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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm a pretty skilled painter, but never got too much into the 2 tone or graphic stuff... so i'm looking for all the more skilled guys out there that can give me some insight.



i want to paint my tank in a 2 tone... but i'd like to do the tank in a high gloss base/clear and the accents in matte or satin finish. what is the best way to achieve this?



i have been told that it is easiest to paint the tank all base/clear, then tape off and scuff the areas i want matte and spray a few coats. my concerns are the obvious. how do i avoid getting jagged lines? will a fine line tape help avoid this? how do i avoid getting an awkward edge? at what point do i pull the tape? do i wait for it to fully cure before removing it, or just wait until flashing??



like i said, i've painted a ton, just nothing like this. any help would be hugely appreciated!
 

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The plastic trim tapes are your friend for getting a crisp edge. Sometimes I will use 1/4" or wider pinstriping tape from 3M then use the plastic auto tape for painting to help prevent bleeds.

Spraying a thin coat of clear along your tape edge can give you a good seal to prevent bleeds and let it flash off before spraying your color...

If you are going to mask over an already painted area, it will need to be cured and hardened up before masking to prevent any lifting has been my experience. Masking over fresh paint is a dangerous gamble.



I've generally waited until it has flashed and started to cure before carefully removing the tape.

Try to avoid having paint build up against your taped edge as it will form a ridge.

I've seen some folks pinstripe over the two color edges to hide any blemish...it can work but a really professional looking paint job has that sharp crisp edge between the two colors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so a good plastic fineline should do the trick then? basically, my plan was to base/clear, then let it sit a day in the sun to really cure. tape the area going matte and scuff/paint. my only other question is, when is the safest time to remove the tape from the matte area? flash or full cure? i know the paint stays a little soft for a few days, so i don't want to pull up the edges or anything.
 

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Which ever of the two colors will end up taking the least space is the color you want to spray first. On a tank, I'd just spray the whole tank with the first base color. You don't have to cover the whole tank, but make sure you get good coverage where you want that color to be. Base coat dries really fast, especially in hotter weather so wait a half hour or so and then cover up the color you just sprayed where you want it two toned. don't push the tape in real hard, but you want the edges tight so you have no bleed over. Once you get your masking done, go ahead and spray your primary color. Remember, your base coat is JUST the color coat, you don't need anymore than just enough to get the color you want. The clear coat is actually the paint.



Picture it like this. You have a glass topped coffee table. Slide any color of construction paper up and under against the glass. Does it matter how thick the paper is? No, it's just the color. The clear coat(glass table top) is the protectant. When you have both colors painted, you can do what they call 'color sanding'. Take some 1500 wet & dry sandpaper(use water) and VERY CAREFULLY sand the edge where the two colors meet. You should be able to take the edge off without removing any of the paint.



Dry the tank off good (use a blow gun for any cracks etc) and then put on 3 goods coats of a two part clear paint. Wait at least 12 hours or so, again depending on the temp, and you can go ahead and wet sand the finished tank. Finish it off using a polisher and some good buffing compound and when you're done, you'll have a tank that is gas proof, shines like crazy and you won't be able to feel the paint lines.



If you've never done anything like this before and you don't think you ever will again, take it to a body shop, it will be cheaper. But, if you think you will be doing more, go to a good auto parts store (like a NAPA)that sells good quality paint supplies(NOT Autozone or Advanced etc)and be prepared to lay out a few hundred bucks to get started.



A good quality variable speed Dewalt polisher with a backing pad that stays on the tool and the actual polishing pads are 'hooked' on with velcro will set you back between 150.00 - 200.00 but if taken care of will last forever. You can wet sand the clear to remove small runs, bugs, orange peel and dirt and have a finish that will truly rival the body shops and factory jobs.



Oops, after rereading the OP, I see you want a combo of shiny and matte. The only way I know is to do what you mentioned. You'll have to do all the clear work first then tape off for you matte finish. Just be sure to use a scotch brite pad on the the clear before you paint the matte to give it some 'teeth' to grab onto.



Larry
 

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I am a very experienced painter as well 10+ years and it sounds like you have the right idea of how to achieve the look your after. First base then clear everything, second after letting everything dry long enough, tape off the area you want flat finished, sand out dirt nibs and scuff with 600-800 grit. Peel off tape and retape with a fine line tape, depending on your design try to tape in way that you can pull it off within minutes as this will allow the paint to "relax" a little. If you cant tape it that way because of your design let it flash about 20 min. The best way to "hide" the edge is to pinstripe with a pinstripe brush and one shot pinstripe paint on the edge. No offense but if you have not done it before pay a pinstriper to do it for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yeah i know pinstriping can be a pretty serious challenge. i have some friends that do it and are okay, but not sure if i trust their skills for a bunch of long straight lines. i know the owner of panzer motorcycles, so i'm sure he's got some buddies that do it professionally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
to larry: i'll be using all PPG paints. up until recently, i've only used dupont base/clear at all the places i've worked, but PPG seems to spray similar... especially the darker pigment that i'm using. i know their vibrant colors are a bit thicker and cover with less coats... which is good cause dupont reds take forEVER to actually cover. thanks for all the input guys!
 

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oh and i'll post up some pics when it's done... should be another week or so depending on when i get the seat piece... gotta weld up a base still.




You don't have to wait until it's done to post pics!
 

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While rebuilding my new/old bike over here in Thailand I was "guest" at a good ol'guy's bike rebuild shop. Things finally got done with a lot of cajoling and doing my own work.



Painting was and this is not anything I can do. Here's the setup and staff here.





The paint and Pin Striping master at work!!!





Smiling and feeling pretty proud of his work, though not finished......



And finally the 'curing' shack/rig/tree!!!!!







All in all things turned out OK...





The Main Man working on my ride....





Oh, and the local Cop who'd come in around lunch\time and get totally oissed on beer before riding off to do his duty.







Couple years now, lots of miles in many conditions and its not quite as "pretty now" but for another USD30.00 I'm thinking to have it redone soon'



Regards
 
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