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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all. I've spent the past several days reading a ton of threads and how-to's here. You guys certainly know your stuff. I've picked up some good tips but I am still not as confident as I want to be headed into my project.

I bought a new motorcycle the other day. The paint scheme I *had* to have happens to be the only one offered in matte finish. For a number of reasons I'd like to simply paint all the bodywork with clear gloss. Here is what the bike looks like now:





Here is what I purchased this week for the task at hand:
Finex FX301 spraygun
PPG DCD35
PPG DU5 hardener
PPG degreaser
Bulldog plastic degreaser
Tack cloths

I already have a decent compressor w/ tank, as well as a water trap and pressure regulator. I plan to paint in my garage this weekend if all goes well.

There are a total of 13 pieces, all plastic. All are dull unpainted plastic except for the fuel tank which is painted matte. Most parts have some type of decals on them. I've removed all bodywork from the bike and removed anything I don't want painted.

This is my plan so far:

Prep garage - Sweep out garage
Hose down floor of garage
Use fans and heaters to dry out and heat garage
Place open pans of water inside garage to collect dust
String up plastic sheeting for makeshift booth

Prep parts - Wash all parts thoroughly with soap and water. Dry thoroughly.
Clean plastic parts w/ Bulldog
Clean painted fuel tank with PPG DX330
Wipe everything down w/ tack cloth
Hang every body part from hangers so it can be painted from all angles

Prep gun - clean thoroughly w/ solvent then spray a good amount of solvent thru gun. Do test sprays to check settings/adjustments

Paint - Mix 1/2 the bottle of hardener in with the clear. Mix thoroughly and pour into gun cup.
-Paint the back edges and corners (the hard-to-reach places) first then the front. Work from L to R. Stay about 8" away from the surface, working parallel to it at all times
-Spray a total of 3 light coats, waiting 15 mins between coats
-Give the pieces 1 week to dry thoroughly.

Weather is supposed to be 61F this Sunday which is when I would like to do the paint work.

What did I miss? What are my chances of success? I was told this brand of clear would work fine on both the painted tank and the bare plastic pieces and would not harm the decals on the bike. Any reason to doubt that?

Although I've done some airbrush hobby stuff in the past, I have never tried anything quite like this, so I'm all ears.

Thanks!
Joe
 

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KING OF BONDO
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Joe scuff all of the parts with a white scotch brite pad lightly, then clean them off with soap and water.. dry, wipe with wax and grease remover.. let flash for around 30 minutes..

Spray bulldog adhesion promoter on top of your parts, let flash..

Mix clear per tech sheet, spray 4 coats with proper flash time.. This should be enough to bury the decals if you want.. Come back next day and sand them all with 320 dry to get rid of the edges from the clear over the decals..

wipe off with wax and grease remover again.. let flash 30 minutes.. apply 4 more coats of clear with proper flash times..

This will give you a better look in my opinion.. It wont take that much more clear to spray again, and it will improve the overall gloss and add more protection for your decals in case of a scuff..

Now you can cut and buff if you want, or just admire your work and leave it as is.. You will also have a better finish after the sand and re clear, vs just one clearing..

This is not the only way to do it,many painters do things differently, and you may not want to bury the decals.. ITs all up to you
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bondoking,

I just wanted to thank you for your response. I spent the entire day today working on the body. I incorporated your suggestions into my plan. Of course, things didn't go perfectly but I think things are going to work out.

The first problem is that I didn't have the gun properly adjusted and was spraying too much of the BullDog BFT. Fortunately this only happened on the first panel I shot. The BFT pooled up in one spot and then ran. I set that piece aside so that I can sand it back down and redo it.

The next problem was excessive orange peel. I'm not certain, but I believe I may have been putting too light a coat on each time. I'll let it dry for a day or 2, then sand it down a little, degrease, and shoot a few more coats of clear. If you have any thoughts on why I got orange peel or how to prevent it I'd love to hear it.

As soon as the whole project is done, I'll post some pics. Thanks again.
 

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BUT, if you dead set on shiny, I'd just wash it with some prepsol then sand it with 600 and shoot some clear over it. I think ya'll over-think this stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Now Tab, even a neophyte like me knows painting is 90% preparation and 75% anal-retentive angst.

Quite frankly, I really debated posting my questions on the forum but I really didn't want to screw things up and its always better getting advice from someone more experienced. :sweat:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here are pics. From everything I've read, I think I need to let the paint sit for 24hours, then sand everything, degrease, and clear coat again. What grit would be best for that? Also, I assume my goal is to flatten out the clear before respraying. Is that correct?

The Bulldog BFT run:


Not exactly sure what happened here. I will sand this down and recoat it with BFT before spraying clear:


The tank turned out ok like most parts, just lots of orange peel:












Thanks everyone for your help.
 

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Joe250 said:
Now Tab, even a neophyte like me knows painting is 90% preparation and 75% anal-retentive angst.

Quite frankly, I really debated posting my questions on the forum but I really didn't want to screw things up and its always better getting advice from someone more experienced. :sweat:

Joe: All my life I just wing it. If I need something done, I just go for it. Granted, I have made my share of mistakes and I don't consider myself a master bodyman or paint guy.

But spraying clear on a motorcycle is not that tough IF you mix your clear with the right amount of reducer. I believe that you mixed to thick, resulting in orange peal. Better to be a tad thin than to thick IMHO.

Next time do a test on your buddies bike before spraying yours. If that results in a fist fight, test on any smooth surface to make sure that your gun settings and mix are in sync.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
tab said:
But spraying clear on a motorcycle is not that tough IF you mix your clear with the right amount of reducer. I believe that you mixed to thick, resulting in orange peal. Better to be a tad thin than to thick IMHO.
What reducer? The paint shop didn't mention using any. The spec sheet from PPG didn't mention any. ( http://www.ppg.com/refinishftpsite/docs/p-186.pdf )

Did I screw up?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Correction. I see they mention using DT1800 reducer down below. Of course, the PPG spec sheet they gave me at the paint store didn't mention that. It was much briefer. Considering my results yesterday and the fact that the outside temp never got above 65, it does appear I should have used a little reducer, no?

My real question at this point is how to proceed.
 

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Joe250 said:
What reducer? The paint shop didn't mention using any. The spec sheet from PPG didn't mention any. ( http://www.ppg.com/refinishftpsite/docs/p-186.pdf )

Did I screw up?
First of all congratulations on the new bike, very cool. I am a bike guy too, ride both dirt and street complusively.

Second, I like your go for it attitude. Its not everyone that will dismantle their brand new bike to make some paint changes.

I had the same kind of realization about "reducing". I am restoring an old truck and haven't gotten to spraying any topcoat yet, but when I first started priming I was getting really crappy finishes. So I tell my paint guy and he asks, "how much did you reduce it?" Reduce what? He then went on to explain to me "why we reduce", and so now I reduce and I get much better finishes.

How to fix your clear? I don't know, but hopefully the pros around here will get you on the right track. I am sure it can be fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ugh

Hotrodding new bikes can be a lot of work I'm finding out. I scuffed up the clearcoat on all the panels with 600 grit, washed thoroughly, dried thoroughly, degreased, let sit for 45 minutes, then shot one wet coat of clear. Result? More pop than a soda fountain. Have a look:





I read up on solvent pop and apparently my one and only option is to stip the clear back off and re-do it. Why did it pop?

1. Laid down too heavy a coat of clear?
2. Residual thinner in the gun incompatible with paint (cleaned gun thoroughly with 1545 Cleaning Thinner just before shooting the PPG DCD35 clear)?
3. Bottle of clear might not have been sealed completely after last use, altering its chemical makeup?

Those are my best guesses based upon everything I could find here on the board and elsewhere on the net. I don't mind doing all the work of stripping clear off down to the base IF I'm confident that when I shoot the clear again, this won't happen again. But to do all that work and screw it up again? That would suck.

So thank you all for your advice and encouragement so far. I'm going to keep at this until I get it right (buy PPG stock now! :mwink: ) and at this point I have 2 questions:

1. What is the best method to strip the clear off without damaging the base coat underneath or the decals?

2. Why the solvent pop?

Thanks,
Joe :smash:
 

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Joe I am so dang sorry that I have missed this thread... I would not have reduced it, clear will lay down with out excessive peel when a gun is properly adjusted.. People use reducer as a crutch for improper gun adjustment and the inability to spray the product they have...
Go here for proper procedure on gun adjustments
Proper gun adjustment

Also with the bulldog, you can wipe off any runs with thinner I believe.. It tells you on the can, then re spray.

Put up a piece of paper and practice adjusting and spraying your gun until you get it down, its cheaper, than re doing the plastic everytime you spray..

Solvent pop... READ THIS... CHEAP ECONO CLEARS POP WITH FILM BUILD AND ADDED REDUCER.. Just a fact Not sure where DCD35 falls.. BadBob could tell you on that..

I cant personally spray econo line clears usually, because on my second coat non reduced they will pop on me since I lay on very wet coats...

Sand it with some 400 wet, then let it set in the sun if you have any, or in a heated area for several days.. Will get back to you, my break at work is up :smash:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Bondoking,

Thanks for the follow-up. I read the article on gun adjustment. That goes along with 2 other articles I had read at the start of this project:

http://hotrodders.com/kb/body-exterior/articles/spraygun.html

http://www.autobody101.com/articles/article.php?title=Paint Atomization

I did a number of test sprays and it helped me get the gun closer to the ideal adjustment.

One thing I realized this morning is that I changed the air pressure from the first clear spraying and this last time. First time I had the tank regulator at 45psi, second time at 30psi. BTW, I'm using a 1.3 needle.

Regarding your comment about cheap clears, I specifically asked the guy at the paint shop for a really good clear and that I was willing to spend more to get it. He recommended the PPG DCD35 but at this point, I'd be willing to try something else.

In the meantime, I'm going to start sanding. Do I need to take it all the way back down to the base? I assume so.

Thanks again,
Joe
 

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Joe250 said:
Bondoking,

One thing I realized this morning is that I changed the air pressure from the first clear spraying and this last time. First time I had the tank regulator at 45psi, second time at 30psi. BTW, I'm using a 1.3 needle.
Do you mean "tank regulator" or the regulator installed at the inlet to your spray gun? How big of a compressor are you using btw?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have a 30gallon tank with an oil-less compressor on top. 125psi max. Here's a pic:



I run air staight out of the compressor into a wall-mounted water seperator with integrated pressure regulator. And from there into the airgun, which has an adjustment at the air inlet, but no built-in gauge. I'm relying on the one built into the regulator on the wall.

When I'm spraying, the compressor does kick in after a while but the pressure at the tank outlet never drops below 100psi.
 

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Well that should be fine if your pressure is staying up.

Although I have found even with my 7hp/70gallon compressor [135lbs] I have to adjust my gun regulator up when the pump kicks on because my gun pressure drops about 5 lbs. But I am using the purple HF gun and it is known for requiring lots more air than high quality guns.
 

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Okay Joe here we go again :thumbup:

Depending on how much air hose you are using will depend on how much pressure drop you are going to have once the air gets to the gun.. You will also have a pressure drop when you full trigger the gun.. I like having a valve at the gun for peace of mind.. You can pick them up at your local Home Depot or Lowes for less than 10 dollars..

I would sand down the clear until the pops are gone, BUT if you are getting super close to the factory paint, STOP and let it set for a few days as I had suggested, then re clear.. You dont have any of the factory paint, so you dont want to mess with it or the decals.. Doing so could make this project much more expensive and a much larger headache..

You should not sand thru, since you had clear on there that you sanded before you did it again.. That at least gives you some play room that you otherwise would not have..
Go slow with some 400 wet, or if you want to see exactly what you are sanding away you can use 320 Indasa or 3M dry paper.. You may just want to take longer and use either 400 or 600 wet for peace of mind.. Its up to you..

Once you get this all sanded down and good to go.. put it in the sun or even under Halogen lights several feet away to pull out the solvents by heating up the panel... This should pull the solvents that are in there now out and now all you have to worry about is the solvents you put on with the next application of clear

If you have enough clear to do this again, lets use what you have.. I personally only use SPI, but most everyone who knows me knows that.. It would not have popped on you, even if you had reduced it.. But thats a whole nother thread :)

Get it sanded down and come back and tell me what you have, or PM me and you can call me and I will speak with you directly about it bro..

Matthew
 
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