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  1. #1
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    how to make glossy carbon fiber look matte.

    I am just wondering how this process works. I know that when u have a carbon bike that is nude they apply a gelcoat that helps the carbon fiber. then they follow this up with clear coat to make it shine.. I am just curious as how you go about turning carbon fiber that is glossy into a matte finish, like how the felt f1c is. (One of the best looking bikes i have every seen, I think just because of the matte finish). I assume you need to stripe off all of the clear coat with high grit sand paper but from there on what do u have to do.

    Also on some bikes where tubes meet they kind of just finish it with a black look with no weave showing. how would you go about exposing the carbon weave.. would it be just like sanding it down til you come to the gelcoat.

    any help would be greatly appreciated.

    kyle

  2. #2
    Senior Member blknwhtfoto's Avatar
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    high grit paper, and a matte finish. I don't know if the carbon needs the finish or not. If it was just paint, you could feasably leave it finish'less.

  3. #3
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by kchrist
    I am just wondering how this process works. I know that when u have a carbon bike that is nude they apply a gelcoat that helps the carbon fiber. then they follow this up with clear coat to make it shine.. I am just curious as how you go about turning carbon fiber that is glossy into a matte finish, like how the felt f1c is. (One of the best looking bikes i have every seen, I think just because of the matte finish). I assume you need to stripe off all of the clear coat with high grit sand paper but from there on what do u have to do.

    Also on some bikes where tubes meet they kind of just finish it with a black look with no weave showing. how would you go about exposing the carbon weave.. would it be just like sanding it down til you come to the gelcoat.

    any help would be greatly appreciated.

    kyle
    When I was in the knife business most mfg's simply bead blasted the G10 or Carbon scales to achieve the matte finish. There are semi gloss and matte clear coats available also. If the frame isn't molded in one piece then the tubes are bonded together. Where they are bonded is where you are not seeing any of the underlying carbon weave. This is because they are not using carbon fiber cloth but some adhesive or bonding material. Don't sand this down, there is no cloth underneath. You will weaken the frame or sand throught it. That would be a bad thing!

    If you must have a matte finish, you can use steel wool. That will dull the finish. Problem is, it is very difficult to achieve a uniform matte finish. You can have the frame bead blasted with a VERY FINE grit under VERY LOW pressure. That will dull the finish in a hurry. If the blaster isn't very skilled he could ruin the frame. That would be a bad thing also.

    Sounds like you are SOL. If money is no object then have the frame re-clear coated. If you like the Felt maybe you should sell yours and buy the Felt. Either way good luck.

    Tim
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  4. #4
    Mooninite shakeNbake's Avatar
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    My experience come from refinishing guitar, so I don't know how relevant it is.

    I pretty much agree with cs1. However I'm against using steel wool or sand paper. Not only because it will be hard to get a uniform finish, but also it will be "shiny" in the high wear area after a while.

    The best would be sand it lightly (scuff it) and put a coat of matte clear.

  5. #5
    THE Materials Oracle Falanx's Avatar
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    Its very, very difficult to tell where the clearcoat stops and the structural integrity of the carbonfibre does too. Be warned.
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  6. #6
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kchrist
    I am just wondering how this process works. I know that when u have a carbon bike that is nude they apply a gelcoat that helps the carbon fiber. then they follow this up with clear coat to make it shine.. I am just curious as how you go about turning carbon fiber that is glossy into a matte finish, like how the felt f1c is. (One of the best looking bikes i have every seen, I think just because of the matte finish). I assume you need to stripe off all of the clear coat with high grit sand paper but from there on what do u have to do.

    Also on some bikes where tubes meet they kind of just finish it with a black look with no weave showing. how would you go about exposing the carbon weave.. would it be just like sanding it down til you come to the gelcoat.
    I would be nervous about using any sort of abrasive for this, but then I'm nervous about carbon generally.

    Anyway, you might try dulling spray.

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  7. #7
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    I think the biggest worry is gouging the CF below the gel coat.

    Perhaps a medium-grit paste abrasive like non-bleach sink cleanser would do the trick.
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