Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Bikes: '89 Miyata 1400, '82 nishiski (current utilty/commuter project)
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
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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
06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
Electra cruiser (wife's bike)