Useful Tips

How to paint a motorcycle


DIY motorcycle painting is a rather interesting thing, but no less laborious. There are a lot of reasons to paint your bike, starting with the banal removal of rust or the consequences of falls, until the image changes, the color of the technique. We have prepared a description of “how to paint a motorcycle?”, Which will help you navigate in the process and facilitate the work.

Paint and Primer Selection

Let's start with the selection of suitable paints and varnishes. First of all, we buy the soil of grades GF-021 or FL-03K, they are considered to be one of the best for our business, since they do not react with the main coating and have good adhesion.
Next - paint, it is represented by a huge variety, but we choose mainly from three:

  • Nitro enamel is the most popular option. It has a low price, dries quickly, has a huge selection of shades. These are the main advantages of the material. Of the shortcomings - a faint shine, which in general is not so important. More unpleasant moments are low resistance to the effects of chemical materials and poor resistance to mechanical stress. Seasonal option - painted, season departed, the paint was washed off with gasoline on the tank, suffered from drops of oil or from flying sand in motion. In winter - he disassembled the motorcycle, painted parts again.
  • Alkyd paints. A more practical option that holds chemical solvents firmly is resistant to mechanical damage. Alas, you have to pay in rubles for such advantages, and alkyd paints cannot offer a special variety of colors. But the paint is easy to use, so applying it in a garage is simple.
  • Acrylic paints. An intermediate version, which has mechanical resistance, an excellent set of colors, is easy to apply, but also easy to rinse with gasoline. So with this paint you can paint almost all parts except the tank. If you drip with gasoline, the color immediately changes to a dimmer shade.

As a result, the choice is always yours and it is based on how often you are ready to disassemble the motorcycle for painting. If there is not much money, but enough time, then nitro enamels will work just right. For other cases, it is worth taking alkyd paints or acrylic for everything (except the tank).


With the paint sorted out, now you need to buy a set of everything you need. We will need:

  • degreaser (white spirit),
  • washing off old paint,
  • sandpaper,
  • paint thinner
  • putty,
  • masking tape
  • air compressor with spray gun and a set of sprayers.

The last item can cost as much as painting, so you can rent a machine.


When all the materials are on hand, you can begin the preparatory work. It is worth noting that they take up most of the time, but it is the preparation that will determine the future success.
How to paint a motorcycle at home? - First of all, we prepare the place of work. It is best to thoroughly clean in advance - vacuum the floor, stick a film under the ceiling to get rid of the falling dirt. You can spill some water on the floor so that the dust does not rise.

  1. We determine the scope of work, if we repaint the part, then we remove it from the motorcycle, if we tint the area, then we separate it with masking tape and go to the next points.
  2. We wash the item from dirt and oil.
  3. We smooth the surface, if necessary we carry out welding work.
  4. Remove the paint layer with sandpaper, a special nozzle on a power tool or a chemical wash.
  5. Degrease the cleaned surface and proceed to mixing the soil.
  6. Apply 3-4 coats of primer.
  7. We dry the item for 2-3 days at normal temperature or at 100 degrees (until dry).
  8. We apply putty on the primed surface (if necessary), trying to make the layer as thin as possible.
  9. We align the putty areas with 600 sandpaper, and the entire part is 1000.

The process of painting a motorcycle begins with the mixing of paint. First, it needs to be filtered several times, and then, if necessary, diluted with a solvent.

We charge the spray gun, adjust the spray spot, and apply the first layer at a distance of 25 - 35 cm. It should be thin and considered developing. After applying it, we look at the part in order to detect defects in previous works and eliminate them in time.

Work with a spray gun is a real skill. First of all, you should carefully configure the remote control so that the applied layer is within 80 - 120 microns. It should be kept at right angles to the surface, with deviations of not more than 10 degrees.
The paint is applied in strips, with an overlap of 4-6 cm. In this case, the hand moves at a speed of about 40 cm / s.

We are waiting for the paint to dry. Lightly grind the first layer and apply the second.
Again, wait for the layer to dry, lightly grind and apply the finish - the third layer. On this, painting the motorcycle with your own hands is completed.

Useful Tips

Dramatically changing the color, make sure that the documents are in order, for this you should contact the traffic police.

You can replace the spray gun and the air compressor with paint in the spray can, but the level of such work will be very low, and is suitable if you like low-quality options for painting the motorcycle.

Avoid working with the brush, in some cases, it can fix cracks when painting directly.

Before painting or priming, you should practice a little on a similar metal surface.

Do not forget about personal protective equipment - a respirator and goggles.

To see all the nuances of painting in the garage, at least for a while, shadowless lighting should be present. To get the finished version, the painted surface should be polished.

Choose a color for the motorcycle

The color of the motorcycle reflects the preferences of its owner. The most common are still three colors: black, red, blue.

Most motorcyclists adhere to the unspoken rule. You can paint in any color, only if it is not metallic. This attitude to metallic is caused by several circumstances. Firstly, such paint is expensive and difficult to apply at home. Secondly, all scratches and errors are noticeable on the metal. How to paint a motorcycle, what color to choose is a personal matter for everyone.

As a rule, repainting a motorcycle is carried out in three colors. One color is used for the frame, the other for the tank, guards and various protection. The third color is used for small parts. But no one forbids to paint everything with one color.

Types of paint and their selection

The choice of paint is based on two points:

  • At the cost of paint.
  • On the difficulty of applying at home.

The following types of paints are used to paint a motorcycle:

Such paints are in greatest demand, since they have a relatively low price and are quite simple to use. This paint dries quickly. Another advantage of the paint is a wide range of colors. At the same time, it has several disadvantages. Firstly, it gives the surface a faint sheen. Secondly, nitro paints have low resistance to chemical and mechanical influences. However, such a coating is ideal for tinting small parts.

This type of paint has a high cost. This is a major flaw. Also, the set of colors is quite limited. Alkyd paints have undeniable advantages. The application technology is simple, which allows you to paint at home. The paint has a high resistance to fading, to chemical attack, the coating strength is very high.

This is caused by the drying speed of the paints, their composition, method of application. In addition, such paints are less susceptible to mechanical stress. Resistance to chemical irritants is very weak. A tank painted with such paint will definitely change its color when gasoline enters, as the paint will gradually wash off.

When choosing a paint, you should consider how often you are ready to repaint the motorcycle. Cheaper options will be less persistent and the original presentable look will deteriorate very quickly.

Do it yourself primer and paint your motorcycle

Before proceeding to painting surfaces, they must be primed. There are special nitro primers in aerosol cans. This form of release allows the surface to be primed very quickly and with high quality. To prepare the surface - extreme necessary if expensive dye is used. If any parts have dents or deep scratches before putting on the primer, such places should be puttied.

Soil is necessary so that the paint goes better. By and large, starting to paint, you should remove the old paint from the motorcycle. If there is no time or desire for this, you can walk the skin on the cracks of paint, in places with rust. After the surface is machined, it must be degreased. To do this, purchase a solvent. Only then is the primer applied. Only after the soil has dried up is a dye applied. DIY paint is not very difficult.

Motorcycle color tips and tricks

  • Before repainting a motorcycle in a different color, you need to contact the traffic police and get permission. All actions to change the color must be legalized.
  • To paint the motorcycle, you may need a special device for applying paint, as well as a heat chamber. The spray gun is necessary so that the paint lies evenly. Alternatively, spray paints may be used.
  • When applying soil to the prepared surface, do not smear it with a brush.
  • A surface primed with a nitro primer is best to be painted immediately. Degreasing such a surface will be difficult.
  • Applying a color layer is not the last step. The surface must be carefully polished. This will remove small flaws and make the surface more resistant to impacts. Directly, you can use a drill with a felt circle and a special polish.

Letter designations of paints and varnishes

Labels of all colors contain many signs, with the help of which the raw materials and the purpose of the material are “encrypted”:

  • melamine alkide (ML),
  • epoxy (EP),
  • styrene alkyd (MS),
  • phenolic (FL),
  • nitrocellulose (SC),
  • organosilicon (KO).


The motorcycle tank can be painted with various materials, it is worth highlighting several groups:

  • waterproof (4),
  • heat resistant (8),
  • chemically resistant (7),
  • special, specific properties (5),
  • oil-, petrol-resistant (6),
  • electrical insulating (9),
  • primers (0),
  • putties (00).

If you are interested in a rental car, here you can rent a car without a driver

"Painting instruction"

  1. The first stage - spread the polyester putty and try to quickly apply it on the surface of the gas tank. It is not necessary to stir the putty in large quantities, otherwise you will not have time to cover the surface of the structure with it, the polyester tends to dry quickly.
  2. Rough skins go further and the surface of the tank is washed with water. When you reach a smooth surface, you can take up the primer. The primer can be herbal, pore-filling and single-component.
  3. When you see the first results of your work - a smooth and even surface - it remains only to wipe and dry it. Tape with special masking tape parts that do not need to be painted.
  4. Buy paint only from trusted manufacturers.
  5. Mix the paint in stages, start with pigment.
  6. How to breed pigment, you can read on the label with instructions. Spray through all the bends, openings and corners. Pigment is applied in a thin layer on the part. We wait a quarter of an hour and proceed directly to the painting itself. Remember, the number 3 is the minimum number of layers. After applying the paint, it is important to varnish the area.

Motorcycle tank art painting

If you want more so that the motorcycle reflects your character and attracts many admiring glances, you can resort to the services of an expert in airbrushing. Despite the fact that there are also painting frames, drawings look best on the tank. Due to fluorescent and luminescent luminous paints, the work done will be unique and at the same time challenging.