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Painting my bike.

Old 06-19-10, 12:57 PM
  #1  
thebigkick
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Painting my bike.

Hello,

I found an old Raleigh 3-speed and It needs nome TLC. I wan to paint the frame but don't have any clue how. Can anyone suggest a spray paint from Home Depot and some clear coat that would be best to use.

I am going to hand sand the frame using 3 different grades of sandpaper.

Thanks for the help.

Cheers
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Old 06-19-10, 02:47 PM
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car paint is the only thing that will stand, the aerosol paint you are toaking about will take like 6 months to cure to start with. Secondly it will look dry but it will scratch even with your own nails and you will end up painting the frame again maybe after 1 month.
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Old 06-19-10, 03:24 PM
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If not rusted the paint will often come back amazingly well. It's very difficult to manage a good paint job on a bike and hardly worth it for a bike of that type, in my opinion - and I have a soft spot for old 3 speeds.
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Old 06-19-10, 03:31 PM
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I've rattle can painted several bike frames. What works for me is to completely strip the frame down to bare metal and start over with primer. When I've done that I get a decent finish that doesn't scratch or chip nearly as easily as the other poster would have you believe. Whenever I've tried to cheap out by not completely removing all of the old finish, I quickly get chips just as he describes.

Honestly, a better idea is to take the frame to a local powder coater. Many posters have reported getting a professional job done for around $100.00 - sometimes even less. The money that you spend for chemical stripper, sandpaper, primer and paint will tally up to almost half of that. Really, the only reasons for painting a bike frame yourself are wanting the satisfaction of doing it yourself and, if you are a professional painter, wanting to do something unusual.
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Old 06-19-10, 04:29 PM
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Do you have a compressor? do you have a spray gun? do you have a hot air gun?
If you have a compressor than you should buy a paint gun and a hot gun. If not find someone who has.

Can spray paint is not good enough even for a house fence (metal fence). For a bike, any car service (that do paint works) will have a compressor, paint gun and a guy that knows how to use them throw a question to check the price. It might even have an oven for curing the paint (but a hot air gun works decent also).
Last time I painted a bike at a low quality car service (low quality for cars, for a bike it's good) I paid something like 15$ (with his paint/clear coat/primer/etc) I got the the frame to bare metal and sanded it down, and I've put a thin coat of filler (the metal had lots of scratches under the paint right from the factory - lugged steel frame, a Russian low quality frame), so half of the work was mine.
The paint was a cheap car paint, nothing fancy, but holds well for almost a year, also that garage had a leftover of that paint from a car so the price for them is next to nothing, but even so you can get a tin can of paint (not spray paint) and that will be cheaper than spray paint and also better (in most cases). Look for car paint only. And also a clear coat (lacquer) for protection of the paint.

I reckon it will be a very small price for painting a frame if you hand it already stripped of components and old paint, also repair the dings in the frame with some filler. But ask at any car garage (not the big ones, the small ones that do side jobs like this)

Another thing: if you want to add some decals, do that before applying the clear coat (it will protect the decals also)
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Old 06-19-10, 05:03 PM
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Good advice, however, forget lacquer. The automotive world stopped using it YEARS ago for a reason. Urethane 2 stage (base clear) is what you want. Same as on your car. superb shine & durability.
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Old 06-19-10, 05:19 PM
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Sorry for my disinformation, the term "lacquer" for me is any clear-coat whatever the base (in my language is very similar "lac" so I translated it to lacquer). I'll keep that in mind. I referred to the modern clear coat, urethane or acrylic base.

Another thing to do is to attach masking tape to all important tings (the steerer tube where the races are inslalled, inside the steerer tube, inside the head tube, on the threads of the bottom bracket, inside the seat tube, and you can also attach some M5 screws in the threaded eyelets for fenders, racks... basically any thread or high precision ID for bearings, seat tubes, quill stems, etc. the holes for brake calipers are not threaded so no worry)

Last edited by Asi; 06-19-10 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 06-19-10, 07:45 PM
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"I want to paint a frame but I do not have any idea how". Stop now and either polish up what you have, or find a powder coater. You will not be happy with the results. Successful bicycle painting is a skill, and should not be taken lightly.
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Old 06-19-10, 08:36 PM
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Powdercoat. Cheaper than a pro paint job and you can never get as good a result doing the paint job yourself. Shouldn't cost over 100.00 for a basic job sometimes cheaper than that. They will mediablast and the spray on the powder and bake for about a Half hour I think and voila a beautiful tough finish.
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Old 06-19-10, 09:51 PM
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THere is enamel and Laquer paints, there is car paint around that is laquer (still) but we are talking about "enamel" car paint or as somebody said URETHANE 2 stages or single stage, doesnt matter. The Single stage paint has clear mixed with the paint but to make that at home i wouldnt recommend it due to the fact that there is too much toxic stuff to mix. Paint, clear, hardener and the special thinner also as minimum.

What the OP or who ever who wants to paint his bike at home is just go to the car paint shop is to buy a good car paint primer in aerosol (2 or 3 big cans and in the lightest color they have, white or light yellow work fine, as darker the primer the darker the paint will get at the end)... you can get the guys to mix you single stage paint in aerosol cans also, ask at least 5 cans because those ones arent that big and all the chemicals are in the can. So once the catalizer is active (u have to activate the can) you have to paint right away due to the hardener that is inside (24 hours). With single stage you dont need clear because the clear is in the paint already, the paint color is deeper also, u can add clear after if you want also (next paragraph)

Second option, use a spray gun and do the whole thing at home, mix the primer with a little bit of clear and hardener (tricks), at this point the car paint shop will ask you what paint do you want and u say "base coat - clear coat." He will ask for the color code (pick one in the books and tell him to mix you a PINT of paint, a pint will be enough. There are different prices so you can go from 10 bucks for a pint of red up to maybe 60+ bucks for the same color in another brand, yes the difference is noticeable. With the cheapo u wont get the color you want for sure (almost no color match in the cheappo stuff). Buy the smallest thinner bottle for the paint (assume you are getting urethane), the paint, the thinner and the clear must work all together or the paint will crack or it will separate after a few hours. Clear is super expensive and u cant get less than a gallon (that i know of) and you will need hardener and who knows what else, to fix this problem get urethane clear coat in aerosol. Get about 3 cans, that will be enough.

The base color will be pretty dull in 2 stages paint so paint, sand... and then apply the clear and it will get super shinny.

Good luck
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Old 06-20-10, 04:33 AM
  #11  
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Good advice, but I'll stick to whatever the paint/clear/primer they have in the car garage. (they have already all the materials in large amounts and know that they work well) If you're not too picky for the exact color it's ok. I wanted red, and indeed it was red nevertheless, the exact tone of the color is a minor question but I do like how it went.

Another thing: check if your frame is chromed under the paint.
I have a bike that is fully chromed and then painted over (with exceptions of the forks and stays which are partial painted), the paint (original paint) is chipped in lots of places and I can see that it's chromed everywhere. I might strip all the paint off and luster the chrome. I'm not sure if the brazing is with silver or copper (under the paint of lugged frames you can see a yellow stuff that is copper from brazing, or white which is silver, around the lugs), but since the lugs are chromed and the tubes are chromed underneath I think they used a silver brazing.

I've seen some that paint bikes (and cars) with the paintbrush. after sanding it looked ok (on a bike, on a car is another story) but I do not recommend

Here is what I mean paint spray gun (not an air brush):

Last edited by Asi; 06-20-10 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 06-20-10, 06:25 AM
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Touch up gun maybe, but using an airbrush would be a serious pain. I wouldn't advise sanding basecoat unless specified. Especially if you are shooting anything pearled or with metallics. After the clear is on, wet sand with 200grit (depending on how your surface turned out), compound & polish. It will look gorgeous. If you decide to do it yourself, read the tech sheets thoroughly to avoid problems. with prep, adhesion, etc.... I think I'd take it to a shop unless you have the equipment, otherwise, you are making a big investment.
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Old 06-20-10, 05:38 PM
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+1... i have used an airbrush and it is even better because the gun itself is pretty small and easier to get into the tight places, the problem if that you need to put maybe more thinner, so always test in plastic tubes and stuff until you get it right. I paint like GRAAAPPP... i been learning how to paint, i know the process to perfection but as a painter i suck big time, it will take years for me to get it right, i have no talent for it. Cyclesour said to use grit 200 sand paper... after you put the clear u cant go with 200 or that will eat the clear in 2 passes, maybe you meant 2000 grit? mcguars have a hand polishing compound that is pretty good in new paints, if works awesome but it most not be used to polish your old bike. The paint will get shinny as gold but with swirls marks everywhere. Then u have to basically use another compound to take the swirl marks out and then re polish using the mcguiars one.

Cya
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Old 06-20-10, 08:34 PM
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Hah. 200 grit. Yeah, that'll make quick work of any orange peel you have!!!!(meant 2000). Painting is a world of it's own, and I still have a lot to learn.
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Old 01-16-11, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
"I want to paint a frame but I do not have any idea how". Stop now and either polish up what you have, or find a powder coater. You will not be happy with the results. Successful bicycle painting is a skill, and should not be taken lightly.
i'm slowly learning this.

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Old 01-16-11, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by clydeosaur View Post
Hah. 200 grit. Yeah, that'll make quick work of any orange peel you have!!!!(meant 2000). Painting is a world of it's own, and I still have a lot to learn.
yeah, I have actually decided to abandon the Raleigh 3sp and moved on to another obsession, an old Benotto frame I found on CL. I think I'm just going to pay someone to strip it and paint it. Damn I wish I had more friends with a spray gun.
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Old 01-16-11, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
"I want to paint a frame but I do not have any idea how". Stop now and either polish up what you have, or find a powder coater. You will not be happy with the results. Successful bicycle painting is a skill, and should not be taken lightly.
This is the best advice. You will go through all your grocery and bike budget mulah trying to paint a frame. So much better and faster and cheaper to powder coat it. Unless of course, you have deep wallets and plenty of time to screw around.
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Old 01-16-11, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by triplebutted View Post
This is the best advice. You will go through all your grocery and bike budget mulah trying to paint a frame. So much better and faster and cheaper to powder coat it. Unless of course, you have deep wallets and plenty of time to screw around.
seeing as I have neither, I'll prob just leave it the way it is. I have a pretty bike (my sig) so maybe this will be my warrior bike. But I'll want to do this eventually because I've always wanted a nice orange frame with blue decals
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Old 01-17-11, 09:09 AM
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Used a brush. Came out pretty nice.

In the process of finishing the restoration of an '82 Fuji Monterey. The paint was in bad enough condition that I decided to repaint it. Used a soft-haired brush, Rustoleum, sanded between coats (4). Thinned the paint and in future will thin it even more. Painted each tube as a separate entity to avoid uneveness. Came out pretty nice.
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Old 01-17-11, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Sculptor7 View Post
In the process of finishing the restoration of an '82 Fuji Monterey. The paint was in bad enough condition that I decided to repaint it. Used a soft-haired brush, Rustoleum, sanded between coats (4). Thinned the paint and in future will thin it even more. Painted each tube as a separate entity to avoid uneveness. Came out pretty nice.
hey good job
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Old 01-17-11, 10:10 AM
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Hi thebigkick,

I had decent results touching up my Raleigh 3-speed with Rust-O-Leum - scrubbed the rusty spots down to bare metal with a brass brush, then applied Rust-O-Leum bare metal primer, then applied Rust-O-Leum enamel blended from two colors to match the original paint job. As other posters have noted, the resulting paint will be softer than the factory paint job (by a large margin). One irritation of mine is the white spots that have shown up on the toptube from resting the bike against bike racks, which scraped off the paint.

But still, the bike looks nicer than when I bought it, and the paint I added has protected against further rusting.

Edit: I may have sprayed on some rattle-can clear coat after the Rust-O-Leum. Can't remember. Also, I did sand between coats of paint as specified in the directions on the Rust-O-Leum.

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Old 01-17-11, 02:04 PM
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Try taking it to an automotive paint shop and ask them how much they'd charge to paint it whatever colors they happen to be shooting a car. Mixing and cleanup take way longer than shooting the paint so shooting your bike while doing a car adds minimal work.
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Old 01-19-11, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Sculptor7 View Post
In the process of finishing the restoration of an '82 Fuji Monterey. The paint was in bad enough condition that I decided to repaint it. Used a soft-haired brush, Rustoleum, sanded between coats (4). Thinned the paint and in future will thin it even more. Painted each tube as a separate entity to avoid uneveness. Came out pretty nice.

What grade of sandpaper did you use between coats?
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Old 01-23-11, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by thebigkick View Post
What grade of sandpaper did you use between coats?
Sorry for not answering sooner. Had not checked this recently. I used 400 paper and also used those green scotchbrite pads I think they are called. Also used 0000 steel wool. In each case I allowed the paint to dry at least overnight. Found that thin coats were better than unthinned. Also painted each tube as a unit after I realized that not to do so created problems. Painting black paint in the basement meant I had to carefully check for places I might miss. Also used a soft camel hair brush (1 inch) which I thoroughly cleaned with thinner then with soap and water after each coat.

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Old 02-04-11, 02:07 PM
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Don't know if you've finished this yet, but I just finished up painting an old project.

I used a primer/base coat method with outdoor, oil based rustoleum enamel, and painted with a brush. I did nothing between coats for the most part and used 600 for the final wet sanding (which I repeated twice). It came out wonderful (looks on par or better then/with my wife's factory trek), and is holding up really well based on how the paint under the front dereailleur clamp is holding up after a few take-offs. I am also painting the rims using the same process and it is also turning out very nicely as well.
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