Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Harker Heights, TX
I found a rust-o-leum universal paint at Home depot that had a trigger built in. It worked well but the trigger device kinda sucked, and ended up putting drips all over the place because of paint buildup in the trigger mech. If I did it again I would just get a plastic spray paint with a traditional button and use my trigger that clips on to the can. Krylon Fusion (at Wal-mart) works well, and so does Valspar Plastic (at Lowes) both are cheaper than what I used. I would think seriously about using duplicolor bed liner, then a quick shot of whatever color I wanted if black was not it. That stuff is supposed to work well on plastic and it is pretty durable. Seems to flex with the plastic and not scratch easily.
The reflective stuff makes the bike look like it is covered in white pollen until you flash some light at it, mostly at night, then the whole bike turns white. If you are looking for a professional looking glossy finish it will not work, but if you don't mind the dusty matte look then it is pretty cool. I think if I did it again I would not paint he whole bike with the reflective stuff, only key locations for visibility.
The key to success is prepping the plastic. Clean it all with a good degreaser, I used simple green and HOT water. Then I sanded with steel wool and super fine sandpaper, then rubbed it all down with Acetone to get rid of any buildup.
I was not concerned with a glossy finish at all so I didn't care if some dust fell into the wet paint, I knew I was going to cover it all with the dusty looking reflective. If you want gloss then you have to be anal about contaminates in the air around your work area.
I used the same paint on the metal tank that I used on the plastic. Made it really easy to go from piece to piece. I did three coats on everything and by the time I got to the final pieces the first ones were dry enough for another coat. All in all it took about 3 hours to prep and less than 2 to paint everything black, and another hour to paint the reflective.
I'll do another thread this weekend with pics in the sun and at night. It has been raining here so I haven't been able to get the bike out in the yard except yesterday to go to work when I lost the panel.
2006 Orange Reflective KLR, T-mod, Stebel, Hurricane mod, home-made racks and cases, Tusk hand guards, .22 cent smile maker, Cee Bailey's 4 over, and a bunch of other stuff!