I am not sure this thread belongs here but I sat staring at the forum list for 5 minutes and decided this one will have to do.
Anyway, I was curious if it's possible to paint carbon bike parts? I may want to paint this carbon fork I got from a friend red, to match the frame (so sue me). Is this possible or am I stuck with Al/Steel red forks for the rest of my life?
'''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
The instructions that came with my Kestrel EMS Pro fork address painting it. They specifically warn against is using paint stripper, sanding excessively, bead blasting or baking the finish at over 150°F
They do recommend light hand sanding (grit not specified but probably 100 or finer will be ok) that doesn't get into the carbon under the clear coat but don't give any type of paint that is recommended or warned against. I take it from that that any type will do so a spray can lacquer or enamel should be safe.
For best results;
1st clean the parts (forks) with PPG's DX 330 Wax & Grease remover. Use some paper towels; one to apply and another one to wipe clean.
2nd, scuf with red (medium) or grey (fine) 3M scuf pads to break the gloss off the surface.
3rd Clean again with DX 330
4th, Primer with PPG DPLF primer in appropriate color
5th, spray color (any PPG, Sikkens or other auto motive base coat color)
Last, spray PPG 2042 clear. 2 coats, 3 max.
That's for a "pro" finish.
Otherwise substitute rattlecan primer (self etching is not really necessary). Use white primer if you are going to paint the forks red. Spray the red. Spray with 3-4 coats clear.
I don't recommend using laquer. But if you do, be sure the primer, color and clear are Laquer!
Enamel primer/color/clear is your best bet for DIY painting. Note; wait a week or two before assembling.
To determine if the paint is fully "cured", test an inconspicuous spot and see if your fingernail leaves an impression. If it does, wait another week. That's the only real drawback to rattle can painting, waiting for it to harden properly.
and don't forget to mask the fork crown race!
Good luck and you can PM me if you'd like more info.