Some time ago I posted this thread and got some good advice there. Thanks again.
Quite some time later I actually got off my arse and started the job (after reading some books and watching Youtubes etc).
Then I got madly busy at work so stopped after the prep was done.
Later I got back to it and refreshed the prep and did the primer stage. Wasn't perfect but good enough.
Then I sprayed the first coat and came to understand pretty quickly that spraying with an average HVLP gun and a home compressor can be done, but maybe the middle of winter isn't the best time, given my "spray booth" is some plastic sheeting hung over an old metal table. I did practice on some throwaway material but without a good primer layer it's not so easy to see what gives a good finish and what doesn't. Still, I learned some things (mainly "don't spraypaint in winter unless you have a proper booth"), and did some sanding.
So I parked it for winter, not a biggie, rego would have been on hold anyway because of work. Summer came and I picked this up again - put on the rest of the coats, and spent lots (and lots) of time sitting in the sun with a beer and sandpaper learning about orange peel. All good fun though. Clear coat is not yet on, and the finish isn't too bad, for a complete amateur
But there are one or two issues:
1. Blush. I've sprayed the bike jet black, using lacquer. After sanding there are spots where the finish is smooth, but a bit cloudy. I understand the term is "blush". Sanding my arse off with 2000 wet has removed some of these but others just aren't going anywhere. Is there a magic trick to getting these sorted? I have read they are caused by humidity settling on the piece during spraying, and considering my setup that's a distinct possibility. I tried cutting compound and that helps a bit, but I'm not sure it's a great idea before clear coating? Also not sure if blush can best be hidden with another coat - and I'm hesitant to just add more paint.
2. Indents on the tank. Not sure that's the right word, but in one spot I either didn't finish the primer properly or subsequently leaned it against something, but there are two slight stripes on one side of the tank, about 1.5cm long which are faintly indented relative to the finish. I noticed them after the first or second colour coat went on and subsequent coats haven't hid them. Probably need sanding back and re-priming, but I'm buggered if I'm re-doing the whole tank. Any easier options? Or do I live with them?
I realise the pro's here are already running screaming from the building, but:
Any advice on what I can do to clean up these issues? How likely is a good clear-coating to hide some minor flaws? (Or will it just preserve them for eternity?)
- This was never going to be a perfect job, just had to be Not Completely Shit. The bike is lovely to ride but (considering insurance, rego etc as well) not worth spending the $800+ I needed to get it done properly. Also when I started this I was skint, so it made sense at the time. Now I might value my time, and others' expertise, higher.
- I live by the rule "how hard can it be?" and will give anything a go (spraypainting is the first thing that I might acknowledge as being a bit ferking tricky, actually. I have certainly learned my limits...). And I have had fun, although I now am tired of it and want to get it finished and get back to riding.
- 'Twas a good learning experience. And my arm muscles got some good and much-needed working out.
- I'll live with whatever this turns out like. I'd prefer it to be Not Completely Shit, though.