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  1. #1
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    Frame/Fork Painting

    Hi all, didn't know where to stick this so it goes in this sub-forum .

    Is it worth painting a frame/fork... I love my bike, I've only had it for 6 months and covered about 1,000 miles on it, it's fantastic - never lets me down, really light... (yes it's my first road bike).... There's only one problem....

    It's damn ugly! Has this nasty silver & red paint job going on, and I'd prefer black & yellow, or just black.

    Does anyone recommend getting your bike painted? Have any of your guys done it, good experiences? bad ones? Also any bike painters from the NW-England would be great to hear from.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    This is actually a frequently asked question. There are basically 3 ways to go about it.

    1. The rattle can. If you do all of the work yourself it's the cheapest. Your results will be determined mostly by how well you do the surface preperation. I recommend starting with a chemical stripper to remove all of the old paint. Even at best, however, it isn't going to rival a factory paint job.

    2. Powder coat. Lots of posters claim getting a 1 color powder coat job, including surface perperation for $100 USD. That's pretty hard to beat.

    3. First class. If you're not up to it or don't have the proper equipment, find a custom painter. It's a lot of work. Some bike painters can replicate factory decals for a truly stunning job. Easily the best but also, by a considerable margin, the most expensive.

  3. #3
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Prep and process also depends on frame material as well.
    DEMON

    Satanic Mechanic
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    2011 Lynskey Sportive (Shimano Ultegra 10s)
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  4. #4
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adamjc86 View Post
    Is it worth painting a frame/fork?... I love my bike...
    YES!! If you really love your bike.

  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Ride more and don't clean it.

    A good paint job will probably cost more than the bike is worth so if you want a black bike- Buy a new one.

    Unless you happen to have a top end bike- And then the colour of the bike will point out to those in the know- what bike you have from 500 yards away.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

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    What make and model bike do you have?
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  7. #7
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    I helped a friend this past weekend with a paint job. It is all in the prep! Here is a before and after shot, Pictures link to full size
    Before



    After





    It was stripped down, and rattle canned with a metallic black. Then Shot some clear over it. We did the clear at night and it was cold so it has a run or two, but good enough. I have some experience painting though.

    Mine drying( I painted outside)

    Put together



    Painting it yourself is fun, It will take a little bit of time and effort, but if you do a good job you can be proud of it. I know you will read this other places but it really is in the prep. And when painting, Do lots of light coats. Not so light that you don't get full hiding, but not so much that you will get runs. It is better to have many light coats then one heavy one. The paint won't Hide anything, in fact a nice paint job will make flaws show up even more. So get your prep right!

    Chemical Stripper with a scraper will get 95% of it. The rest use some sand paper. Once its ready, clean it off in your tub with soap and water. Dry it really well and use some wax and grease remover.
    Expect at least one day of taking the bike apart and stripping and prepping the bike, and one day for painting and letting it dry. Then a third day to re assemble. With that being said I stripped painted and assembled that blue bike in one night, but it shows.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kstang View Post
    Painting it yourself is fun, It will take a little bit of time and effort, but if you do a good job you can be proud of it. I know you will read this other places but it really is in the prep. And when painting, Do lots of light coats. Not so light that you don't get full hiding, but not so much that you will get runs. It is better to have many light coats then one heavy one. The paint won't Hide anything, in fact a nice paint job will make flaws show up even more. So get your prep right!

    Chemical Stripper with a scraper will get 95% of it. The rest use some sand paper. Once its ready, clean it off in your tub with soap and water. Dry it really well and use some wax and grease remover.
    Expect at least one day of taking the bike apart and stripping and prepping the bike, and one day for painting and letting it dry. Then a third day to re assemble. With that being said I stripped painted and assembled that blue bike in one night, but it shows.
    I disagree with the 3 day time table. I allow the primer to cure for a full week and I allow the paint to cure for at least a week before reassembly.

    Generally the knock on rattle can paint jobs is they chip easily but I haven't found that to be true. Other than drying time I don't do anything special so I have to attribute the lack of chipping to that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I disagree with the 3 day time table. I allow the primer to cure for a full week and I allow the paint to cure for at least a week before reassembly.

    Generally the knock on rattle can paint jobs is they chip easily but I haven't found that to be true. Other than drying time I don't do anything special so I have to attribute the lack of chipping to that.
    I assume you do proper paint prep? Do you take it down to metal? Do you just Scuff? if so what grit? What paint did you use? I disagree with my 3 day time table to as I have done it in less than a few hours, including stripping the paint off washing the frame, prime, and paint. I have not had any chipping issues either. I do have some scratches that are nasty b/c I did not clear mine(rushed). I would suggest the rustolium brand, and I would stick with one brand all the way through from primer to clear(that is what we did on the black bike), This isn't a law its just some paints don't work well together, and this should prevent that.

    When I get the chance I am going to get my frame sandblasted back down (20 bucks), and then use an automotive ppg Base coat clear coat at home in a paint booth, but I am assuming most of you guys don't have access to that stuff, I just have it due to my automotive hobby.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kstang View Post
    I assume you do proper paint prep? Do you take it down to metal? Do you just Scuff? if so what grit? What paint did you use? I disagree with my 3 day time table to as I have done it in less than a few hours, including stripping the paint off washing the frame, prime, and paint. I have not had any chipping issues either. I do have some scratches that are nasty b/c I did not clear mine(rushed). I would suggest the rustolium brand, and I would stick with one brand all the way through from primer to clear(that is what we did on the black bike), This isn't a law its just some paints don't work well together, and this should prevent that.
    Yeah, I do a lot of prep. I start by using a chemical stripper to take off all of the old paint and primer down to bare metal. Then I spray the frame with a rusty metal primer. After that dries I sand it down until the frame looks like bare metal again only smoother. Then I hit it with about 3 light coats of gray primer. After about a week I lightly sand the primer and shoot the paint.

    Spraying technique is important too. I start with the hard to reach areas like around the bottom bracket and seat tube cluster. You'll get runs when you try to cover those areas after shooting the adjacent tubes. Each tube has 4 sides so you have to spray it from 4 different angles. I've looked at bike frames that were painted by auto painters and found flaws that I wouldn't have made.

    I've been using Rustolium products, mostly because they're readily available. I've become enamored with satin black because it goes on easily, covers well and is tolerant of less than perfect surfaces. I've mentioned in several threads that my finished products don't rival factory paint jobs but they don't scream "home paint job" either.

    I keep thinking that I'd like to get a spray *** and try painting a bike frame with more professional materials but it seems like a lot of expense to do maybe 1 bike a year.

  11. #11
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    Most of the primers sand-able time is counted in hours not days, and the instructions are fairly conservative. I am not saying its bad to wait and take your time but days is a little excessive.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kstang View Post
    Most of the primers sand-able time is counted in hours not days, and the instructions are fairly conservative. I am not saying its bad to wait and take your time but days is a little excessive.
    Well, that's what I do and the primer feels "harder" and "less thick" when I wait. I think that it sands better. I don't claim to be a paint expert but, if I remember right, the instructions say to recoat within 2 hours of after 48 hours. I assume that "don't paint" window is there for a reason. Extending that 48 hour minimum cure time window doesn't hurt anything.

    To me it's kind of like building wheels. The only reason for doing it is the satisfaction of doing the best job that I think that I'm capible. I've got other bikes to ride so I'm not in a rush.

  13. #13
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    I think when we get down to it, we both agree that its all in the prep. No matter what time frame your on, bad prep= bad job!

  14. #14
    cab horn
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    For $75 for blast and coat. It is not worth the effort, time and amateur result you get from painting it yourself. Not to mention you'll save no money and be dealing with chemicals that aren't so healthy for you.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    For $75 for blast and coat. It is not worth the effort, time and amateur result you get from painting it yourself. Not to mention you'll save no money and be dealing with chemicals that aren't so healthy for you.
    You're missing the whole point, Operator. The word is "FUN". There is a satisfaction that comes from having done it yourself. THAT'S what makes it worth the effort, time and amateur result. You should try it sometime.

    Oh - and I can do it for significantly less than $75.00 too but I don't care so much about the money part.

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