Paint Your Side Covers
and Get Rid Of That Big Black Hole
So, which look do you prefer?
Getting rid of that big dark hole in the middle of your Classic, Nomad or Drifter is as easy as spraying on paint from a can. That is literally what you do but you have to pick the paint very carefully. The ColorRite Paint Company is the original equipment (OE) supplier for Kawasaki paint. Access their web site and, using their simple menu system find your bike and color.
You'll want to check the pricing so there are no surprises. This is not cheap stuff at $26 per can but it will match your O.E. paint. Instructions are sent with the paint and ColorRite has a support line if there are any problems.
In addition to deciding whether you want to do this you'll also want to determine whether a single matching color is enough or whether you (and your budget) want to match the two tone paint of your bike. If the latter you'll simply have to order both colors. These instructions won't delve into doing the two tone but basically it's the same as a single color but applying both colored portions before adding the clear coat.
1- Sheet of 600 (or higher number) grit wet sandpaper
1- Running water source or bucket of water
1 or 2- Can(s) ColorRite color paint
1- Can ColorRite clear paint
1- Dust/bug free area
1. Wet sand the covers thoroughly. You don't want any shiny spots at all. Using the 600 (or higher number) grit paper hold the covers under running water and scrub.
2. Dry the covers then sand any shiny spots. Dry again, sand again if necessary.
3. Find a couple of old spray paint cans and put a loop of tape on top of them. Stick your side covers to the tape so they're mounted atop the spray cans. This way you can paint every inch without worrying about the covers sticking to newspaper.
4. Be certain the covers are absolutely dry
5. Spray three light coats of color on your covers. (Three coats are the ColorRite recommendation) allowing about 15 minutes between coats. The time isn't critical but no longer than a half hour.
6. Allow a half hour for your last coat to dry and begin applying the clear coat. Two to three coats are recommended as a beginning.
7. Allow covers to dry overnight so you can handle them safely
If you've done this without applying any overly heavy coats you'll have nice shiny covers.
Just follow the instructions above except don't apply any clearcoat. Use high quality "professional" grade masking tape to mask any areas you don't want to paint. Spray on your color as above and wait a day or two. Now mask off the area you just painted and spray on your second color. You can now clearcoat the entire cover.
If you have painted your covers a single color then decide later you want to two tone them be certain you sand off the clearcoat in the area you want to add your new color and then (for safety) add a coat or two of regular automotive primer. If you don't do this the new color coat will "grab" any clearcoat you have left on the cover and form a wrinkle.
But wait, there's more!
If you want a superb job, ride the bike a couple of weeks then remove the side covers and wet sand very lightly with 1500 grit paper. Too much or too hard and you'll be back down to the black base and you don't want that. After sanding and drying thoroughly, add two or three more clearcoats. Allow to dry thoroughly and wet sand again. (remember, very lightly) use some standard polish (I use Maguiars products if it matters) to bring your work to a brilliant wet look. Wait a few more weeks before applying wax.
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