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  1. #1
    Mmmm, Blue Salsa.... BubbaDog's Avatar
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    Powder Coat vs. Standard Paint?

    I am looking to get my frame repainted pretty soon, and am wondering if I'm better off with a 'regular' paint job or go with powder coating. I have seen price estimates for regular paint jobs in the ~$200 range, with additional charges for clear coat etc. I got a quote from a local powder coat company that says that they do frames for $125.

    Jump in and give me the pros and cons of both types of painting, and what I should look for (and look out for) when choosing a shop. TIA for the insights and opinions....

    B'Dog
    2006 Gary Fisher Marlin MTB
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    2003 Kona Humu Humu Nuka Nuka Apua'A Singlespeed - Gone, but not forgotten
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  2. #2
    Pain Cleanseth Feltup's Avatar
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    I would go with the powder coat. It is cheaper and tougher.
    It is better to lose clean then win dirty. Don't ride dirty

  3. #3
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Having just done a paint job with rattle-can enamel, I wish I'd spent the $$$ and powder coated! The time and effort used to strip the old paint could have been avoided by paying someone to sand or bead blast.

    If your time's worth nothing (AND if you're willing to live with an easily-chipped, probably sagged enamel paint job), then spray is the cheapest way to go.

    If the frame's looks matter, spend the money on a professional job - it makes a difference!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Powder coat is very tough but does not lend itself as well to fine details like clear coated decales, multi color paint schemes, ect. If you are not too particular, go powder.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  5. #5
    Member seres's Avatar
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    Powder coating requires baking in an oven, and some aluminum alloys could be harmed by the heat. Check with the manufacturer first if your frame in Al.
    Eric

  6. #6
    cs1
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    So far all good replies and mostly true. If you have a high end frame go with paint. It is worth the extra money. I recently had my frame repainted by Jack Franklin Frame in Columbus OH. Do a search on "Franklin Frame" I posted pics. He charged my $268 shipped for a single color with clear coat and decals. His regular price is single color $125, clear coat $100 extra. Decals and shipping are extra. He also includes stripping the frame in the cost. For $225 clear coated with no decals the price can't be beat.


    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  7. #7
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    Personally I'd always got for powder, if only for environmental reasons.

  8. #8
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    Powder coat is very tough but does not lend itself as well to fine details like clear coated decales, multi color paint schemes, ect. If you are not too particular, go powder.
    For the most part, that's true. But these guys seem to go beyond those limitations: http://www.spectrumpowderworks.com/

  9. #9
    Mmmm, Blue Salsa.... BubbaDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed
    For the most part, that's true. But these guys seem to go beyond those limitations: http://www.spectrumpowderworks.com/
    OMG, that is freaking beautiful work! Thanks for the link, I think I'll save my pennies and send it to them. I'd be much more comfortable dealing with a shop that specializes in frames rather than lawn furniture

    B'Dog
    2006 Gary Fisher Marlin MTB
    2004 Salsa LaRaza aka "Mmmm, Blue Salsa" (853 steel is real, baby!)
    2003 Kona Humu Humu Nuka Nuka Apua'A Singlespeed - Gone, but not forgotten
    1998 Diamondback Outlook MTB
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed
    For the most part, that's true. But these guys seem to go beyond those limitations: http://www.spectrumpowderworks.com/
    I thought someone would post this link.

    My understanding is that Spectrum does good work. Not cheap though. And to get a clear over your decals, they spray the paint just like a regular paint job.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    I thought someone would post this link.

    My understanding is that Spectrum does good work. Not cheap though. And to get a clear over your decals, they spray the paint just like a regular paint job.
    I'll chip in with the obligatory Cyclart link: www.cyclart.com.

    I've got an old 1980's Olmo frame in with them at the moment for fixings and powdercoating. Can't wait to see the results!

    Oh, these guys ain't cheap either!

    Cheers,
    J.

  12. #12
    bum bike chajmahal's Avatar
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    I'm looking into repainting or powdercoating a frame and noticed someone mentioned spraying a clear coat over powdercoat. Will a powdercoat take clear coat or another paint without prep or do yopu have to wet or dry sand it to get the paint to stick?

    I'm considering powdercoating a frame blue and then rattlecan painting the black bands where the decals go, sticking on decals and then clearcoating. Any issues?

  13. #13
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    I just got my frame powdercoated last year and had them do a powdercoated clearcoat over it. Extremely durable and beautiful--gets compliments on any group ride. The questions about spraying over powdercoat I imagine are best left to a place that actually does powdercoating.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  14. #14
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    I just got my frame powdercoated last year and had them do a powdercoated clearcoat over it. Extremely durable and beautiful--gets compliments on any group ride. The questions about spraying over powdercoat I imagine are best left to a place that actually does powdercoating.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  15. #15
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    I just got my frame powdercoated last year and had them do a powdercoated clearcoat over it. Extremely durable and beautiful--gets compliments on any group ride. The questions about spraying over powdercoat I imagine are best left to a place that actually does powdercoating.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    I'll share an embarrassing anecdote hoping perhaps it will save someone else's misfortune:

    I had a frame powder coated several years ago by a place that did lots of bike frames. The day I picked it up I was so excited to build my bike back up that it didn't occur to me to have the bottom bracket threads chased. There was not an obvious powder coat in the threads, but there was enough that it caused a lot of grief: I got the bottom bracket totally stuck in the frame and damaged the threads. I took it to a shop to repair the damage, but they had a lot of trouble getting it right. Ultimately they got it good enough to install the bottom bracket, but I worry about getting a new one in if the need arises.

    Lesson learned: make sure the threads are properly prepared after painting or powder coating before you install your components! (Don't be like me-- Duh!!)

  17. #17
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by chajmahal
    I'm looking into repainting or powdercoating a frame and noticed someone mentioned spraying a clear coat over powdercoat. Will a powdercoat take clear coat or another paint without prep or do yopu have to wet or dry sand it to get the paint to stick?

    I'm considering powdercoating a frame blue and then rattlecan painting the black bands where the decals go, sticking on decals and then clearcoating. Any issues?
    According to some of the powder coaters in N Ohio, no you shouldn't spray enamel or lacquer over powder coat. You can as you've already heard use clear powder coat.


    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  18. #18
    Pain Cleanseth Feltup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derailed
    I'll share an embarrassing anecdote hoping perhaps it will save someone else's misfortune:

    I had a frame powder coated several years ago by a place that did lots of bike frames. The day I picked it up I was so excited to build my bike back up that it didn't occur to me to have the bottom bracket threads chased. There was not an obvious powder coat in the threads, but there was enough that it caused a lot of grief: I got the bottom bracket totally stuck in the frame and damaged the threads. I took it to a shop to repair the damage, but they had a lot of trouble getting it right. Ultimately they got it good enough to install the bottom bracket, but I worry about getting a new one in if the need arises.

    Lesson learned: make sure the threads are properly prepared after painting or powder coating before you install your components! (Don't be like me-- Duh!!)
    Yes you must always cean the threads on a new frame or newly painted frame. Good point Derailed.
    It is better to lose clean then win dirty. Don't ride dirty

  19. #19
    Beginning to Percolate bvancouv's Avatar
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    Personally, I don't want to spend the money for powdercoat, but I don't want to do a crappy job painting it myself either...so I'm going to leave the frame of my aluminum Gary Fisher MTB bare. I've got it all stripped, and I'm simply going to sand like crazy, to get the frame all nice and polished. I've seen a couple of bikes like this, and I think they're cool. Minimalist to the max.

    I might paint the fork white.

  20. #20
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvancouv
    Personally, I don't want to spend the money for powdercoat, but I don't want to do a crappy job painting it myself either...so I'm going to leave the frame of my aluminum Gary Fisher MTB bare. I've got it all stripped, and I'm simply going to sand like crazy, to get the frame all nice and polished. I've seen a couple of bikes like this, and I think they're cool. Minimalist to the max.

    I might paint the fork white.
    That is one way but be VERY CAREFULL when it comes to oxidation! The paint serves as a protectant also. If you go raw aluminum use some Mother's Mag Wheel polish on it from time to time. It will keep the aluminum looking like chrome. Good Luck

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  21. #21
    Pain Cleanseth Feltup's Avatar
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    I stripped my Kula's paint a while ago. You don't have to polish it all the time, when it oxidizes that oxidation is like a protectant. It is kind of dull but I still like it. I just got gone rebuilding my front shock. While I had it apart I stripped the paint. It looks really good.
    It is better to lose clean then win dirty. Don't ride dirty

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