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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 02-04-08, 01:51 AM   #1
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rattlecan that wont chip

with all of the advances in modern science it seems like there must be something you can put on top of your spray-paint job that will prevent it from arbitrarily chipping. or is a 70+ dollar powdercoat the only way to go? i'm not talking about inredibly durable, factory-level paint, but the last frame i rattlecanned seemed to chip while it was standing still in my living room.
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Old 02-04-08, 01:53 AM   #2
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Yeah, not gonna happen. You can get a pretty durable job (I've done it) with Duplicolor Engine Enamel. Bunch of coats of color, many coats of clear. And follow the instructions.
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Old 02-04-08, 02:35 AM   #3
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Speaking from experience, if you're thinking about stripping and rattlecanning a frame, I'd avoid it. It's a nasty and time consuming process. Unless you have a good reason to do this, I'd pay the money and get it blasted and powdercoated.
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Old 02-04-08, 02:49 AM   #4
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I took a beat-up light blue Schwinn MTB frame, scuffed up the paintjob with 600 grit, and painted it a slightly lighter blue (truck paint from Advance Auto Parts). 3 coats, 1 per day, painted outside in the cold and brought inside my warm apartment to dry. No clearcoat. I built it up as a winter beater, expecting the paint to immediately start chipping with use (which is why I used a color close to the original), but bizarrely it has yet to chip at all, after a month and a half of daily riding, locking up on campus, etc.
I've rattle-canned two other frames using the same brand paint, but with primer, wet-sanding, dry weather, etc. and both chip quite easily. For some reason this one just came out way more durable.

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Old 02-04-08, 02:49 AM   #5
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the best results I've had are by not stripping the frame entirely.

I sanded it and did a few coats of primer (sanding between each) and then a few coats of color. I used krylon camouflage paint, so there were only a few color choices (I wanted matte olive green), but it held up really well.

This is after two years of me riding it and two years as my friend's work bike (he's hard on bikes). It is in the process of being repainted for its third owner.


Not perfect, but pretty damn good for over 4 years as a daily ride (and some of that is dirt). I was impressed with this paint.
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Old 02-04-08, 02:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangepaint View Post
Speaking from experience, if you're thinking about stripping and rattlecanning a frame, I'd avoid it. It's a nasty and time consuming process. Unless you have a good reason to do this, I'd pay the money and get it blasted and powdercoated.
If you've got $100 to blow, get a paint shop to do it.
Painting frames is a pain in the ass and the best you can generally hope for is that it doesn't look like crap.
But I have seen some really nice rattlecan jobs out there.
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Old 02-04-08, 03:22 AM   #7
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eh, the time consuming process doesnt really bother me, i actually thought it was pretty fun, and it's really rewarding to see your finished product after five hours of sanding/painting/scraping/etc...
i think ill try the not-stripping-the-whole-frame approach and see how that works out.
and that blue schwinn looks great.
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Old 02-04-08, 03:35 AM   #8
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the best results I've had are by not stripping the frame entirely.

I sanded it and did a few coats of primer (sanding between each) and then a few coats of color. I used krylon camouflage paint, so there were only a few color choices (I wanted matte olive green), but it held up really well.

This is after two years of me riding it and two years as my friend's work bike (he's hard on bikes). It is in the process of being repainted for its third owner.


Not perfect, but pretty damn good for over 4 years as a daily ride (and some of that is dirt). I was impressed with this paint.
was the base color much different than that olive? i might try that method but the color now is black so im not sure what my options are
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Old 02-04-08, 06:25 AM   #9
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You can speed up the sanding process with a dremel. Also, if you use Rust Paint, note: its really soft, so you should spray Rustoleum's brand of clear over the dried paint.
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Old 02-04-08, 06:30 AM   #10
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Try a Dupont rattle can clear. its more durable than regular rattle can clear. Paint is paint its always gonna chip and scratch easy.
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Old 02-04-08, 07:21 AM   #11
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Just get full TT Pads over the whole bike. No need for paint.
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Old 02-04-08, 08:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
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was the base color much different than that olive? i might try that method but the color now is black so im not sure what my options are
The frame is a 2002 Fuji Track. The year they did a really nasty piss green/yellow over half the frame.
Several coats of grey primer gave me a great surface. So long as you're not concerned about keeping the details on the lugs or anything, several coats of primer will cover over any color. Maybe do a grey primer and then a white primer.

What color are you thinking?
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Old 02-04-08, 09:34 AM   #13
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Also, rattle can paint takes a LONG time to really dry. If will feel dry very quickly, but the paint should really be left alone for a days or weeks to let it cure.

It will still chip, but maybe a bit less.

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Old 02-04-08, 09:38 AM   #14
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Just get full TT Pads over the whole bike. No need for paint.
Two words: Duct Tape.
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Old 02-04-08, 09:48 AM   #15
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Truck bed liner. I think you can get in a spraycan, but you could just as easily and nicely(...relative...) get a can of it and paint it on with a brush.
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Old 02-04-08, 10:17 AM   #16
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I want someone to plasti dip a bike frame.
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Old 02-04-08, 10:25 AM   #17
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i tried it on a crank arm, but it wasn't all that great looking.
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Old 02-04-08, 11:20 AM   #18
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You might try going to an automotive paint shop. They can put custom mixed paint into an aerosol can for you. That should be much better than off-the-shelf paint and cheaper than going with the pros'.
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Old 02-04-08, 12:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thanks View Post
with all of the advances in modern science it seems like there must be something you can put on top of your spray-paint job that will prevent it from arbitrarily chipping. or is a 70+ dollar powdercoat the only way to go? i'm not talking about inredibly durable, factory-level paint, but the last frame i rattlecanned seemed to chip while it was standing still in my living room.
yes there is only ONE

try using this:http://www.levineautoparts.com/upclear1uvre.html

it's moisture activated, so it'll take about 3 days (at 50% humidity) to cure out hard,..and probably 2 weeks before you can sand and polish it (yes, I said sand and polish rattlecan paint) it's fairly amazing stuff, not at ALL your typical spraycan clearcoat.

(there is also a true 2 component clear in a spray can from glasurit (scroll down on levine's page), but at $44 a can, I'd rather borrow/rent a compressor than pay that kinda price for 12oz of clearcoat)


I've experimented with the U-POL clear quite a bit (because I DID NOT believe a spraycan clear would be worth a crap) and it'll go over most any cured paint surface, any automotive type basecoat, acrylic lacquer, and polyurethane paints, and cures out suprisingly hard and durable, and like I said, after about 14 days, you can wetsand it with 1500/2000, and buff and polish it out.

the surface you spray this on MUST be FULLY cured out, or it'll bubble and peel, so if you want to top a rattlecan paint job with this, I would wait 30 days before topcoating with the U-POL, so thats the problem, by the time the rattlecan paint is cured out enough to clearcoat, if you rode it, it's now so chipped up you have to start over, and if you didn't ride, you just waited a month so.....

most "color shops" (autobody supply houses) can make spray cans with whatever you want in them, so here's what I would do if I wanted to paint my bike, and had no compressor: I'd get standard urethane basecoat put in the custom spray can (each can will cost you about $25), since the basecoat is NOT a catylized paint layer (there is no hardener) it'll spray just like fast drying rattlecan paint, and you can topcoat it with the U-POL clear after about an hour (at 70 degrees) so you get just about any color you can think of, and a hard durable clearcoat to protect it, and all for about $45 in paint (a can of base, and 2 cans of clear should cover a bicycle) and you wont have to wait a month.

you could also try one of the motorcycle paint suppliers online:

http://www.cyclecolor.com/ or http://www.color-rite.com/

both places sell urethane basecoats in spray cans (not cheap tho) but avoid their clearcoats, both are utter garbage.

you'll also need primer (and get GOOD primer, do NOT put $25 a can paint over $2 a can primer, get the primer where you get the basecoat), sandpaper and whatnot so read post #15 on this thread for my painting a bicycle post (long):
Painting a frame?

I admire those who try and paint on their own (it's how I learned) but there is a HYOOGE learning curve in painting, and a bunch of incorrect hype floating around so the two best tips I can give you are:

1) TEST PANEL: shoot it all on a piece of pipe first so any mistakes you make will be on the test panel, and hopefully NOT the bicycle
this is the best tip I can give you, and I hope you actually DO it.

2) PREP: seriously, 80% of the paint job is the prep (read SANDING) so take your time and get the surface as defect free as you can BEFORE you shoot the basecoat and clear for best results.
sanding is a pain in the @$$, it's tedious, boring, messy and just no fun at all, painting, however is fun, fast, easy and neat! so the tendency is to hurry through the boring to get to the fun part and I'm sure you've all seen how that comes out.

the most fun of all is riding around on something you painted and getting compliments.
riding around having to explain why your bike looks like crap, even though you JUST painted it,............not so much.

Last edited by reckon; 02-04-08 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 02-04-08, 12:37 PM   #20
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rattlecan that won't chip:

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Old 02-04-08, 01:11 PM   #21
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I've painted a few bike frames in my time using the rattlecan method. They all turned out like crap.

Out of all of them, though, the only one that ever worked somewhat well was Krylon Appliance Enamel, which is good if you like white or various shades of beige. Granted, I only sought solutions through my local Home Despot / Lowe's. The other expensive automotive stuff will probably work better.

My best advice is that whatever you do, if you do it yourself, is to take your time. Don't rush and listen to the waiting times on the back of the can. You might save a day or two but the crappy paintjob that'll result will bother you for a year, or however long you go without a repaint.
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Old 02-04-08, 01:26 PM   #22
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The automotive enamel is the only way to go when rattlecan painting a frame. Even that isn't going to be chip proof but it's as close as it gets.

The only way to get your paintjob to last is in the preparation, i.e. very good prep work. Nice clean surface to paint on, smooth primer coat... smooth sanding... even color coats... let dry for a week minimum since it is an enamel... wet sand... then clear coat... also waiting a week for this clear coat to dry.

It you wait the maximum time that it says on the can for an enamel paint (a week) your paint job will have the best durability possible from a rattle can paint job, and even that isn't much...

I have done a few rattle can jobs, with one that looked almost factory when I got it done. Took me about 3 weeks total from sanding to clear coat... the trick is in how much time you put into it.
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Old 02-04-08, 01:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reckon View Post
yes there is only ONE

try using this:http://www.levineautoparts.com/upclear1uvre.html

it's moisture activated, so it'll take about 3 days (at 50% humidity) to cure out hard,..and probably 2 weeks before you can sand and polish it (yes, I said sand and polish rattlecan paint) it's fairly amazing stuff, not at ALL your typical spraycan clearcoat.

(there is also a true 2 component clear in a spray can from glasurit (scroll down on levine's page), but at $44 a can, I'd rather borrow/rent a compressor than pay that kinda price for 12oz of clearcoat)


I've experimented with the U-POL clear quite a bit (because I DID NOT believe a spraycan clear would be worth a crap) and it'll go over most any cured paint surface, any automotive type basecoat, acrylic lacquer, and polyurethane paints, and cures out suprisingly hard and durable, and like I said, after about 14 days, you can wetsand it with 1500/2000, and buff and polish it out.

the surface you spray this on MUST be FULLY cured out, or it'll bubble and peel, so if you want to top a rattlecan paint job with this, I would wait 30 days before topcoating with the U-POL, so thats the problem, by the time the rattlecan paint is cured out enough to clearcoat, if you rode it, it's now so chipped up you have to start over, and if you didn't ride, you just waited a month so.....

most "color shops" (autobody supply houses) can make spray cans with whatever you want in them, so here's what I would do if I wanted to paint my bike, and had no compressor: I'd get standard urethane basecoat put in the custom spray can (each can will cost you about $25), since the basecoat is NOT a catylized paint layer (there is no hardener) it'll spray just like fast drying rattlecan paint, and you can topcoat it with the U-POL clear after about an hour (at 70 degrees) so you get just about any color you can think of, and a hard durable clearcoat to protect it, and all for about $45 in paint (a can of base, and 2 cans of clear should cover a bicycle) and you wont have to wait a month.

you could also try one of the motorcycle paint suppliers online:

http://www.cyclecolor.com/ or http://www.color-rite.com/

both places sell urethane basecoats in spray cans (not cheap tho) but avoid their clearcoats, both are utter garbage.

you'll also need primer (and get GOOD primer, do NOT put $25 a can paint over $2 a can primer, get the primer where you get the basecoat), sandpaper and whatnot so read post #15 on this thread for my painting a bicycle post (long):
Painting a frame?

I admire those who try and paint on their own (it's how I learned) but there is a HYOOGE learning curve in painting, and a bunch of incorrect hype floating around so the two best tips I can give you are:

1) TEST PANEL: shoot it all on a piece of pipe first so any mistakes you make will be on the test panel, and hopefully NOT the bicycle
this is the best tip I can give you, and I hope you actually DO it.

2) PREP: seriously, 80% of the paint job is the prep (read SANDING) so take your time and get the surface as defect free as you can BEFORE you shoot the basecoat and clear for best results.
sanding is a pain in the @$$, it's tedious, boring, messy and just no fun at all, painting, however is fun, fast, easy and neat! so the tendency is to hurry through the boring to get to the fun part and I'm sure you've all seen how that comes out.

the most fun of all is riding around on something you painted and getting compliments.
riding around having to explain why your bike looks like crap, even though you JUST painted it,............not so much.

I think im going to try that U-POL clear for my girl friends bike. sounds like good stuff.

Also i just remembered i once attended a dupont re-finishing class and they were saying that if you use some type of sealer before your base/color coat it will help chip protection and durability. they actually have a machine that they put 2 bumpers in, one sprayed with sealer and one without sealer, and it shoots pebbles and small rocks at it. The bumper that had been sealed was much more chip resistant.

Last edited by mikebern; 02-04-08 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 02-04-08, 01:32 PM   #24
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DUPLICOLOR make some good aerosol, I have painted a few bikes and various other things using their stuff. They make a self-etching primer for bare metal wich works great. They make a good array of colors and a few different types of clearcoat (even tinted ones)
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Old 02-04-08, 01:46 PM   #25
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Even if you make $7 an hour, 5 hours of frame prep/painting + materials is going to cost you just as much (if not more) as a single color Powder coat and you will get:

a) a less durable finish by a HUGE margin
b) most likely, lower a quality finish since I am assuming you are not a professional painter
c) exposure to toxic fumes (unless you have a special facemask)
d) cleanup of overspray dust which if you paint in your garage will cover everything in fine powder that is a pain to get off

The only positives I can think of is that you can say you did it and that you have a wider choice of colors since you can get auto shops to mix any color under the rainbow for you, and custom color powder costs a lot.

Not worth it IMHO. Get it powder coated, you won't be sorry.
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