I'm considering painting my bike, as I've recently seen pictures of a bad-ass paint scheme that involves 2 colors I want to do with a few differences.
How much work is involved in painting a bike? Is it best to use a spray gun if I can get my hands on one? How hard are they to use and do a good job?
Have I missed any steps below?
Take off everything I don't want painted
Mask off area for different colors
Spray first color
Spray second color
Peel off masking tape
Re-fit everything I took off
I haven't 100% decided if I'll be going ahead with it yet, as I have no actual painting experience, but how many hours would I be looking at to prep/paint the bike?
I've attached the photos of the design I want to follow but would be using different colors.
I think it looks good the way it is. I wouldn't bother unless the paint is completly jacked. There is a lot of work involved in a good DIY paintjob. You need to add a few things to your list. It should look more like this. (roughly)
Strip all parts
paint 2nd color
2nd coat of 2nd color
You can skip/shorten/consolidate some of the steps and still get a decent result if you take your time and think things through. Don't rush. I wouldn't attempt it on a bike if you haven't painted much. Practice on something first. Get a short piece of pipe to paint and go through all of the steps and see how it turns out.
My process would be shorter:
1. Strip frame down to parade rest, including separating the main frame from the rear suspension.
2. Take it all to the local powdercoater and leave it for a few days.
3. Put it back together.
Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
To do it right is a labor intensive process. Short cuts will usually result in paint that chips off easily. Professional powder coating is so reasonably priced that the only reason for personally painting your bike is for the satisfaction of having done it yourself. The materials cost for painting it yourself will come closer to powder coating than you might guess.
I repainted my bike from a girly pink to an orange frame with black forks. Preparation for painting is by far the most important (and most tedious) step. I made sure to strip the entire bike down to bare steel before even starting with paint. It also gives a good opportunity to check for corrosion. Ideally thread a couple of bolts through the fender eylets so you can hang up the bike to paint, and use several thin coats of primer, giving each coat time to properly dry. Between primer and colour coats I left the bike for several days to cure. Likewise leave the painted parts for a few days before reassembly, or the components will dig into your nice neat paint job and ruin the finish. The final job won't be as tough as the original, but can look just as good.
Last year I painted a bike with spray cans and learned lots from the internet before attempting it. It was a lot of work. If the offending colors are stickers, you can remove them and have at it with a light rubbing compound then wash and wax.
As for your last question, try asking the folks that do powdercoating in your area. Your best reply will start there. If you have all winter, all the better for researching for prices and stuff. My brother painted his old Raleigh and it cost him around 100 bucks and that was for spray cans, tack rags, pinstripping, sandpaper etc. For another alternative, you can try painting with a brush.