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Old 05-11-10, 07:48 AM   #1
Grillparzer
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Spray painting?

I know this will offend the purists because it offends me and I'm one of them, but I'm in a bind. My Bianchi, my only transportation, was ripped off and I need to get a tore down and stripped Raleigh F500 in to ridable shape as quickly and as cheaply as possible. My question, if I spray paint it how long can I expect the paint job to last? If I'm looking at having to repaint it within a year then I might as well have it done professionally to save me the time and trouble of tearing it apart again.
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Old 05-11-10, 08:13 AM   #2
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If you rattlecan it it will take about 7 days to harden up to the point where you can realistically mount components, but it really takes about 30 days to reach where you want it to be. And it'll last OK. Just don't expect to beat it around as much as a "real" paint job. You can speed the curing process with heat lamps or a hot attic.

My recommendation for combination of speed & cost would be powdercoat. Build it up as soon as you bring it home.
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Old 05-11-10, 08:36 AM   #3
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I took my time with spray painting a frame and left if for a couple of weeks before mounting anything on it. I have now been riding it for about a year and the paint still looks brand new. The only scratches I've had came from hitting it with tools during build up or locking it to rough bike racks. Since I didn't use a clear coat, I was able to easily spray a bit more color over the scratched areas. I now stick a bandanna between the frame and racks when I lock it up to avid more scratches. but otherwise I treat it the same as my other bikes.
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Old 05-11-10, 10:05 AM   #4
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I can only think of two reasons to paint a bicycle frame yourself:
1. You want to do something special or unusual.
2. You want the satisfaction that comes from doing it yourself.

The cost of materials will come closer to the price of a professional powdercoat job than most people would guess.
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Old 05-11-10, 10:10 AM   #5
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My girlfriend spray painted her bike last year and it has quite a few chips in it, but it still looks pretty sharp all things considered. However, the best route is to post a 'POWDER COATING WANTED!' on craigs list and see if anyone will offer you a decent bid to powder coat your bike.

Dude around my town listed powder coating a bike for about 80 bucks, which is pretty affordable.
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Old 05-11-10, 10:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Grillparzer View Post
I know this will offend the purists because it offends me and I'm one of them, but I'm in a bind. My Bianchi, my only transportation, was ripped off and I need to get a tore down and stripped Raleigh F500 in to ridable shape as quickly and as cheaply as possible. My question, if I spray paint it how long can I expect the paint job to last? If I'm looking at having to repaint it within a year then I might as well have it done professionally to save me the time and trouble of tearing it apart again.

You might do a search for painting, there's been many threads about it on BF. From what I gather, the prep work is vital do a good paint job. Spray paints don't last nearly as long as a pro job.

Yep, powder coating is pretty cost efficient. They'll clean and prep the frame . In your area there are lots of powder coaters to choose from.
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Old 05-11-10, 10:44 AM   #7
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As I recall a Raleigh F500 is a pretty inexpensive bike and doing a "proper" job on it would be out of scale with what it would be worth in the end.

Rattle can paint comes in many guises as well. The Tremclad and Rustoleum paints are terrible options. They stay much too soft. Similarly avoid anything like VHT or BBQ paints. Again they are way too soft. On the other hand I've had very good luck with Flecto brushing or spray enamels if you can find it. In fact I've used the Flecto brushing enamel and thinned it about 15% with mineral spirits and when used with a nice fine haired brush it lays on and smoothens out to a glass like surface. It looks as good as or better than spraying with far less mess.

You may want to try something that a buddy of mine did. He painted some motorcycle parts with engine block enamel from an auto parts store. To speed things up he "baked" the parts in the oven at around 150F for about 2 or 3 hours once the paint had dried to the touch. Turns out it was quite durable. The parts are subject to his boots rubbing on them and he said after quite a few weeks that they were only lightly scuffed.

You could make an "oven" for a bike frame by closing the frame in with some sort of a big cardboard box or even hanging a couple of blankets up to form a compartment that won't touch the frame. Then stick a couple of table lamps with old style 100 watt incandescent bulbs under the blanket along with the frame. In a pinch I'll bet 4 or 5 such lamps in a closet would form a pretty good "oven" and get up to around 120 to 150 in a few hours. Or if you have one of those little ceramic cube heaters use that. Just set it to max and let it go. It would be pretty smelly though as the rest of the solvents are baked off so keep a window opened and the door opened just a crack to allow some air exchange.

If you can find the Flecto enamel and use that doing the baking thing overnight would also help harden the paint sooner. If you just air dry it almost anything will stay quite soft for a good week until ALL of the solvents are dried out. It takes a surprisingly long time for that to happen at regular temperatures.
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Old 05-11-10, 11:24 AM   #8
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As I recall a Raleigh F500 is a pretty inexpensive bike and doing a "proper" job on it would be out of scale with what it would be worth in the end.

.
He's riding the bike, not selling it. Resale value matters not at all. Looks and durability are more important.
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Old 05-11-10, 02:35 PM   #9
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True, but why put more into it than it's worth? Most of us would rather put the money into the next or better project that won't be so rushed and basic. And if there's a decent enough rattle can or brush on option that can be done for about $15 instead of a powder job for $80'ish then a choice needs to be made.
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Old 05-11-10, 02:57 PM   #10
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True, but why put more into it than it's worth?
Because he's riding the bike, not selling it. The amount the bike would sell for is totally irrelevant. A spray painted or brushed bike is going to look like, surprise, surpise, a spray painted bike, and in a month, is going to look like crap.
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