Last edited by halimec05; 11-05-05 at 02:20 AM.
Have you looked into painting it yourself? I do a great many and love it. If you have a digital camera and some time you can record off your decals and artwork and get them reproduced in thin vynyl(as I am doing with mine, www.vcgraphix.com) for 30-40 bucks. To do it with automotive quaility paint will cost around 70-80 dollars with decals and a little more with clearcoat over(which is worth it).
There are cheaper options, but the results are so much more worth it.
I hear ya on the space issue. I work at a plane resto shop with a paint room so I finally have a real facility. Before that it was always a hook on the rafter in my back porch. Worked well but only when it was warm and sunny.
The Phosphate undercoating you noted is actually fine when left alone. A lot of chemical strippers are made to not affect it. In the 90s I would venture to say it will be enamels. The phosphate treatment goes back a long way though. My 92 Giant has it. Automotive acrylic is good, but the clearcoat process is unreliable when decaling. The car shop I used to work for said they had the clearcoat lift more often than not, so it was not feasible. It does polish up really well when not cleared, but it leaves the decals exposed. Not the end of the world, but a bit tacky in my opinion.
That is why I am using Base-Clear automotive. It has a flat finish color layer, add the decals or stripes, etc, then coat with a clear. The potential gloss level is vastly superior. Cost is higher however, and it does fume. On the plus side, it dries fast.
check out this link. http://www.spectrumpowderworks.com/ They're in Colorado Springs; I don't imagine shipping would be much. They like to powder-coat but will use wet paint if you insist. They seem to to a great job of reproducing decals. They're bicycle specialists and my understanding is they'll spot and/or correct frame problems if they exist. I think they'll even remove/add braze-ons if you need. I haven't used them btw.