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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 01-25-11, 01:34 AM   #1
Noahjohng
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Need advice for painting my Leader fixed gear frame...

Hey, a friend of mine gave me his Leader fixie frame. He has tried to bring out the "Leader" on the side with sharpie; it could use a paint job. I really wanna go all out with it, get into some detail and stuff (some fine print). How do I do that? I've got that I need sand paper, metal paint, some primer and a clear coat, but I don't know what to do about the fine stuff (acrylic?), and are there some specific brands of things to avoid in paint? Please let me know! thanks!
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Old 01-25-11, 01:58 AM   #2
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lacquer. good bike and auto paint is lacquer.

it's very expensive (60 for a pint? about enough to do a bike?) and if you have a budget you'll find yourself much more content with your results because you'll set realistic expectations. prep work makes for about 60% of a finish's quality, with that percentage increasing as the quality of paint decreases. a three dollar can of spray paint thrown over the most meticulous and finely crafted prep work can look almost as good as... well... 10-15 dollar spray paint.

what you want is to do many thin coats, polish between coats, and do a couple clear coats if the paint is worth it/formulated for it.

the polish compounds and polishing materials/sponge matter vastly with high quality paints like lacquers and some nicer epoxy sprays. these matter less if you're just rattlecanning.

if you can't afford to put a lot into the paintjob, just do spray enamel. these are not formulated for clear coats and no clear coats that go over enamel will be uv resistant enough to last any better than the enamel. expect to pay about 30 in supplies if you skimp on the paint quality, maybe 50 if you get nice stuff.

a powdercoat will likely be a nicer finish per cost and since you have an aluminum frame, you should probably consider powdercoating as an alternative to some ****ty spray can job that won't ever turn out half as nice and you want it to. expect to pay 200 or less if you find a deal or get yours done with a larger order.

if you want to go all out, pay someone or diy for a nice lacquer job with a spray gun, polished coats, and a couple coats of clear over any stickers you may want. expect to pay 300 or more if you buy tools.

also, if you do any of this yourself avoid cancer and lung failure and wear a damn respirator.

Last edited by cc700; 01-25-11 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 01-25-11, 07:06 AM   #3
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If you want the finish to look good and be durable, just get it powdercoated. Painting with lacquer can be very tricky - especially if you've never done it before - will most likely cost right around the same as a decent powdercoat and will be a huge pain in the ass unless you have access to a proper spray booth.
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Old 01-25-11, 08:27 AM   #4
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painting/powdercoating can be an easy way to make a good deal into a really expensive bike when you factor in all the time or cost, unless you really hate the color maybe try to clean the sharpie and live with it, what's the color?
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Old 01-25-11, 09:46 AM   #5
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If you plan on keeping the frame around for a while, the price of a powdercoat is totally justifiable. Just ask Charlie.
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Old 01-25-11, 11:17 AM   #6
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just rattle can that sum *****
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Old 01-25-11, 03:13 PM   #7
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powder coat or use a single stage if you have the equipment. You can also use rustoleum enamel spray and if you prep well, sand, and buff you can achieve a beautiful finish. Good luck but as everyone says it is all about the prep.
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Old 01-25-11, 05:34 PM   #8
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Hate to be a downer but if it's your first crack at real finish painting, don't do it on something you care about. I sprayed like half a dozen scrap hoods before I actually shot a car. It's not rocket science, if you pay attention you can do a good job... it's just that the first go 'round is always about learning. The odds of nailing it on your first project are slim, it's only paint so it can always be redone but it can be very frustrating.

just something to consider.
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Old 01-26-11, 02:11 AM   #9
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Hey, thanks er'body (specifically cc700). I don't want to powder coat, I'm wanting to get really into this. I'm not good at art, but I consider myself more of an artist that a cyclist. I do like fixin', I'm just not the best...or the second best...or any good at all. Anywho, it's a beat-up twice passed down Leader frame. It's not super, but the way the frame is built, I think it could make for some sup'ah designs.
I have a few beater bikes (Magna haha) that I could (and do plan on) playing with, but I WILL put too much work and money into this. I have a bit of spray paint experience, and some extra money. I don't really see it has a cyclist thing; it's like an art project. But thanks for all the advice (again, specifically cc700).
P.s
The bike is white.
-Noah
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Old 01-26-11, 02:24 AM   #10
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that's a good attitude to go into it with.

budget an extra 50% for incidentals and have at it.

there have been a few spray painting threads before. some of it is good info. again, i think the key is light coats. you should barely be able to tell the difference after a coat (kind of) if you aren't accustomed to it. follow the directions for whatever paint you're using and paint in dry, 70 degree weather.

and don't be afraid to do crazy stuff, beyond just getting sparkles in the top coat or whatever. some of the coolest bikes i've seen have been sharpied or paint splattered.
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Old 01-26-11, 02:24 AM   #11
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How about scotchbrite paint remover pad. Then grey scotchbrite pad followed by aluminum/silver polish? Rinse then repeat. Chicks dig chrome....and so do smokers. But seriously if you want a durable cheap paint job look for powder coaters in your area. We have one here in PDX who will pick up, blast, spray, and deliver (3-4 days) all for $100. :-)
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Old 01-26-11, 02:37 AM   #12
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/zhoffne...n/photostream/

this is my current lusthard. nice deep black with rainbow sparkles. painted by elliot bay bikes/davidson
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Old 01-26-11, 09:34 PM   #13
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If you are going to baby your bike, then a base coat / clear coat would be good. I painted my beach cruiser at work (body shop tech) and I hardly ever ride it because I don't want to mess the paint up. I've chipped it in two places, and both times were from transporting. I'm too lazy to pedal that heavy tank 10 miles to the boardwalk, and I'm too lazy to put it on the back of my car. It pretty much sits in my dining area.
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