A motorcycle fairing is a plastic accessory mounted at the front fork, handlebars, or frame of the motorcycle. Its sleek, streamlined design makes it a functional and stylish feature. For this reason, many standard bike owners love to install fairings on their bikes.
A motorcycle fairing is an expensive and high-maintenance add-on. After riding several thousand miles, you may notice your fairing starting to get thin scratches, abrasions, chipped paint, dull paint patches, and a rough surface. All these issues indicate that your bike’s fairing is in need of a new paint job.
However, not everyone is willing to spend hundreds of dollars on paint jobs every six to eight months due to how expensive it can be. On the other hand, replacing the fairing can be even more expensive.
For many riders, the best option is to paint the fairing themselves. Learning how to paint a motorcycle can be a quick and easy process as long as you know which paint works best as the main coat. This article provides you the best paints you can use to improve the look of your motorcycle fairing.
- Table of Contents
- 1. How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Motorcycle Fairing?
- 2. Best Budget-Friendly Paints for Motorcycle Fairings You Can Buy
- 3. Tips to Fix Common Issues When Painting Motorcycle Fairings
- 4. Tips to Care for Painted Motorcycle Fairings
- 5. Takeaway
1. How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Motorcycle Fairing?
The cost of painting a motorcycle fairing depends on the service you have hired, the complexity of the design, and the type of fairing. Standard fairing paint jobs can cost around $250-$1,600. Custom paint jobs performed by skilled artists can cost around $700-$2,500.
With so many YouTube videos and comprehensive guides available on the internet, it has become possible to paint your fairing yourself.
This method is cost-effective and has no fixed price. You can choose to spend more or less on this DIY project based on your preferred budget. It is possible to paint the faring for as little as $20. If you clean, sand, and prep the motorcycle fairing and use the right painting techniques, you can easily replicate the professional look.
2. Best Budget-Friendly Paints for Motorcycle Fairings You Can Buy
If applied correctly, an aerosol paint can create the desired finish without leaving holes in the surface. Budget-friendly and easy to apply, an aerosol paint works best for your first DIY. Once you improve your painting skills, you can use airbrush paint.
2.1 Aerosol Paints
Aerosol paint, or spray paint, is easy to store and use. The paint is propelled as a gas through a small nozzle. Apply it directly over the primer in a uniform to-and-fro motion. Some of the most popular aerosol paints are:
Duplicolor Metal Cast Anodized Automotive Paint
Duplicolor is a standard motorcycle paint with a heat-resistant ceramic composition that can be applied on fairings, motorcycle gas tanks, and engine components. The biggest advantage of this paint is that it can resist temperatures up to 500° F. It also protects the fairing from the sun, preventing the color from fading due to long sun exposure.
The metal cast spray is designed for chrome parts; however, you can apply this enamel paint on a plastic fairing by applying an adhesion promoter first.
The EZ touch 360° fan spray nozzle allows you to apply even coats of paint with a light push. You will have a great time painting your fairing using the Duplicolor spray can. The final coat of this paint creates a gleaming surface through an anodized effect that ensures a high glossy finish.
Motorcyclists prefer red paint, but you can also order a color that matches your bike’s frame.
You can buy this paint from a Duplicolor retailer near you or from Amazon. Make sure to call in and check for color availability before heading over to the local retailer. The company also sells sandale primers, wax polish, lacquer, adhesion promoters, and undercoats to help you achieve a professional paint job look.
|Duplicolor Motorcycle Fairing Paint
|More Expensive than Other Paints
|Heat Tolerance (up to 500°F)
|EZ touch 360° nozzle
|3 Hours Drying Time
|Range of Anodized Colors (Red, Orange, Copper, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Black Smoke)
Spray Max 1K Plastic Spray Paint
The Spray Max 1K plastic spray paint helps provide more coverage for repairs and new paint jobs. It works best on plastic surfaces, making it the best paint for motorcycle fairings.
The aerosol paint has an easy-to-use nozzle which allows motorcyclists to apply even coats of paint.
After the top coat, you can apply a high gloss clear coat with Spray Max for a shiny finish, optimal weather resistance, and UV protection. This clear coat will make your paint last longer even if your bike is exposed to sweltering heat and bright sunlight.
To get a lasting finish, apply three coats of paint about 2-3 micrometers thick. Apply the coats of paint every 5 minutes at 20°C. Leave the coats to dry for 24 hours before use. If you use an infrared drying device, the paint will become dry in 10-15 minutes.
You can buy this product from Amazon.
Price: For pricing, visit your nearest hardware store.
|Spray Max 1K Plastic Spray Paint
|Requires a High Gloss Clear Coat
|Not Heat Resistant By Itself
2.2 Airbrush Paints
Airbrush paints are a higher quality than aerosol paints but require professional tools to apply this paint, including a compressor, airbrush cleaner, thinner to dilute the paint, and airbrush gun.
Unlike aerosol paints, airbrush paints create thin coats that ensure a high-grade finish. Another advantage is that these paints often already have the right consistency. You do not need to mix it with a thinner to get the right texture. Here are some frequently used airbrush paints you can use:
Createx Airbrush Colors
Createx’s candy2o metal-complex color is a light and fast-drying paint that can be applied on metal and plastic automobile parts. Though durable, candy2o paint cannot resist UV rays and extreme weather conditions. However, with limited sun exposure, this paint can last a while. A urethane gloss clear coat is required to make this paint appear shiny.
|Easy to Apply
|High-Grade Industrial Finish
Iwata Medea Com Airbrush Paint
Iwata Art’s non-toxic acrylic paints are pre-mixed with water. Motorcyclists do not need to worry about getting the consistency right since they dry quickly and create a high-grade matte finish. You can use this paint to repair any damaged paint as they offer precise color matching. When applied with a paint gun, this highly-pigmented spray offers a thin layer of paint and a smooth finish.
If you are unable to find the right color, you can create your own by mixing transparent and opaque paints. The Iwata Medea Com airbrush paint is long-lasting and does not fade. You can also apply lacquer or a clear coat for extra shine and lasting luster.
Price: $5 for 1 oz container
$247 for 1 gallon container
|Pre-Mixed with Water
|Ready to Use
|Easy to Maintain
House of Kolor Airbrush Paint
The Kosmic acrylic urethane paint by House of Kolor is an ideal product for your custom DIY fairing paint job. The most challenging part of applying this paint is creating the right consistency. But the House of Kolor paints are pre-mixed with a reducer or thinner, allowing you to apply the paint as soon as you get it.
You can use this product as a base coat for the Shimrin color range, and as a topcoat for polyurethane and urethane enamel paint. It dries quickly so you can sand and buff it the next day and complete the paint job in a couple of days. Moreover, the high acrylic content makes it weather-resistant, durable, and glossy.
Price: $25.99 for 4-ounce of paint
For pricing of a specific color/product, contact your nearest House of Kolor jobber shop.
|Pre-Mixed with Thinner or Reducer
|Requires Enamel or Lacquer Paint Coating
|Comes with a Clear Coat
3. Tips to Fix Common Issues When Painting Motorcycle Fairings
When using any of the paints mentioned above, you may encounter issues, especially if it is your first time painting a motorcycle fairing. Here are some common problems that may arise during your project and tips on how to fix them.
3.1 Chipped Paint
Paint is applied on fairings across multiple sessions. After prepping your fairing, you will first apply the primer followed by the base coat. Usually, 2-3 layers of base coat are applied before you spray the color coat. When you leave the base coat or color coat to dry, it might not stick properly and peel off. This indicates that you did not clean or sand the surface properly.
You can fix the issue by using 400-600 grit wet/dry sandpaper and sanding the areas where the paint is chipped. Once the surface is clean, apply a fresh coat of paint in a uniform pattern or as instructed by the manufacturer to ensure a smooth finish.
Similarly, cracked paint may appear after you finish the DIY. Cracked paint also occurs due to the following reasons:
- Applying uneven coats of paint
- Applying new layers on semi-dry coats
- Inadequate sanding/prepping
To fix this, sand the cracked paint or paint bubbles with a 400 grit wet sandpaper, remove the excess paint, clean the area, and apply a new coat according to the instructions mentioned on the product.
3.2 Thick or Irregular Patches
Irregular patches can appear if you apply a new layer of paint onto the previous one before it dries properly. Sand the fairing with 400 grit sandpaper to remove the extra paint. Apply a new coat of paint and let it sit for 3-6 hours, before applying the second and third coats. This way you will get the desired finish.
3.3 Dull Appearance
After you apply the color coats and paint flake or lacquer, your fairing should have a shiny surface. If it looks dull, this may be due to the paint being of low quality or not spraying the paint on correctly. Sanding can help remove the dull spots; otherwise, use any of the paints mentioned above. If these paints are not available in your area or fail to achieve the desired result, visit your nearest hardware shop to get high-quality paint that best suit the fairing’s plastic body.
4. Tips to Care for Painted Motorcycle Fairings
Since your motorcycle fairing is exposed to the harsh elements, it will start to lose its finish over time. Paint can help protect the ABS plastic underneath from scratching but the fairing itself can still be damaged. After painting the fairing, you must take steps to care for the paint.
Here are tips to help keep your painted fairing in good condition longer:
4.1 Clean Frequently
If you clean your motorcycle fairing regularly, the paint will last longer. You can use a special motorcycle cleaner or make your own by combining water and mild detergent. Both cleaners will remove dust, grease, and other debris that can damage the paint.
4.2 Use a Microfiber Cloth
Never use a brush with steel or rough bristles to clean a painted fairing. When painting a fairing, it is best to use a softer material to loosen and remove grease, grime, and other debris stuck on the paint. However, once the fairing is painted, clean it with a soft microfiber cloth or a sponge while gently applying pressure. Also, avoid woolen rags when cleaning the fairing. Compared to microfiber, wool is abrasive, causes friction, and can damage the paint.
4.3 Apply Polish
Polishing the fairing will preserve the paint and protects the ABS plastic or fiberglass from damage. Make sure you apply wax or polish to your fairing to maintain its shine and luster. The Novus Plastic Polish is the best product for polishing motorcycle fairings. It cleans the fairing, helps make the surface shiny, and seals any openings along the surface. The fairings will be more resistant to scratches, grease, debris, abrasions, and dust.
4.4 Park Your Bike Under Shade
Direct sunlight can cause the paint on your motorcycle fairing to crack and fade. When out on the streets, try to park your motorcycles in covered parking lots and under-shaded areas. You can also carry a cover with you in a tail bag or saddlebag to protect your bike from the sun’s harmful rays.
If you are not an avid rider, then store your bike in a garage and cover it with a tarp. This will protect your bike from the sun, rain, and other elements. If you don’t have a garage or a parking shed, consider buying a motorcycle cover to protect your bike from harsh weather conditions.
Painting your motorcycle fairing can seem like a daunting task but can be fun if you understand the procedure. For a professional finish, you need to take your time cleaning, sanding, and buffing the fairing. The more you sand it, the better it will look after painting.
For your motorcycle fairing, you can choose acrylic, polyurethane or urethane enamel, or metallic paint. Aerosol spray paints are also available for a quick paint job. Choose the one that matches your aesthetic, budget, and riding style. Moreover, read the instructions provided with the paint to ensure safe and easy application.