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  1. #1
    Senior Member thehammerdog's Avatar
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    RE PAINTING OLD mtb

    I wanted to know if people have any experience repainting the frame them self or do you use a pro. I want to repaint my 1993 MTB rockadile all steel. Road it for the first time yesterday and luved it but it is in need of fresh paint.
    I was thinking about approaching the local VoTech and see if they could paint it.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Mountain bikes are a dime a dozen and not typically be worthwhile to get more than a rattle can paint job. I don't know what a school would charge, but if you go commercial, figure $100-$150 for powder coat and anywhere from $125-$300 to get it painted by an autobody shop. For that much money, it's cheaper to find another bike.

    The Mongoose Rockadile below, for which I paid $35, 75% over asking price, happens to have perfect paint.

    Last edited by oddjob2; 10-05-13 at 09:47 AM.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1, Miyata 912

  3. #3
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Doing a quality job is a lot of work, and expensive even if you do it yourself. A mediocre job tends to look good for a very short time, and then it chips continuously.

    Or figure $100 or higher for a powder coat job, frame and fork. Of course, that does not include rounding up replacement decals or whatever.

    I keep waiting for powder coat jobs to go down enough to make sense on a couple of MTBs I have hanging around.

    Polish up what you have with a good polishing compound, and enjoy it. Early 1990s mtbs in general have minimal value, so any $$ needs to be done for personal enjoyment only.

    Depending on the size, stop by the thrifty bill shop and I will sell you a mtb frameset cheap with great paint. It will cost you less than the spray paint alone (not to mention paint stripper, sandpaper, your time, primer, etc).
    Last edited by wrk101; 10-05-13 at 09:53 AM.

  4. #4
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Doing a quality job is a lot of work, and expensive even if you do it yourself. A mediocre job tends to look good for a very short time, and then it chips continuously.

    Or figure $100 or higher for a powder coat job, frame and fork. Of course, that does not include rounding up replacement decals or whatever.

    I keep waiting for powder coat jobs to go down enough to make sense on a couple of MTBs I have hanging around.
    I talked with a PC about doing multiple frames in the same color at once. If I brought him six at a time, I can get it down to about $70-$75 a frame, including media blasting.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1, Miyata 912

  5. #5
    Senior Member thehammerdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
    Mountain bikes are a dime a dozen and not typically be worthwhile to get more than a rattle can paint job. I don't know what a school would charge, but if you go commercial, figure $100-$150 for powder coat and anywhere from $125-$300 to get it painted by an autobody shop. For that much money, it's cheaper to find another bike.

    The Mongoose Rockadile below, for which I paid $35, 75% over asking price, happens to have perfect paint.

    That's the bike but I have all STX stuff....frame is scratched up some rust but nice steel Tange MTB tubing is decent stuff

  6. #6
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
    That's the bike but I have all STX stuff....frame is scratched up some rust but nice steel Tange MTB tubing is decent stuff
    I like STX MTBs as well. For those, I recently paid $65 +/- for a Rockhopper and Trek 930, with very good paint.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1, Miyata 912

  7. #7
    Senior Member Michael Angelo's Avatar
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    If you're set on refinishing it, I would powder coat it. It's tougher, lasts longer and you can get some really nice bright colors. One thing to remember, the base steel has to be as smooth as possible, you can't use fillers with PC.

  8. #8
    Senior Member koolerb's Avatar
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    I just powder coated and updated my 93 Rockadile a few months ago. I was able to bead blast all the paint off easily but where there was rust starting under the paint I had to sand blast. Tip - tape off the brake pivots if you go to something harsh like a sand blast. I think they're made from a lower grade of metal than the rest of the frame.

    DSCN1080.jpg

  9. #9
    Mote of Dust degan's Avatar
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    I have painted a frame and had a frame powder coated.

    When I painted my frame I did a rattlecan job, though I did make sure to do everything correctly as best I could. Highest quality paint/primer, clean bare frame, taped off all holes, multiple coats of paint/primer, sanding between coats, etc. It looked pretty good and only cost me $50, but was not very durable. Unless the bike is a garage queen that you only take out on sunny weekends then I'd suggest against it.

    I had a bike powder coated for my dad. I got two colors; the frame one color and the fender arms, rack, and chaincase another. It was either $110 or $125 from a tiny shop in Portland, OR. They did mostly car and motorcycle stuff, but did a good job on my bike. The lugs weren't as sharp as before, obviously, but they were the simplest lugs ever so it didn't matter. A little more expensive but WAY more durable. There have been many times I thought I scratched it but didn't find a mark when I looked at it. If your bike will ever be locked up anywhere for any amount of time, you should do this.

    Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I had just powder coated the frame I painted. I guess I was just too gung-ho about painting it myself. Of course its not going to be worth it financially, but if this is a bike you are going to be riding and looking at a lot, why not make it look good.
    When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. ~Jonathan Swift.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    As far as I can figure, professional bicycle painting or coating in Japan is very expensive compared to the USA or Canada. And it seems impossible to get it done locally, so there are shipping costs. As a result, I have come to the conclusion that hand-painting on a rattle-can, metal-primer undercoat is the answer. And so it may an answer to the OP's predicament as well.

    Up to now, my projects have involved repair of the original paint, but current projects await some serious refinishing. Rattle-can topcoats may be fragile and subject to chipping, but some experience has shown me that paints especially formulated for brush application to metal can be extremely strong and resistant to chipping.

    This may not be the choice for those lucky enthusiasts who own rare, valuable 1950's classics, but for many of us with limited resources this approach may be an answer. Randy Jawa has an extensive article about this on his "My Ten Speeds" site. Photos of his projects are really encouraging. Moreover, the total costs are minor in comparison to expensive, canned finishes.

    If the OP is merely wanting to protect the exterior metal from corrosion, even a slap-dash brush job might be just the thing for an old MTB. Finally — I remember my Dad telling me years ago about repainting frames with brushes during WWII, even though he must have had access to spraying equipment used for repairing airframes.

    (If anyone has info about professional refinishing in Japan — please let me know.)
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  11. #11
    Senior Member Michael Angelo's Avatar
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    You can always have a auto paint supply shop load automotive urethane in a spray can. I painted a lawn mower using that system years ago and still looks damn good.

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