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Old 05-26-09, 10:53 PM   #1
Spasticteapot
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Paint for dummies

Can anyone here recommend a good paint for rust prevention on old steel frames? Preferably something that can be applied with a brush, can, or simple sprayer - powder coating is nifty, but a $30 bike frame is not worth $300 in equipment rental fees.
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Old 05-27-09, 04:34 AM   #2
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ICI's Hammerite range is available in aerosol cans and tins, and is almost foolproof. Get as much of the rust off as possible, wipe down with white spirits/mineral spirits and spray away.
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Old 05-27-09, 08:10 PM   #3
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rustoleum thinned with mineral spirits

Google "foam brush rustoleum" paint job. Here is a pic of my last recumbent frame painted by foam brush with rustoleum paint thinned with 25% mineral spirits. I wet sanded between coats. Cost about $7 total.

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Old 05-29-09, 01:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by atombikes View Post
Google "foam brush rustoleum" paint job. Here is a pic of my last recumbent frame painted by foam brush with rustoleum paint thinned with 25% mineral spirits. I wet sanded between coats. Cost about $7 total.


Don't you get brush marks all over the frame if you do it that way. Why not just use a spary paint? It would make your sanding between coats much easier.
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Old 05-29-09, 02:57 AM   #5
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Not if the paint is sufficiently viscous... :-)
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Old 05-29-09, 07:23 AM   #6
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Don't you get brush marks all over the frame if you do it that way. Why not just use a spary paint? It would make your sanding between coats much easier.
Not at all. By thinning the Rustoleum paint with mineral spirits and applying with a small foam brush, there are no brush marks. It self levels within minutes of applying. One of the main reasons I used this technique to paint this frame is NO OVERSPRAY and very little associated fumes (compared to rattlecans). Important if you are working indoors during the winter and have little ventilation.

The wetsanding I did was probably not entirely necessary, but the resulting finish is very smooth. Five or six coats with light, progressively finer wetsanding produces a very nice finish.

Oh yeah, touch-ups either during painting or later are very easy, and because you are not worrying about a spraycan fan pattern, you can leave parts on the frame.

Finally, this is super cheap. A $7 can or rustoleum and $3 can of mineral spirits is literally enough to do 100 frames....seriously.
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Old 07-06-09, 07:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by atombikes View Post
Google "foam brush rustoleum" paint job. Here is a pic of my last recumbent frame painted by foam brush with rustoleum paint thinned with 25% mineral spirits. I wet sanded between coats. Cost about $7 total.
Thanks for posting! Sounds like a project for me 'n my bike

One question: When you write "Rustoleum" paint, do you mean their Rustoleum brand, or one of the many other product brands which the Rustoleum Corp. manufactures?

Thanks in advance, and thanks again for the tip w/accompanying image!
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Old 07-06-09, 09:59 PM   #8
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I was spray painting my milling machine with rustoleum, but I got tired of the overspray. I used a bristled brush with thinned rustoleum, and it could have come out looking really good if I had fixed all the filler that was on the machine. I believe people when they mention this technique, you can't tell there was a brush involved on my mill. It self levels and has a fairly good sheen.
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Old 07-06-09, 10:17 PM   #9
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A lot of machine restorers are using this product. There seems to be a bias towards a high quality, big buck art brush, but other than that they seem to be doing the same thing.
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Old 07-09-09, 02:36 PM   #10
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so are you using the rustoleum from a rattle can or the kind that you get in a bucket?
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Old 07-14-09, 11:05 AM   #11
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I've considered the roller rustoleum gimmick, but hadn't seen it done on a bike frame. That looks very, very good. Hmmmm, let's see if they've got my color?
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Old 07-20-09, 03:23 PM   #12
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That sounds decent for a color coat.

Has anyone tried clear overcoat on top of this?

Has anyone tried using an inexpensive (Wagner) HVLP sprayer? They will spray thinned Rustoleum or any other paint of the proper viscosity. I use this for spraying finish on furniture. It works well. Anyone tried it on a frame?

Last edited by Mike Mills; 07-20-09 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 07-20-09, 11:45 PM   #13
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The only problem with this paint is it isn't terribly durable. Which is ok if one can fix it, but not so great to pass on to someone else. I bought some machines with nice paint jobs, and they were marked up in transit from pretty gentle handling. I don't know what color codes the folks who originally painted them used so patching isn't going to work.

Don't know about a wagner sprayer but there are a lot of inexpensive chinese HVLP guns that are designed to work with regular compressors. They work great, cost a few bucks and could almost be tossed they are so cheap when they come on sale. But it would be a shame.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:09 AM   #14
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One option for cheap spraying is the Preval aerosol gun, sort of spray can with a jar. They go $4-5 each pour in the paint of your choice and go.
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Old 08-05-09, 01:57 PM   #15
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If you have a compressor then a touch-up gun from Harbor Freight would do the trick. They are cheap and do a good enough job. A half-pint of Rustoleum which you can get from any big box home center will go a long way when thinned.
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