I know there are 100 million posts on painting and I've read most of them. I'm pretty sure I'm just going to get my aluminum frame powdercoated black. My problem is about decals. I would like to get some custom lettering done on the frame. Nothing crazy but just basic white lettering on black paint. I am doing a cheapish build for my girlfriend so she can have a bike to commute with. I don't need showroom quality but I've tried the rattle-can method on my mountain bike and it looked good until I leaned it against a bike rack and it has been chipping ever since. So for the decals, do I buy vinyll decals and clear coat over them? Do I get the powdercoat shop to paint the lettering on? What is the cheapest option that will last?
2013 Kona Jake, 2008 Kona Major Jake, 2013 Kona Jake the Snake, 2006 Kona Kula, 2012 Ridley Excalibur, 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker, 2001 LeMond Buenos Aires
After I got my Cross Check powder coated I put a set of Surly's decals on directly over the powder coating with no clear coat over them. That held up pretty well. Over 2+ years and about 3000 miles one part of one letter came off. You might get different results with one-off custom decals.