Repainting a bike...
So I've got this project bike ('97 Kona A'ha ss/fix) that I want to repaint because the factory job is too gaudy for my tastes. I wanted a two-tone jobbie with decals and/or light pinstriping before a clear coat. Budget is an issue, and powder coating is just $75 for blasting and coating. So, am I stuck with frame/fork solid colors via powder coating, or is an enamel two-tone with decal/pinstripe + clear coat doable for a reasonable cost (<$300). I would actually prefer to tape/mask it myself. I went to the recommended local powder coater and chose a "pumpkin/creme" (frame/fork) combo, but that would be solid with no decal/pinstriping. Is a self can-spray with a pro clear-coat a viable option? What have you guys done for budget friendly repaints?
I've rattle canned several bikes. Honestly, the only advantage I can see to doing that today is that you get the satisfaction of having done it yourself.
The only times that I've been satisfied with the final result have come after stripping all of the old finish down to bare metal. I generally use chemicals to do that. It's messy but not too expensive and takes about 1/2 day.
Counting stripper, sandpaper, primer and paint you'll be in the $35.00 to $50.00 range. Frankly, my results while OK do not rival a factory paint job. On the other hand, I don't get the rapid chipping that others have reported from rattle can paint jobs.
I've got a couple of bikes hanging in my shop that I'm thinking of repainting. If I do, I think that I'm going to go the powder coat route.
The powder coat, that's a decent price. DIY ? I just sanded & did a chrome frame with self etching primer & engine enamel. It's new, yet uglified. Like retro grouch's post, the rattle can is rarely going to be a professional job. But you made a good point, do everything yourself prior to a professional clear coat. That has possibilities, I thought about that myself, but the pro wanted $ 30 more to clear coat after the engine enamel. I figure I'll buy another can of engine enamel and spray over chips and scratches and just let this bike ride as is at this point. I'm pleased with it.
Another thought, if you're after a bike that you will keep and ride for years and years, a few more bucks into now to make it the way you want it isn't really a budget issue even if you go over budget. Think of it as what the additional cost is over 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years. The bmx I did is 7 going on 8 years old. $ 30 over budget over the next 10 years actually works out to less than a penny a day. Others laugh at me when I pick up pennies and spare change others have dropped. It adds up.
i have done various bikes with standard rattle cans, no probs.
at my local car paint shop, they do professional paints and primers in rattle cans too, to they do heavily suggest you wear a mask
when spraying, as its rather more dangerous than regular cans.
and you have to spray colour within an hour after primer, same rules as if airgunned on.
my last build a gave a mate a couple of six-packs for spraying my frame, with car paint, it was just as good a job as me rattling it, lol !
Sounds like a lotta trouble to go through when the paint job is currently still OK but here are a few comments.
The price you were quoted for powder coating is a steal. Here in Montreal it would be at least twice that. Powder coating doesn`t use solvents, but does use a heat curing process thats safe for an aluminum frame but not carbon fiber. The resulting finish is currently the hardest most durable finish available.
Painting a bicycle is a little different from painting a car because you are painting tubes rather than flat surfaces. Vertical feed guns are usually used and retarder is normally added to the paint to let overspray on the curved surfaces flow in with the fresh paint when that area is sprayed directly. The most similar other industry would be motorcycle painting and if you look up a good shop that handles custom motorcycles - they ca come up with any paint scheme you want.
Currently two part (catalyst) urethane and polyeurathane acrylic enamels give the most durable finishes. For environmental reasons water based paints are becomming more common, but they`re harder to work with and don`t give as good a finish. But a custom motorcycleshop will have exactly what you`re interested in.
Here is what I am thinking now:
I have the powder coater blast and powder the bike. That cleans, seals, protects the bike. Now on to the aesthetics. I decal/pinstripe to my heart's desire, then have an auto place clear coat it. From what I could gather from some of Dr. Deltron's old posts, this is an option. "The best of both worlds" — Dr. Deltron.
All that said, are there parts of the frame that should NOT be coated or painted? If so, how are they protected from corrosion?