Just thought I’d post this up from ‘ehow.com’. It states the obvious, but thought if it was stickied it would save people a lot of time for probably one of the most posted questions. Also, it’s worth noting the following (In BOLD for highlight)
I, myself, have painted many, many, many frames but just as a hobby @ home. I have no training or skills in this arena so I’m going to keep this nice and simple. I have NO professional experience but have found the secret to finishing the job properly. For all those wondering how to get an awesome finish, here’s the BEST advice I can give other than the obvious; good paints etc… Most forum posts and ehow go on about technique and rubbing back, all of which is important, but in the past Ive done some GREAT work, but it just didn’t seem to have that super smooth, glossy finish like you get from the shop… What’s the trick? SIMPLE, read below
[b]You MUST use a cutting/rubbing compound after you’ve finished your last coat of paint. Before doing anything you need to let the paint dry for a few days (usually 2 weeks should be good to be sure as if you go to early youre probably gunna have to repaint the whole frame ). The rudding compound removes the ‘Overspray’ or top coat of the paint which is only loosely attached to the frame. You will notice when you use the rubbing compound that some paint DOES come off but this is fine. Rub the compound unidirectionally (not circles) and clean the rag or get a new one when there’s to much mess on it (don’t be a tight arse and use an oily rag!).
Once you’ve cut the paint back clean it down (soapy water it perfect and all the compound etc will come off. Dry it pretty thoroughly and then get TURTLE WAX or similar and rub the frame down. IT COMES UP AMAZING. I have struggled with getting things spot on for ages and just couldn’t figure out that final step and thats how simple it is.[/b]
It completely changes the paint scheme and you can get a top tube looking PRO in maybe 3-4 minutes.
Remember you don’t want to rip the shit out of it so just rub the compound in like you’re rubbing you’re hand over the tube to polish it (It DOESN’T need brute force).
Below are the simple steps if you’re starting from scratch but i havent gone into to much detail re sanding, priming etc theres heaps of pages which explain this stuff easily, but the TIP ABOVE is what I believe will help people the most. Most people think that after applying clear coat you’re done, but in a sense the paint job really isn’t finished and sealed until you do what I’ve mentioned above.
It works with shit spray paint, good spray paint, basically whatever you use will reflect the quality of the finish but by using the method above you will improve the finish whatever paint you decide to use. Hope this helps. Feel free to post questions and maybe I can help/ shed some light? Cheers
BTW i usually use Enamel out of the can, AutoBarn sell really good quality enamel (similar to what panel beaters use) is a can its about $25 for a large can and will get a shmick job. Ive also used $2.50 enamel from supercheap and got a fantastic finish although its a little more temprimental
These are the basic steps from the Ehow with a bit of expansion:
Start by removing the part that needs to be painted. (You can also tape around it, but be careful about overs pray)
Sand the part with the 300 grit sand paper until the surface is a little rough. This is necessary for the primer to bond with the surface. After sanding wipe down the part with micro fiber cloth and clean with an alcohol solution.
Lightly spray the part with etch primer. A few light coats are better than one heavy coat. Make sure to allow proper drying time between coats. Some people reccomend sanding between but i dont really think its that neccesary untill youve done the final coat.
After a few light coats of primer have been applied, wet sand with the 800 grit sandpaper. After wet sanding, wipe again with micro fiber cloth. (try not to touch the frame as skin naturally producses oils etc which will affect the p[aint and stop it from bonding properly. Allow a day or two between primer coats (you can work quicker than this but again its worth waiting and youre finish will be much better. Trying to do it all in 2 days just wont work.
Now it is time to apply the color. When spraying the spray paint make sure to use smooth even passes across what is being painted. Do not start painting on top of the part because the paint will be heavier in that area. When painting you want to press and release the button to the side of the product being painted. Again a few light coats are better than one heavy one and make sure to allow proper drying time between coats (couple of hours if its warm) dont paint in the rain or freezing cold as the paint wont ever set properly).
After you are satisfied with the color, wet sand with 1200 grit sandpaper and then wipe with micro fiber cloth.
Now it is time for the clear coat. Spray the clear coat the same way as the spray paint. Only one or two light coats are needed. Allow the clear coat plenty of time to dry as this is the layer that you will see most. You don’t want any fingerprints on your final surface!
After the clear coat has had more than enough time to dry leave it for a week or more is a good idea to be on the safe side, You now want to wet sand with the 1200 grit (lightly), then 2000 grit sandpaper(lightly) - dont cut through the color back to the primer. This should remove any heavier spots in the clear coat and will polish your painted product up very nicely.
Next you need to remove the scratches left by the 2000 grit. For this you will need to buff the surface with rubbing compound - by hand with a rag unidirectional as described at the top in BOLD.
Now you need to buff the surface with a medium cut polish to give the surface a nice glassy look.
Whether it be exterior or interior parts that have been painted, I always add a couple coats of wax to the surface. This really finishes the paint job and without the rubbing compound and wax its not gunna be as AMAZING as it could. Again use a rag by hand is fine for all this and wash down afterwards youll be AMAZED
LINK TO EHOW PAGE : How to Spray Paint Like a Pro | eHow.com