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Repainting a newer Trek kids bike

Old 09-29-19, 10:31 AM
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Repainting a newer Trek kids bike

My cousin is giving me a Trek bike that her daughter outgrew. But it's pink/white and my son would like it a different color. The bike is from 2014.

Best paint to use? Advice on prep? Do I have to disassemble it before painting? There's no rust and the current paint is in good condition. He'd like it to be orange.
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Old 09-29-19, 10:39 AM
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Almost 50 years ago, my dad used Rust-Oleum, with a brush. The bikes that my brothers and I rode were probably second-hand. I kinda doubt that he stripped the bikes down to the brass tacks before repainting them.

Now, my feeling is that it doesn't have to be a pro job, because the bike will be outgrown soon, and handed off to someone else.
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Old 09-29-19, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Almost 50 years ago, my dad used Rust-Oleum, with a brush. The bikes that my brothers and I rode were probably second-hand. I kinda doubt that he stripped the bikes down to the brass tacks before repainting them.

Now, my feeling is that it doesn't have to be a pro job, because the bike will be outgrown soon, and handed off to someone else.
I'm wondering if using rust-oleum in a rattle can would be easier, even though it will be messier? He's just getting into this size and dying to get a bike that shifts to ride with me, so it'll be kicking around for a couple of years.
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Old 09-29-19, 01:12 PM
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A younger child sure to out-grow the bike, I would rattle can in this case.
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Old 09-29-19, 01:23 PM
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Easy to dismantle it, wipe over the frame with a acetone damp rag so the paint sticks, I agree with others..just use spray cans.

Put it back together
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Old 09-29-19, 01:51 PM
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I would disassemble as best you can, slide some abrasive paper across the whole bike, and spray with a few coats of the color you like. You can wet sand between color coats and after the last color coat and add some clear if you like. Just be sure to let the paint really cure before you handle it and bolt stuff back up. There's nothing worse than smudging your paint job because you rushed it (I know from personal experience).
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Old 09-29-19, 02:28 PM
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Whatever you do, make sure your son is involved! These days, very few kids get to see a bike taken completely apart! My dad let me watch while he worked on my bikes. Both of my kids have gotten pretty handy with a wrench. My daughter completely rebuilt a non functioning bike, and now it's her campus bike at college.
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Old 09-30-19, 09:50 AM
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Normally I would say for a good job strip the paint but with grow out of situation.....go orange fast

Takes as much of as possible and mask what you can't you don't want an all orange bike......and when you put back together use it as an opportunity to clean, adjust, add new cable brake pads good starter project for both

clean and light sand, consider using a primer coat

also a fair number of people have reported good experience with https://spraybike.us/ lot's of info on the site

any paint that is not automobile is not going to be adurable, but again in a grow out of situation not worth going there
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Old 09-30-19, 10:04 AM
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The trick with spray painting a bicycle is there are all kinds of awkward corners, like between the chain stays and inside the main triangle. Also, round tubes actually have 4 sides so you have to spray them from all four directions to get complete coverage. Certainly not impossible but it takes practice to do a good job.

If you are contemplating doing the job without completely disassembling the bike, I seriously suggest using a brush. You're not going to get a professional looking job but you probably aren't going to get a professional looking job with a rattle can either.

It's a free bike, right? Until you fix it the most you can lose on this deal is zero. Paint it orange and keep the boy happy until he learns to ride. Get him a nicer bike when he gets a little bit older and a little more picky.
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Old 09-30-19, 10:40 AM
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This is the picture my cousin sent me. I'm assuming that the pink scrolls on the white part are decals. Really, I could paint only the front and then my son gets a white and orange bike?
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Old 09-30-19, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by TriBiker19 View Post
This is the picture my cousin sent me. I'm assuming that the pink scrolls on the white part are decals. Really, I could paint only the front and then my son gets a white and orange bike?
sure just mask the rest well and get a bunch of stickers (bmx, skateboard, etc) and let your son go wild putting them on over the decals

also for "non-girly" recommend a new saddle.....black
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Old 09-30-19, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by TriBiker19 View Post
This is the picture my cousin sent me. I'm assuming that the pink scrolls on the white part are decals. Really, I could paint only the front and then my son gets a white and orange bike?
If I had to, that's the route I'd take. I agree with roughing up the clearcoat or top coat of paint for better adhesion.

I have a biking friend who let his kids paint his frame with acrylic paints, and it holds up well enough, so a rattle can or even appropriate paint isn't necessary.
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Old 09-30-19, 11:22 AM
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The pink scrolls may be decals, but they may also be under a layer of clear coat. If so you are going to see them as a ridge in the new paint. But you may not care.

The good news is that the bike is a light color. So choose a darker color for the new paint and go nuts.

I did something similar to my daughter's first bike when my son became old enough to ride it. Here's some photos of the process....
Rehabbing first born's bike for 2nd kid

As you can see I took off everything I could except the bottom bracket (because it was just too much of a headache to mes with it and too easy to mask with tape)

Sanding down the original paint and clear coat is critical or the new paint will never stick right.

Hand sanding is a pain in the rump. In hindsight I should have used an electric sander for 95% of the larger sections and just done hand sanding in the hard to reach joints. Would have make it a 2 hour sanding project total.

As for the paint...I used Rustoleum 2X spray from a can. 1 can was more than enough. And it's proved to be very durable in the year and a half since I did this. But...wait at least 2 days between coats. And plan on 3 coats, with some small touch up spots that might need more. The adhesion will be that much better. I topped it off with the same brand clear coat, over top the decals. And did at least 3 coats of it. I'd do the clear coat even if you're not putting decals on it. Minor scratches will scuff the clear coat, not cut through the color paint.
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Old 09-30-19, 11:26 AM
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Oh....and pro tip...if you're not experiences with dissembling a bike entirely....just take photos of it as you take it apart.

They do WONDERS for making sure you are putting everything back correctly.
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Old 09-30-19, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Oh....and pro tip...if you're not experiences with dissembling a bike entirely....just take photos of it as you take it apart.

They do WONDERS for making sure you are putting everything back correctly.
Like most projects, I'll take it apart, do the painting, and then make my husband put it back together. It's our dynamic.
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Old 09-30-19, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by TriBiker19 View Post
Like most projects, I'll take it apart, do the painting, and then make my husband put it back together. It's our dynamic.
Well then definitely take pictures of the disassembly.

It reduces the added expenses from divorce proceedings.

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Old 09-30-19, 12:47 PM
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The frame style would still look a bit gay though, Not that there is anything wrong with that
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Old 09-30-19, 04:35 PM
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PPG certified painter with over 30 years experience.
after dismantling and ready to sand.
a old painter trick to speed up sanding before paint.
get a red scotch brite sanding pad, https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...uaGRuSxvR9SUlH , wet down the bike with water, take some kitchen cleanser like Comet or Ajax. sprinkle it on where you want to sand and scrub with the red scotch brite. the cleanser will remove contaminates and speed up sanding. after scrubbing rinse well and you are ready to paint.

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Old 09-30-19, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by le mans View Post
The frame style would still look a bit gay though, Not that there is anything wrong with that
I only ride men's bikes--I'm not sure son would even notice that there's a difference. It's a new bike and it has *shifters*. Considering how fast he can get the heavy little 18" bike going (11mph/18kph), I'm guessing I'm going have one heck of a training partner once he gets this.
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Old 10-10-19, 12:30 AM
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I recently made a project with spray bike.

Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

(see the "sabine" bike based on an old scott arapaohe).

I must say that the result is really nice, at least in comparison to my expectations.

BUT

It has been a lot of work for wet sanding properly the frame and rebuilt the all thing.
It costed me about 60€ for the paint itself (primar + paint + clear coat)
I am pretty sure that the paint is not as strong as the original one (epoxy cured ??), and it can not be stronger.
It looks really nice for an amateur job, but I am not sure that it suits a kid's bike . The bike must be used with a minimal care.

Just for your information


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Old 08-19-20, 07:46 AM
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Update.

It took a while to get this project completed, but this is the end result. I have a really happy boy who wants to ride his “new” bike all the time now. New saddle, grips, chain, pedals, cables, and brakes. Thank you to the folks who mentioned taking pictures during disassembly, it saved a lot of headaches. And thank you to a certain BF member (Jeff) who helped me take the head tube and bottom bracket apart.

it was primed/painted/clear coated with rustoleum paint. The kiddo decided on the design.
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Old 08-19-20, 08:03 AM
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Nice!

I did my kid’s Hotrock in the spring. The worst part for me was getting the decals off. The tear down is a good time to discover any really heavy parts and decide if you’re going to replace them.

Also, I miss Skipjacks :-/
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Old 08-19-20, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I did my kid’s Hotrock in the spring. The worst part for me was getting the decals off. The tear down is a good time to discover any really heavy parts and decide if you’re going to replace them.
it was odd—the scrolls didn’t seem to be decals. We sanded the whole frame and there was no edge to it.

What happened to Skipjacks?
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Old 08-19-20, 03:23 PM
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He wanted to talk firearms, was informed of the rules about that, and departed.
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