DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Classic Norton Commando Motorcycles.

DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby Huffer » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:05 pm

Anyone paint their frame themselves with a rattle can? Did it turn out OK? Would you do it again? Powder Coating has its own drawbacks, as many of you know.
1974 Norton Commando Roadster--last of the "proper" right side shift Commandos.
2008 Triumph Bonneville T100--last of the carburetted Bonnies.
2008 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Deluxe--last of the iron-barrel Bullets.

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Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby RoadScholar » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:18 am

You didn't say what level of "restoration" work you are embarked on, but the strip level suggests a complete going through.

So

If you are at the stage where the frame is stripped then the detail level demands a professional paint/powder coating which ever floats your boat. You are headed down a road that is paved with $100 bills, cheap out at this stage and you migjht as well pitch 15-20 of those bills down the shitter. The value of the finished motorcycle will be judged, largely, by the level of consistency you applied to all components and their assembly.

That said, and if you are just trying toi get a two wheel vehicle to a rideable stage, that just hgappens to be a Norton motorcycle, then paint everything with spray cans, why stop at the frame the tank, side covers and fenders beg a coat; just make sure that the steering head and axels are tight and that the brakes work and you won''t get hurt riding.

I'll acknowledge that *some* spary can paint jobs can be decent, just make sure that all your paint comes from the same lot; there are shades of black.

I am not trying to rain on your parade; you will be spending between $5K and $10K, at a minumum with modest engine/transmission and suspension work, what's an extra $500 to $750 for a properly prepped and painted frame/engine cradle/battery tray/coil mount/other small bits?
The allure of a motorcycle is also it's bane
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Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby maylar » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:47 am

I've done touchup on my frame with rattle can Krylon many times over the years. Especially on things that come off - side and centre stands, head steady, rear brake cover etc. But my preferred paint method is catalyzed single stage urethane applied with an airbrush. Two part paint is much more duable than single stage enamel or laquer, and the airbrush lets me not get overspray on everything without elaborate masking.
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Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby DogT » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:53 am

I painted my frame with some krylon or like spray paint and the gas and oil will peeled it off in short order, expecially on the gearbox cradle. I think I am going to go with some sort of industrial paint like the Duron Imron or similar and get a auto body shop to do it.

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Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby JimC » Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:00 am

Most times the old adage, "You get what you pay for", applies.
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Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby batrider » Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:47 am

The spray can jobs just don't have the durability. For touching up they are fine and that's all I've ever done to my Norton. If you have the frame already stripped - that is the hard part. Take it down to the local auto body shop and have have them prime and paint it. I used to spray them myself with a spray gun and compressor but paint and the proper equipment is very expensive now and you will usually have a lot left over which you will never use. I have a couple shelves of that stuff .. all gone bad. You need a proper respirator too with these paints. It has gotten impractical to do it yourself even though it is very satisfying to do that.

If you are not in a hurry they can combine your job with others and it will save you some money that way. It will come out much better than a spray can job and last.

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Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby zotz » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:05 am

My swingarm and engine plates where done with Tremclad and have held up pretty good. I deviated from my normal practice and used a paint supposedly formulated for bumpers and roll bars, which turned out to be crap. If I had to do it again I would have gone for the powder coat.
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Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby Cookie » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:15 pm

If you are incredibly patient you can do a pretty good job with rattle cans. The real problem is that it is so thin that it takes several coats to equal one coat of automotive paint with a spray outfit.
That said I have seen some darn good rattle can jobs, they tended mostly to be done by somebody retired with a lot of time and little money. If you do tear something all the way down preparation is everything and takes most of the time. Sanding, nearly always some Bondo work, priming, etc. can be wasted it you don't get a good coat on them.
If you aren't doing a full tear down rattle cans are fine, I fix things with them all the time.
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Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby Scooter62 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:39 pm

Huffer
Like some of the responses said it kind of depends on what your looking for. Almost anything you do will be superior to the paint the factory put on but depending upon the level of perfection you need you do have options. I personally don't like powder coating yet there are plenty of people that swear by it. It does do a great job on covering all the nooks and crannies on the various bits but does have some drawbacks (search the posts for powder coating to see some). As for paint on a Commando you probably can get a quite satisfactory spray can finish providing you do the diligence of prep work and multiple coats. Once the Commando is assembled there isn't a lot of the frame exposed so focusing on the most visible areas will give the best results. PJ 1 makes a one part epoxy that is called Fast Black that is supposed to be very durable. I've been tempted to try it on some of the pieces that get beat up on a regular basis like the side stand and center stand just for the convenience to redo them at a future date. That leads into the other discussion of the downside of the spray can job; your are very limited in colors available in the more durable spray can paints and the other argument for letting out the painting is that there are an amazing number of bits and pieces that will need to get preped and painted and having the time, place and motivation to get it all done just isn't for everybody. That said another factor in this discussion is the availability of a good reasonably priced painter that will paint a motorcycle frame. All of the paint and body shops in my area are under the impression that they are Van Gogh reincarnated and either won't do a frame or want to charge a small fortune for it if they do.
Hope this helps in making a decision, it is after all a personal choice and honestly I've seen restorations that had the frame painted with a brush that looked quite good, amazing.
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Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby JimC » Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:46 pm

To paint a frame properly you need a rotisserie. I made one using an automobile engine stand. If the frame and parts are properly prepped, ie, masked and primed and you provide the shop with a rotisserie, I don't see why they wouldn't do it for $100-$200 plus material. Now if you want to drop off a dirty old frame and want a shiny new one back, I can see that costing a pretty penny. $1000 would not be out of line.
A man's worth is not measured by what he has achieved...It is measured by what he went through to achieve it.

If you smile every time you flip on the garage light, you own the right motorcycle.

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Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby Huffer » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:02 pm

I'm not trying to restore for concourse, but I do want all the bits to look as new as possible. I'll have $8k to $10k invested in the bike when I'm done. I'm pretty sure I won't rattle can it, but simply wanted to see if anyone had actually done it. I've done a fair amount of research into all the paint options (here and elsewhere), and I I'm leaning toward a body shop spray paint rather than a powder coat.
1974 Norton Commando Roadster--last of the "proper" right side shift Commandos.
2008 Triumph Bonneville T100--last of the carburetted Bonnies.
2008 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Deluxe--last of the iron-barrel Bullets.

Huffer
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Location: Tucson, Arizona

Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby JimC » Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:20 am

Huffer,

I just noticed you are from Tucson. Isn't AMR near you? They may be able to steer you to a motorcycle painter.
A man's worth is not measured by what he has achieved...It is measured by what he went through to achieve it.

If you smile every time you flip on the garage light, you own the right motorcycle.

JimC
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:23 pm
Location: Port St. John, FL

Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby Huffer » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:49 pm

JimC, yes AMR is here in the Tucson area, and I've talked with Mike there on several occasions. Thanks for reminding me of AMR. I'm going to call Mike again this week.
1974 Norton Commando Roadster--last of the "proper" right side shift Commandos.
2008 Triumph Bonneville T100--last of the carburetted Bonnies.
2008 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Deluxe--last of the iron-barrel Bullets.

Huffer
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:04 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona

Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby jbbudgor » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:56 am

I'd be happy to help if your local painter does not work out. I would be happy to send you numerous pics of Nortons I have painted for customers in black, solid red, metallic red, solid yellow, green metallic, red metalflake and blue metalflake. I paint bikes for a living (www.vintage-vendor.com) , including Jerry Doe's Interstate. Check my post under "Motorcycle Related", about the 4th one down titled "Quality Motorcycle Painting at Reasonable Prices." If interested, send me your e-mail address to brent@vintage-vendor.com
Thanks,
Brent Budgor
The Vintage Vendor

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Re: DIY Rattle Can Paint Job?

Postby Huffer » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:22 pm

Brent, thanks for the offer. The only drawback I see would be having to ship the frame all the way to Vermont and back. I think the cost would be prohibitive?

However, the tank and side panels might be feasible. Once I get around to those, I will consider you if you can exactly replicate the white tank with the blue stripe, i.e.,the John Player Norton scheme.
1974 Norton Commando Roadster--last of the "proper" right side shift Commandos.
2008 Triumph Bonneville T100--last of the carburetted Bonnies.
2008 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Deluxe--last of the iron-barrel Bullets.

Huffer
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:04 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona

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