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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
And as usual, after wasting hours and hours thinking about how to do it, and what materials to use, and what colors, etc.....etc....., it turned out kinda crappy. I bought the helmet a couple of months ago, and since I got it cheap, I figured on painting the ugly spider graphic on the sides (no insults to spiders intended). At first I thought I'd paint the helmet with an airbrush, but after a trial run on an old helmet, I decided that it would take about 4 hours and look like crap, so I found an auto spray gun in the barn, and decided that would be the way to go. I sent my wife to Napa to get black auto paint, and clearcoat, and set about masking the helmet (which by far was the most time consuming aspect of the project) The black paint went on pretty well, and I was really pleased with how the helmet looked with just the black paint, but I saw that the paint would be really easy to scratch, so I had to put on clearcoat. So I remasked the helmet and went to clearcoating my new pretty paint. The clearcoating was going well (or so I thought) and I finished and thought that all was well, and I was a really smart and thrifty guy. So I started to take the tape off thinking I'd want to do it while the clearcoat was still wet. And when I picked up the helmet, that's when I saw that around the bottom, there was like a 6 inch run that went all the way from the cheek to the back of the helmet [smiley=veryangry.gif] man was I pissed, I had already taken most of the masking tape off, and was really past the point of no return, so I dabbed a little laquer thinner from a rag onto the run hoping to blend it a little, and it sort of worked. So I've got a helmet that looks like it was painted by a retarded 4 year old (no insult intended to retarded 4 year olds). One cool thing that did work, I put a Ducati sticker on the back of the helmet and clearcoated over it, and it actually looks good. Does anyone know of a way to get the rough spots to smooth out in the clearcoat? I was going to get some really fine sandpaper and try to sand out the imperfections, but I don't know if it will work. Sorry that this is such a long post, but I figured if anyone else wanted to paint their own helmet, it's not really that difficult or expensive, as long as you aren't a total douche bag like myself :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
what grit of sandpaper would you recommend? I have some 600, should I go finer or rougher, I'm feeling better now, thanks! Plus I expected a smartass response from Herb ;D
 
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Just remember, if you snd through the clear and into the paint, you can always re-clear the thing. We all know you want to mask the trim again!
 
G

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I wouldn't have tried to smooth it with lacquer thinner.

I've painted a few cars, parts and even a trailer - the secret to painting is colorsanding (as the others have said).

As long as you have enough material laid down, almost any problems (runs, orange peel, dust in the paint, etc.) can be solved by colorsanding, buffing, then polishing.

It is time intensive - which is why pro shops need to get as perfect a finish laid down right out of the gun - but for a DIY'er with time on his hands, no big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Another quick and dumb question, thanks for all the replies so far, the clear is still a little soft this morning, should I wet sand right away, or should I let the clear harden for a few days before I begin, I'm a total newb at stuff like this, and I can see it going either way:......."it's real easy to sand while it's soft"........."don't sand it yet you [email protected], you'll scratch it all to hell, and it'll look like [email protected]". Thanks for any and all info!
 
G

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There are no stupid questions, only stupid people! ;D
What kind of paint did you shoot? Laquer can be sanded almost immediately, Catalyst paints(polyurethane) normally only need over night, Enamel dries real slow, but hardly anyone uses that crap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Honestly Herb, I don't really know, I used laquer thinner to clean it up, so.......I'd conclude that it's laquer (pretty wise way to find out eh?, I tried paint thinner at first, and that was a real train wreck.) :eek:. So after wet sanding for an hour or so, I got most of the runs taken care of, just a few spots that I didn't want to go too crazy on and sand through the clear ( I have a reallybad habit of going just a little too far and breaking bolts and windows, and etc...etc...etc...) so I stopped before I sanded through the finish. I had to get polishing compound (it sucks living 30 miles away from the nearest metropolis), and sat at the kitchen table and polished till my fingers were sore, and then waxed the finish to a pretty good shine. In conclusion, I'm pretty happy with the results, all in all, it turned our fairly well. There are a few screw ups, but you can't see them from more than a couple of feet, and it turned out better than most of my projects that I undertake with no knowledge of what the he!l I'm doing. If I had a digital camera (I know get with the 90's) I'd attempt to post a pic, but since I don't you'll have to accept my explaination. Thanks for all the helpful advice without it, I'd have a total turd on my hands (and an ugly helmet ;D) So I guess the spider is history :)
 
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