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  1. #1
    Junior Member Titus333's Avatar
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    How to paint a bike?

    I'm getting an old road bike frame I'm gunna be starting a project on.

    I've never tried to paint a bike before.

    Is it possible to sand it yourself, primer it and spray paint it with good results or will it just look like crap?

    Any tips, pointers or DIYs greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    That's a frequently asked question. If you use the search function you will get a number of quite detailed answers from posters who have a lot more painting experience than I do.

    I've repainted a number of bike frames. My attitude is that your results will never be any better than your surface preperation. I completely remove all of the old paint from the frame. Then I sand it, primer it, sand it down to near bare metal again and reprimer it. I let the primer cure for at least a week and spray it with satin black paint. I wait at least a week or two before reassembling the bike.

    I just use spray cans and, contrary to what others will tell you, my paint jobs don't chip. I think that the secret is removing all of the old paint. Satin black spray cans won't rivel a factory finish but it won't scream "home paint job" either. I have a local vinyl sign company make me some custom down tube stickers to give the bike a little more finished look.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Titus333's Avatar
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    I'm actually pretty good at the painting part.

    I just need more info really on how to strip the bike down.

    Is there any chemical solvents that recommended to get the bike paint off?

  4. #4
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    It isn't worth the effort. Just tear down the bike and take the frame and fork to a powdercoating shop. They sandblast and powdercoat them for about $100.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
    It isn't worth the effort. Just tear down the bike and take the frame and fork to a powdercoating shop. They sandblast and powdercoat them for about $100.
    That depends.. some people take pride in doing things themselves.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Is this your old mountain bike that you want to paint?

  7. #7
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    I've painted several bikes. In fact, this weekend, I started working on my wife's bike. It's an 80's beach cruiser.

    In the past, I've always just used a sanding mouse to get the old paint off. However, this time I decided to use a chemical stripper. Good lord. Never again.

    The stripper from Home Depot didn't do squat after applying, letting it sit and then scrubbing with a stripping brush. I tried re-applying several times before calling it a night. Sunday morning, I went and picked up some Aircraft Remover...

    This stuff ate through the latex gloves I was wearing, so I went and purchased some "chemical resistant" gloves. They lasted all of 15 minutes before the stripper had eaten through them also. After several applications and scrubbing, the paint had hardly even budged. It had loosened in several places, but the frame was still ~90% painted. I finally just washed the crap off and started sanding.

    If I had simply started sanding the frame on Saturday morning, I'd have been putting on primer by Sunday afternoon. As it is now, I'll have to finish sanding next weekend. At least the burns on my hands will be healed by then.

    Next time, I might look into having it blasted and then bringing it home to paint.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  8. #8
    No plan. peabodypride's Avatar
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    I wrote a several-thousand word guide in the Fixed Gear forum. Do a search through my post history to find it. I have had about 10 people try it with good success all around.

  9. #9
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
    It isn't worth the effort. Just tear down the bike and take the frame and fork to a powdercoating shop. They sandblast and powdercoat them for about $100.
    I have to agree. While there's a sense of accomplishment in the DIY approach, by the time you're done, you've spent enough time and effort at it that it *might* be equivalent to making minimum wage if you do a $ comparison, and more often than not the powdercoating will be a better and more durable job. I'd rather pay the $100 and be doing something else with my tiime. There are some sweet powders out there that you'll never duplicate without professional equipment and skill.

    -R

  10. #10
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    Give it a go:
    1. You get to breathe dangerous fumes
    2. It will likely have runs in the paint, as painting frames is really an art, so it will look "good from far, but far from good"
    3. If you are using rattle can paint, it will chip very easily

  11. #11
    No plan. peabodypride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    I have to agree. While there's a sense of accomplishment in the DIY approach, by the time you're done, you've spent enough time and effort at it that it *might* be equivalent to making minimum wage if you do a $ comparison, and more often than not the powdercoating will be a better and more durable job. I'd rather pay the $100 and be doing something else with my tiime. There are some sweet powders out there that you'll never duplicate without professional equipment and skill.




    -R
    Although I did just recommend my article I will second this. In general unless you use car-quality stuff shot through a compressor and get a $50 clear coat you'll get chips. It is a lot easier to just spend $150 for powdercoating and spend your time on greener pastures. Although there are a lot of shady, flaky powdercoaters out there, so caveat emptor.

  12. #12
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    I have done alot of painting on old car parts and tractors but never painted a bike.

    Go to autozone and get a aircraft stripper they even have one in a spray can that is water soluable.

    Spray on not on the hot sun wait about 15mi paint will bubble and you can scrape it right off with puddy knife. Then you can hose off any resadu.

    Use a can of self etching automotive primer in a spray can.

    Valspar enamel tractor paint from tractor supply in a spray can will leave a good shine and be durable.
    Color choices will be limited but its good durable paint

    It drys very slow and that is why you will get a good shine without wet sanding of buffing.

    The more time spent on prep the better the results will be

    you can have a good paintjob that will last a few years and do it yourself for about $30

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