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brush paint painting guide?

Old 02-18-16, 04:45 PM
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brush paint painting guide?

Hi everyone.

I have an old frame i'm re building and I'm really thinking about giving it a brush paint finish.


While most peoples spray paint jobs are crap, I'm actually well experienced with it and can get a mirror finish with spray paints no problem, but have never tried the brush method.

I haven't found many detailed write ups other than the basic, paint, sand, polish.

I want to give it a shot since right now I don't have a nice outdoor area to spray in and brush method would be much more friendly for my current living situation.
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Old 02-18-16, 06:53 PM
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most of a good paint job is the preparation... you heard that too ..

I dont know why the internet has made people so timid to just try things on their own.

Get paint for Metal How about under coat with rust inhibitor, then a color top coat of your choice ?

do You Know how to clean Your Brushes?
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Old 02-18-16, 06:56 PM
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A few threads in the C&V forum.
Classic & Vintage

Good info here:
PAINTING BICYCLES - INTRODUCTION
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Old 02-18-16, 07:37 PM
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Regardless of the method of paint application the first rule (after prep) is practice. The few frames I painted with a brush, WAY back when, came out only ok. Paint was thick and still showed some of the brush texture. Were I to have continued I'd have looked into the various additives to thin out and also extend the paint's flowing abilities. Andy.
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Old 02-18-16, 09:45 PM
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I have read that 1Shot sign painters enamel works well, never tried it. Home
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Old 02-19-16, 05:47 AM
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I spent $45 on a brush paint job, it came out thick with obvious brush strokes. I wish I spent $125 on a good powder coating instead. I should have ignored the thinning guidelines from the paint manufacturer and thinned the paint 50%/50%, maybe that would of helped.
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Old 02-19-16, 07:35 AM
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There's an "epic" thread on moparts.org about automotive brush (actually roller) paint jobs:

paint job on a budget!? | Best of Moparts / Tech Archive | Moparts Forums (part 1, 85 pages)

Paint job on a budget!? CONTINUED..page 44............ | Best of Moparts / Tech Archive | Moparts Forums (part 2, 159 pages)

Lots of the info could be applicable to bicycle frame painting. Some of the key points (for those who don't want to read all 244 pages):

* Prep is critical no matter what painting method you use
* The technique is time and labor intensive -- several thin coats with significant drying time and wetsanding in between
* Thinning the paint correctly is important but there's no magic formula -- paint brand/type, temperature, humidity, thinner type, application technique all factor in
* People have gotten good results with several types of paint -- Rustoleum (Tremclad in Canada) enamel, yacht paint, tractor paint
* Adding a hardener greatly improves finish and durability

If you put any monetary value on your time, powder coating is far more economical. But if you're looking for a project to occupy idle hands, then it might be fun. Having sprayed frames myself (with good results), I might be tempted to try this some day just for the experience.
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Old 02-19-16, 09:22 AM
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The paint I used back when was Sears marine deck paint. It came in a gallon can and the hardener in a quart (?) can. It had instructions to use a roller to apply, my friend and I got a kick out of that WRT out bike frame use. We used the specific primer which also required a hardener component. I did my frames during the winter inside a warmed up room. I strongly, instead, suggest proper venting! Maybe this is why I do so poorly with a key board. Andy.
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Old 02-19-16, 09:36 AM
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+ 1 the solvents in the paints will recommend doing it outside .

or at least get a mask with those 2 big filter cans that screw on , to keep the solvents out of your lungs..

you may have to wear the mask all over the house well after the job , because the out-gasses wont stay in 1 room.
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Old 02-19-16, 11:48 AM
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I'm a rattle can painter from way back, my one attempt at brushing was crap, not unlike my first rattle can paint job....
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Old 02-19-16, 12:15 PM
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yeah, I can rattle can and come out with pretty decent results.

Here is a FG i picked up, it was originally pink, and then someone did a poor job at painting it red, so i stripped it and rattle canned a sea foam blue on it. Its not my best work TBH, I basically bought this bike, painted it, swapped some parts and sold it within a week, and a bit more detail on my other bike and I can do a much better job.




Proper technique and polishing can give you pretty good results if you're careful. The worst part is letting the paint fully cure, which I don't recommend assembling until at least a week, and baby it for about a month or so before giving it a final sand and polish.




you can see here, the left side is before final sanding, and the right is after sanding and polishing it out.
Little trick I like to do is use a matt paint, wet sand it smooth, then use polish to give it a nice shine vs trying to use a gloss paint, as wetsanding it can create flat spots in the gloss that are hard to bring back out with a polish.



I can rattle can ( either on my balcony or by turning my bathroom into a spray booth, i've done both before )


I just dont really like the fumes and over spray, and its kind of a butthole thing to bother your neighbors with the smell of spray paint in the air for a week straight, and the idea of a less messy way to paint seemed interesting to me.

The cheapest i've been quoted for powder coating is about $200 for the frame and forks, but since i have chromed fork stays, they have to tape that off and thats probably going to cost a little more.

Though I may be selling a bike I have this weekend, and if I do, i'll probably just bite the bullet and get it Powder Coated if I can find a place to do it for under $200 total, but am a bit worried about powder coating a lugged frame, and i'm sure the budget PC's i'll find are not as detailed for lugs.

Last edited by Jixr; 02-19-16 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 02-19-16, 01:15 PM
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A good brush and Industrial Rustoleum will give good results.....I paint roll cages that way.....Come out looking good.
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Old 02-19-16, 03:04 PM
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A paint I've had good luck with doing small parts is Flecto brand enamels. I thin with mineral spirits about 1 part thinner to 4 parts paint. Otherwise I find it's too thick to flow out properly. But with the 1:4 mix the paint goes on and flows out to a nice smooth finish. If using a nice artist's camel hair brush I might go a hair more on the thinner side since that style of brush flows out much better.

Keep in mind that you want to work along the frame in an orderly manner to maintain a wet edge so each section flows and flattens into the previous brush full of paint. And that's hard on something like a bike frame. To get around that work it so the meeting points of new to "old" laid on paint occur at obvious joints so any overlap that doesn't lay out neatly is disguised. So a bit of planning goes a long way.

I also echo the advice above about being patient and giving the paint a good week in a warm place to dry really well. Once fully dried the Flecto enamel is as scratch and chip resistant as anything you'll find that isn't a catalyzed product. But it requires patience to reach that state. Just go away and leave it hanging for at least a week. No stickers or anything.

Avoid Tremclad paints like the plague. They are just way too soft even when fully dried.

Can't comment on any others as these are the only two I've personally used on metal.

Last edited by BCRider; 02-19-16 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 02-20-16, 11:32 PM
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i'm in the middle of following his suggestions and am happy so far. The best part is I can do it my work bench with no mess and a can of Rustoleum is 7.50.
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Old 07-14-22, 03:03 PM
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Im brushing my huffy got the stickers off

I started brushing my bike with this metallic paint and I'm losing my mind. It's so fun but I messed it up. Don't care it was only a huffy. I then printed out stickers and made it a more famous bike. Can't wait to get laughed at

I have an old frame i'm re building and I'm really thinking about giving it a brush paint finish.


While most peoples spray paint jobs are crap, I'm actually well experienced with it and can get a mirror finish with spray paints no problem, but have never tried the brush method.

I haven't found many detailed write ups other than the basic, paint, sand, polish.

I want to give it a shot since right now I don't have a nice outdoor area to spray in and brush method would be much more friendly for my current living situation.[/QUOTE]
m
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Old 07-14-22, 03:37 PM
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Your question has a simple answer: yes, you can get a mirror finish with brushed on paint. But the question is this: Is it worth it? My answer is no. Brush painted finishes tend to be... well... crappy. There's a reason why automotive painters prefer to shoot paint onto metal. Brush sprays tend to be more translucent than sprayed ones (and so you get a "blotchy" look).
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Old 07-14-22, 07:34 PM
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Hey Tiffoo and NormaG31 please keep in mind this was a thread from 2016 and was last active 2/21/2016. If you have relevant stuff on frame painting that would need to be discussed it is good to create a new thread or join in on an active thread. Old threads can be great for learning stuff but if they are not currently active and haven't been active for a long time there is no real need to bring them back to life.
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