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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Lacquering a paint job?

    I picked up a small raleigh bike on Ebay for 99p...
    Its only 19inch but its a project for my nephews birthday, it had a really bad paint job so I gave it a fresh lick of paint but I dont know whether to lacquer it or just give it a clear coat of paint since its my first time spraying anything!... I've been told a clear coat is more durable

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  2. #2
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC-WILDE View Post
    I picked up a small raleigh bike on Ebay for 99p...
    Its only 19inch but its a project for my nephews birthday, it had a really bad paint job so I gave it a fresh lick of paint but I dont know whether to lacquer it or just give it a clear coat of paint since its my first time spraying anything!... I've been told a clear coat is more durable

    After:
    Pretty nice job! However, any paint from a spray can won't be that durable. You can try a coat of glossy acrylic clear coat to protect what you have, but it'll still be relatively fragile. IMO, the way to go for a cheap, durable "paint" job is powder-coat: http://bikeportland.org/2009/02/04/b...ur-bike-video/
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  3. #3
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    Looks nice. I've painted a few kids' bikes and a couple of thrift store three speeds for elderly neighbors who just wanted something to ride to the store, and the other post is right--rattlecan enamel just isn't that durable. I don't know if clear coat would put a hard coat on it, but I remember reading something years ago that you should probably check: Either lacquer will soften enamel or enamel will soften lacquer, I forget which. Before I sprayed lacquer over that frame, I'd test it on a piece of scrap to see if it makes the paint fall off.
    Shoot, now I want to repaint my singlespeed.

  4. #4
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Oops- Mr. Dog's right. Laquer over enamel will soften it, if not peel that nice paint right off. That's why I jumped right to acrylic clearcoat. Still softer and less durable than professional paints or powder coat.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I've rattlecan painted several bikes over the years.

    My experience has been that the durability depends on the quality of the surface preperation. If I take the time to strip all of the old paint down to bare metal and give the paint time to cure, I get good results that last for years and years. If I try to "cheap out" by just smoothing out and scuffing over the old paint, I get chipping pretty quickly.

    Having said that, I can think of only 2 reasons for repainting a bike frame yourself:
    1. You have the equipment skill and desire to do something really special.
    2. You want the satisfaction that comes from doing it yourself.

    The cost of having a bike frame commercially powdercoated simply doesn't exceed the cost of paint and sandpaper by all that much and yields a better looking and more durable result.

  6. #6
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    I took the bike back to its raw metal with nitromors and wirewool so I'm hoping I've prepared the surface enough to give it a more durable finish.. Right now I'm just deciding which kind of clear coat/lacquer to give the frame as I've heard some never fully dry and need to be baked to harden, or just aren't durable enough.

    Me and my partner have racing bikes too which we would really love to give a similar paint job providing I can find a good lacquer which will protect my good work! I've even considered purchasing a compresser and spray *** to achieve better results.. but I've gone to find out you need a 2-pack paint which is harmful to work with so I'm not sure which route to take quite yet..

    I know ill never get as durable with rattle cans as you would with powder coating but I do love the the classic look it gives, and the fact that you can say you did it all yourself of course!

  7. #7
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I'd still go with powdercoat for durability. Looks don't have to suffer; they can tape off the lugs and even do a clear top coat. Heck, you can even get metal flake. If I were painting my own, I'd go with the epoxy paints that you can get in specialty paint stores. They're like lacquer, but with a hardening agent. You can get 'paint cans' that are basically a can of propellant and a bottle to hold your own choice of paint, for if you don't have a compressor setup. My take is that putting a hard coat over a softer coat doesn't make for a durable finish, it makes for one that's easily chipped.

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