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How-To: Painting your pocketbike

Tools Needed:

1. Whatever tools that is required to remove the part to paint
2. Airbrush

1. Sandpaper, 400-600 grit
2. Tack cloth
3. Plastic adhesion promoter (primer)
4. Color paint
5. Clear coat
6. Reducer
7. Flex agent (If paint requires it)
8. Whatever tools that is required to remove the part to paint
9. Airbrush

When using an airbrush, many times you are required to thin the paint. Check out a local hobby store for an inexpensive airbrush kit (or a compressor and paint gun for larger projects).

If you're unsure of painting, try a practice piece or the back of the plastic piece you are painting.

Step 1- Remove part to be painted
Step 2- Clean thoroughly, Remove all grease and wax using a degreaser and a detergent.
Step 3- Wet sand, Wet sand lightly, so that the promoter will adhere better.
Step 4- Clean again, clean again with detergent and dry, or use a tack cloth.
Step 5- Plastic adhesion coat, Follow instructions on the can. Apply 2 coats and allow for drying time (time on can). DO NOT OVERSPRAY!

If you notice imperfections, you can wet sand again and apply another promoter coat.

Step 6- Paint. Follow instructions on the paint can. Wipe down lightly with a tack cloth to remove any dust or debris. You'll likely have to use a reducer at this point to thin out your paint mix (refer to the can or your airbrush instructions for details). Apply about 3-4 thin coats, allow for drying time per instructions on can between coats, in many cases over an hour. DO NOT OVERSPRAY! More coats may be needed, you want a smooth surface. Allow drying for 6-24 hours, the more coats, the longer the drying time. Don't touch while drying, yes it is wet, yes you will leave marks.
Step 7- Clear Coat. Follow instructions on the clear coat can. Wipe down lightly with a tack cloth to remove any dust or debris.

Apply about 2-4 coats, allow for drying time per instructions on can between coats, in many cases over three hours. DO NOT OVERSPRAY!

More coats may be needed; you want a smooth, bubble free surface. Allow to dry for a full 24 hours. Don't touch!

Step 8- READ THE LABELS. Check with the paint and clear coat maker about waxing information before using any wax. Most recommend not to in the beginning. The labels will also tell you any additional instructions the manufacturer recommends you follow.
Step 9- Reinstall part

PPG, DuPont, and ColorRite are good paints to use, here is some PPG info:
Plastic Adhesion Promoter - SXA1050
Reducer - DT870
Urethane Clearcoat - DCU2021
Hardener - DCX61
 

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For a beginner using a compressor and a detail gun, the pre-mix duplicolor paint sold in quarts at most auto stores works great. It's fairly flexible and you don't need to thin it, add reducer, or a hardener and flex agent. The only draw back is that color choices are limited. It also works well in small air brush guns tight out of the can.

Feel free to PM me for more details if you are interested. Keep in mind I am also no pro painter and only do this for a hobby.
 
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