How to Paint Fiberglass Fairings
linda / 2012-09-27
Painting fiberglass motorcycle and personal watercraft fairings is a relatively straightforward task, but keep a few things in mind: Use the appropriate paint; prepare the surface; apply multiple thin coats; and mask off the surrounding areas. The recommended paint for fiberglass fairings is polyurethane or epoxy. However, even a spray paint such as Krylon will do a satisfactory job. Most factory colors are available in polyurethane aerosol spray cans. See the resources below.
Begin by preparing the work area. Doing the job in the garage would be best. If necessary the job can be accomplished outside in a low dust, shady spot out of the wind. Put down a drop cloth, plastic sheet or large piece of cardboard. Wash the fairings well with mild soap and water. Let dry.
Isolate the fairings areas to be painted. Removing the fairings from the motorcycle or personal watercraft is recommended. A satisfactory job can be accomplished without removing the parts as long as the surrounding areas are masked. Using a good quality masking tape, carefully tape off all surfaces adjacent to the area that will be painted. Use thin plastic sheeting to cover the entire bike, tape the plastic sheet carefully along all the areas adjacent to the exposed area to be painted. Make sure there are no gaps or untaped areas where the spray paint can penetrate. Double check that all areas are well masked and that the tape is firmly secured, check that there are no areas where over-spray can land on the bike.
Lightly sand the entire area to be painted. Use fine grit sandpaper, 280 or 220. Rip the sandpaper sheet in half and fold the sandpaper in thirds. Float the edge of the sandpaper on the fingertips to carefully sand right up to the taped edge. Be careful to avoid sanding the tape.
Wipe down with a clean dust free rag. Then, using the tack cloth, removed all particulate matter from the surface.
Spray paint the fairings. Shake the aerosol spray can for a minimum of two minutes. Practice spraying on some scrap cardboard. A light even spray is called for. Accomplish this by spraying in sweeping strokes. Never spray while holding the can stationary. Practice this on the scrap. When you have a feel for it, spray the fairings. Do not fuss about the first coat covering completely. Let dry. Apply a second coat. Let dry. Repeat as necessary.
Spray the clear coat. When the color base coat has been applied to your satisfaction, let dry completely. Using 320-grit sandpaper, very lightly sand the newly painted area. Tack clean. Spray the clear coat in the same manner as above. Additional clear coats are recommended.