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  1. #1
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    What constitutes a good paint job?

    Iíve been thinking about this since Dr. Dís recent thread. There were many posters on that thread seemed to feel $1500 was not unreasonable for a paint job on a bicycle so I wanted to ask just what you guys consider a good paint job? Now I know there are a few bikes out there (some Colnagos and most any Tommasini come to mind and Iím sure there are a few others) that have factory paint jobs that are pure artwork. But those donít represent the vast majority of bikes we collect here. I went to a few paintersí websites (Joe Bell and Cycleart and a few lesser known) to see what they offered and the guys charging the big money seem to be offering that sort of over restored show quality paint job that might look great on that Tommasini but I donít need one of those.

    Now Iíve never been to a bicycle factory and certainly not one from back in the day, but I picture in my mind a big rack with bunches of frames hanging from it and Giuseppi or Pierre or whoever, paint *** in hand spraying frames by the dozen and getting paid for how many frames he paints per day or something. Certainly thatís what the paint on most of my bikes looks like. And really, thatís all I need if Iím going to get a bike painted (ok, there could be an exception here or there but you know what I mean). So no 27 coats of hand rubbed lacquer. No clear coat so deep it looks like you could reach into it. Hey, my factory decals came on top of the paint.

    So, a good paint job for me means a durable, shiny factory style paint job, clear coat only if that was original, and no Artist required, just Joe the painter (and not Joe Bell - sorry Joe ) with his paint ***. So what do you guys think. Is that good enough for you or do you want the show quality job?
    1959 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1966 Bottecchia Professional, 1971 Bottecchia Professional (frame),
    1973 Bottecchia Gran Turismo, 1974 Bottecchia Special, 1977 Bottecchia Special (frame),
    1974 Peugeot UO-8, 1988 Panasonic PT-3500, 2002 Bianchi Veloce, 2004 Bianchi Pista

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Well, I think part of the quality is defined by the materials used. For instance, Imron is quite toxic, and requires adherence to a lot of air quality demands and regulations, and least here in California; spray booths, evacuation and filter systems, breathing apparatus for the operator, all factored into the cost.

    Beyond that, I guess just proper prep, masking etc to insure a quality job using materials that will last. And supplying and applying decals and lug outlining, other details if a restoration. And basically understanding what can and can't be done to a bicycle frame.

    You can do a great looking job with spray cans, but it won't hold up well over time.

    I used to have a local guy who did a great blast and single color for about 250., but he had to close up.

    BTW, I think Imron goes on matte, until the clearcoat goes on, at least that's what I saw at this guy's shop.

    Honestly, the difference between just spraying it on and a show quality job is the prep!

    Also, the builder is doing so many red, so many blue, so many silver, consistant decals, all at once, so the effort is much less. The repainter is treating each as a custom order.
    Last edited by dbakl; 03-02-09 at 04:02 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quality materials will cost, but its the custom stuff, such as custom color or color match will be more dear.

    One of the problems is that the experienced painters have a hard time doing "slap dash" painting, to replicate production decisions probably would take more time than to work to their normal standard which is higher. You mean you WANT some orange peel? Its okay that the seat tube band does not match perfectly at the back?

    An interesting problem.

  4. #4
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    What frame are you looking to paint?
    Will this be a factory restoration?

    In all honestly if it is not going to be a high end factory restoration, and you just want a nice paint job you can honestly do it with cans of spray paint. Painting is all about the prep you do before, if you don't prep it properly you will never get a good finish. Sandblasting/sanding + priming + sanding+ priming + paint + n coats of paint and or sanding to you liking.

    You can also have the frame powder coated, many people have great results with that.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    You're absolutely right, Kommisar89. A bike like my PX10 with heavy clearcoat over the decals has not been restored, it's been custom painted. A true restoration paint job would be enamel under the decals.

    dbakl-
    Basecoat-clearcoat paintjobs have a dead flat basecoat. All of the gloss comes from the clear.

  6. #6
    Bottecchia fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by repechage View Post
    Quality materials will cost, but its the custom stuff, such as custom color or color match will be more dear.

    One of the problems is that the experienced painters have a hard time doing "slap dash" painting, to replicate production decisions probably would take more time than to work to their normal standard which is higher. You mean you WANT some orange peel? Its okay that the seat tube band does not match perfectly at the back?

    An interesting problem.
    LOL...that's the way it is now Actually what I would want in most instances is simply that the painter work with me to achieve a reasonable job at a reasonable cost. For example, if it would be practical (and I don't really know that it is but "if") I wouldn't mind stripping the paint off the old frame, masking the chrome and whatnot, letting the painter do his thing, and then I would do the decals, pinstriping, etc. That way I am building the bike rather than just throwing down the cash and having an expert do it. Hell I figure I can do as good a job as ol' Giuseppi after a few shots of grappo.
    1959 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1966 Bottecchia Professional, 1971 Bottecchia Professional (frame),
    1973 Bottecchia Gran Turismo, 1974 Bottecchia Special, 1977 Bottecchia Special (frame),
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  7. #7
    Bottecchia fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtdrop View Post
    You're absolutely right, Kommisar89. A bike like my PX10 with heavy clearcoat over the decals has not been restored, it's been custom painted. A true restoration paint job would be enamel under the decals.

    dbakl-
    Basecoat-clearcoat paintjobs have a dead flat basecoat. All of the gloss comes from the clear.
    Exactly - nothing wrong with yours if that's what you want. And maybe I would want it like that for one special bike but for the rest of the fleet, a simple, relatively inexpensive job would do.
    1959 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1966 Bottecchia Professional, 1971 Bottecchia Professional (frame),
    1973 Bottecchia Gran Turismo, 1974 Bottecchia Special, 1977 Bottecchia Special (frame),
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  8. #8
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    A good paint job= takes a lickin' and keeps on stickin'
    72 special CNC ___________ 72 Frejus (ala Legnano) __73 Holdsworth Record
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  9. #9
    Bottecchia fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Barker View Post
    A good paint job= takes a lickin' and keeps on stickin'
    Right - which should mean good prep, keeping everything spotlessly clean, and good quality paint. Around $350
    1959 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1966 Bottecchia Professional, 1971 Bottecchia Professional (frame),
    1973 Bottecchia Gran Turismo, 1974 Bottecchia Special, 1977 Bottecchia Special (frame),
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  10. #10
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    when I worked at Trek in '77-'78, the guy that was doing the painting was making $5 an hour like the rest of us. I thought he did a pretty good job. Those paint jobs were one coat of Imron over primer. He would paint at most a handful of frames at a time, it was low rate mass production. The frames were chemically prepped, but nothing particularly special. I've seen a lot of those bikes that still look pretty good. I forget what they charged us to paint our personal bikes, I think it was something less than $20. And they would occasionally paint one frame at a time. Of course, a gallon of milk down the street was less than 30 cents.

    I get the impression that Imron was different stuff back then. It looks like it's polyurethane now. I know the price of paint has risen astronomically.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 03-02-09 at 09:36 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member cycleheimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    when I worked at Trek in '77-'78, the guy that was doing the painting was making $5 an hour like the rest of us. I thought he did a pretty good job. Those paint jobs were one coat of Imron over primer. He would paint at most a handful of frames at a time, it was low rate mass production. The frames were chemically prepped, but nothing particularly special. I've seen a lot of those bikes that still look pretty good. I forget what they charged us to paint our personal bikes, I think it was something less than $20. And they would occasionally paint one frame at a time. Of course, a gallon of milk down the street was less than 30 cents.

    I get the impression that Imron was different stuff back then. It looks like it's polyurethane now. I know the price of paint has risen astronomically.
    I have a 1981 Trek 412 with a Dupont Imron paint job. Bike is like NOS. My favorite part of the bike is the paint job! It shines!

  12. #12
    Bottecchia fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycleheimer View Post
    I have a 1981 Trek 412 with a Dupont Imron paint job. Bike is like NOS. My favorite part of the bike is the paint job! It shines!
    See, that's what I want. Now how much should a paint job like that cost today?
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  13. #13
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kommisar89 View Post
    See, that's what I want. Now how much should a paint job like that cost today?
    I'm trying to figure that out myself. I want to get back into framebuilding. I'd like to paint on the side. I'd like to be able to offer a serviceable paint job for a reasonable price, but I don't want to be selling myself short. I noticed one of the framebuilders is offering a paint job called "if I didn't do this, I'd be using a rattlecan" paint job for $150. I'm thinking if you could do more than one bike at a time the price could be lower (on edit: no lower than that, I'm afraid). Maybe a monthly sprayfest.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 03-03-09 at 10:16 AM.

  14. #14
    perpetually frazzled mickey85's Avatar
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    Well, I just got a quote today from a guy that said to repaint my Professional Mink and Silver, it would cost $270 for paint/clear, $45 to do the silver, $5 to remove the stuck seatpost, and $35 if I want to go with decals.

    In all, $355 plus shipping seems like a killer deal...

    Here's the website:

    http://home.alltel.net/franklinframe/repainting.html
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  15. #15
    Bottecchia fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickey85 View Post
    Well, I just got a quote today from a guy that said to repaint my Professional Mink and Silver, it would cost $270 for paint/clear, $45 to do the silver, $5 to remove the stuck seatpost, and $35 if I want to go with decals.

    In all, $355 plus shipping seems like a killer deal...

    Here's the website:

    http://home.alltel.net/franklinframe/repainting.html
    REPAINT PRICES

    BASE REPAINT--SINGLE FRAME--NO CLEAR COAT......
    $ 215.00
    CLEAR COAT--SINGLE FRAME.........................................
    $ 55.00

    Now that's what I'm talking about. Those are much better prices than the "big boys". And they are frame builders/painters so you can't say they don't know how to paint bicycles.
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  16. #16
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    Mickey, Jack did both the bikes on this link....
    http://s635.photobucket.com/albums/u...jus/?start=all
    He refinished the Frejus, the light blue bike is one he made for me a year or more ago.
    Fantastic work, knows what's what so to speak.

  17. #17
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    I wish I did more research regarding painting when I was restoring Corky. Not that the paint job is bad, but it cost way to much in the end. What I wanted was the $250 basic... to look like a production bike. Now it is over restored. I makes me want to take all the parts off and rock it as a fixed gear for a couple years and then get a production style paint job. Not that the paint job is bad, it's incredible, deep and luscious and probably super durable (except is it so thick it cracked at contact points like brake caliper installation, seatpost binder, RD hander) it looks like it is ready to drip off the frame it's so glossy. It takes real talent to do that, but now that I have it I know it is not what I wanted. It was my first real restoration and I learned from it. I much prefer the super thin metallic paint on my gazelle or '92 Marinoni.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MalcolmsFrejus View Post
    Mickey, Jack did both the bikes on this link....
    http://s635.photobucket.com/albums/u...jus/?start=all
    Is Jack = Franklin? Frejus looks great. Doesn't say where they're located...

  19. #19
    Si se Puede!!!....Ahuevo! gr23932's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    Is Jack = Franklin? Frejus looks great. Doesn't say where they're located...
    I think they are in Ohio as their area code is 740.
    Ese dicho que me han dicho que tķ has dicho que yo he dicho, ese dicho no lo he dicho, porque si lo hubiera dicho, ese dicho estarŪa bien dicho por haberlo dicho yo.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Jack is Franklin.
    They're near Newark, Ohio.
    Thanks on the Frejus.
    Not trying to highjack the thread.
    He does great work.

  21. #21
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    I think it is all in what you want.

    * Rattle can
    I did a servicable repaint of my 82 Nishiki with rattle can.... full strip to bare metal, prime etc. it looks good, but is not super durable. The actual end cost was a lot higher than I expected (stripper, primer, paint, clear) some which I am sure was due to me doing lots of light coats and there was a lot of overspray.
    * Powder coat
    Seems like the best deal if you like the colors the coater has...they strip, they paint and the finishs is durable.
    *Basic pro paint job....like what you are talking in the thread.....good paint wide range of colors but essentialy a simple job
    *full art, the skys the limit job

    My feel is that the best bet is powder coat...other wise it is what look you want and your wallet

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
    ....(except is it so thick it cracked at contact points like brake caliper installation, seatpost binder, RD hander) ...
    Either too think a film thickness and or too much time between color and clear, many modern paint systems want 24 hours MAX. between color and clear. Remembering the Corky epic, my guess too much time. I do not think that is a good thing to happen.

    Imron has changed over the decades, mostly EPA / VOC requirements.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kommisar89 View Post
    REPAINT PRICES

    BASE REPAINT--SINGLE FRAME--NO CLEAR COAT......
    $ 215.00
    CLEAR COAT--SINGLE FRAME.........................................
    $ 55.00

    Now that's what I'm talking about. Those are much better prices than the "big boys". And they are frame builders/painters so you can't say they don't know how to paint bicycles.
    Those prices sound very reasonable.

  24. #24
    If I own it, I ride it CV-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickey85 View Post
    Well, I just got a quote today from a guy that said to repaint my Professional Mink and Silver, it would cost $270 for paint/clear, $45 to do the silver, $5 to remove the stuck seatpost, and $35 if I want to go with decals.

    In all, $355 plus shipping seems like a killer deal...

    Here's the website:

    http://home.alltel.net/franklinframe/repainting.html
    That would be Franklin Frame, who refinished my LeJeune, rechromed the fork and rear triangle, repaired the derailleur hanger, did lug outlining, installed decals I supplied and clearcoated for $550. The LeJeune you see on his site is mine. Excellent work.
    Lynn Travers

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    ISO: Lejeune Champion du Monde Ultra Leger Reynolds 753, 53-55cm

  25. #25
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    Repechage, perhaps you can PM me on this issue: The issue; I can't send you a PM.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

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