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Old 11-14-17, 02:35 PM   #1
vivvov
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Repainting a frame and forks

Hello All

I need advice on the process of repainting a '50's Parkes Magpie.
I've stripped it down to bar metal and I'm about to give it a wipe down with phosphoric acid solution to treat the residual rust/millscale. Plus obtained the necessary decals from Lloyds.
I'm hoping to get a friend of a friend, who restores classic cars, to undertake the repaint but wondered if anyone could point me to a decent thread that discusses the right and wrongs re the repainting/respaying process.
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Last edited by vivvov; 11-14-17 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 11-14-17, 02:43 PM   #2
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Well, there's the obvious stuff, like making sure the frame is sound, throughout, and properly aligned, and then protecting anything you don't want painted, like bottom bracket threads and headset cups.

Before you "stripped it down to bar metal", did you check to see if it held any value to collectors with its original patina? Since the collector value is likely destroyed, why bother with paint? Take it to a powder coating shop, and have them clean it up and coat it. It might make another 60+ years.
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Old 11-14-17, 02:51 PM   #3
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Chech this out: an entire website dedicated to the restoration of vintage bicycles at home. Here's the big index of articles, just look for what you need.

INDEX OF ALL PAGES
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Old 11-14-17, 05:05 PM   #4
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Unless you can get it painted exactly as it was new and get the proper decals, the collector's value, if there ever was any, is now gone. I agree, assuming the frame is mechanically sound, have it powder coated.

Car painters aren't well equipped to paint round tubes as on a bike frame so a vintage motorcycle restorer might be a better choice.
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Old 11-14-17, 06:35 PM   #5
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Unless you can get it painted exactly as it was new and get the proper decals, the collector's value, if there ever was any, is now gone. I agree, assuming the frame is mechanically sound, have it powder coated.

Car painters aren't well equipped to paint round tubes as on a bike frame so a vintage motorcycle restorer might be a better choice.

Couldn't agree more. I've used over a dozen car painters and even the bike friendly ones haven't always been great. I no longer go down this path. Andy
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Old 11-14-17, 07:19 PM   #6
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It would be helpful to know where you're located. That might allow a recommendation of someone local to you. You can update your profile with this info.
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Old 11-15-17, 09:56 AM   #7
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I have painted a few bike frames recently using Rustoleum spray cans.

I sand blast the frame to get ALL the rust off. Then I wipe down with solvent and immediately spray with primer. After that, spraying the enamel 3-4 coats spread at least 48 hours apart followed with final sanding with 1000 grit sand paper and 1-2 final coats.

Painting a bike frame is tricky. There are lots of small diameter tubes that have to be coated on all sides without runs or over spray.

I will set the frame on the bench upside down and spray then turn over and do the other side.

It is always easier to spray a surface that is horizontal rather than vertical.

It is MUCH easier to spray a solid color. Black is the easiest. Use a black primer as if you miss a spot it won't show.

With your bike you might want to use Rustoleum black lacquer. Lacquer dries in a few minutes so the painting can be finished in a couple days instead of a couple weeks it takes with enamel. Rustoleum also makes a clear lacquer if you want to put a clear coat over everything. Your friend will be using automotive paint which is probably more durable - a good choice.

Your friend might want to use a touch up gun to do the spraying as it will be easier with the bike frame.

If you sand blast the frame make sure to put some small screws into the weep holes in the fork and rear stays before you paint. Even if you blow out the frame with compressed air there is always some sand that will come out of the holes and get into the paint.

Again, with spray paint the biggest problems are runs and over spray ( areas that look dull , not shiny.

If you spray the underside first then the top side any over spray will tend to be on the bottom side and hence less visible.

I have my own sand blasting rig. It is a messy job. It lets me really get the frame clean and using Rustoleum spray cans I can paint a frame for about $10-20 . A standard color powder coat job will probably cost you $100.
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Old 11-16-17, 07:55 AM   #8
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I have painted a few bike frames recently using Rustoleum spray cans.
It seems you do a careful and complete job but how durable have your paint jobs been? The usual knock against "rattle can" paint is that it chips easily.

Powder coating is obviously more expensive but very durable. Surly used to wet paint their frames and the paint was notorious for chipping and scratching easily. Now they powder coat them and the durability is hugely improved.

What we still don't know is if the OP wants to do a historically correct restoration or just want to make the frame rideable.
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Old 11-16-17, 10:03 AM   #9
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I'd carefully remove the head badge and then carefully put it back on. I don't want period perfect bikes, but I do want to put the same or similar decals back on. So take good pic's of every one. Some of these decal sites might make them for you.

I'd avoid the rattle paint cans. Yes you can do a good job, but they can be as costly as getting someone to put a good autopaint on them. Or if you are chatty, you might can find some of the powder coaters in you area and talk them up to doing it cheaply in connection with another job if you are not picky about color, the powder needed isn't much and they waste as much cleaning their equipment for the next job of a different color.
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Old 11-16-17, 10:53 AM   #10
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A couple of observations. Be very careful when sandblasting. Many high quality bikes, even steel bikes have very thin tubing, that the sandblasting medium will go right through, obviously ruining your frame.

I had a fantastic result using automotive paint. I bought some Imron Paint, which is two stage very hard very durable paint and sprayed it with a Preval sprayer. It came out very shiny and rock hard. But the paint was pretty expensive.
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Old 11-16-17, 11:11 AM   #11
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Be very careful when sandblasting.
VERY. Media and pressure matter. A lot.

Don't ask.
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Old 11-16-17, 11:13 AM   #12
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VERY. Media and pressure matter. A lot.

Don't ask.
Yep. Now I only use chemical strippers on my steel frame. I've already sandblasted it twice and I don't want to push my luck.
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Old 11-16-17, 11:19 AM   #13
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Yep. Now I only use chemical strippers on my steel frame. I've already sandblasted it twice and I don't want to push my luck.
I powder coat all my bikes (and lots of components too) and I'm still a big proponent for blasting as part of the prep. But the operator must know what he is dealing with and what he is doing.

One of my bikes has a wavy top tube. Right on top. At least it's a nice symmetrical wave pattern.
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Old 11-16-17, 11:22 AM   #14
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There are blasters that use less abrasive stuff like crushed walnut shells. I wouldn't think that would be hard on steel yet still plenty hard for paint removal. We used them in aircraft maintenance to remove carbon build up on turbine engine blades.

Anyone know for certain or have actual experience with other blast media?
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Old 11-16-17, 12:05 PM   #15
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Look up soda blasting. It's pretty weird.
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Old 11-16-17, 12:30 PM   #16
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And there's also a blasting technique that uses, I believe, dry ice. I've only seen it used to clean the undersides of cars, for those people that have to have Concours quality. I'm wondering if that could be used to blast paint.
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Old 11-16-17, 04:35 PM   #17
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Do not spray Imron or the equivalent unless you Are sa professional painter and have the proper equipment. Inhaling that paint can permanently damage your lungs.

I have never painted a super light high end bike. I did paint my Peugeot frame with Rustoleum enamel. The trick is to take it very slow. 48 hours between coats of paint and weeks drying in the sun before you re assemble everything to give the paint time to harden.

painting a bike in lacquer , on the other hand, you can re spray in 1/2 hour. When all the painting is finished let it dry hanging up for 2-3 days then assemble. If you use a solid color lacquer it is much easier to touch up the paint.

One feature about lacquer is that it dissolves into itself. If you have a mild scratch in a lacquer job with a clear top coat you can respray the clear and the scratches will disappear.

Don't spray lacquer over enamel though as it will eat into it and alligator the finish. I have had very good results spraying Rustoleum clear lacquer over The paint on a number of 3 spd Raleighs after cleaning them thoroughly.
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Old 11-16-17, 06:22 PM   #18
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I've touched up a number of old English 3 speed black bikes. I normally use Rustoleum and a brush. Yep, a brush. Black Rustoleum flows quite nicely and is an excellent color match. Don't shake the can, just stir to mix it well. Shaking adds air bubbles. After it dries for a couple of days, I'll use 400 or 600 grit with a small sanding block to remove any runs. You can brush around decals and pin striping. No need to blast or even dismantle the bike. Polish and wax and it looks nice. Cost is <$20 for supplies and it's much faster than a full respray.

Most the old English black 3 speed bikes' paint has oxidized long ago. It was never flat black to start with. I suspect they just dipped the frames in enamel and let them drip dry. Polish and wax and they look great.

IMO, repainting a bike frame is just the start. All the parts will look dingy by comparison so then you will want to replace them. You can spend a lot of cash getting nos components and have a bike that is nowhere worth what you put in to it to anyone but you.
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