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  1. #1
    Senior Member fusilierdan's Avatar
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    How many cans of paint?

    I/m going to paint my old bike. I want to do a two color scheme. How many cans of paint can I expect to use? I'll probably use Rustoleum size cans. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    A bike frame doesn't take that much paint. One can of each color should be ample.

    The big expense comes in the preperation stage - chemical stripper, sand paper, primer and time. I've never been satisfied with the results whenever I've cheaped out by not stripping the frame down to bare metal.

  3. #3
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    A bike frame doesn't take that much paint. One can of each color should be ample.

    The big expense comes in the preperation stage - chemical stripper, sand paper, primer and time. I've never been satisfied with the results whenever I've cheaped out by not stripping the frame down to bare metal.
    Agreed. A complete stripping is essential for decent results. In my experience anyway.
    I've rattle can painted a few frames and got ok results, not fantastic.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    So wait...I was also attempting to repaint my bike next week....if I strip everything down to the bare metal frame...and sand and prime blah-blah, is it still unadvisable to rattle-can it?

    What would you guys recommend?
    I was going to attempt some black paint covered with a light coat of chrome for a dark shiny look.

    Please advise!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Just do it!

    I've rattle canned about a frame per year for several years. Every time that I do one, I learn something new. Dan's description of his results pretty much mimics my experience.

    One good reason for doing it yourself is to experiment, like you are proposing, and seeing how it comes out. The worst that can happen is you'll hate it. If that happens, you can always do it over. The failed attempt will never be a total loss because you'll have learned something through the process. If you're satisfied with the result, in addition to the bike, you have the satisfaction of having done it yourself.

  6. #6
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    Is there a certain kind of paint that's best? I had kind of assumed you had to powder coat to have it look good. Are there conventional paints that work well too?

  7. #7
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Here is my experience (total of two frame paints so take it for what is is worth)

    no matter what for a good job is is going to cost you more than your think.

    +10000 % on prep. to do a really good job you want to do a metal etch primer coat first and then a sandable primer coat.

    It took me at least 2 cans of color. (you get a lot of overspray on bike frames and best to do a lot of thin coats to avoid runs)

    and then at least a can of clear.

    So you are up to 5 cans of paint, plus stripper (figure 2 cans if you are getting the spray stripper)

    The first bike I painted I used Duplicolor from an auto store, it came out looking good, but the finish is not as durable as a factory paint job by any means.

    The second frame I painted, I used automotive paints. Spray cans for the etch and sandable primers and Preval cans for the color and clear. The result was a lot nicer finish and it is much more durable. The downside is that it is expensive (well over $100,, but I have leftovers to redo the first frame paint..maybe) and pretty toxic, especially the catalizyed clear. You have to wear a good mask (30 - 40 bucks) (and you really should for even basic rattle can)

    Powder coat is more durable than both...and in many cases cheaper

    also search for posts by Dr. Deltron posted some good painting guides a couple of years agos.

    bike with dupliccolor ...shiny bits are a surface finish designe to reflect light...doesnt reall show that well at night as it does with a flash it looks a lot worse for the wear after a few years of use



    bike with automotive finish, not all perfect...it is my son's fixie and has held up to teenager use

    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
    '83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
    '89 Miyata 1400
    Soma rush Fixie
    '78 Univega gran turismo (son's Fixie/SS)
    06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
    Electra cruiser (wife's bike)

    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

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