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Old 12-26-07, 06:41 PM   #1
graywolf
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Paint cost

Not real sure where to put this, there are so many forums.


I have a Raleigh Sports I want to paint. Oh, wow, so many options.

1. Spray can. Seems to be cheapest. But it is not very durable, and I want to use the bicycle not display it.

2. Powder coat. Seems reasonable, very durable. But the sheet metal parts (fenders and chainguard) need body work and I understand that you have to start with bare metal, and I would definitely have to farm it out. However this might be a good way to deal with rusty brackets and the like.

3. Polyurthane/catalyst (Imron). Durable, but difficult for the do-it-your-selfer. I checked at the local auto paint dealer and it would cost $76 for a pint (Note: red or metallics are higher) of the stuff with catalyst. BTW, there seems to be at least five different types of Imron.

4. Auto body paint. Fairly durable if baked on. $18/pint. I figure I could use a couple of infrared bulbs to bake, doing it in sections.

Then there is the primer. Most think that you just spray a bit of primer and then the finish coat. Not so, you really should use an anti-corrosion primer on any bare metal. Then a primer filler, several coats sanded amost off each time to fill in any imperfections. Then a primer sealer. That is three coats of different primers. And only then the color coat. And maybe a clear coat over the color coat.

For the poly stuff the paint store quoted me a $125 for everything. And we think painters who want $200 are cheating us (head shake).

So what do you folks who have done this recommend?
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Old 12-26-07, 06:54 PM   #2
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This link has a lot of good information on frame painting.
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Old 12-27-07, 01:15 AM   #3
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So what do you folks who have done this recommend?
Having someone who's done this before do it. ...


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Old 12-27-07, 08:01 AM   #4
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It will cost you less to have Dr. Deltron paint your frame and fork than it will cost you to buy the matrerials and equipment needed to do it yourself. I speak from experience.
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Old 12-27-07, 09:00 AM   #5
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If you are looking for a restoration quality job, take it to a Pro Painter. If you are looking for a solid durable utilty coating, have it powder coated.

Either way, Like the Doc said, take it someone who has done it.
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Old 12-27-07, 10:08 AM   #6
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2. Powder coat. Seems reasonable, very durable. But the sheet metal parts (fenders and chainguard) need body work and I understand that you have to start with bare metal, and I would definitely have to farm it out. However this might be a good way to deal with rusty brackets and the like.
Powdercoating is an excellent way to deal with rusty brackets and such. I have also done two whole frames. Came out looking great once. But the second time with a light green metalic paint it was strangely discolored over the brazing material around the lugs. Not terrible, but not perfect either. The powdercoater did not have a good answer why. He guessed that maybe the metalic part of the paint interacted differently with the brazing material. Anyone else ever seen this?

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Old 12-27-07, 08:08 PM   #7
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It will cost you less to have Dr. Deltron paint your frame and fork than it will cost you to buy the matrerials and equipment needed to do it yourself. I speak from experience.
Does that include the shipping from NC to CA and back to NC

It is interesting how much money you can put into a $10 basket case bicycle. It is also interesting how little Social Security thinks you need to live off of. The two make an interesting mathematical equation. I have very little money, on the other hand I have plenty of free time. Which is good because I am going to have to do this thing outdoors. Luckily I do have the skills needed, so that is not a problem.

It is like "The only bottom bracket that fits is the Phil Wood, we will install one for you for only $200". I could easily put $1000 into this build, but then I would have a real nice $100 bicycle. So my question, if that was not clear, is really about best practical durability for lowest practical price.
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Old 12-27-07, 08:20 PM   #8
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I have done two DIY rattlecan Rustoleum jobs, both of which actually came out pretty decently, but far from showroom quality. I have also paid a bundle for a two-tone professional job with reproduced decals, and it looks like a million bucks. However, I would have trouble justfying the expense for anything other than an otherwise collectible frame with irreparable or non-original (my case) paint.
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Old 12-27-07, 08:45 PM   #9
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The protective gear that's necessary to safely work with the Imron you brought up will cost you thousands. A filter mask won't do it.

If I were going to paint another bike, I think I'd use acrylic enamel.
http://www.tcpglobal.com/restorationshop/rsp1803.aspx

I painted my Carlton with this stuff:
http://www.tcpglobal.com/kustomshop/ksflatz.aspx
The quart kits are a good deal. You don't want to get it in your lungs, though. I painted outside and stayed upwind of it.
http://good-times.webshots.com/album/560796524cQRWSB

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Old 12-27-07, 11:47 PM   #10
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Maybe someone who says that rattle can paint is not durable in one post, and says it is pretty durable in another.
If you're saying that I've contradicted myself, I think that the "not durable" & "pretty durable" are taken out of context.
Rattle can paint isn't as durable as automotive quality materials, but it can be pretty durable if applied correctly and allowed to cure properly.

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Sorry, I asked here, quite obviously it is the wrong forum.
If you find the correct forum, please share so we can all learn more.

My 30+ years experience has lead to my own hypocracy.
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Old 12-28-07, 12:45 PM   #11
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Well, at this point I guess I will wind up going with rattle can paint, force cured with heat lamps.

If I was in a big city I would most likely go with automotive enamel, but the local auto paint store does not seem to carry any, just the poly and cheap stuff that he claims in not as good a Dupli-Color.

Of course this all depends upon the value of the bicycle involved, and if you have a lot of sheet metal parts like fenders and chain guards that need body work done. If it was just a frame and fork it probably would be best to go with powdercoat, but since the old Raleigh Sports has those that is not a viable option for me. Spending a $150 or so to do it with poly is outside the value range of the bicycle. Which seems to leave auto enamel ($50) or spray cans ($25). Those are material costs for a plain dark finish, no labor included. The fact is that if you want a nice job the labor is about the same whichever you use.

This is a long term project that I will not even be able to start until warm dry weather, so any comments or ideas are welcome. It is not etched in stone until I actually spend the money, and there is a lot of other stuff to do before the paint anyway.
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Old 12-28-07, 12:54 PM   #12
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I painted my Carlton with this stuff:
http://www.tcpglobal.com/kustomshop/ksflatz.aspx
The quart kits are a good deal. You don't want to get it in your lungs, though. I painted outside and stayed upwind of it.
http://good-times.webshots.com/album/560796524cQRWSB
The price of that stuff seems reasonable. Thanks for posting the links.
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Old 12-28-07, 01:15 PM   #13
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You might want to try this clear instead of a basic spray-can clearcoat. This is a true 2K clearcoat, with a hardener in a separate cylinder that is INSIDE the can. It's weird, but works very well. It will harden like no other spray can clear. I've used it with good results on fenders, chainguards, and even a motorcycle helmet. Holds up much better than a normal spray clear, and is as close to a true automotive catalyzed clear as you're going to get in a spray bomb.

edit:although the ad copy says it's a primer,t his is actually a clear coat. Spray MAx does make a 2K primer, also. Might want to look into that, too.
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Old 12-28-07, 03:11 PM   #14
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You might want to try this clear instead of a basic spray-can clearcoat.
That looks interesting.
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Old 12-28-07, 03:38 PM   #15
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That looks interesting.
Although the link says it is compatible over basecoat and CURED laquer and enamel finishes, I'm thinking that they mean catalysed acrylic enamel, not the mineral spirits based rattle can enamel.

I would first paint a piece of PVC pipe with the same paint you use on the frame. Then use that catalysed clear on the PVC first. If it doesn't cause any problems, use it on the frame.

That way if something DOES go wrong, it'll be on a cheap piece of plastic, NOT on your frame.
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Old 12-28-07, 07:45 PM   #16
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Arggh! Looks like I will not be refinishing this Raleigh.

I bought the thing from a guy on ebay a couple of years back for the front wheel which he said was in good shape. I decided to take the whole thing because shipping wasn't that much more than for just the wheel from him. So the wheel turned out to be a POJ. But hey, I have a Raleigh I can build a townie out of. So now I get around to actually planing to do that. Looking into parts options, and paint options, etc.

So today I put it up in the Park Repair Stand and start checking it out. Humm...? The forks is bent... I can fix that. I turn it over and what is that...? There is a hole in the chainstay where it attaches to the bottom bracket.

How do they do something like that? One thing I know is that that frame is not going to stand up under my fat body. Maybe the worst thing about it is that it has been taking up space in my tiny apartment for all that time.
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Old 12-28-07, 08:00 PM   #17
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Looks like kickstand damage, to me.
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Old 12-28-07, 08:12 PM   #18
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It's steel. I'd be all for welding that closed. Doesn't even have to be pretty. This ain't no museum piece.
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Old 12-28-07, 09:35 PM   #19
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I have done the expensive paint jobs and chrome replating jobs on bikes, but for the latest project I am going the powder coated route - even then it's $80 sandblast and paint or $125 for sandblast, primer then powdercoat - sould be done by the time I get home in a couple of days - there are lugs but no chrome involved. I am a little worried about sand blasting versus a chemical strip, but not a truely classic bike - just small builder. I let you know how it turns out.
I had a offer from a car painter off CL FOR $150/TRADE - probably try that on the next project.
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Old 12-28-07, 10:34 PM   #20
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It's steel. I'd be all for welding that closed. Doesn't even have to be pretty. This ain't no museum piece.
With all the rust on the components I would be worried as heck about internal rust. Also it seems to be one problem after another. The only reason I was even considering all this effort is because 3-speeds are almost non-existent around here. Of course I may just be feeling

Welding is something I would have to farm out. I do not mind putting a couple of hundred bucks into it to make a nice townie, but it just keeps looking like there is more and more I did not see wrong with it, and I saw plenty wrong with it to start. And I am finding it harder to locate sources for parts that fit it than when I first looked a couple of years ago. Raleigh seems to have been the last company in the modern world who used Whitworth screw threads.

As you say it is no museum piece, so it is hardly worth putting all that money and effort into it. At this point it would seem better to find a better bicycle to start with. No use pouring good money after bad as they say. I guess I will see what little I can salvage in parts from it and toss the rest. Then again, I may change my mind again after I have had a few days to calm down.
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Old 12-29-07, 06:29 AM   #21
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Rustoleum with a few layers of clearcoat looks fairly decent and is very cheap. If it is a daily-use beater bike, then by all means go the spray can route, a nice paint job will get scuffed up in no time.
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Old 12-29-07, 01:43 PM   #22
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There is a hole in the chainstay where it attaches to the bottom bracket.
Since the chainstays are brazed into the BB, the best fix would be to braze patches in the shape of a spears over the holes and blend them into the BB shell lug sockets. Of course that would be overkill for such a low end gaspipe frame unless you have some sentimental attachment to it. It would be a fun project you can do yourself with silver solder and a turbo propane torch.
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