How to Paint a Motorcycle

Whether you’re looking to achieve a custom look for your bike or you want to restore it to its former glory, a paint job is the way to go.

It’s going to be easier to paint your motorcycle during a rebuild phase when the bike is apart, otherwise, you’ll need to be sure to use lots of take and cover for the parts that you don’t want to paint.

The basic steps for painting a motorcycle include:

  • Finding a well ventilated area that will be protected from airflow, dust, and debris while the paint dries.
  • If possible, remove the parts you plan to paint.
  • Clean the parts you want to paint to remove dirt and grime.
  • Sand the surface to remove the old paint and to give your new paint something to adhere to.
  • Clean and dry the sanded surface completely.
  • Apply a few thin coats of primer, allowing each coat to dry completely before the next.
  • Apply 5-6 thin coats of color, allowing each coat to dry completely before the next.
  • Finish with a couple thin coats of automotive clear coat.

Check out some of our recommendations for the best motorcycle spray paints to do it yourself.

Some tips to achieve a good result include:

  • Selecting primer, paint, and clear coat that are designed to work together.
  • Working in a dust-free area.
  • Applying thin coats.
  • Be sure to tape up any mounting points.

How Much is a Professional Motorcycle Paint Job?

If you want to hire a professional to do it, it’ll typically cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 to get your motorcycle painted.

This will often depend on how much you need painted, how much needs to be removed from the bike, and the type of paint/details you want.


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