How to paint your scooter using spray paint at home

This tutorial will walk you through the steps to repaint your scooter (or any vehicle) using spray cans at home. This is what my scooter looks like after respraying it. I’m not a professional, this is my first time working with most of this stuff. If I can do it so can you.

Yamaha Vino YJ50 Scooter

Part 1: Supplies you will need:

Sandpaper

- 80 Grit

- 180 Grit

- 400 Grit Wetordry

- 800 Grit Wetordry

-1200 Wetordry

800 grit sandpaper for diy scooter paint project400 grit sandpaper for diy scooter paint project1200 grit sandpaper for diy scooter paint project180 grit sandpaper for diy scooter paint project80 grit sandpaper for diy scooter paint project180 grit sandpaper for diy scooter paint project

Primer

- I used Pro Form High Build Primer

Pro form High build primer diy project

Acrylic Base Coat

- Any color you want. For the classic style scooter I went with the colours of Italy. Red, White and Green

PlasticKote base coat for diy paint project

Acrylic Clear Coat (optional for flat colours)

- I like using clear coat, it adds that extra layer of protection and brings out the shine

IMG_3102

Respirator

- Paint fumes suck, protect your lungs

3M respirator for diy project

Wax and grease remover (This is to clean the parts of old wax and grease prior to painting them)

- I used a Pro Form general purpose adhesive cleaner

Pro Form general purpose adhesive cleaner

Lint free cloth wipes

lint free clothes

Sanding Block

Sanding block for diy scooter paint project

Masking tape

Masking tape for diy scooter paint project

Body Filler and mixing board

Body filler for diy scooter paint projectfiller mixing board for diy scooter paint project

Gloves (You don’t want body filler and paint all over your hands – that’s no good)

Gloves for diy scooter paint project

Trim pry tools - This is to remove any trim or logos from your body

Trim removers for diy scooter paint project

Spray bottle (to easily spray wax and grease remover where you are working)

Spray bottle for diy scooter paint project

Part 2 – prep work

Now that you have all of the supplies you need, it’s time to get to work. I will demonstrate how to paint your project with my Yamaha Vino YJ50 Scooter. It had a bunch of scratches and it was an opportunity to give it a fresh look. Here’s the before photos.

Red yamaha vino yj50 paint projectRed yamaha vino yj50 paint projectRed yamaha vino yj50 paint projectRed yamaha vino yj50 paint projectRed yamaha vino yj50 paint project

Step 1. Wash every part you will paint and then wipe it down with wax and grease remove.

This is a boring step, but it pays off. The cleaner your parts are that you are repainting the easier it is. And you don’t get dirt on your nice new paint when moving parts around. When using wax and grease remove use one cloth to wipe it on and another to wipe it off. Or spray it on using a spray bottle and then wipe it off.

Step 2. Tape off anything that you don’t want to paint.

Important tip #1. Make sure to tape off all small holes. I missed a couple, and even though the holes were tiny the overspray still went through them and ended up everywhere it wasn’t supposed to be.

Important tip #2. Don’t use newspaper. During the process I taped off some newly painted areas with newspaper and it was a bad idea. The ink of the newspaper rubbed off on the piece and I had to re sand it. The next time I used printer paper and the result was much better.

Take your time when taping. The final quality will reflect how well you taped off any areas you don’t want painted. I taped all important stickers (with serial numbers and such) and any part I couldn’t remove but didn’t want sprayed.

Step 2. Sand any scratches.

Start with 180 grit sand paper around any dents or scratches. Sand gently until it is smooth. Sand in two directions. Sort of a crosshatch style. I started sanding aggressively to get rid of the scratches and then much more gently. You don’t want to sand too firmly because that will create deep scratches from the sandpaper that may show up later when painting.

DIY scooter re spray

The above pic shows a part after using 180 grit sand paper on some scratches.

Step 3. Use body filler if you need it.

If you have any deep scratches that you can’t sand smooth you will need to use the body filler.

When mixing body filler make sure you mix the hardener and putty really smooth. Should all be 1 color. Use 50 parts filler to 1 part hardener. The method I was taught to do was put squeeze one thin line of  hardener over the putty you are using.

Apply the bondo in thin smooth layers. Don’t apply more than 1/4 inch at a time. The smoother you apply it the easier it will be to sand. I waited about 30-45 minutes until the bondo was mostly set. Shape it with 80 grit sandpaper. Once you have the shape you need, then move back to 180 grit sandpaper. Sand it until it is smooth. (Don’t sand too hard, you don’t want to leave deep scratches)

Step 4. Final sand (the smoother the prep work the better the paint finish)

Next sand the entire piece with 400 grit wet or dry sand paper. Sand everything until it is nice an smooth. I used my hand to go over the sanded area to check for scratches. When it feels as smooth as glass I know it is ready. Don’t worry about the really tiny scratches. Those get filled in with the primer.

Step 5. Clean off any sanding dust

Next clean off the part with wax and grease remove. Wipe it off with a clean rag.

DIY repainting yamaho vino scooter

Step 6. Paint the primer

In a dust free area paint your primer. ( I didn’t really have one so I hung a sheet of plastic on the ceiling of my shed to stop dust from falling down)

Wait 10-15 minutes between coats. I painted 2-3 coats to get a nice smooth finish.

DIY repainting yamaho vino scooter

Step 7. Sand the primer until it is smooth.

Use 400 grit sand paper to sand the piece until it is smooth. I sand the entire part I will be spraying at this stage.

Step 8. Again clean everything with wax and grease remove

Step 9. Paint the base coat.

A simple trick to make the paint flow nicely is to warm up the spray can in hot water for about 15 minutes before using it. The shake the can for about 60 seconds to get an even flow. Hold the can about 8-12 inches away from the area you are spraying and use smooth hand movements to cover the area. I spray from one end to the next with each movement.

Spray edges and hard to reach areas first. Overlap each spray by about half it’s width. This is to get an even covering of paint.

Wait 15 minutes between coats and spray about 3-4 coats. Don’t rush the dry time. I did on one piece and the paint cracked when it dried. That part needed to be re-sanded and painted again.

Step 10. Check for dust.

We’re doing this at home remember. There is likely dust. There was for my pieces.

DIY yamaha vino scooter spray paint DIY yamaha vino scooter spray paint

If there is any dust in your paint, no fear, use 800 grit wet sand paper to sand everything nice and smooth. (wait until your pieces have dried for at least 1 hour before sanding the dust)

Wet your sand paper and and use water to keep it wet while sanding. Sand gently, you don’t want to sand aggressively, just enough to smooth the pieces. If you want a glassy smooth finish, you can sand all your parts this way after the base coat. This will help prevent the bumpy “orange peel” finish that some people get from spray paint. I sanded everything before using the clear coat and I didn’t get an orange peel finish.

Step 11. The clear coat

Applying clear coat

Make sure you warm up your clear coat spray cans for 15 minutes in hot water prior to using them. You want the spray to come up as smoothly as possible.

Spray 3 coats. Again about 15 minutes between each coat.

Leave everything to dry overnight before driving or assembling the parts.

Congrats!

There you have it. A DIY paint job from start to finish. Depending on how big your job this will take 2-3 days. So a long weekend.

Let me know of any projects you are doing in the comments.

Here is how my project turned out.

Yamaha vino yj50Fresh paint on yamaha vino yj50Fresh paint on yamaha vino yj50Fresh paint on yamaha vino yj50Fresh paint on yamaha vino yj50

Resources (YouTube videos)

How to paint plastic bumpers with spray paint

Spray paint 101

How to buff a car correctly

My favorite collection of YouTube auto body tutorials


Jonathan Whiting

I help people build better web apps and make a difference in the world. I enjoy sharing what I am learning and find interesting. I live on the Left Coast of Canada with my wife. Follow me on Twitter.


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Comments

  1. hey thanks for the advice by the way i just want to know how to remove dust particles from scooter. becoz i had paint my scooter previously but the results are zero the dust particles covered up so i finally wants to get rid off from that . plzzzzzz mail me the solutions

    • Jonathan Whiting

      Before painting the scooter use a degreaser with a cloth to wipe the parts free of dust. Try to paint in a dust free environment too. What I did was hang a tarp above the area I was painting to prevent dust from falling from the ceiling. It seemed to work pretty well. Also, a good tip is to paint after it rains, that way there is less dust in the air.

  2. Sandra Van Rompaey

    Jonathan, the only base paint the shop had in store was meant for metal underground, and to be applied with a brush. My son gave it two coats, and now it’s way too thick and uneven, wet-sanding cannot seem to get it smooth. Do you have any suggestions how to solve this?
    Many thanks in advance
    Sandra

    • Jonathan Whiting

      I would try sanding it down with something like 360 or 240 grit sandpaper. And then with 400 grit after you get it smooth to take out the smaller scratches. It might take longer to do, but the end will still be worth it.

      • Sandra Van Rompaey

        Thanks, Jonathan. In the end, he re-assembled it as is, and by the end of the week, his girlfriend’s father will take it to his workshop and sand it down and spray it professionally…
        Anyway, it was an experience, and still thanks for your suggestions!

  3. Sandra Van Rompaey

    Thanks, Jonathan! My son has asked me to help him give his old scooter a make-over, it will be our next weekend’s project. After lots of different information, now thanks to you I have a comprehensive list of everything I’ll need to buy, and how to go about it for a decent result!
    Greetings from Israel
    Sandra

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