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The paint job on your motorcycle project can make or break the whole thing.
If you rush it or use the wrong paint, that bike you’ve poured months into restoring might run great again, but it’ll look like crap.
But it’s a misconception that you can’t achieve a great result with spray paint can.
You’ve got some options when it comes to the best types of paint for custom paint job on your motorcycle, but the most important aspect typically comes down to your prep work, your painting set up, and your finish work.
Continue reading for some of our recommendations on the types of spray paints to use and how best to execute your paint job.
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Best Spray Paint for Gas Tanks, Frames & Fairings: Top Rated Options
Adding some color to your motorcycle restoration can really make it stand out. You’ve got the option to go totally custom or replicate what it looked like stock off the showroom floor.
Some great choices for the best spray paint for motorcycles include:
- Dupli-Color Perfect Match Automotive Spray Paint
- Dupli-Color Premium Acrylic Enamel Spray Paint
- Rust-Oleum Automotive Spray Paint
Dupli-Color Perfect Match Automotive Spray Paint
This automotive spray paint is available in a wide variety of manufacturer-specific colors.
While you may not find a perfect stock match for older motorcycles, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from with this quality paint.
Dupli-Color Premium Acrylic Enamel Spray Paint for Motorcycles
This is a paint + primer that’s a great choice for motorcycle gas tanks, plastic parts, fiberglass parts, and metal.
Available in a variety of gloss and matte finishes.
Rust-Oleum Automotive Spray Paint
If you’re looking for a high-quality spray paint for a unique custom job, Rust-Oleum has some great colors to choose from that are available in metallic, gloss, and matte finishes.
Spray Paint for Motorcycle Engines & Exhaust Wrap
If you’re planning on repainting parts of your motorcycle engine or finishing up an exhaust wrap, you’ll need some paint that can withstand some serious heat while looking good and providing protection.
Some great choices for the best spray paint for engine blocks and other high-heat applications include:
- Performance Products Hi-temp Silicone Coating for Engine Blocks and Exhaust Wrap
- Dupli-Color Ceramic Gloss Black Engine Paint
- Rust-Oleum High-Heat Automotive Clear Coat Spray
Performance Products Hi-temp Silicone Coating
If you’re planning to add exhaust wrap to your motorcycle, a hi-temp silicone spray is the difference between a wrap that looks great and lasts long and one that looks like crap.
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Finish the job right with this.
Dupli-Color Ceramic Gloss Black Engine Paint
This is a quality engine spray paint designed to withstand heat up to 500 degrees F with a durable ceramic formula.
High gloss finish available in a wide variety of colors.
Rust-Oleum High-Heat Automotive Clear Coat Spray
A clear coat spray that resists temperatures up to 2,000 degrees F, stops rust, and stands up to oil, gas, grease, rust, salt, and moisture.
How to Remove Old Paint from your Motorcycle
If you plan on repainting your motorcycle’s frame, gas tanks, or body panels, you’ll need to remove the old paint before you start.
While there are plenty of paint strippers out there – many of them are extremely toxic and typically ineffective.
Your best bet for removing old paint is typically by sand blasting it or manually sanding it.
How to Spray Paint a Motorcycle
Painting your motorcycle with spray paint is not too difficult, but the prep, execution, and finish work will be important.
You should always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on the paint can for specifics, but here are some general steps to follow to get a good result.
- Prep the surface for paint by sanding off the original paint and any rust.
- For gas tanks or fairings, use some Bondo filler to fix and holes or imperfections. Allow it to cure and sand.
- Set up a painting area that will allow you to paint the entire part all at once. Somewhere you can hang your parts is always good. Make sure the area is well ventilated, but protected from wind, dust, and debris.
- Tape off any areas you don’t want to paint including internal holes and threaded parts.
- Apply a coat of primer, allow to dry, and sand as needed.
- Apply your color coats.
- Use thin even layers. Multiple rounds of thin coats will yield better results than too much paint at once.
- Allow to dry, and sand if necessary.
- Apply an automotive clear coat in a few thin coats.
- Sand as needed and wipe clean.
Learn more about painting a motorcycle.
Other Supplies You’ll Need to Paint Your Motorcycle
In addition to the engine paint and color paints, you should also pick up some:
- Automotive clear coat.
- Automotive primer.
- Bondo Body Filler.
- A variety of wet/dry sandpaper.
- Automotive painter’s tape.
A Good Paint Job is all about the Prep & Finish Work
Remember, no matter what part you’re painting or what type of paint you use, a good paint job really comes down to how well you’ve prepped the surface and the painting area, how well you’ve applied your thin coats, and how thorough you are with your finish sanding.
Take you time. Do some practice if needed.
Do you have experiences with any of these automotive spray paints? Maybe you’re using something different? Share your experience in the comments below.
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