How to Save Money and Paint a Motorcycle Yourself

Below are some tips I learned when painting my own courier motorbike to help you paint your motorcycle and save money by doing so.

You are going to need:

Plastic filler
Primer and hardeners
Flowable putty
Base coat paint
Clear coat/ hardener
Epoxy seal
Grit wet/ dry sandpaper 80, 120, 400, 600, 1500, 2000

Making a Homemade Booth
Be sure to cover your shed or garage with plastic. This will help reflect light and protect your walls. Be sure to tape fans in the windows. You can purchase fluorescent lights so you will be able to see what you are doing. They are also inexpensive.

Needed Equipment
You are going to need at least two paint guns. You are also going to need an air compressor, air hose, and a regulator that contains a water trap. The first paint gun will be used for the primer coat and the second for both the base and clear coats.

To Prepare
Check the fuel and oil tanks on the motorcycle to make sure they do not have leaks. Sandblast the metal parts to remove any old paint that is stuck on. You can also use sandpaper for this. Wipe down the bike with a non oil based degreaser.
If there are low spots you are going to need to apply a filler. Try to make it as smooth as possible. Sand these areas with the 80 sandpaper and fill in any nicks. Sand the parts again to make sure they are smooth.

Apply two coats of the epoxy primer. Once it is dry spray black paint over the surface in a light coat. Use the finishing putty to touch up any spots that are uneven. Use a foam sanding block with 80 sandpaper to smooth the bike. Then use the 120 grit followed by the 400 sandpaper.

Apply a coat of primer. Allow it to dry then sand it with the 400 sandpaper. Apply another coast of epoxy sealer.

Be sure to read the instructions on the automotive spray paint about how much to use and how long to allow it to dry for. Make sure the temperate is in the right range and you are mixing the paint properly.

Base Coat and Clear Coats
Apply the paint color of your choice following the instructions by the manufacturer. Apply the clear coat and allow it try dry. Sand it with the 600 sandpaper. Make sure the ridges are sanded as well.

If you are adding graphics now is the time to add them followed by a clear coat. Be sure to sand it with the 600 paper followed by the 1500.

Polishing the Motorcycle
Use a speed polisher with a buffering pad to make sure it is smooth and shiny. Once you are done buffing you can stand back and take a good look at your work.