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  1. #1
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    Painting a Frame

    I came across an older Pinarello cross frame made of steel. I am removing all of the parts from it and would like to repaint it. What has been your experience with painting frames? Could a good local autobody shop do a good job? Do I need to send it some place that specializes in bikes? What would be a reasonable price to pay for a single color? How hard is it to get decals for Pinarellos to restore the bike closer to an original look?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Sorry if this sound rude but you might want to try the search function. This topic comes up all the time and you can glean more from the archives than from starting from scratch in a new thread.

    http://www.campyonly.com/joebell/painting_steps.html
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

    Good/Bad Trader Listing

  3. #3
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    Okay, thanks.....

    Rude? A little. I'm a big boy and I'll live through the emotional trauma of no positive responses to my cool, old steel Pinarello frame.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Painting a Pinarello? I wouldn't suggest painting that nice a frame as a 1st time project, even if it is an old Pinarello. Auto places are ok, but bike tubes are actually harder to paint than car bodies because of the round tubes create a lot of potential for paint drips. Auto body painters just have to paint over a wide flattish type area. You might save some money by going to a local Auto body place, but again. This is a Pinarello. Don't you want the best paint job possible.

    I would stick with the bike specific pros. Joe Bell is great and a lot of people like him, but his wait list is forever if you can wait that long. Two other recommendations I have is Toby Stanton up in New England, owner of HotTubes.com and then the one guy down in Louisiana. Danny (Creative Cycle Works), I think is his name, but whatever. The dude is awesome. A friend of mine had his frame painted and it is just perfect. http://www.creativecycleworks.com/

  5. #5
    Taking "s" outta "Fast" AfterThisNap's Avatar
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    with experience a rattlecan job can look factory, but spraypaint just isn't as durable as automotive two part paint. If you lock up a lot and muss your finish, then you might as well go as cheap as possible.
    If you're building it up to look and stay pretty, then go autobody shop. If they happen to be painting a car with the color you want, then it should be relatively cheap.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
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    Do you want to restore the bike or simply paint it? If you want to restore the bike then it is worth finding a place that will have the proper paint colors and decal sets for the bike. Pinarello is a great bike and worth restoring. If you just want a paint job then an autobody or motorcycle paint shop should be fine. They might even match the paint relatively closely.
    A couple of other suggestions would be Spectrum Powderworks in Colorado Springs, Co and there is a great paint shop in Denton, TX (the name escapes me, but someone at Richardson Bike Mart's shop in Plano, TX could give you the name). I saw a repair paint job on a Colnago top tube from that shop that was flawless. This may be a good time of year to do this as some shops might not be too busy right now.
    You are taking on a fun project...good luck

  7. #7
    fitter, happier Ronin's Avatar
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    Here is my advice. I work in an auto service dept and we also have a body shop. Catalized two part paint is the way to go. You can save $$$ by prepping yourself. Expect to pay $30 if you are flexable on the color. Example,the body shop is painting a truck blue and you are ok with that blue. SHazam! your in luck.
    Wanna do it yourself here goes:
    Never never never strip the factory paint unless you have rust or it's peeling. No primer or base coat will ever provide better adheasion than the factory paint. Even when repainting a car we never strip the factory paint unless it's cracked,peeling etc. Use a green Scothbrite pad to scuff the original finish to provide "tooth" for the new paint to adhear to. Use the scothbrite to blend the pitted places into a seemless transition to the undamaged paint. If you have deeper pits or gouges use automotive glaziing putty. You can get it at Walmart or any auto parts store for 5 bucks a tube. Once dry use the scothbrite again to blend it in. A rule of thumb is that any blemisg that will catch a fingernail will show in your finish coat. Get your paint in the automotive scsection instead of the hardware section of your local store. Duplicolor makes automotive touch up piant in spray cans. The more common colors come in a full size spray can.Be carefull about how long you wait to apply additional coates of paint some paints require the first coat to still be tacky when the second coat is applied. You do not need to prime(and should not) if you still have the factory base coat. Use several light coats(4-6) The final coat should be heavier than the first. After drying you can apply clear coat. Make sure that your clear coat is the same brand as the paint that you used.Some paints are not compatible and will wrinkle your paint. After the clear coat has dried you can use rubbing compound followed by polish folowed by wax.This will smooth out those little bits of dust that get into the paint before it's dry. If you take your time and do the prep job well nobody will be able to tell your bike was a repaint.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    I have a slightly different situation. I've got an early eighties Giant Perigee. I'm converting it to a singlespeed. My plan for painting it is to give each one of my first grade students 30 seconds with a spray can during lunch recess. That should do it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
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    Wow, I love diversity. All good opinions. I am learning a lot from this forum.
    I had forgotten that I preped and sprayed an Ideor Asso frame in the late 1960's with an early 1 part epoxy paint. When I visited him he still had the bike for a beater bike and the paint held up surprisingly well. What ever you do be bold and fearless and have fun doing it.
    Thanks.

  10. #10
    ctp
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    I have a Bianchi Nuovo Record that went thru a fire, but not hot enough to mess up the frame. I bead blasted it and painted it myself with Hammerite. Very tough paint, as long as you like the way it looks. Well, it's very tough paint even if you don't like the way it looks...you know what I meant

    http://www.kilz.com/pages/default.aspx?NavID=44

    I used the dark green and it still looks great.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
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    Claude Butler is a nice bike. What kind of lugwork do you have...fancy?

  12. #12
    ctp
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    you mean mine? Nah, not on that one - it's a very simple 50's touring/town bike frame, built out of 531.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
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    Still a nice builder.

  14. #14
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    I'm surprised that no one's mentioned powdercoat yet. More durable than typical paint (even automotive-specific paint) finishes, and it'll go on round tubes just fine even if the place doesn't have that much experience with bicycles. You don't get much choice with multi-color (unless you go through bike-specific Spectrum out of Ohio I think; beautiful and expensive), but it's not too expensive. There are usually places that will powdercoat steel, mostly industrial applications but they can squeeze a bike in for $50 or so. Will cost you more if
    (a) they have to remove the old paint job, which they're better at than you so might be worth paying them to do it
    (b) you want special colors that you're not already using

    Main things to watch are that they cover the parts where you don't want paint. Specifically, these are
    * shifter bosses
    * inside the bottom bracket shell, especially on the threads
    * inside the head tube, where headset bearing cups are supposed to seat

    Also, if the bike has chromed dropouts or rear triangle or whatever, you could have whatever is chromed masked during the paint job - comes out beautiful with mostly powdercoat frame going into chrome that was originally put onto the frame.
    Nice thing about chrome dropouts is that it won't chip like paint will. Same with stainless steel dropouts that Waterford uses, but your frame won't have those.

    Finally, if paint does get onto the inside of the headtube, or the BB threads, take it to a bikeshop and have it faced before you rebuild the bike.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
    I have a slightly different situation. I've got an early eighties Giant Perigee. I'm converting it to a singlespeed. My plan for painting it is to give each one of my first grade students 30 seconds with a spray can during lunch recess. That should do it.
    I love it! It should be like one of those paintings done by that elephant.

  16. #16
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    The lugs have the heart shaped cut outs and the Pinarello logo in them. I'd like to paint them a different color to show them off. I have a friend who I've spoken with who can powder coat it when they are painting other stuff at his work. I could get only black or white if I did that.

    I really appreciate the feedback. It is interesting to see solutions that were thought of that seem to have produced good results.

    I've been trying to research the frame and see how it was set up originally. Any suggestions?

  17. #17
    fmw
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    I don't have much experience at painting frames but I had a very good experience with a local body shop. They did a two color fade with clearcoat for $125 and did it all within a week. It turns out they do the painting for a local company that builds motorcycle choppers so they paint frames all the time. I can't imagine how a bike only shop would have done it any better.


  18. #18
    Senior Member mtbikerinpa's Avatar
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    I worked at a car restoration shop and later an aircraft restoration shop. The two part paints(mostly urethane varieties anymore) are certainly superior in quality and durability over any other wet paints commonly available.
    I differ with a previous poster in that I am adamant about removing old paint. On automotive projects, we would ONLY leave the old paint if the labor/cost was prohibiting the effort required to fresh start. There is a phosphate-wash primer used on factory jobs to promote rust resistance, which does add a lot to the durability, but it is not as unattainable as people might think. It can be had from better paint shops that specialize in automotive grade finishes(such as a paint equipped napa, or a dupont dealer).
    After reaching bare metal, Clean it with a white rag and zippo fluid(to remove any residues from decals, oils etc.) then take some enamel reducer(which is a higher grade thinner that you would need for the paint anyway, and a new white, lint free rag. Wet it and wipe it along every surface until it comes up clean.
    My prefference on the propper place to hang the frame is usually dependent on the frame design, but for the most part the derailluer hanger hole is the best. The other place would be to put a broomstick through the head tube and string both ends of the stick. The reason I say the 'upside down' way is better is because it is easier to miss the underside junctions than it is to forget a headtube.
    The artistic side I will leave to you, since the techniques are listed by many posts and sources, however I will as always give the safety disclaimer.
    All sprayed paints will pose a health hazard to respiratory systems. You have probbably heard it before, but I cannot overstress the importance of NIOSH certified breathing filters and/or fresh fed-air respirators. When I was in paint school, the first 3 weeks was on nothing but paint safety procedures.
    I am referring to the long term effects, not focusing as much on the fumes. Urethane fumes are not to be underestimated by any means, but the long term effects of misuse are far worse.
    The obvious side effect of sprayed paint is overspray. In a professional ***, the area affected may be minimized, but a high volume blower should be drawing(not blowing)air away from the work zone. The particles can remain 'wet' in the airborne form as far as 30 feet away from the ***. At that distance it can adhere to many things including skin, eyes, and lungs.
    Once in the lungs or on the eyes, it will be adhered almost permanently. There have been numerous deaths from decreased lung capacity from this.
    The hardener used (isocyanate for urethane) is very effective and produces good durable results(a vast ammount of aircraft and a lot of cars), but it has very hazardous fumes. If you can smell it you are in too high of a concentration. Some people(including the senior painter of the shop) has a semi-lethal reaction when exposed to the hardener.
    All this to say, HEED ALL SAFETY DATA SHEETS which will be included with the paints on demand from the paint source store. Do not get the impression that I am opposed to the paints I mention. Far from it. I am a very big fan of urethane on my bikes. For professional quality materials, you must have professional procedures.
    If you can get the local body shop option to work for you, then good on ya. If not, get the safety equipment before doing anything yourself. The filters do not have to cost a lot, but they have to be of the propper grade to count.
    For a cool finishing touch, decals from www.vcgraphix.com are decently priced and high quality. I used them with good results on my flagship racing bike(which I got consistent top 3s on all last season). Note that the low gloss in the pic is because the clearcoat had not been applied yet.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Aviation Mechanic, Bike racer, Fitness Equipment Restorer

    http://pedalmybike.com/userTrackies/myTrackie4758.jpg[/url]

  19. #19
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    From the old days as a volunteer fireman, Imron was the way to go. I think it's considered a single-stage paint. Very durable. Excellent appearance. IIRC, used in aircraft, too (Sarah?)

  20. #20
    ctp
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    Imron is a two part urethane, and tough as hell. There are lots of other options these days, whereas way back when Imron was all there was.

  21. #21
    Junk Collector
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    I have been using a health-friendly paint made by Createx called Auto Air Colors.
    http://autoaircolors.com/
    They work well with an airbrush and won't kill me in the long run. Best part is that they are intermixable, and you only need a little to do a complete frame (I've recently finished a beautiful metallic burnt orange to black fade using only 3 ounces of paint). Plus, they allow amazing custom effects with little outlay for expensive colors from HOK or other brands. Only downside is that there are no water-borne clears available, so I am using a PPG two part urethane clear.
    Here's a terrible photo of the frame.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
    Senior Member mtbikerinpa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil0502
    From the old days as a volunteer fireman, Imron was the way to go. I think it's considered a single-stage paint. Very durable. Excellent appearance. IIRC, used in aircraft, too (Sarah?)
    Imron is the benchmark of the eurethane two-stages. It is almost impossible to remove off your skin when mixing the hardener in(found that the hard way). Very expensive(almost 150/gal now without hardener) but will not soften or discolor from anything short of stripper.
    Imron is also one of the most damaging if breathed, since the affore mentioned adhesion to skin is amplified and permanent interally.
    Waterborne paints are taking more and more market share in the automotive industry because of the lack of VOC's(volatile organic compounds) which in some municipalities and states are restricted or illegal. In either case, treat it as if it can kill you and never breathe overspray or fumes. We know more about Imron now than we did 10 yrs ago, and we will know more about waterborne and other enamels as we go along.
    Aviation Mechanic, Bike racer, Fitness Equipment Restorer

    http://pedalmybike.com/userTrackies/myTrackie4758.jpg[/url]

  23. #23
    Junk Collector
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbikerinpa
    Waterborne paints are taking more and more market share in the automotive industry because of the lack of VOC's(volatile organic compounds) which in some municipalities and states are restricted or illegal. In either case, treat it as if it can kill you and never breathe overspray or fumes. We know more about Imron now than we did 10 yrs ago, and we will know more about waterborne and other enamels as we go along.
    I still wear the respirator out of habit. The odor of the waterborne paints is reminiscent of the smell you remember from when you'd color Easter eggs. Weird sort of vinegar-y stink. Much better than solvent, but still not as good as, say, Root Beer.

  24. #24
    Senior Member ApolloCVermouth's Avatar
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    I'd really recommend getting it powder-coated. It's a much tougher finish and better environmentally (or so I've heard). Depending on where you live it can be quite cheap. I had a frame blasted and powder-coated for 60$cdn.

  25. #25
    fitter, happier Ronin's Avatar
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    Speis Heckler autobody paint in the mack daddy of all paint.Not even brake fluid will touch it. Sarah,If you worked in a restro shop then you were more than likely dealing with lacquer wich is reversable and not compatable with most other paints. Enamel if in decent shape need not be removed before painting.When we paint cars we DO NOT strip to bare metal.It tedious and not needed in most cases.You should check your frame first by rubbing lacquer thinner on it.If it comes off on your wrag then you have lacquer and DO need to completly strip.

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