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To paint or not to paint... the frame.

Old 04-27-20, 11:09 AM
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Dwillems26
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To paint or not to paint... the frame.

Bought 2 bikes for $20 that were in rough shape (because I was bored). One is a 1992 nishiki fusion mountain bike. The other a 1996 Jamis Earth Cruiser. I have the Jamis bike about done. Was able to save all of the original components except I had to get a new front wheel, and the obvious new chain, cables, etc. The frame is in good shape, I cleaned everything up etc.

Problem is that nothing is shiny anymore, I don't want to spend time polishing. The frame paint was an ugly green, and now a dull ugly green with a few small spots it got rusted to metal. I'm fine leaving it, the paint isn't that bad. I did put a coat of clear lacquer on that helped. My wife says to paint it, but I don't want to lose the decals (which are almost gone, but still legible).

Should I paint it or not?
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Old 04-27-20, 11:45 AM
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I would strip and paint -- but with a caveat .

I do not recall the thread but one of the posters on here built up a bike for his teenage daughter . HE refurbished everything, but the original paint on the bike was nothing special and for that matter neither was the bike. The guy went off on painting it kind of a Miami Vice 80'
s theme with bright colors, stenciled off floral patterns, and I believe a checkerboard section

HE took a sturdy and functional , but kinda boring, machine and made it a bit more fun and had a blast doing it with his daughter

You could do the same with your wife and this bike if she is up to a project with you
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Old 04-27-20, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
I would strip and paint -- but with a caveat .

I do not recall the thread but one of the posters on here built up a bike for his teenage daughter . HE refurbished everything, but the original paint on the bike was nothing special and for that matter neither was the bike. The guy went off on painting it kind of a Miami Vice 80'
s theme with bright colors, stenciled off floral patterns, and I believe a checkerboard section

HE took a sturdy and functional , but kinda boring, machine and made it a bit more fun and had a blast doing it with his daughter

You could do the same with your wife and this bike if she is up to a project with you
Now that's a great idea! If my wife decides to keep the bike I'll do that for her, and her helping will be the ultimatum for her keeping it Haha. If we decide to sell or even donate the bike I'll leave it as is most likely.

Thanks!
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Old 04-27-20, 11:55 AM
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I never paint, EVER. I will touch up, I will treat (remove) rust. Nope, not going to paint.

Now if I had the urge to paint, I would get it powder coated instead.

Doing painting right is A LOT of work, and not cheap either.
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Old 04-28-20, 04:32 AM
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Painting the frame/fork set on a vintage bicycle costs plenty, if you do it yourself and a heck of a lot more if you have the bike painted. And either method, usually lowers the value of the bike. This frame/fork set is hand painted, with rattle cans, by me and the cost to get to this stage of painting is, roughly...

color blue x 2 cans = $32.00 CND
clear top coat x 2 cans = $32.00
primer x 2 cans = $32.00
W&D sand paper = $10.00

Total is $106.00 CND (roughly $76.00 US) for paint just to get to here...


Now, if art is to be part of the repaint work, tack on another $50.00 to $100.00. This sheet set me back $126.00 CND ($01.00 US) bringing the total for paint up to about $232.00 CND ($166.00 US) ...


Now, ask yourself if the new paint and art will blend in with the component group and the patina it sports. Fresh paint next to rusty this and that does not look good.

And, can you do the work yourself? If not, add lots and lots of bucks to the cost. And, if you do do the paint work yourself, it will take a long time to harden, depending on the type of paint. The blue and gold frame above has been drying for a year (usually I leave a job to dry for three months before assembling the components to the frame).

So, think carefully before you sand away and spray away. Just an old fella's opinion, of course.
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Old 04-28-20, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Painting the frame/fork set on a vintage bicycle costs plenty, if you do it yourself and a heck of a lot more if you have the bike painted. And either method, usually lowers the value of the bike. This frame/fork set is hand painted, with rattle cans, by me and the cost to get to this stage of painting is, roughly...

color blue x 2 cans = $32.00 CND
clear top coat x 2 cans = $32.00
primer x 2 cans = $32.00
W&D sand paper = $10.00

Total is $106.00 CND (roughly $76.00 US) for paint just to get to here...


Now, if art is to be part of the repaint work, tack on another $50.00 to $100.00. This sheet set me back $126.00 CND ($01.00 US) bringing the total for paint up to about $232.00 CND ($166.00 US) ...


Now, ask yourself if the new paint and art will blend in with the component group and the patina it sports. Fresh paint next to rusty this and that does not look good.

And, can you do the work yourself? If not, add lots and lots of bucks to the cost. And, if you do do the paint work yourself, it will take a long time to harden, depending on the type of paint. The blue and gold frame above has been drying for a year (usually I leave a job to dry for three months before assembling the components to the frame).

So, think carefully before you sand away and spray away. Just an old fella's opinion, of course.
Hey Randy, what type of paint did you use?
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Old 04-28-20, 06:10 AM
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I've painted 3 frames from this one 1/2 pint of $5 hardware store enamel. Quick and easy.
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Old 04-28-20, 06:18 AM
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Do you thin out your paint? Use a primer?

I've rattle canned a few frames, seems wasteful and messy doing coat after coat, plus the end result looks awful in most cases when viewed up close. Would like to use a brush next time. Can be done indoors, cheaper, no waste, not as much of a mess.
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Old 04-28-20, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Do you thin out your paint? Use a primer?

I've rattle canned a few frames, seems wasteful and messy doing coat after coat, plus the end result looks awful in most cases when viewed up close. Would like to use a brush next time. Can be done indoors, cheaper, no waste, not as much of a mess.
I do a quick sand of the existing paint. Thin the enamel just a bit. Use a 1/2 inch art brush and apply 2-3 coats. Its very relaxing work. Gloss enamel has remarkable flow properties. Even if it looks a bit splotchy when applying, the paint will level out whe it dries. After a few days dry time I use Mcguire's cleaner/wax to buff out the finish.
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Old 04-28-20, 08:18 AM
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Hey Randy, what type of paint did you use?
Though not keen on repainting a frame/fork set, I have done a few. Wish I still had the website to help explain. Anyway...

At first, to help with the mess and cost issues, I brushed my work on. Sadly, primer, and color and a second color do not all come in one can. My costs, then would be about ten dollars a can for each, plus a good brush, plus thinner for cleaning the good brush - point is, the costs add up and more so with rattle can.

Then I tried spray Rustoleum or similar products, in rattle can. Not all that happy with the lengthy drying tim So, for the Rabeneick, I tried Canadian Tire's Duplicolor in lacquer.

What you see is the color coats (blue and gold) all covered with several coats, thin coats, of clear. The clear covers the chrome lugs and socks, also. I will finish it offm with art, when I get back to the cottage and then, after a bit of drying time (lacquer sets up pretty fast, compared to the other stuff I used), I will carefully sand and rub the final clear coat with rubbing compound. The results should be pretty good. My big issue now, is...

How does an old man, with poor eyesight, line the chrome lugs and sock tops..? Here is where the paint job is at now. The paint is not rubbed out so looks a bit dull. I did a test rub a small hard to see area out and was most impressed. Hope this works out...
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Old 04-29-20, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
I never paint, EVER. I will touch up, I will treat (remove) rust. Nope, not going to paint.

Now if I had the urge to paint, I would get it powder coated instead.

Doing painting right is A LOT of work, and not cheap either.
...I've discovered that painting bikes is a good way to cut back on the number of bikes I buy.
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Old 04-29-20, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...I've discovered that painting bikes is a good way to cut back on the number of bikes I buy.
lol that's understandable.

Randy, you do some pretty good work. Loving the detail you're going into.
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Old 04-29-20, 09:48 AM
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One thing to be wary of when using Duplicolor, is batch color inconsistency.

I had painstakingly stripped every speck of paint off the frame of my Paramount, and went through 2 cans and countless coats of their yellow, and got a run right at the end of the last can, so sanded down the run and bought another can of the exact same color. Color was WAY off the third can, it was a completely different shade, kind of a milky yellow. Weeks of work ruined, and I had to start all over again.

Perfect match??? So what if it isn't? I get my $6.99 back? Never again, but YMMV.

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Old 04-29-20, 12:23 PM
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One thing to be wary of when using Duplicolor, is batch color inconsistency.
Thanks for the heads up on this. Lucky for me, the color coats are done and I do like the color. For anyone interested, I masked the chrome lugs with liquid mask, a really decent product that is easy to use, and produces pretty good results, even for an old guy like me...



Leaving Winnipeg tomorrow morning at the crack of whenever Mrs. Me says so. With luck, will be hauling the bikes out of the cottage, just before dark tomorrow evening.
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