix that worked for me was 2 part base to 1 part catalyst and thinned 25% by volume not weight . paint takes hours to dry and 3 days to cure but it cures long after that.

MARTINSR 03-04-2012 09:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snydski
Build up of paint causes shelling or chipping I say Strip it . The use of toluene paint thinner will blister the clear coat after a few seconds, and then can be scraped off with razor blade , if you don't get it the first time do it again you will definitely feel the paint getting soft . It is less caustic than paint remover which will work , but might melt the plastic . Then take a heat gun to the decal or use the "Wonder Wheel" as seen on TV to remove the decal. Remove any residue with W-D 40 and wipe with denatured alcohol. I would use a "Two Part" catalyzed polyurethane and retarder with recommended thinner most likely methyl ethyl ketone , but not too thin this paint is made for .0003 mils a coat , , wet coats that are applied with a HVLP (High volume low pressure) sprayer which works well with smaller compressors and these paints don't need a clear coat but they must be mixed well and strained . If you live by a Marina these coating are used for boats and bath tubs and even tile the other stuff can be got at lowes. The mix that worked for me was 2 part base to 1 part catalyst and thinned 25% by volume not weight . paint takes hours to dry and 3 days to cure but it cures long after that.

I am sorry, but where do you get this stuff? Remove decals where you are going to paint with WD-40? Not anywhere anything I am painting! A wax and grease remover, a urethane reducer, even lacquer thinner but certainly not WD-40! HVLP gun works well with smaller compressors? HUH? High VOLUME High VOLUME, small compressors don't have high volume, they have very LOW volume, HVLP needs a BIG compressor that produces HIGH volume.

Retarder? RETARDER, he is painting a tiny part that requires only a couple of passes a foot long, why in the world would you want a retarder?

I agree that a build up of paint causes easy chipping but we need to look at the "Bestest" way sometimes. Stripping plastic can really be a chore, it often results in marred up plastic that then needs to be primed and surfaced, building up material again. For a newbe, painting over the clear and decals may be the best way to go. But yeah, if one of these parts were stripped to see how it goes, you are right stripping is the best way to go. But if stripping that one panel gets you into trouble, maybe sanding and shooting is the way to go.

Even that "wonder wheel" is often too aggressive for a plastic part and will "grind" plastic away. A lot has to be thought about before stripping plastic with multi layers of paint and decal. It can be very difficult proving disastrous to a newbe.
http://image.sporttruck.com/f/144763...aser_wheel.jpg

Brian

snydski 03-04-2012 01:03 PM

what do you follow people around to tell them there're stupid
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MARTINSR
I am sorry, but where do you get this stuff? Remove decals where you are going to paint with WD-40? Not anywhere anything I am painting! A wax and grease remover, a urethane reducer, even lacquer thinner but certainly not WD-40! HVLP gun works well with smaller compressors? HUH? High VOLUME High VOLUME, small compressors don't have high volume, they have very LOW volume, HVLP needs a BIG compressor that produces HIGH volume.

Retarder? RETARDER, he is painting a tiny part that requires only a couple of passes a foot long, why in the world would you want a retarder?

I agree that a build up of paint causes easy chipping but we need to look at the "Bestest" way sometimes. Stripping plastic can really be a chore, it often results in marred up plastic that then needs to be primed and surfaced, building up material again. For a newbe, painting over the clear and decals may be the best way to go. But yeah, if one of these parts were stripped to see how it goes, you are right stripping is the best way to go. But if stripping that one panel gets you into trouble, maybe sanding and shooting is the way to go.

Even that "wonder wheel" is often too aggressive for a plastic part and will "grind" plastic away. A lot has to be thought about before stripping plastic with multi layers of paint and decal. It can be very difficult proving disastrous to a newbe.
http://image.sporttruck.com/f/144763...aser_wheel.jpg Brian

The wd 40 removes the decal residue If you don't like my advise block me ya pimple! but why go tho other peoples threads to tell them how you feel ? when you get contact me strait . kinda like a dog that only barks when the gates are closed , and can only squat when it's open. I'm not the only one you do it to! I saw you last night in action.

MARTINSR 03-04-2012 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snydski
The wd 40 removes the decal residue If you don't like my advise block me ya pimple! but why go tho other peoples threads to tell them how you feel ? when you get contact me strait . kinda like a dog that only barks when the gates are closed , and can only squat when it's open. I'm not the only one you do it to! I saw you last night in action.

I am going to say something here because I wouldn't want the OP to get confused. I should have used more tact, sorry.

Brian


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