Sorry for not posting tips/pointers initially, kinda a duh' thing now that I think about it LOL. Well lets see, I used a slightly different method for smoking the stock blinkers as compared to painting the other pieces, so here's what I did. Just a side note too...I am not a painter by trade, I'm a desk jockey in the Air Force, so these are likely small improvement type jobs that most anyone can do on their own.
TURN SIGNAL LENSE
I just did a search for how to do this...so here's a link to shoot you in the right direction Lexus LS400: How to Smoke/Tint Tail Lights
PAINTING SIDE PANEL, HEADLIGHT, FORKS
I don't take the same method used by pro painters when painting auto pieces, primarily just because it turns out better for me when doing it my way. I start out with 800 grit sand paper and wet sand the pieces first...the trick is to keep the paper really wet and try not to spend too much time in one place; if you score it too deep you will wind up with dimples in the part. After you've got it scored completely, take and wash the part with soapy water then rinse clean. Next you need to dry the part completely...any wet spots left on the part prior to paint will not turn out properly. Once you get it dry take a clean rag/paper towel and pour some rubbing alcohol on it, now rub the part down with the alcohol soaked rag until you've covered/cleansed every inch of it. All this does is ensure that you've got all grease/oil type products (even your greasy finger prints) off the part, again this will just make the paint hold that much better. From here you can either let the alcohol dry on it's own, or dry it with another towel/etc...don't leave any lint behind to paint over though. My method is that aside from using the 800 grit sand paper to begin with, I won't use any more unless required; if for some reason the paint begins to pit or run, I'll let it dry completely and use 2000 grit paper to smooth it back out, but I don't plan to use any sand paper between coats. I bought RUST-O-LEAM Paint for Plastic (Gloss Black) from Advanced Auto Parts for the color, and any clear coat paint for autos. I found that the gloss black tends to pit and create an orange peal effect when used alone, so I mix the clear in to the process to create the smooth effect, then cap the top layer off with the gloss black.
Supplies (for all parts at one time)
- 6 cans gloss black Rust-O-Leam Paint for Plastic
- 6 cans for automobile Clear Coat Acrylic paint
- A pack of 800 grit sand paper
- Plastic sheeting (cover your bike when doing the forks)
- Masking tape
- Rubbing Alcohol
- 2000 grit sand paper (for turn signals and corrections on other parts as needed)
- And assorted tools for removing wheel/parts
- Wet sand the part (800 grit)
- Clean with soap and water, then dry
- Clean with rubbing alcohol, then let air dry or dry with towel
- Apply 1st coat of gloss black paint...don't over do it at the start; better light initially; let dry 5-10mins
- Apply 2nd coat of gloss black paint...a good indication to stop on this coat is when all chrome has gone; let dry 5-10mins
....here you can move on to the clear (you should see an orange peal effect already with the gloss black) to smooth the paint out (not sure why, but 3 coats of clear tends to make the part silky smooth), but I usually throw one more coat of gloss black on it
- Apply 3 coats of clear now...you can be a little more liberal with the clear, but don't go overboard; you don't want it to run; wait 5-10mins between coats
...following the clear coat application your part will be very smooth, however it will not be as shiny as the gloss black is, that is why I finish the process with another coat or two of the gloss black
- Apply 1 coat of gloss black, ensure you cover the entire part, but keep the layer as thin as you can...the more you put on the better chance of creating the pitting you corrected earlier; allow to dry 10-20mins
...check your part and see if the part is glossy like the rest of the bike, if not, you need to go with another coat; repeat the last step, but remember to try and keep the coat of gloss black as thin as you can
Once finished...DO NOT touch the part for at least 10-12 hours, it takes a while for all those coats to dry; if you get in a rush and try to get the part on too quickly, you WILL leave finger prints...trust me, I know
As for hanging the part, I just used fishing line and tried to anchor it from somewhere that didn't show on the part; make sure your line isn't going to touch any painted piece of the part either, because if the wind blows or it sways it will ruin your hard work.
Well I hope this helps...I know it seems like a lot, but it's not too difficult. The biggest thing is taking the time to do it all, it's something that will take up the better part of your day, so plan ahead.
Posted some pics to the gallery for you Rtrombone, or should I call you Tom Cruise LOL (profile pic)...that dance he did at the end of Tropic Thunder was hilarious!