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How to paint plastic motorbike parts

Updated July 20, 2017

Whether the paint on your motorbike parts is cracked and failing or you just want to change the look of your ride, you can remove the paint on plastic motorbike parts and repaint them. Painting plastic motorbike parts is different than painting metal parts because of the difference in the surfaces. To ensure that the paint will stick to the plastic parts, you'll need to take a few extra steps and combine some additives into your paint.

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  1. If the paint on your plastic motorbike parts is failing, sand off the old paint or use a chemical stripper that is safe to use on plastic.

  2. If you paint is not failing, block sand it off using 120-grit sandpaper.

  3. After the old paint is removed, spray the parts with a primer that contains a flex agent. The flex agent allows for movement in the plastic so the paint won't crack and fall off.

  4. Spray a guide coat on the parts using an automotive paint gun. Let it dry and then sand it with 320-grit sandpaper.

  5. Spray another guide coat and let it dry.

  6. Dry sand the parts using 600-grit sandpaper, or wet sand the part using 400-grit sandpaper. Either method will yield about the same results.

  7. Use a wax and grease remover to clean the panels before you paint.

  8. Test your paint and paint gun on a test part to make sure that everything is working correctly. Then spray a light tack coat on the plastic motorbike parts.

  9. Spray two to three medium wet coats, letting the paint flash between each coat. When the paint flashes, this means that the reducer has evaporated and the paint is no longer wet but is still sticky. In 21 degree C (70 degree F) weather it takes about 10 to 15 minutes for paint to flash. However, if you are painting in direct sunlight, it can take only 3 to 5 minutes.

  10. Tip

    You can choose any type of car paint to paint your plastic motorbike parts; the key is to add the flex agent so the paint won't crack off. Adhesion promoter can also be sprayed on plastic motorbike parts. The tip you use on the paint gun will depend on the type of paint you are using.

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Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper or plastic-safe chemical stripper
  • Block sander
  • Wax and grease remover
  • Primer
  • Flex agent
  • Automotive paint gun

About the Author

Erin Stewart is a professional editor and copywriter who has served as a newspaper reporter, designer, and news editor, and currently works as part of a dynamic marketing communications team. Erin has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an editing minor from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

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