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Right now my front cowling is cracked near the left turn singal straight through. Basically, it's in two pieces instead of one. I'm planning on fiberglassing it and using some body filler on it this winter to get it looking nice again. I found this site on how to do the fiberglassing and filler( http://www.sportrider.com/tech/146_9510_hand/ ), but I don't know what i should do to paint it. I don't need a show bike, just something that will get the job done. A lot of people say "painting is harder than you think, take it to a pro", but the bike is a '96 and I don't want to pay someone to do it.

I'm planning on using an air compresser with a paint gun attachment to spray the paint on. Good idea? Bad idea?

There was also some gas that dripped on the tank, so there's an area about the size of a softball that bubbled up that I'd like to fix.

Any advice would be great! Thanks!
 
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brian0488 said:
A lot of people say "painting is harder than you think, take it to a pro", but the bike is a '96 and I don't want to pay someone to do it.

I'm planning on using an air compresser with a paint gun attachment to spray the paint on. Good idea? Bad idea?
A lot of people would be right! It is harder than it looks. It would be cheaper if you took it to someone who paints on the side. But if its something you might like to get into and you have a good compressor and a half decent gun, go ahead and do it. Make sure you do a good job with the prep and primer, paint doesn't ever hide anything. Read everything you can on the subject. Most important- don't shortcut safety. Paint is very toxic, you don't want to come in contact with the fumes at all. But don't let me scare you, if you use propper safety precautions and take your time, you can get a very good result.

Rich
 
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RichC10 said:
Paint is very toxic, you don't want to come in contact with the fumes at all.
Yeah, I'll say. Back in the day, I painted one of my kayaks a nice sharp yellow as opposed to the dull gray/beige colour it came in....thought of everything but ventillation. Must have fried have my brain inhaling paint fumes in a tiny garage.
 

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I painted a car years ago. I used a surgical mask. It kept the paint from plugging up my nose, but I was drunk as a skunk by the time I was done by the fumes!
 

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.....water separator on the air supply line......if you want to practice and can afford it, go and get a car body part from the junk yard......like others have said, the key in in the prep work, and take your time....don't rush.
 

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the prep work is probably harder than the actually laying paint, because as said paint will hide NOTHING it wont act like a filler at all for slight imperfections in the plastic it'll just make them much more visable since paint is more reflective.

Practice on some other junk 6'' away feather in and feather out and keep a consistant speed. I was in auto body one and had some practice on junk car fenders and I'm going to try and repaint my upper fairing and side fairing before next riding season.

just get a paint gun that matches the specs on your air compressor its definetly not easy, but patience is the hardest part, if you make a mistake wait for it to fully dry then go back to prep work to get it smooth and try again

at least my biggest problem was paticence, if I made a mistake I would always stop and try and fix it and it'd turn into a disaster and just turned into a LOT more sanding in the end...
 

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First, Fiberglass doesnt adhere to ABS plastic worth a darn, It will look fine for a short time them crack, Get some plastic weld, its a much better product for this. Then make the repair, Fill and sand as required. painting isnt that hard, but the more prep work you do , the better the final product.
 

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I'm looking at painting my fiberglass body work insted of paying some one. I won't get the colors I want but I'm running out of $$$. I started today at work, it was my day off, and started sanding my tail section. I bought race body work and race body work does not come to you perfect. There was a lot of imperfections in the fiberglass that had to be taken care of. A couple of hours later, I was ready to try my hand at spray-painting. I wasn't planing on it turning out as good as it did because, well, it never has before. I was amased a how well the paint looked. So I said screw it, I'll paint my own bike. I then began to wet sand it to even perfect it even more. Take everyones advise, Brian. Prep work, prep work, prep work. It will make a big difference. I'll post pics when I'm done.
 

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you can make cheap stuff look good if you take the time, it's just more prone to rock chips and fading and it's 'life span' is much shorter before it starts to flake etc.

This guy at work spray painted is whole truck and it looked damn good, it's only been about 2 years but it still looks good, he keeps it under a car shelter so that probably helps with fading.
 

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prep work is key.

wet sanding is tedious(sp?), but makes the work come out that much better.
 

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perp is the key. and use plastic repair for the plastic stuff. 3m makes some good stuff and you can get it at advance or autozone, it's called plastic repair. use a 3m dissposable mask that you can BUY AT A AUTOMOTIVE PAINT STORE. PAINTS FUMES WILL HURT YOU, AND YOU WILL CLUCTH YOUR CHEST LATTER THAT NIGHT AS IF SOME ONE IS PUTTING A VISE GRIP ON YOUR LUNGS. AND WEAR GOOGLES, IT WILL MAKE YOU CRY. a cheap mask will not work. i know i paint pro. for the last 15 yrs. if you are doing it in a small building use a fan to exhuast the fumes out. as for the gas mark on the tank you'll need to repaint that to. if you need specifics on paint shoot me a pm.
 

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Paint is only as good as what is under it. Prep is everything. You can the best painter in the world but if the work under it is crap then the paint will look like crap. Might try looking up Wurth Plastic Repair(spelled correctly) For rigid plastics. sand thouroughly with 180p then mix and apply got like 10 min before it cures 30 before you cand sand then finish with bondo on top before priming.
 

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I have had great success with the DuPont rattle can paint from autozone or advanced auto, called dupli-color. With a good scuff on the good existing paint them a water break test to ensure the wax is all removed. I prep all repair areas and sand till smooth and apply a coat of good primer. Wet sand and water break test that as well. I use the paint in thin coat then a thick heavy gloss coat. Followed by a wet sand to remove all impurities and smooth the paint, Follow that with the clear coat and wet sand with 1000 grit. Use a liberal buff and wax after that . I have panted a few bikes this way and not had to worry about my compressor and the water separator and all the impurities that a compressor that is not kept up for painting can add to the paint. I have the unfair advantage of having a full industrial paint booth at work, but my ninja was painted the way I described in my garage at home, Th other benefit to the dupli-color paint is that it dries extremely fast so you wont have much trouble with impurities settling into the paint.

For those who are going to ask, the water break test is running water across the surface to be painted. If the water beads or rolls off , like it still has wax on it , then you need to prep some more. Might even wipe clean after surface prep is complete with alcohol or thinner to remove and residual deep embedded wax. if the water stays in a sheet and covers the complete surface them all impurities are removed.
 

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what kind of clear did you use and how long ago did you paint it?
 

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lild said:
what kind of clear did you use and how long ago did you paint it?
Duplicolor clear. The ninja was painted a few weeks ago. The old connie was painted right after I got it. Rode the wheels off that bike. Paint held up really well eveen with all the long rides I did on that bike.
 

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Silly question: Should the clear also be wet sanded and applied in layers, or is it generally ok to have one go and then it's good?

Also, how will the Duplicolour hold up to small amounts of petrol spill on the tank?
 

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since your using the carpy paint i would use the whole can. but you do have to put it on in coats. 1 coat wait 10-15 min. spray 2 coat, so forth. it may hold up to gas for a while, but no matter what kind of clear you use, gas will adventually stain it. it does the same on cars. and you only wet sand and buff if you want it to be slick.
 

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Duplicolro I used on the connie lasted very well. Spilled gas on it quite frequently. Never has any stains. The key i think is in the clear coat, Wet sane then repeat. A good wax seems to help also.
 
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