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Painting Process - Etch, Primer, Sealer, Base, Color, Flames, Pin Stripe and Final Clear

tank

Etch Primer: Tank and Fenders: Bare Metal needs to be Etched Primed before Primer is applied. Blow off all the loose dust, wipe it down with Final Klean, then Tack Cloth it off. Apply the Self-Etch Aerosol Primer to the bare metal, this will bite into the raw metal so the primer will stick.

primer

Primer: Tank and Fenders: Using HOK KP-21 Epoxy Primer and KP-21B Activator, we applied 3 wet coats with 50% pattern overlap to the Tank and Fenders. Allow the primer to dry dull between each coat, about 10 minutes. We are using a Devilbiss Finishline 3 HVLP gravity spray gun with a 1.8 mm tip.

swing arm primer

Etch Primer/Primer: Swing Arm: The swing arm was degreased and placed into a painting jig. 2 coats of Etch Primer was placed on the bare metal. 3 coats HOK KP-21 Epoxy Primer was sprayed over the entire swing arm. This will hide all the small grinder marks and glazing putty lines.

frame/ETCH primer

Etch Primer/Primer/Guide Coat: Frame: The frame was degreased and placed into a painting jig. 2 coats of Etch Primer was placed on the bare metal and stock power coat. 3 coats HOK KP-21 Epoxy Primer was sprayed over the entire frame. A guide coat was applied using an aerosol can of flat black.

sealer/frame

Primer Sealer: Frame/Swing Arm: After the guide is wet sanded with 400, then 600 grit, sealer is applied. The guide coat is needed to help guide you with the wet sanding, it lets see the tiny imperfections before color is applied. The sealer prevents the color from bleaching into the primer, this keeps the colors bright.

Silver Metallic/Frame

Base Color Silver Metallic: Frame/Swing Arm: 2 coats of silver metallic are applied over the white sealer. This provides a bright background for the Kandy Coats. Care is required to insure no blotches are made when applying metallics. The swing arm is tilted to its final bike position so the metal flakes lay correctly.

Kandy frame

Kandy Green: Frame/Swing Arm: Using a mixture of Lime Gold and Organic Green Kandy with Gold Pearl, 2 light even coats were applied over the silver metallic. Sense Kandy's are translucent, the silver metallic can be seen below the green giving the frame bright 'electric' green color.

clear frame

Clear Coat: Frame/Swing Arm: After 3 coats of clear, the frame, swing arm and misc parts are now completed. After letting the frame dry (3-4 hours), it is moved back to the lift table to harden. It is now ready for final assembly.

after sanding

Guide Coat: Tanks and Fenders: A very light guide coat was applied using an aerosol can of flat black. The guide coat is needed to help guide you with the wet sanding, you can see the minor press marks during the stamping of the fender. The guide is wet sanded with 400 then 600.

sealer/fender

Primer Sealer: Tanks and Fenders: After the guide is wet sanded, sealer is applied. The sealer act as a bond coat between primer and top coats and acts as a holdout agent to prevent topcoats from soaking into the primer and reducing gloss. KO-SEAL II is a two component acrylic urethane primer sealer.

rear fender

Base Color Silver Metallic: Tank and Fenders: 2 coats of silver metallic are applied over the white sealer. This provides a bright background for the Kandy Coats. Care is required to insure no blotches are made when applying metallics. The bottom of the tank is painted first, then the top side.

fender

Kandy Green: Tank and Fenders: Using a mixture of Lime Gold and Organic Green Kandy with Gold Pearl, 2 light even coats were applied over the silver metallic. Sense Kandy's are translucent, the silver metallic can be seen below the green giving the frame bright 'electric' green color. The bottom of the tank is painted first, then the top side.

fender

Clear Coat: Tank and Fenders: 3 coats of clear are applied to the Tank and Fenders. This will protect the green base from the masking and flame preparation process. After the clear dries (24 hours), it will be scuffed with a gray scotch bright before applying the artwork.

tank

Flame Preparation: Before we can mask out the flame pattern, the clear coat must be wet sanded so the new paint can stick. Using 600 grit, the clear is sanded and dried. Now the tank and fenders are dull, ready for masking.

flame tank

Flame Layout: Using 1/8" 3M Masking tape, the flames are placed onto the Tank and Fenders. Long flame streamers are desired on the chopper, this will help make the bike look even longer. Some of the streamers cross over, this will help add a 3D effect during the pin striping and air brushing.

tank/fenders

Flame Masking: After the flames have been designed, masking tape and transfer paper used to mask off the green base. An X-ACTO knife is used to cut along the 1/8" fine line tape, and the transfer paper is pealed off.

tank

Flame Base Color: 2 coats of silver metallic are applied over the Green Base. This provides a bright background for the Kandy Coats.

blue tank

Blue Flames: 2 coats of Kandy Cobalt Blue are applied over the Silver Metallic. We want the blue to be a then as possible, to minimize the paint build up.

fender

Purple Flame Tips: Using an airbrush, Kandy Brandywine was applied to the tips and radiuses of the flames. The Cobalt Blue will bleed into the Brandywine turning the tips Purple. The color change is very small, but a nice effect.

tank

Flame Unmasking: You want to get the masking tape off just as the paint flashes dry, or in our case as soon as the air brushing is completed. This help the paint to flow out a little to keep the edge minimal. Always pull the tape backwards to cut the paint, not lift it up.

tank

Flame Clear Coat: Before we pin stripe the flame outline, we apply clear coat to protect the flames. 3 coats of clear applied and are wet sanded with 1000 grit to cut flame paint edge down.

tank

Flame Pin Stripe: Using OEM Red pin stripe tape, pin stripes are placed alone the flame edges. This hides any small imperfections from the flame masking and adds additional color. This makes the flame tips appear Red. The striping tap is very thin and will be cleared over with 5 coats, wet sanded and cleared again for a smooth feel.

Final Clear Coat: After wet sanding the 5 coats of clear to remove the pin stripe edges, the final clear coat was applied. 3 smooth layers of clear are applied. Only some small amounts of lint remain in the final clear coat, these are easily removed by hand polishing the final clear.

 final tank

Completion of Painting Process: All the chopper paint is now completed. The frame and swing arm have great color and a smooth look and feel. The flame layout turnout nice, long streamers with an even flow. The purple highlights and red pinstripe and an even nicer touch.

The pictures are article on this page were kindly provided by www.jhchoppers.com

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