How to Paint a Motorcycle Flat Black

Written by jenny carver | 13/05/2017

Flat black was a big trend in the days of rat rods and early street racing. The fad went out for a while and shiny chrome trim was in. Now flat black is coming back on motorcycles and cars, though it can always be in style if done right. Learn how to paint a motorcycle flat black and make your bike stand out from the crowd of shiny, chromed-out bikes.

Tape off any areas of the motorcycle that won't be painted. Remove parts that are hard to get to or that have hard-to-reach surface areas. Sit them up on paper or a flat surface that can get overspray on it.

Sand all parts that are to be painted. Use 800 grit sandpaper and sand until the area is dull and smooth. Wipe all parts with a rag, and wax and grease remover.

Spray a thin coat of single-stage flat black paint on the surface. Start at the front and work your way to the rear of the motorcycle.

Allow the coat to dry for about 30 minutes and spray another coat. Spray three or four coats, allowing each 30 minutes to dry between coats. Allow the paint to dry completely before touching or putting the parts back together.


Use single-stage paint so that no clear coat is needed.


Never spray paint without using a painter's mask.

Tips and warnings

  • Use single-stage paint so that no clear coat is needed.
  • Never spray paint without using a painter's mask.

Things you need

  • Pre-flattened black automotive paint
  • Painter's mask
  • Spray gun
  • Air compressor
  • Rag
  • Wax and grease remover
  • Masking tape and paper
  • Sand paper

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