Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    24
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    White Nail Polish Over Scratch?

    Some ***hole dropped my bike today while he was unloading his neighboring-bike from the bike rack, and now there's a 0.5 square centimeter sized scratch in my fork. Pretty small, but noticeable and its biting away at my soul.

    The fork is pure white by the way, so can i take a little white nail polish to cover it up? But i've heard that nail polish ends up looking terrible, or something. Should I just ignore the scratch, or will nail polish be ok?

    Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3,897
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I took my bike to a hobby/model shop when shopping for touch-up paint. Testors enamel paint, at about $1.50 for a small bottle, was the solution.
    Regards,

    Jed

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    29
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nail polish is almost always a ketone (acetone, MEK) soluble lacquer (words: nitrocellulose, acetyl or butyl cellulose and so on); sometimes they include some aromatic solvent (toluene, xylene) stuff. Totally harmless to metal frame bikes (steel, aluminum, titanium), and almost totally harmless to fiber reinforced polymer (carbon/graphite-epoxy) frames (you’d have to soak the frame in the solvent over night to cause damage). Check the nail polish label to see if a major ingredient is a ketone or aromatic (usually toluene). If so, use it, and if you don’t like the effect wipe if off with a rag wet with lacquer thinner and try again. Maybe try one of the clear coat nail polishes to start with? OK, I’m assuming that your frame maker/painter used enamel, which is mostly impervious to lacquer solvents. To find out, try a bit of your preferred lacquer thinner on an area of your bike that you don’t care about and see it damages the original finish. If it softens/comes lose = lacquer, if nothing (other some minor rag staining = enamel). Testor’s is usually an enamel and thus harder to remove/change if you don’t like it. Positive side; enamels usually hold up better to aging and wear than lacquers.

  4. #4
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    5,867
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    if you want it to look good you'll need to wet sand the scratch down, then paint, then wet sand/use rubbing compound.. otherwise it will look like you painted over a scratch with nailpolish

    the color also might not match

    it's a bike. it will get scratched.
    1986 Diamondback Apex ~ 1988 Diamondback Ascent EX ~ 1989 Jamis Dakar ~ 1989 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp
    1993 Trek 8300 Composite ~ 1993 Diamondback Axis Team Titanium ~ 1995 Diamondback Apex

    Join the Chainstay Brake Mafia!

  5. #5
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In the wilds of NY
    My Bikes
    Box Dog Pelican, Raleigh Sojourn, Specialized Secteur, 1991 Cannondale tandem
    Posts
    1,305
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Remedemic View Post
    Some ***hole dropped my bike today while he was unloading his neighboring-bike from the bike rack, and now there's a 0.5 square centimeter sized scratch in my fork. Pretty small, but noticeable and its biting away at my soul.

    The fork is pure white by the way, so can i take a little white nail polish to cover it up? But i've heard that nail polish ends up looking terrible, or something. Should I just ignore the scratch, or will nail polish be ok?

    Thanks everyone.
    Life gets a whole lot more pleasant and simpler when you don't worry about scratches on a machine that should be spending lots of time out in the elements.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  6. #6
    Senior Member brian3069's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    My Bikes
    Raleigh Supercourse
    Posts
    1,028
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get a bottle of Testors bright white and a bottle of cream. Mix them to match your paint. The only person who will notice it is you. Don't forget to use primer first.
    Somewhere in my soul there's always rock and roll. -Joe Strummer

  7. #7
    Senior Member tanguy frame's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR metro area
    Posts
    940
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Drop it on the other side to make it even. Next time get an unfinished Ti bike if scratches eat your soul. Come on - there are starving babies in Biafra.
    -Tanguy Frame

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,249
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    is your bike new? The first time my Surly got scratched, I freaked out. Now each scratch is just another mark of maturity. I do cover the scratches with black nail polish...black frame. It's not a perfect match but I forget it's there unless I'm looking for it, not to say it's that inconspicuous cos you CAN tell. Mostly I do it cos I hate the look of rust. I say just go for it or don't go for it. Either way, it won't matter to you soon enough.

  9. #9
    Senior Member justadude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Miami, FL
    My Bikes
    excellent road bike
    Posts
    304
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    if it's a steel fork, maybe apply a primer and enamel to prevent rust

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Allen, TX
    My Bikes
    Look 585
    Posts
    1,399
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You need to be careful when painting over existing paint. As a rule, enamel is safe over most other paint. Be careful using acetone or lacquer based paints as they will soften the original paint. It is best to get the touch-up paint for your specific frame, if possible.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,249
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by justadude View Post
    if it's a steel fork, maybe apply a primer and enamel to prevent rust
    available at any hardware store? Well, I asked my LBS about it and they gave me black model paint. I think it should be fine.

  12. #12
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    5,867
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by justadude View Post
    if it's a steel fork, maybe apply a primer and enamel to prevent rust

    i just use clear nail polish to seal small scratches
    1986 Diamondback Apex ~ 1988 Diamondback Ascent EX ~ 1989 Jamis Dakar ~ 1989 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp
    1993 Trek 8300 Composite ~ 1993 Diamondback Axis Team Titanium ~ 1995 Diamondback Apex

    Join the Chainstay Brake Mafia!

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    South Yorkshire, England.
    My Bikes
    Colnago CX-1 Record 11sp. Carbon Epic expert 29er, Claud Butler Dalesman. Proflex X-px Works, Cougar 653. KHS Montana Pro, Hercules Alassio. Ammoco Monte Carlo F/SS. Corratec Superbow Fun 29er. Claud Butler Midas. Kenisis T2. Peugeot Perthus.
    Posts
    245
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've used nail varnish on my bikes for years and i've even mixed colours to get a better match, i find the finish is acceptable, much better than a nasty scratch which draws the eye, but never perfect.
    Colnago CX-1 Record 11sp. Carbon Epic Expert 29er

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY
    My Bikes
    too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
    Posts
    22,534
    Mentioned
    69 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Folks have been using nail polish successfully for at east half a century, so go ahead if you can match the color. Unless it's a show bike, you should only care about rust protection, and camouflage, not an actual perfect match, so don't waste your time sanding or otherwise making this simple act a ritual.

    It's a bike, if you use it it'll get scratched, the sooner you accept this the happier you'll be.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    My Bikes
    Klein
    Posts
    907
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use automotive touch-up paint. A lot of auto supply stores have a display with small bottles of paint in hundreds of colors. I found one with a brush and a pen applicator included.

  16. #16
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    My Bikes
    See sig
    Posts
    4,396
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If it's the kind of bike that you can't deal with a scratch on, why on earth are you putting it in a bike rack?!
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •