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  1. #1
    Bianchi Power! decline's Avatar
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    I Want To Paint My Bike!

    i have an old Raleigh mountain bike frame that i have converted into a single speed with 700c tires and drop down handlebars. the frame and fork are in good condition and none of the paint has fallen off. I really want to repaint it with a candy apple red glossy finish with white handlebar tape and some white pinstripes. i can handle paint very well so my real question is do i have to sand down the paint job and repaint it with primer or can i go ahead and paint the bike with primer and then a white coat and then a red coat?

    thanks for any help. im new to this. just had a sweet idea!

  2. #2
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    I imagine you'd want to rough up the surface to get a good bond with the primer. But I am no pro.

    I have always thought that if I wanted to strip something I would find a good auto body paint place and have them lightly sandblast for me. I would emphasize lightly because I think I have heard that they can damage welds.

  3. #3
    otherwiseordinary lymbzero's Avatar
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    I repainted my bike recently. I used paint stripper.
    Any kind will do. Just get stuff that works on steel.

    Apply generously and wait for it to bubble and blister.
    Then when it's blistered, you can take a wire brush to it.
    I think a drill with a wire brush attachment would be a lot faster.

    Be prepared to spend a lot of time sanding.
    I went for bare metal. So I used heavy grit wet/dry
    sand paper douced in water.

    You can do what I just said or get it sandblasted which saves a lot of time.
    It took me more then 2 hours to strip and sand my frame and fork down to metal.

    After that primer. Spray can, hold it far like more then 12" away.
    Best to do it on a non windy day with lots of ventelation.
    You'll have to do many coats if you want it even.

    Best of luck.

  4. #4
    Senior Member colnagorider's Avatar
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    I've been refinishing bicycles for 30 years. I almost always either strip off the old finish chemically,(strippers were much more volatile in the 70s and worked much, much better) bead blast, (sand blast) or a combination of the two. I have even sanded off the old finish with wet/dry sandpaper. Once many years ago I used a razor blade to scrape off the finish, which incredibly, was not difficult to do at all. I finished it off with sanding. In any event, pre-finish work is a long tedious task. The chemicals must be cleaned off completely. Wet/dry sandpaper is meant to be used with water, hence the need to completely dry the frame. (if steel, I've never painted an aluminum frame though I've painted aluminum parts) If you can have it blasted, it is really the best unless cost is a factor.

    The last frame I painted, I left the finish partially on. I sanded away most of it and left on what was in good shape. I cleaned out any of the details with a razor blade and applied a primer coat, so yes you can leave your old finish on provided it is in good condition. My avatar image is the result such work.

    Spray cans work fine but are not as durable as professional car finishes which are much more costly. I’ve painted using both kinds of finishes. Make sure you remove your decals. A razor blade works but can create a real mess if you gouge into the paint. Removers are available specifically for that purpose. Masking off the decals is not likely to produce good results.

    Don't get crazy with the sandpaper. Use 400 grit to create a surface for the primer to adhere to. Don't start with something stupid like 80 grit. If 400 is too much work, start with 200 and work up to 400 for the final sand before the primer. After primer you can go to 800. Stick with 800 until your finish coat when you can switch to 1000 before you apply your top coat or clear. Use 2000 to knock off any debris when you are done and the finish is cured (could take a couple of days or more) and polish out the dull areas you just sanded. Your paint job should look great.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decline
    i have an old Raleigh mountain bike frame that i have converted into a single speed with 700c tires and drop down handlebars. the frame and fork are in good condition and none of the paint has fallen off. I really want to repaint it with a candy apple red glossy finish with white handlebar tape and some white pinstripes. i can handle paint very well so my real question is do i have to sand down the paint job and repaint it with primer or can i go ahead and paint the bike with primer and then a white coat and then a red coat?
    Candy apple red isn't going to be very forgiving of less-than-perfect surface preperation. If I was going to go to the time and effort required to repaint a bike, I'd start by stripping all of the old paint off. Chemical strippers are messy but a couple of hours should get the job done. In the end, no repaint job can ever be better than your surface preperation or better than the materials that you use.

    Incidentally, I just recently finished a similar project. I converted a Raleigh Technium mountain bike to a 700c fixed gear. It has new Surley hubs, Ultegra crank, Cinelli bar and stem, 105 front brake only, satin black paint. Came out great! I traded some bike shop mechanic work for the few new parts that I needed so I don't have any out of pocket cost in it.

  6. #6
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    If its steel, I would go with bead blasting. I rattle canned my steel frame twice (over several years) and always had rust come through until I had it bead blasted. As stated above, you can get a very pretty result with rattle can paint if you go the progressive abrasives route, but rattle can paint is pretty soft. Professionally painted is probably the best but expensive. Another alternative that is very durable, cosmetically ok, and fairly cheap is powder coating.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
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  7. #7
    Senior Member broomhandle's Avatar
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    yeah, blast it if you can, that is the best result,

    you want to get it to bare metal...

    if you cant blast it, scratch it up as best as you can.

    then...

    a few coats of primer. then a few coats of your paint, then a few coats of gloss. the gloss is the finish. the color is nothing. and the clear protects.

    ive paited bikes so many different ways, ive even just got steal wool and scratched up a little, a quick rattle can primer, and 2 coats of flay olive drab!

    anything works....

    here was a quicky:

    http://briandelucia.com/bikes/in%20u...1000/trek.html

    and here is another one that im taking my time on:

    http://briandelucia.com/bikes/projects/projects.html

  8. #8
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Any idea what sandblasting a frame would cost?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broomhandlde
    ive paited bikes so many different ways, ive even just got steal wool and scratched up a little, a quick rattle can primer, and 2 coats of flay olive drab!

    anything works....
    I think that's a pretty misleading statement. Flat olive drab is probably the most forgiving paint relative to imperfect surface preperation. Candy apple red, like the OP is considering, might be the least forgiving. It's just not the same thing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dauphin
    Any idea what sandblasting a frame would cost?
    Bead blast, which is more expensive, $35.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  11. #11
    Bianchi Power! decline's Avatar
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    i live in austin texas anyone know where i can get the bike sand blasted or beadblasted? thanks for all the replys!

  12. #12
    Loves Your Bike joelv's Avatar
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    Sorry for slightly hijacking, but I want to paint mine, too!

    Can anyone please point me to an affordable powder-coater in Southern CA?

    After searching the forums for about an hour, I have found several places in New York that will powdercoat a frame for less than $80.00. I called several auto shops and powder coating places near me and can't find ANYONE that will paint it for less than $175.00, one color and without blasting.

    -joel

  13. #13
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Just found a local sand blaster down the street from me who will do a frame for $40.00

  14. #14
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    Had mine walnut-shell blasted for $25 frame and fork, but I live in Tucson, and everything is cheaper here.

    EDIT: hit post too fast... at that price, it's really not worth it to solvent strip when you consider materials, time, and developing a solvent sniffing habit.

  15. #15
    Senior Member broomhandle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    I think that's a pretty misleading statement. Flat olive drab is probably the most forgiving paint relative to imperfect surface preperation. Candy apple red, like the OP is considering, might be the least forgiving. It's just not the same thing.
    and before that quote i talked about a clear coat.. thats the candy part... the apple is just a red.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broomhandlde
    and before that quote i talked about a clear coat.. thats the candy part... the apple is just a red.
    Wrong again. Candy colors are transparent color coats that let the base coat show through. I don't claim to be a painter but I'm told they're harder to work with than ordinary solid colors and they can't be touched up very well.

  17. #17
    Senior Member broomhandle's Avatar
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    gloss coat..... is that not transparent?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broomhandlde
    gloss coat..... is that not transparent?
    It's not the same as candy colors.

  19. #19
    Senior Member broomhandle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    It's not the same as candy colors.

  20. #20
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    dauphin,

    will that person paint too? can you send/post info?

    tks

  21. #21
    \,,/(^_^)\,,/ new_dharma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broomhandlde
    gloss coat..... is that not transparent?
    the candy base is the real issue, not the top coat. generally, you spray an aluminum base (or pearlized or metallic) for candy effects. Candy colors are more difficult to spray than other colors. It is best to work in very light coats. Light coats will avoid unwanted buildup and blotches of color and prevent crawling, which may happen as the candy colors are very thin colors. Often, 8 or more coats will be applied to achieve the desired color. Bleeding is an issue if the colors are not completely cured prior to clearing. It may be best to lock up the candy colors with the first tact coat. Allow the first coat about 15 minutes or so to flash before putting on the next coat. The clear’s catalyzing will prevent the candy colors from bleeding into the next coat(s) of clear, which could happen when wet coats are quickly applied onto one another on top of a coat of candy that has not completely cured. The candy colors’ dye crawling does not always occur, it is more likely to happen in humid conditions when moisture rests on the candy as the clear is applied.
    just my thoughts
    You know you're getting old when you look at a beautiful 19-year-old girl and you find yourself thinking, "Gee, I wonder what her mother looks like?"

  22. #22
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    Paint Jobs NY

    Where in NY did you find places? I'd love to have my bike painted and was looking for places in or near New York City - any tips on some specific places?

    Thanks

  23. #23
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    Instead of using spray paint I used high-gloss enamel in one of those CO2-powered paint sprayers. The finished product looks amazing and it seems much more durable than the average spray paint job. Although still not as good as a professional job.

  24. #24
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    $35-$40 sounds reasonable for a sandblasting if it is going to take 2 hours to strip it yourself at minimum. Where do you find a place for sandblasting? Do you just go to an auto-body shop or a speciality shop that does motorcycle paint jobs? Also, any idea on the cost of getting the frame professionally painted and where would you get that done. My frame is kind of rusty in patches so I think this is probably my best option. Thanks for any suggestions.

  25. #25
    MTBer overthebarscar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Wrong again. Candy colors are transparent color coats that let the base coat show through. I don't claim to be a painter but I'm told they're harder to work with than ordinary solid colors and they can't be touched up very well.
    I not gonna say im a painter either, but candy colors are a pain sometimes. I paint models and stuff sometimes and i used a candy apple red before. It looks nice, but you have to make sure you have a very even coat in order to reach perfection. Otherwise you'll have spots where the base coat will show through more than another.

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