Tank paint restoration

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CanCB650
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:31 am
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Tank paint restoration

Postby CanCB650 » Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:39 pm

Hey All,

I've got a 79 CB650 with the original paint on the tank. Over the years some of the paint has gotten added, scuffed, cracked, etc etc everything else you would expect with a bike of this age.. I really like the character of the paint and patina that has developed over time and would like to keep it rather than blasting and repainting the tank.

I have no idea how to go about re-detailing the paint to get it looking all shiny and nice. Any suggestions/tip should be greatly appreciated along with some recommended products.

Thank you

michael_650
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:13 am

Re: Tank paint restoration

Postby michael_650 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:50 am

Nobody's getting back to you, so I'll share what I know and let everybody else tell me how wrong I was. :D :D :D

Remove the tank from the bike and drain all the gas you can. If you don't get it all, just be aware that there is some in there, and be careful when you roll the tank around. Clean the tank completely with mineral spirits and a rag. Remove the badges. Clean every nook and corner and crevice you can find with fingernail brushes, toothbrushes, whatever you can find. Pick up several varieties of dry/wet sanding paper from your automotive supplier; everything from 120 to 1000; 2000 if you can find it. 120 is reserved for the worst of the worst areas. I suggest you start with 400, then move to 120 if it's not aggressive enough. Put the tank on a milk carton or small work table near the outdoor hose. Run a small amount of water out of the house, keeping the surface wet at all times. Enough to rinse away dirt, not enough to splash back and drench you. Start rubbing very gently all over with the 400 grit until things look uniform and smooth. Rinse all over very well, wipe with a rag. Repeat with 600, 800, 1000, 2000. The finish should start to look uniform all over. Next step is to use a clean rag and apply automotive rubbing compound (red, if i remember right), buffing everywhere until both arms ache and you're near tears. Repeat with polishing compound (white, if i remember right). This is like the rubbing compound, but finer grit. Don't be overly aggressive with any step, or you run the risk of wearing through the paint. You're just trying to take off the "rough" outer coat of paint, smoothing what's left. After the polishing compound, it's time for a coat or three of your favorite automotive wax. I've also heard people using jeweler's rouge, buffing to a high luster. Your mileage may vary, but this is the formula I've used.

Make sure you post before/after pics! Can't wait to see the project.

michael_650
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:13 am

Re: Tank paint restoration

Postby michael_650 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:01 pm

I came across this article today.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/harley_paintin.htm

CanCB650
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:31 am
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Re: Tank paint restoration

Postby CanCB650 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:40 am

michael_650 wrote:Nobody's getting back to you, so I'll share what I know and let everybody else tell me how wrong I was. :D :D :D

Remove the tank from the bike and drain all the gas you can. If you don't get it all, just be aware that there is some in there, and be careful when you roll the tank around. Clean the tank completely with mineral spirits and a rag. Remove the badges. Clean every nook and corner and crevice you can find with fingernail brushes, toothbrushes, whatever you can find. Pick up several varieties of dry/wet sanding paper from your automotive supplier; everything from 120 to 1000; 2000 if you can find it. 120 is reserved for the worst of the worst areas. I suggest you start with 400, then move to 120 if it's not aggressive enough. Put the tank on a milk carton or small work table near the outdoor hose. Run a small amount of water out of the house, keeping the surface wet at all times. Enough to rinse away dirt, not enough to splash back and drench you. Start rubbing very gently all over with the 400 grit until things look uniform and smooth. Rinse all over very well, wipe with a rag. Repeat with 600, 800, 1000, 2000. The finish should start to look uniform all over. Next step is to use a clean rag and apply automotive rubbing compound (red, if i remember right), buffing everywhere until both arms ache and you're near tears. Repeat with polishing compound (white, if i remember right). This is like the rubbing compound, but finer grit. Don't be overly aggressive with any step, or you run the risk of wearing through the paint. You're just trying to take off the "rough" outer coat of paint, smoothing what's left. After the polishing compound, it's time for a coat or three of your favorite automotive wax. I've also heard people using jeweler's rouge, buffing to a high luster. Your mileage may vary, but this is the formula I've used.

Make sure you post before/after pics! Can't wait to see the project.


Hey thank you very much for the suggestion! I cant wait to give it a try. I'll definitely report back with the results.

Thanks!


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