Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: SF Bay Area
I Ride: '06 ZX6R, '14 Ninja 1000, '08 FJR, '06 GSXR 600, '11 KTM 690 Enduro R, '08 GSXR750
I've done three paint jobs now using water color paint (Auto Air Colors - not too expensive and easy to clean up) then a urethane clear coat finish, using a paint gun setup. There's some up front cost if you don't already have a gun or compressor, but the spray gun can be as little as about $30-40 for a cheap HVLP setup. All told each one cost me about $100-200 in materials not including the spray gun.
It holds up OK with the water color once clear coated, but there's some pretty significant fading after 5 years.
I've done it enough times so I'm pretty comfortable with the process but it is definitely NOT a professional job. You've got to use the best masking tape you can find and use one major tip - after applying the masking tape, shoot the underlying color one more time. That fills up any cracks under the tape and prevents the next color from bleeding under the masking tape. I only picked up on that one before the 3rd job and it made a HUGE difference - no signs of bleed-under anywhere.
I've never tried vinyl so can't comment on which one's easier or better.
My avatar is the latest paint job on a GSXR750
'06 ZX6R, '08 FJR1300, '06 GSXR 600, '14 Ninja 1000, '11 KTM 690 Enduro, '08 GSXR750
On the Ninja - Galfer rotors, '09 calipers, Brembo RCS M/C, Beet exhaust, Carrozzeria wheels, Ohlins cartridge kit, Ohlins Shock, Ohlins damper, Woodcraft rearsets, Healtech QuickshifterEasy