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Thread: Brushed Steel?

  1. #1
    eternalvoyage
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    Brushed Steel?

    There was a small framebuilder who used to leave some of his bikes unpainted and uncoated. They were bare steel, with a very attractive brushed surface.

    Apparently, he would just use (and recommend to others) steel wool for eliminating what little rust might appear from time to time.

    He did live in a dryish climate (near Sacramento, Calif.); but many people live in similar climates, or even drier ones. (And it's possible to have a second bike for wet conditions.)

    These bikes had a very attractive look, which is why he favored them.

    How best to strip a frame's paint down to clean bare metal?

    Is there some kind of surface treatment that would help ****** the rust to some extent, and preserve the finish?

    ****
    Also, I've seen a couple of bikes that had a similar look, with some kind of clear coat over the steel.

    What's the best way of going about this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member cman's Avatar
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    I have a bare steel frame on a Columbia reproduction bike. there is a little rust but not bad. But I am in a dry climate too. Strip the frame with an abrasive pad that fits on a grinder or drill. Or get it sandblasted.
    I treated mine with a light rubdown of wd40. Breakfree for guns would also work.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Don't grind down the finish. (though if it is powdercoat, you will have to, or media blast it)

    Use liquid paint stripper. Its cheap and you don't have to do much work. There are sections where it won't take the paint off (for reasons I don't know) so use some sand paper and take the paint off in those sections.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cman's Avatar
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    Use caution with the paint stripper. Messy (even the citrus) and caustic.

  5. #5
    deep stuff brucewiley's Avatar
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    Heat *** (or propane torch), wire brush and some scrapers. That will get into all those tough places too, I just did one. Some sandpaper and Scotchbrite will finish it off.

  6. #6
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitropowered View Post
    Don't grind down the finish. (though if it is powdercoat, you will have to, or media blast it)

    Use liquid paint stripper. Its cheap and you don't have to do much work. There are sections where it won't take the paint off (for reasons I don't know) so use some sand paper and take the paint off in those sections.
    Actually, chemical stripper IS the best way to REMOVE POWDERCOATING!
    Grinding or blasting will risk damaging the frame if used to remove powdercoat.

    Read the paint stripper can carefully, especially the part about brushing it on going in one direction only.

    The spots that don't come off on the first try, need to be done a second or even 3rd time.
    I wear long rubber gloves and wipe the yucky paint & remover off with lots of paper towels.
    Then I rinse, dry and reapply the stripper.

    3 doses of stripper should get about 98% of the old paint off. The last little bits can be picked off or shaved off with an old pocket knife.
    Then give the frame a thorough final rinse & dry.
    Clean with wax & grease remover.
    Then use a super gritty ScotchBrite pad to give the steel that "brushed" look.
    Reclean with wax & grease remover.
    Then give the frame a rubdown with some good car wax. Do that every once in a while and you should be good to go.
    At least for a sunny Sunday ride!

    Or instead of using car wax as the final step, have the brushed bare steel frame clear powderoated.
    Better yet, candy color powdercoat over the brushed steel.

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