A wise man once uttered the words 'Do it right, do it once.' I am unsure if he also said 'Measure twice, cut once' but I would like to think he did.
No words are truer when it comes to motorcycle building and to this specific topic: Paint.
Visit any car or bike forum out there and you will inevitably find many, many pages regarding the painting of bodywork.
The most popular and recurring theme seems to be 'Cheap paint options'. In other words, using hardware store aerosol to achieve decent results. A lot of these threads make for fun and interesting reading with a plethora of 'experts' chiming in.
There is the famous 'Paint your car with rustoleum and a roller for $50.00', painting rims with appliance epoxy, baking enamel etc.
I am not ashamed to admit that I wanted to take the cheap road less traveled. I read, re-read and looked at pictures. I even bought a cheap toaster oven from a charity shop to bake small items in.
Garbage. I won't even bother posting the pictures. I carefully cleaned, primed, did thin coats, etc.
I tried 'professional' enamels, cheap enamels, etc. There were runs (which I could sand out) and improper curing. One toolbox cover was perfect, until a light tap of the fingernail scratched the paint.
It was infuriating, a complete waste of time, money and energy.
Going back to the forums, there is always the one fellow (usually someone who did autobody or automotive painting) pointing out that cheap paint is false economy. He is the one to listen to!
Not wanting to waste any more of my resources and momentum I visited the local (automotive) paint supply store for help.
For $85.00 (CDN) I purchased proper primer, paint and clear coat. I have only used the primer thus far and I am incredibly pleased with it. No runs, quick cure and even spraying.
My first piece was an old licence plate frame with bad chrome that I sanded down. The results speak for themselves as I was left with a smooth matte finish. The black primer shows any flaws in the substrate, which avoids issues at the later stages. So far I have done the brake plate, rear hub, tank, rear frame.
I will never bugger about with inferior products again; It just doesn't pay to be cheap.
Until next time...