This is the 20 oz. 6 CFM Gravity Feed Spray Gun by Central Pneumatic from Harbor Freight. It was my weapon of choice when I decided that it was time to attempt to paint the Shoei RF-700 blue. I had painted it red last year as practice in painting and to match my VFR. I only used spray paint for that project. It was not a good match, but it worked for the time being. This old RF-700 is about 12 years old. My Dad got it back in 1996 when he got back into motorcycles with the purchase of a ’96 Harley Road King. Anyways, onto painting it blue. The past few evenings that I have had free, I sanded the old red to get it nice and rough for painting.
The key is not to sand off ALL of the old paint, but just enough to roughen up the surface. I used a 100 grit paper with my electric hand sander. After sanding for about 20 minutes, I wiped down the helmet with a moist paper towel to clean off all dust particles. Then, it was time for the first coat of spray paint. I used Krylon Fusion for Plastics, which claims to not need sanding or priming, but I sanded anyways. It doesn’t hurt. I put about 3 or 4 coats on in 10-15 minute intervals. Then, I proceeded to sand lightly with a 220 grit paper. After this sanding, I noticed that I exposed a few small red spots. OOPS! I sanded too hard and too much! So, I went back and placed a few more coats on the helmet. The paint was near empty, so I proceeded to finish off the can, and this was probably overkill on coats for this base layer. I sanded ever so lightly again with my 220 grit paper. This time, I did not expose any old red paint! The base sat in my garage for a few days as I got busy in the evenings again. When I returned to working on it, I had to be sure to wipe the dust particles off. Although it was very little dust, this ensured that the next coats of the premium water-based custom paint by AutoAir Colors would not have any problems. This is where the spray gun came into use.
Before the spray gun, I tried my cheap, little airbrush that was also from Harbor Freight. It was not working too well, and I thought, “This will be a good time to try out the spray gun.” The first coat with the spray gun was almost a disaster! I did not realize how quick the paint was going to come out. I should have tested it with water alone on a dummy surface, but I figured it would be ok. I was dead wrong. I emptied the paint, cleaned out the gun thoroughly with warm water and made adjustments to the spraying volume. This resulted in a much better second coat. So, now I have put two coats of the blue AutoAir Colors paint on the helmet, and I am calling it a day. I am going to take photos of the helmet and start to mock-up designs with a graphics editing software. Below are photos of the first and second coats of the helmet to complete the transition from Krylon to AutoAir Colors.