Awhile ago, Big Dog Rick came to me wanting a new paint scheme on his 2002 BDM. His current color combo was black over silver and the paint now suffered from many flaws, chips, dings, cracks and so forth. We discussed colors and he had a picture of a gas tank that was painted a marbelized blue. Knowing that Rick had a silver frame, I explained that we needed to incorporate silver into the paint scheme somehow. He thought old school flames would be best and I painted an old tank I had laying around to give him a couple of ideas. This included seeing firsthand what just solid marbelized blue would look like, a marbelized blue over silver design, a solid metallic silver flame, and a hard ghosted flame. Here's some pics of the tank. Rick chose the softer metallic ghosted flames and the work began. All primer, sealer, base coats, colors, candies and clears were House of Kolor products.. The tank on one side had a large gash in it that had lifted the paint (and bondo) beneath it. The first thing to do was remove the tank badges. This was done with a heat gun and some dental floss. Next was a thorough cleaning. You can see the cracks in the paint by the gas cap. They are the discolored areas. The paint was removed (and what a pain that was) and the first thing I discovered was lots of bondo. Not only that, but the split in the tank (by the gas cap) where the paint and bondo had lifted, was much worse than anticipated. Just hitting it with the air hose caused the bad bondo to fly everywhere leaving this "chip" in the tank. That's right, that's all bondo there! As you can clearly see, there was rust beneath the bondo and the paint causing a catastrophic bonding issue. And this wasn't the only spot. Down on the end of the tank, where the seat meets, there was a similar issue. Here you can appreciate how much bondo was on the tank. This was over 1/4" thick. As you can observe, I am already on the top layer of bondo only and look at how thick it is! Under the tanks I found the same problem. Paint was lifted (even though the integrity was still intact) and I found more rust under the bondo and paint. Other areas, like the rear fender here, were not as bad, but still needed attention. In addition, the fiberglass dash was completely cracked through and through in two spots down by the seat area. There was some other damage around bolt holes (the rear fender was fiberglass also) and plenty of dings and chips in the front (metal) fender. Overall, there was a lot of repair that needed to be done along with the intensive prep work. The underside of the front fender was sprayed with chassis undercoating. Plus the screw holes for the fender skirt were filled with JB Weld and grinded down. Rick didn't want to have to add the metal skirt on the bottom rear of the front fender. So, it was hours of taking the bondo off, sanding, grinding, etc. then having to re-do it all. The tanks were pretty rough (lots of hammer dings, rough welds, etc.) and that it why so much bondo was used. The bondo had to be shaped, sanded, reapplied, etc. Quite the process. I tried finding a collision shop and/or custom bike builder to do the work, as I am not much of a body guy. However, due to the amount of work needed the prices quoted were crazy. They ranged from $900 to $1400 just as an estimate (to strip, bondo, primer). And that wasn't a hard quote. So, I did the work and here is how it came out, with the first coat of primer over the bondo. Then more primer and final touch-up (pinholes, scratches) and then sealed. Next came black base coat. I did three coats, color sanded and added two more. Silver-White marbelizing was the next step. I would have loved to taken pics of spraying then laying the plastic wrap down and stuff, but temps here in the Phoenix area have been so high that the paint dries super quick. I made sure I had my plastic wrap ready to go, the marbelzing was laid on one piece and the wrap was put on immediately so it would not set up to hard. With outside temps over 100 during the day, the paint booth was mighty warm, even at night. I did a lot of the work late night/early a.m.. The booth is in a metal building and there is no AC or ventilation (other than the booth system). . I work fulltime (0500 - 1500) so I would head straight to the booth and paint to midnight or 0100. This was taking a definite toll on me I can tell you that. On days off I tried starting at 0500 and working until it was too hot. After the marbelizing came the Kandy Cobalt blue. Three coats provided a deep blue that looked really nice. 2 coats of intercoat clear was then shot, and I let it sit for a day due to temps. I came back at night, wet sanded the clear and began taping out the flames. Now, for those who do not know Rick, he is one tall glass of water. He is probably 6'5" or so. In laying out a flame design, Rick and I discussed having them run from front all the way to the rear, to give the impression of the fenders and tanks being longer. It took me almost three nights after work to finally get all my flames done so that I felt I had achieved the look we wanted. The taping took hours, since there were several flame "licks" some often connected, sweeping from the front all the way to the back. And trying to tape and retape, to match sides as closely as possible also adds to the amount of time involved in taping. So, here are the pieces, taped out ready for metallic silver. I used an airbrush to spray the metallic silver. I wanted solid enough silver on the edges and tips, leaving the body more transparent. Having the longer flames meant more silver would be in the design and will help tie the tins in with the frame. Here is the silver after being sprayed, and before being cleared. Several coats of clear were sprayed then wet sanded and re-cleared. I let the final clear set up for two days, then went in and color sanded and buffed it out, resulting in the final product. I still have to add the badges back on the tanks. Once the tins are on the bike, I am sure Rick will take some pics and add them to this thread. So that's just a quick step by step (mostly) for the paint job. In reality it was hours and hours of work, repairing, prepping, touching up, painting, sanding, taping, you name it. Any painter (who does all the work) will tell you. A painter is a sander, who gets to paint a little bit. I hope you folks enjoy the thread, just thought I would throw it out there.