Spray Guns - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-18-2012, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Spray Guns

I know I wrote and posted this last night, but spaced out and didn't pay attention as to where I sent it. Sooo.......try again.

I want to paint the gray outer fairings on my bike - the ones that took the beating on that rock road the other week. They're pretty scraped up. Tried to find new ones at a good price and not much out there, so looked into painting it.

Past experience has shown me that spray cans don't really do a good job and I can't afford pro quality spray gear. Wouldn't know what to do with it anyway.

On eBay I saw 2 different versions of Kawasaki spray guns for under $25. I have a regulated nitrogen tank in my shop that'll run the thing fine - if I can figger out how..........and how good are those cheapie little spray guns anyway ??

That fancy paint is pretty spendy - would a pint be enuf for both sides or would I need a quart ?? A quart ?? Surely not that much ?? Is 2 coats enuf ?? Then clear coat it ?? Sand between coats ?? Primer under it ??

I'm a mechanic, not a painter so please bear with me and pat me on my pointy little head when I started to go astray and say, "there, there, Lar. It'll be OK," and guide me gently back onto the path.

I understand that I need to sand thru the clear coat to real paint. Someone told me to start with 600 grit and finish with 1,000 grit. Another guy says final sanding should be with 2,000 grit. Didn't even know they made such a thing. What say you-all ??

I own a good random orbit sander. Would it be OK to use that on this project or is it something that needs to be done by hand ??

Thanks..............Lar.
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-18-2012, 08:49 PM
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Okey dokey, a question in my field! Lol, this is what I do for a living... And have been for a good 25 or so years. As far as guns go, you pretty much get what you pay for. I've never tried HVLP out yet but I hear it's the cats meow for automotive type work. As long as it's an external mix gun it should work ok for what your doing. Ideally practicing on something other than the finished product to get the hang of it. Never tried spraying with nitrogen but with a small gun and not too big of a project a small air compressor will do fine .

Yup, automotive paint is very spendy! You'll need a quart in all likelihood. If it's a catalyzed urethane you'll have to be sure to measure out the right amount of catalyst to put in the amount of paint your going to mix. Thin it as recommended by the paint manufacturer. Thin coats overlapping about 50% will give you the best results. If you lay it on heavy it will go all orange peely or run and look like crap. If it's a catalyzed urethane it will have a glossy finish on it's own that you can either clear coat over or leave as is. You should also apply a compatible primer sealer over the plastics first to ensure that your topcoat has good adhesion.

As far as sanding, I've never used grades as high as what you mentioned... I think the finest I have ever gone is about 600 grit wet and dry. 400 works very well too. 2000 would be almost like a polish I would think.

It's fairly time consuming and expensive, that's probably why most people just spray bomb the parts. You can get really good results with spray bombs if you take your time. Speaking of spray bombs, I've never used these but they claim you can get a catalyzed urethane finish out of a bomb now, this company makes them
http://www.spraymax.com/index.php?id=150&L=1
Might be worth a shot, the results look good! Pricey as well I think though.

Last alternative would be to get a quote from a body shop and see what they would charge to do it for you... Though I'm guessing it would probably exceed the price of new plastics.

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post #3 of 8 Old 12-18-2012, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=650Stew;117369]Okey dokey, a question in my field! Lol, this is what I do for a living... And have been for a good 25 or so years. As far as guns go, you pretty much get what you pay for. I've never tried HVLP out yet but I hear it's the cats meow for automotive type work. As long as it's an external mix gun it should work ok for what your doing. Ideally practicing on something other than the finished product to get the hang of it. Never tried spraying with nitrogen but with a small gun and not too big of a project a small air compressor will do fine .

The nitrogen is left over from my refrigeration days and it's real handy and portable. I just keep getting it re-filled. 40 cubic foot tank lasts me for months. Works just like air, but without the oxygen. I fill my tires with it, too.

Thanks, I appreciate it. We've got a good Napa store here that specializes in auto paints. I had the hood of my Diesel Dodge re-painted last year and it was a perfect match. Spendy, tho' - about $150/quart.

For shooting test samples with that little gun, what would be a good, cheap substitute for the good stuff - to learn on ??

I've done a lot of work with epoxies and urethanes, but only in boat building, not as coatings. The measuring and mixing will be about the same, I think. This should be interesting.

Thanks.............Lar.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-18-2012, 10:54 PM
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For testing purposes you could just use an alkyd paint thinned out well... Then you can get the hang of the gun before you start using the expensive stuff on the bike parts. If it's just the two shrouds you could probably get away with a pint just fine, you just wont have any extra in case of a mistake. Hope this helps, I lean more towards the industrial end, but have done some automotive type work.

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post #5 of 8 Old 12-19-2012, 08:36 AM
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I'm not a painter by trade but have painted a few vehicles with both the ordinary guns and the low air guns, I have both....sorry don't know the actual names, head is still fuzzy with the flu, but I also have had great success with rattle cans. Today's rattle cans are far better than they were years ago. If you get them with a flat spray pattern nozzle they are almost the same as a spray gun. The trick is practice and experience as to what to look for as you are spraying. As Stew says, you should be looking for the overlapping pattern and also the first few coats to be very light in coverage. I have found that this gives the final few coats something to adhere to. The last few coats can be much heavier, but as Stew pointed out, too heavy and it will turn ugly on you. I don't think it's the equipment as much as it is experience that will get you the finish you are looking for.
The next question is how big is the item you wish to paint? I'm not familiar with the side covers size, don't have any to judge.....sorry. But I can't see why a good rattle can couldn't do the job if you follow the simple but hard to stick to rules of painting. It is always very difficult to lay light coats on your piece once you see that the colour is coming up to where you think it should be. You instinctively try to get to the final product too fast. Maybe a male problem....lol. But if you do it in 3 light coats and two heavier coats, I have found that it will turn out not too shabby at all. Then a slight scuff after it's solidly dry and then a clear. OR, if the can says you can clear when tacky as I found the last job I did allowed me to do.....the paint comes out like a watered finish.....perfect! I just painted my KLR frame and engine with Dupli-colour engine paint with a clear straight afterwards.....it is surprising how well it turned out. Good smooth surface and a beautiful watery clear over it. Then cured to a hard finish! I also sanded it to 200 grit sandpaper as I wasn't that concerned about the finish but it filled in any slight scratches perfectly!

So, don't be too quick to dismiss rattle cans over paying for the spray gun and very expensive paints and hardeners etc.

Just a thought.....hope this helps....

Willys
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-19-2012, 10:12 AM
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I've painted all kinds of stuff with a little $25 touchup gun and they've worked out nicely. No need for a big fullsize gun. But yeah, for a couple tiny little pieces spray bombs and care&attention will give good results.

I don't know where this "sand with 2000 grit" stuff comes from. That only applies for polishing, not painting. Anything past 400 is mostly wasting time for real automotive paints. READ the instructions for your paint; it will tell you what sanding grits to use.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-19-2012, 11:27 AM
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The paint you use needs some surface courseness to be able to adhere to. As pointed out....very high numbers in sand paper are designed to make the surface as smooth as humanly possible, how is a paint supposed to grip onto the surface, unless it chemically burns into it so to speak. Then you are dealing with a different animal all together.

Can you post up a pic of the part you wish to paint or touch up....? Maybe it would help us to offer ideas etc to help...?

Willys
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-19-2012, 06:24 PM
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A quart is actually a lot of paint. I used a quart to paint tank, fairing and fenders on three motorcycles. The amount of paint you can buy depends on the kind of paint. Some paint can be purchased by the ounce. Check with a local independent paint jobber. Also they can tell you what kind of paint is needed for the material you are going to paint. Small HVLP guns work well with urethane paint. 2000 grit sandpaper and rubbing compound are used to correct small flaws in the paint after painting.
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