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  1. #1
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Painting a Frame

    I just bought a bike. Right bike, wrong colour. I'm not handy, so I'll be getting someone else to do this.

    How do I get a professional paint job? Can I use a body shop? The first one I approached refused saying that bike frames are too difficult to paint.

  2. #2
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    True bike frames are very difficult to paint. The problem is that any time you are painting a tube you are almost always getting overspray on the other tubes. First questions, how much is the frame worth ? Is it really worth the money to get a pro to paint it? If you are ok with a simple colour then I would recommend getting it powder coated. That said I just painted a lugged frame from the 60's with cheap spray cans and I think it looks better than many of the finishes on bikes I have bought new. It really is all in the prep. I like painting bike frames in slightly cooler temps than normally recommended, this gives you a bit more time to paint the bike. If you decide you want to paint it yourself, I would be happy to write up a thorough tutorial.
    Live simply so others may simply live

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Take it to a place that paints motorcycles. They will have experience painting tubes.

  4. #4
    Dr.Deltron
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    Just send it to me. I'll be happy to paint it any which way you'd like.

    Some samples at mbent.net

    Dr. Deltron

  5. #5
    Senior Member masi61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
    Just send it to me. I'll be happy to paint it any which way you'd like.

    Some samples at mbent.net

    Dr. Deltron
    Your paint designs are cool,
    How do you estimate a job?
    I've got a late 1980s japanese road bike that has been mockingly referred to as a "Duran Duran" paint job - I would love to bring it up to date, and also refine my lugs with some filing (not sure if anything can be done about this after the frame is built though - the edges of the lugs aren't flush and little dirt pockets live down there).

  6. #6
    cab horn
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    A profesional blast & one colour coat is $75 around here. Almost totally negates any reason to do it yourself. No exposing yourself to toxic chemicals, no wait time and most importantly it won't be an amateur/undurable job.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  7. #7
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    I can't find the $75 paint job, but $150 for a standard colour seems reasonable. $250 gets me a custom job from a motorcycle house including dark edges and a gel coat finish. $500 gets me chrome (including the fenders).
    Hmm, chrome...

  8. #8
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    I was awaiting for just this sort of thread: those of you out there, with experience painting old frames: HOW do you remove the stickers (with the logo, etc.) from the frame - something you would have to do before painting? I tried doing that manually with my bare fingers, but it's waaayyyyyy too laborious. I hope one can just use some kind of thinner or other liquid, to remove these stickers.

  9. #9
    Banned. zephyer15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    I was awaiting for just this sort of thread: those of you out there, with experience painting old frames: HOW do you remove the stickers (with the logo, etc.) from the frame - something you would have to do before painting? I tried doing that manually with my bare fingers, but it's waaayyyyyy too laborious. I hope one can just use some kind of thinner or other liquid, to remove these stickers.
    hairdryer

  10. #10
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephyer15
    hairdryer
    I am talking about those really really thin stickers, that almost don't look like stickers at all, but if you are very careful you can find their edges with your nails... I am afraid that a hairdryer will burn them making it harder to remove the burnt plastic.

    On the other hand, if you have personal experience with removing these kinds of stickers, and you were succesful, well, then your method would definitely be worth a try.

  11. #11
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    I am talking about those really really thin stickers, that almost don't look like stickers at all, but if you are very careful you can find their edges with your nails... I am afraid that a hairdryer will burn them making it harder to remove the burnt plastic.
    That means there's a clearcoat over the decals. Someone else can fill you in on the details of removing those.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  12. #12
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    I really want to paint my bike too. It's yellow, I just bought it, great bike, bad color. I also barely know anything about mechanical stuff, so I'm pretty much screwed if I want to strip it to the frame. But could I just cover parts of the bike and spray it, or paint it with a brush?

  13. #13
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by masi61
    I've got a late 1980s japanese road bike that has been mockingly referred to as a "Duran Duran" paint job
    Like this one?



    I actually kinda like this paint job - in the sense that I get a kick out of it and don't mind riding the thing - and the frame is in good shape, and I may make it into my comfortable long-distance bike. Even though it doesn't have clearance for more than (real) 25c tires and doesn't have fender or rack mounting points, even at the dropouts.
    Last edited by TallRider; 11-21-08 at 09:41 AM.

  14. #14
    Destroyer of Worlds kyledr's Avatar
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    you must be super tall

  15. #15
    ot.net slave
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    uuuh...I'm not sure "tall" is the adjective you're looking for there fella...

    - Joel

  16. #16
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    I'm 6'5" with long legs but not a short torso, and with long arms to boot. And I tend to point my toes slightly when pedaling, I think, so I've got the seet 1-2cm higher than for most others comparably proportioned. Look at the Schwinn in my signature for a truly super-tall, super-large, etc., bike.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Scorer75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
    Just send it to me. I'll be happy to paint it any which way you'd like.

    Some samples at mbent.net

    Dr. Deltron
    Great work. What do you charge?

  18. #18
    Pedaling Backwards Mr_H's Avatar
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    I have a question along this line:
    If you're painting a bike I've been told to do this:
    -Sand it (to remove old paint and get some texture for new paint to grab)
    -Put on new paint (using a spraypaint can)
    -?? Do you have to put something on after this...a clear coat or something? I'm not looking for a professional job...it's just an old bike that's turning into a commuter.

  19. #19
    Senior Member masi61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    Like this one?



    I actually kinda like this paint job - in the sense that I get a kick out of it and don't mind riding the thing - and the frame is in good shape, and I may make it into my comfortable long-distance bike. Even though it doesn't have clearance for more than (real) 25c tires and doesn't have fender or rack mounting points, even at the dropouts.
    Yeah, kinda like that. Mine is a white metallic front end that morph into a deep solid peptobismol red rear end. I was running Conti orange tires this past season which just made the whole visual that much more garish. Like you, I have some fondness for the paint scheme, when I get a scratch I don't stress too much and, I tend to put electrical tape on some of the tubes for different purposes, furthering the workbike motif... but there does come a time to move on and update your look.

  20. #20
    Life is short Ride hard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_H
    I have a question along this line:
    If you're painting a bike I've been told to do this:
    -Sand it (to remove old paint and get some texture for new paint to grab)
    -Put on new paint (using a spraypaint can)
    -?? Do you have to put something on after this...a clear coat or something? I'm not looking for a professional job...it's just an old bike that's turning into a commuter.
    if you want to sand it make it look good your going to need to wet sand it then primer it then paint it then light dry sand it then paint it then clear coat it that is the basics for the advanced some one could advise me
    The Ferrari ('05 Bianchi Forza) had a flat (Stupid Glass) the Japanese wagon ('77 Nishiki with Arkel Utility Basket) was in the body shop (On my bench being repainted...repent ye rust)
    so I took the SUV ( Cannondale V2000 Active 100SL)

  21. #21
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorer75
    Great work. What do you charge?
    Thank you! Prices from $200-$4,000

    I use Sikkens colors and PPG 2042 clear.

    All old paint is removed by whatever means needed depending on what the frame material is. Then primered, detailed, sanded, primered, color(s), clear. And in some cases sanded and cleared again.

    Dr. D

  22. #22
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    I'm guessing the $75 is for a sandblast and powdercoat. The lowest estimate I've gotten around Boston was $110. One other place has a minimum charge of $200 (not worth it for them to do things as small as bike frames), but if you are doing a ton of frames, the per frame charge is $65.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_H
    I have a question along this line:
    If you're painting a bike I've been told to do this:
    -Sand it (to remove old paint and get some texture for new paint to grab)
    -Put on new paint (using a spraypaint can)
    -?? Do you have to put something on after this...a clear coat or something? I'm not looking for a professional job...it's just an old bike that's turning into a commuter.
    Best thing to do when repainting is to not paint over old paint- it makes your bike actually look thicker, and you will get uneven results. here's how i do it, and i've done quite a few (sorry, no pics... yet)
    - scrape off old stickers with a razor blade and goo-gone.
    - Apply a paint stripper (well ventilated area/pleanty of old newspaper underneath- it is best to suspend the bike, like hanging it from a rafter with coat hanger). WEAR GLOVES!
    - Clean frame with soap and water
    - Rub frame with extra fine grade steel wool or emory cloth (this will make your primer stick better)
    - Clean frame again with just water to remove sanding. ensure frame is completely dry.
    - Use a spray primer (with spray paint use 2 really light coats, not one coat*)
    - When dry, spray paint your frame- USE MULTIPLE LIGHT COATS- DON'T USE THICK COATS!!!*
    - Once complete, finish with a spray on clear coat (i prefer the satin finish to gloss finish- it looks better in the long run). a thin coat of this will do wonders.*

    *- When applying thin coats it will appear that you did not get sufficient coverage on the first coat. DON"T WORRY, be patient. your second coat will cover all the spots you missed. i usually apply a thin third "dusting" to complete the job and ensure uniformity.

    Different people have different methods. if you are doing it yourself, remember that you are doing htis to make your bike more enjoyable- have fun. if you find yourself frustrated, pissed,etc. just take a break. if you live in san diego, hit me up, i'd be happy to help.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
    Just send it to me. I'll be happy to paint it any which way you'd like.

    Some samples at mbent.net

    Dr. Deltron
    I'm digressing here, but I *love* the marlboro bike paintjob. Just something about the irony of that.

    I'm now wondering about getting an aluminum bike frame either polished or all chromed just for the uniqueness value...

  25. #25
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlts22
    I'm digressing here, but I *love* the marlboro bike paintjob. Just something about the irony of that.
    Thanks!!! It was commisioned to replicate the Emerson Fitipaldi Formula 1 race car scheme. I heard that a picture of it showed up in a magazine, due I'm sure, to the irony factor.
    I've been contemplating the idea of doing a Camel scheme on my old Fisher AL-1. I did a Camel scheme on a Ritchey, but that was along the lines of Miguel Duhamels (sp) motorcycle. I'll have to dig up some pics of that one for you.

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