Many people ask me why I do things the way I do? I thought I would add this
page to help explain why I choose to use the methods and procedures I do.
This is not a HOW TO, it's a HOW COME
The first thing I do is remove ALL the old paint. I do not know what is under the old paint, or if it was applied correctly. I can not stand
behind work I did not do. I don't care if it was applied by a "professional" painter or if it is the factory finish. Both make mistakes, and
the last one to work on it is always the one held responsible.
Below are some pics of paint that would have eventually failed. If I were to have used it as a base for my paint, it would have peeled,
and I would have been blamed.
This is the front of the fender.
The paint looks fine at first
From the side, you can see a
faint line that runs the length of
the fender just above the rivits.
This line is from a pinstripe that
was painted over. If the stripe is
not completely removed, it will
ghost itself back in the new finish.
This is hard to see in the
pics, but runs or drips
under the rivits are usually
a sign of a repaint.
Although I have seen this
on factory paint, it is rare.
Although the paint appeared to be in good condition, the first layer
was already starting to separate. All it took was a razor blade and
10 minutes to remove what turned out to be 3 paint jobs. After all
the scraping was finished, the rest of the fender was sanded to
bare metal. These parts can also be stripped with a blasting media
that doesn't create heat distortion, these were sanded to better
illustrate my point.
In this pic you can see the different layers of paint. The dark
lines is the shiney clear from the previous paint jobs. Its like
looking at the rings of a tree. The shiney spots tell me there
was MINIMUM prep on these previous paint jobs. You can also
see the pinstripes from the previous paint jobs. Its hard to see
in the pic, but the first paint job was purple with a small blue
and small silver stripe, the next two paint jobs were black pearl
with a wide purple and small silver stripe. The last paint was
black pearl with no stripe.
All paint has been removed and it is time for me to
apply a new primer base. When I do it this way, I don't
have paint failure.
Above is a series of pics showing clearcoat separating on a brand new Harley Davidson fender. This fender probably would have been
fine for years before the peeling started on its own. But when you repaint it, the solvents from the new paint will break what is left of the
bond between the two coatings causing it to peel even easier. Of course the clear is all that peels, leaving the purple shiney base behind,
making someone believe their painter didn't do a good job. This is why I strip all parts.
Stripping parts can add a good bit of cost to any project. This is where painters cut costs......in the prep......the part you don't see.......until
it's too late. I stand behind what I do, and I don't depend on someone else's work to be right.
The above fender obviously has adhesion problems. This fender is off a brand new motorcycle with less than 100 miles. The peeling was
started with my razor blade to illustrate a point. The factory does not turn out PERFECT work, they make mistakes too. We have no way to
determine exactly which paint job will fail, and which paint job is a good base. Therefore, we remove ALL old paint. Our base is layed down
properly, and each and every coat above it. This is the first corner cut when looking for the cheapest price, this is another reason we are not
the cheapest..... we don't cut corners.
We used a Harley-Davidson fender to illustrate our point. We don't want to pick on Harley-Davidson, so to be fair we should tell you, we see
this same problem with all motorcycle manufacturers. Of course not every bike is like this, but it is more common than most would think. This
fender probably would have been fine for many years on the bike. Its when one of these gets repainted when the real problems start. The
solvents from the new paint can finish loosening the old finish making it peel much easier.....taking the new paint with it.