Anyone ever sand and re-paint a bike before?
what kind of sand paper should i use?
Anyone ever sand and re-paint a bike before?
what kind of sand paper should i use?
I would search the web for car painting - it's essentially the same thing. Some things I think would be different
1. Different primer - some work better for AL, some for steel, some for rusty metal, ect.
generally, remove paint with something like 400 grit, then work up to 1500 or 2000 or so, prime, sand, prime, sand, ..... paint in thin layers until finished, closs if necessary, wet sand, wax.
In my limited experience painting part of a vehicle, it's also better to wet sand everything as opposed to dry.
By the time that you buy all of the materials that you need for a just OK frame repaint job you'll be a long way toward paying for a professional powder coat that'll look better.
If your objective is to achieve the satisfaction of doing it yourself, just do it. I've gotten much better results by using a chemical product to strip all of the old paint and primer down to bare metal. A bike frame isn't the easiest thing to paint so you might want to practice on something else that's made of tubeing and that has tight corners so you develop the skill of getting full coverage with no runs.
I've painted several bike frames using spray cans and my paint jobs don't chip. They don't scream "home paint job" but they don't rival a factory paint job either. Like I said, unless you are wanting the satisfaction that comnes from doing it yourself, I'd outsource it to a powder coater.
I removed the old paint on my bike with a combination of coarse wet-and-dry paper, used wet, and a gas blowtorch for hard to reach areas. You don't need to remove all the old paint as long as the surface is smoothed into the bare metal. Hang the stripped bike up by the bottom bracket or headtube so you can get to all sides. Make sure to get all over the bike, first with a good coating of primer, followed by the colour coats. You can do fine detailing with a modelling paint brush and enamel paint (such as painting lugged joints in a contrasting colour). It's worth giving the finished paint job a few coats of clear to give it a bit more scratch resistance. Leave the finished bike for a few days before reassembling, to ensure the paint is fully cured and so prevent any clamp-on fittings from gouging the paint surface.
Of course, if you want to paint the bike in a solid colour it may be worth getting a professional powder coat, which will be more hardwearing and probably better looking than a DIY job.
I've got a bike, you can ride if you like it's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good- Pink Floyd, 1967
I've done 2 steel frame custom paint jobs.
First, obviously disassemble completely and clean all the lube out of everywhere on the frame. Anywhere with lube will end up with dust and sand grit in it, then you'll have a bigger mess to clean up. It's easier to do it before sanding.
Then I would either sandblast it or have someone blast it. I blasted both bikes I started with down to bare metal. It's by far the easiest way to get all the hard to reach places. If you don't have a sandblaster you can buy a small gravity feed one that would do great for a bike frame for $20 at Harbor Freight, and find a friend with an air compressor. Otherwise you'll be very busy...
If you had to sand the frame yourself, I would use a 100 grit sandpaper or something in that range. There's no need to worry about scratches, you'll take care of them latter. I would try to get all of the old paint off. Working from a completely bare metal surface is the easiest to get a quality paint job. If you're going to do the work, you might as well do it right.
Once you're down to bare metal, you'll clean it well and wipe with a tack cloth to remove any dust or other contaminants. Then spray the bike with a sanding primer. These primers will adhere to the metal well AND are sandable. This will cover and fill any sanding scratches you might leave. It may take 2 coats of sanding primer to get a nice smooth surface.
Then go to an auto paint store and buy some good quality auto paint. And do a 2 stage paint with a base coat and clear. It's easier to do right, and will be a lot nicer finished product.
Design your paint scheme. Think it through thoroughly before you start! Then paint your first color. Mask what you want to remain that color. Paint color # 2 etc. Have fun with it. There are lots of small masking tape widths at auto paint supply stores for pin stripes and things of that nature.
Make sure to allow ample time to dry before applying masking tape and before removing it and you'll get crisp edges. Then sand lightly with wet 1000 grit or so paper to knock down any edges. Then spray clear over and sand each clear coat and you'll smooth out the different build up layers of color.
That's the basic steps to a high quality bike paint job IMO. IIRC I spent over $100 on paint for each bike. It wasn't cheap, or quick, but they turned out beautiful. I did use expensive metal flake automotive paints, and cheaper solid colors could be used to reduce costs.
I don't think spray paint can provide the same quality and long lasting finish that true automotive paints can. IMO you're wasting your time if you're going to rattle can it. I wouldn't do any more work than just give it a once over with a scotchbrite pad and maybe sand any really bad flaked areas with some 220 grit paper.
Powder Coating is nice too. More durable than auto paint, but also limited in what you can do with multiple colors and color schemes.
Had a Univega Gran Turismo powder-coated. $114.00 including sand-blasting. Came out beautiful.
Save yourself the headache. Spray painting ends up being alot thinner cover than powder coating and ends up being less chip resistant. Besides, sanding the frame can be a real female dog. It's too time consuming and there are places on the bike that are hard to access (like the bottom bracket area).
Just have a reputable paint company powder-coat it for you. Alternatively, you could rent the equipment and powder coat it yourself, after having it professionally bead-blasted.
Whatever choice you make, make certain that you rustproof your frame after it has been bead-blasted.
Powder Coating is best suited for bikes.
Last edited by SlimRider; 08-18-11 at 01:47 PM. Reason: additional info added
my friend is a model maker and painted a bike for me. his shop did not have a sand blaster at the time so i had to remove the paint myself as a step in getting him to paint the bike for free. he recommended airplane paint remover for that - it works.
I agree that powder coating is a more durable finish and probably the best available finish for a steel framed bike.
The only downside is that you can't get the variety of finishes or luster that you can with a real paint. Here's a pic of one of mine. It's hard to tell from this pic, but there are 3 colors and all are metalic flake - basically hotrod type paints. It sparkles. The fine silver striping is my favorite accent on this one. Also as you can see the cables are just test fit. They've been properly shortened and attached.
It is possible to do multicolor coatings with powder, but it's very time consuming and difficult to get good crisp edges. In the end it all depends on what you're looking for.
Edit: Couple pics of the other bike I did:
With paint, your imagination is the limit on what type of designs and color schemes you want to come up with.
Best of luck in whatever you choose.
Last edited by jbtute; 08-18-11 at 04:08 PM.
Carborundum grit, for Metal, rather than Garnet grit, for wood
Sanding a frame is a huge PITA. Paint stripper is still annoying, but much easier. JASCO gel is best in my experience.
As others have mentioned, powdercoating is generally a much better option. Olympic does a decent job (they're always forgetting to tape off the fork crown race seat) and if blasting and coating cost Flying Merkel $114 it's because he added some options, like clear coat and/or metalflake. I recently had them blast a frame and then coat it in gloss black without any extras and it was about $70. Once I sanded the coating off the fork crown race seat I was happy...
CrossLink in Plufgerville.
It starts at $150, but I paid a little more for a custom color and a clear coat.
If you want to see how they came out, let me know and I will give you directions to my shop where there should be at least two of the bikes w powdercoated frames at any given time.
Don in Austin
I'm actually nearly finished repainting one now. Sanding = horrible. Paint stripper is annoying, but much easier, as Six jours said. It's really not that hard to sand and repaint, despite what most people tend to say. It takes about 2 weeks, working slow. 3 days stripping, 11 days painting (with paint that has 24 hour re-coat time). That's about as long as it would take to send it off to get a powder coat.
If your curious, I'm using Rustoleum enamel paint in a can, applying it with a brush. Yes, you can see some brush marks, but if you don't want any, just use a mini roller. I myself prefer the brushed look. I did 2 coats of primer, 4 coats of color, and probably 3 coats of clear. I'm on the 3rd color at the moment, and it looks great. All the supplies, 3 cans of paint, 1 can of spray clear enamel, tarp, brushes, rollers, cost me $60.
This is super seriously.
Another vote for powder coat. I had a frame/fork/handlebar stem done by Brooker Enterprises in Portland. They did all of the paint stripping/sandblasting. Came out looking fabulous.
Here's a Bikeportland video about them:
I just redid a bike. It's alot of work. If I was to do it again I think I would kick in the money and get a powder coat. I basicly just sanded the rusted areas down to bare metal and roughed up the original paint. Then primed with a black rustinhibitor, white primer, color and clear coat. Certainly it wasn't the best job as I started to run out of time. It looks OK but there are some runs and some scratches from reassembly.
If you are really wanting to paint it yourself find an automotive paint retailer. Carquest is one chain around here that has an auto paint and body supply shop. They have thousands and thousands of color chips to look through. If you can find a color in the book chances are they can put that paint into spray cans other than Imron type paints that require an activator. Follow the clear coat directions or you may have a crackeled paint job.Be paitient and let it dry for a very long time or find a way to bake it with heat lamps to a hard finish.
Me, I'm taking mine to a powder coater.