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Thread: Clear Coating

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    Clear Coating

    I have an old Vitus aluminum frame. I have stripped the paint down to the bare metal and have polished it to a mirror finish. I would like to clear coat it. I tried to do this a few years ago but the clear coat eventually yellowed real bad. Does anyone have any idea what type would be the best. I would prefer to do this myself if possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigS
    I have an old Vitus aluminum frame. I have stripped the paint down to the bare metal and have polished it to a mirror finish. I would like to clear coat it. I tried to do this a few years ago but the clear coat eventually yellowed real bad. Does anyone have any idea what type would be the best. I would prefer to do this myself if possible.
    You may be able to get a clear powdercoat job done on it, but this is definitely not a do-it-yourself operation. The problem is the high polish - you've essentially removed the tiny abrasions in the surface that allow the paint to mechanically adhere to the metal. Also, a powdercoater might need to media blast the surface to provide some texture for the power to adhere to, which would obviously ruin your hard work.

    Since the frame is aluminum and hence won't be subject to rust like a steel frame would, you might be able to get away with using a high-quality car wax and applying it on a fairly regular basis. I don't know if this would be completely effective in maintaining the mirror finish, however.

    I'd like to see your frame; can you post a picture?

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    Fattest Thin Man Az B's Avatar
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    Boeshield.

    Az

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    Senior Member spunkyruss's Avatar
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    I would use something from the automotive world, like Eastwood Diamond Clear Metal Aerosol. You may be able to find a similar product locally.

    If you can't find something suitable from an auto parts store, then try a motorcycle or marine supplier.

    I'm only guessing about this one, but an automotive detailing shop probably carries a similar product.

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    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Why do you want to clearcoat it? It won't shine as bright. Bare polished aluminum isn't hard to maintain. I like shiney stuff, so I strip and polish a lot of aluminum parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigS
    I have an old Vitus aluminum frame. I have stripped the paint down to the bare metal and have polished it to a mirror finish. I would like to clear coat it. I tried to do this a few years ago but the clear coat eventually yellowed real bad. Does anyone have any idea what type would be the best. I would prefer to do this myself if possible.
    I did a little research on this a while back. Go to Walmart and pick up a couple of cans of Minwax. While generally marketed as a clear coat for wood work, it can be used for what you want to do. It goes on very nice and smooth and is very easy to work with. I refinished my carbon forks using the semi-gloss finish and then polished it out to a "near" gloss. It is available in a high gloss version. If you don't like it you can easily sand or strip it off and you haven't spent a lot of money.

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    Any paint -- clear or otherwise -- that cures by air drying will only give so-so results. To get a really tough, long-lasting clear coat, you will have to use one of the catalyzed automotive products. Catalyzed auto paints are super-hard after they've cured, but they are also super poisonous until they've cured. Catalyzed auto paints are not to be handled by noobs.

    If you want a pro finish, you'll have to get a pro to do the job.

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    ... you never know until you try.





  9. #9
    Coyote!
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    Hey Fierte. . .Well Done!

    Was that the Minwax urethane?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Fierte
    ... you never know until you try.
    It's possible to get nice looking results from a rattle can, the problem is that rattle can finishes are not very durable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote!
    Hey Fierte. . .Well Done!

    Was that the Minwax urethane?
    Yes, it was the Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane in the spray can.

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    I would suggest that you stop by a few auto paint shops and see if someone will shoot some auto clearcoat on the frame for you. As stated above, the automotive catalyzed paints are much more durable that any other paints. I have painted a few cars myself and its not difficult to do. The painting is the easy fun part, its all the metal work and preparation, especially for an amatuer, that takes so much time and patience.

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