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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 03-25-09, 02:45 PM   #1
guaps
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Things I learned painting my frame... (pics)

I bought an old frame several months ago and decided to try and revive it. I've never done anything like this before. I've read hundreds of threads on here on how to remove paint, remove rust, restore chrome, paint and finish a frame. But I still screwed up several things along the way. Thought I'd share what I learned.

The frame is an old Italvega from early 70s. It started out with some surface rust on the chrome bits, and some much deeper, pitted rust on the top and down tubes. The bike had at least two layers of old paint that was peeling and bubbling up from the rust.
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Old 03-25-09, 02:47 PM   #2
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I started by trying to remove the paint with JASCO paint stripper. I read how easy it was to use, so I thought I’d start there.
I learned:
-Don’t use rubber dishwashing gloves. The JASCO at through them. My hands started to burn after a few minutes. Not good.
-I read a lot about how the paint just bubbles up and “comes right off”. I thought that meant I could just rub it off with a rag - not so. The paint never bubbled on my frame. I had to use a fine steel wool to get it off. It was very easy with the steel wool.
-Longer set time is no better with JASCO. The longer you leave it on there, the drier it gets and the less effective. I started scrubbing with steel wool about 1-2 minutes after I put it on, and it worked great.
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Old 03-25-09, 02:48 PM   #3
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Then I had to remove the rust. I thought about using wood bleach (oxalic acid) which is supposed to be very easy and very effective. It turned out to be very difficult to find a container large enough to hold a frame (no plastic kiddie pools for sale in the middle of February around here). So I bought a wire wheel and put it on my drill. This worked great. Half an hour later all the rust was gone.

Then I bought some Bondo spot putty and filled in all the pits on the tubes so the paint would be smooth. Easy to use and apply. Just sand it after it dries and you get a nice, smooth, even surface for painting.

Then it was time to paint. The debate was to use rattle can or do a pro job. Dr.Deltron (a user on this forum) has tons of great posts and is a great resource – from what I’ve read here, he is the man when it comes to using pro level paint (automotive, catalyzed paints). From what I’ve read here, he is phenomenal and he is great at explaining stuff for total rookies like me.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to do something that nice. You need a spray gun (which aren’t too expensive, but more that I have right now). So option B is a rattle can job. It’s not as durable. I won’t go into all the details of the paint because everything I did was in this thread.
BFSSFG HOWTO: Frame/fork painting in 10 steps... for Dummies!
It’s very detailed and is easy to follow. Couple notes – Walmart does not sell Duplicolor anymore. Kragen Autoparts does in my area (So Cal).

I did the whole paint job in my garage with a drop cloth. Worked great.
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Last edited by guaps; 03-25-09 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 03-25-09, 02:49 PM   #4
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Painting was not hard. I did 3 coats of primer then 6 coats of red. Then I used the 3M green automotive painting tape and taped off some areas where I wanted stripes. I then did a large white stripe (6 coats), taped more off and painted the black stripe (6 coats) over the white. Then I took all the tape off and hand painted some white high lighting stripes around the lugs.

Things I learned painting:
-6 coats for stripes is too much. The stripes are way too thick. I sanded them down slightly to get rid of the large lip of paint so they wouldn’t chip off easily.
-I thought I could spray some of the left over white rattle can paint into a cup and use that for the lug highlights. It’s way too thin and doesn’t work. So instead I used an acrylic paint because it’s all I could find. We’ll see how it holds up.
-Pin striping is very very hard. Mine looks really bad. I like the look, but I did a terrible job. My hand isn’t steady enough and the paint isn’t even. You can tell where I started and stopped each stroke. I tired more paint on my brush, less paint on my brush, smoothing it over after, a second coat – nothing helped. I’ve resigned to the fact that it looks like crap.

I still need to buy the parts and build it up, but here’s the final paint job. All in all, it I like it and for my first paint job, I think it turned out okay.
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Last edited by guaps; 03-25-09 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 03-25-09, 02:53 PM   #5
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Good job.

What brand paint did you use?
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Old 03-25-09, 02:57 PM   #6
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...

Duplicolor
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Old 03-25-09, 03:00 PM   #7
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it looks kind of matte~ is/will there/be a clear coat? and from those non-macro shots, i cant even tell you did an un-professional job at all~ it looks like a lot of patience. looks like what you wanted~ i like it.

p.s. what spray paint did you use, what gloves did you end up having to wear when paint stripping?
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Old 03-25-09, 03:28 PM   #8
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thats an impressive do it yourself job.
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Old 03-25-09, 03:33 PM   #9
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it looks kind of matte~ is/will there/be a clear coat? and from those non-macro shots, i cant even tell you did an un-professional job at all~ it looks like a lot of patience. looks like what you wanted~ i like it.

p.s. what spray paint did you use, what gloves did you end up having to wear when paint stripping?
Thanks for the comments. Yes, I'm going to do a clear coat, probably this weekend.

I used Duplicolor paints (except for the detail work on the lugs - that was an outdoor acrylic paint I found at a craft store)

I used an old pair of leather gardening gloves for the stripping. They were much stiffer after they got JASCO on them, but it didn't ruin them)

Last edited by guaps; 03-25-09 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 03-25-09, 05:18 PM   #10
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Looks good man. I remember taking apart the road frame i bought, spraying it and converting it. Pretty fun process and it helped me learn a lot. Have fun with it
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Old 03-25-09, 06:01 PM   #11
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how many layers of clear coat will be needed?
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Old 03-25-09, 06:06 PM   #12
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how many layers of clear coat will be needed?
The rattle can paint thread i referenced says to clear coat the same as the paint so 5-6 coats. I figure I'll just put coats on until the can runs out. For the red paint i got 6 coats out of a can.

To be honest, I have no idea if that's what is "needed", but that's what I'm going to do.
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Old 03-25-09, 06:34 PM   #13
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I figure I'll just put coats on until the can runs out.
i never thought about that~ thats a really good idea~

p.s. how long do you wait in between coats? or do you blowdry or anything in between coats?
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Old 03-25-09, 06:42 PM   #14
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Great paint job.
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Old 03-25-09, 07:40 PM   #15
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i never thought about that~ thats a really good idea~

p.s. how long do you wait in between coats? or do you blowdry or anything in between coats?
I waited 5+ minutes between coats. It wasn't wet looking anymore, but it was tacky if I touched it. No blow dryer, just fresh air.
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Old 03-29-09, 09:08 AM   #16
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Very nice details on the frame.

I was wondering how it worked out after you sanded/smoothed out the lines that were too thick? Was the finish uniform after the clearcoat?

I'm afraid to sand some areas with 600 grit before the clear coat, I don't want it to look different from where I didn't sand...
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Old 03-29-09, 09:21 AM   #17
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Looks great. I actually love the look of the stripped down, raw metal after you'd removed all the original paint and rust though.
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Old 03-29-09, 09:26 AM   #18
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good stuff.

can you take closeups of the striping? i'm curious to see what you mean by unsteadiness.

also: how did you mask off the headbadge?
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Old 03-29-09, 11:33 AM   #19
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-Pin striping is very very hard. Mine looks really bad. I like the look, but I did a terrible job. My hand isn’t steady enough and the paint isn’t even. You can tell where I started and stopped each stroke. I tired more paint on my brush, less paint on my brush, smoothing it over after, a second coat – nothing helped. I’ve resigned to the fact that it looks like crap.
i tried to start pin striping a couple ears ago and i still am not very good. that's pretty impressive for your first time. im not sure what you used but you might want to try one shot enamel, really thinned down. also make sure you have the right brushes. you need to use daggers or script brushes. you can get them at any art supply store. they hold a lot of paint. enough where good pin stripers and lay a stripe down an entire length of a car without lifting the brush.
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Old 03-29-09, 03:45 PM   #20
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Very nice details on the frame.

I was wondering how it worked out after you sanded/smoothed out the lines that were too thick? Was the finish uniform after the clearcoat?

I'm afraid to sand some areas with 600 grit before the clear coat, I don't want it to look different from where I didn't sand...
The finish isn't totally uniform after the clearcoat, but it's pretty good. I can't see the step in the paint, but i can feel a slight step when I rub my finger over it.

I had a unique problem with my sanding. I did a base coat in red, then a white stripe, then a small black stripe on top of the white. So when i sanded the edge of the black stripe, the white started to show through on the very edge. So I sanded the whole thing and ended up with a razor thin white stripe on the outside. It actually looks pretty good, but it's not what I originally planned. (hope that made sense, if not, i'll try and take a picture of what I'm talking about)
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Old 03-29-09, 03:54 PM   #21
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good stuff.

can you take closeups of the striping? i'm curious to see what you mean by unsteadiness.

also: how did you mask off the headbadge?
I just put tape over the head badge and used a straight razor to cut around the base so it was tight. Then when I painted the black paint inside the badge, i just filled the whole thing and then used a damp rag and rubbed the paint off the lettering.

Here's a pic of the striping. I had a hard time getting a decent picture. You can see how uneven lines are. What you can't see in the photo is how the thickness of the paint varies. Some of it is very thick and some is very thin. The bottom bracket was the first part I painted, so it's the worst, but none of it is "good".
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Old 03-29-09, 03:58 PM   #22
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i tried to start pin striping a couple ears ago and i still am not very good. that's pretty impressive for your first time. im not sure what you used but you might want to try one shot enamel, really thinned down. also make sure you have the right brushes. you need to use daggers or script brushes. you can get them at any art supply store. they hold a lot of paint. enough where good pin stripers and lay a stripe down an entire length of a car without lifting the brush.
Sounds like I have the wrong brush. Like you said though, even with the right brush, it would take a lot of practice to make it look decent.
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Old 03-29-09, 06:49 PM   #23
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After seeing your frame I decided to try something of my own. If you look at it from close it's bad, paint was coming off when peeling the masking tape, but from a distance it's pretty. I will probably get some touch up paint and finish it clean before the clear coat.
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Old 03-29-09, 08:07 PM   #24
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nice tips...im looking to strip my aluminum frame soon
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Old 03-29-09, 08:56 PM   #25
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After seeing your frame I decided to try something of my own. If you look at it from close it's bad, paint was coming off when peeling the masking tape, but from a distance it's pretty. I will probably get some touch up paint and finish it clean before the clear coat.
Looks good, I like it! I like the white triangle shape by the lugs. My bike definitely looks better in the pictures that in does in real life too.

I was worried about paint coming off as I peeled off the paint too. I read you should pull the tape away from the painted area. I had a couple small chips come off anyways, so there must be something else to it.
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