Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Paint removal without chemicals or blasting method preferred?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Paint removal without chemicals or blasting method preferred?

Old 12-01-19, 12:12 PM
  #1  
jdawginsc 
Edumacator
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Goose Creek, SC
Posts: 2,850

Bikes: '87 Crestdale, '87 Basso Gap, '92 Rossin Performance EL-OS, 1990 VanTuyl, 1980s Losa, 1985 Trek 670, 1982 AD SLE, 1987 PX10, etc...

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 865 Post(s)
Liked 728 Times in 504 Posts
Paint removal without chemicals or blasting method preferred?

Polling folks here. Going to refinish a steel frame with yucky layers of paint. Do not wish to use chemical paint remover or blasting...

Which has been your favorite "physical" method? And what do you like about the method?
1. Wire wheel and drill
2. Abrasive wheel and drill
3. Heat and scraper
4. Sandpaper and several years...
5. Other
jdawginsc is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 12:59 PM
  #2  
SJX426 
Senior Member
 
SJX426's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
Posts: 8,250

Bikes: '73 Bottecchia Giro d'Italia, '83 Colnago Superissimo, '84 Trek 610, '84 Trek 760, '88 Pinarello Veneto, '88 De Rosa Pro, '89 Pinarello Montello, '94 Burley Duet, 97 Specialized RockHopper, 2010 Langster, Tern Link D8

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1130 Post(s)
Liked 930 Times in 546 Posts
I prefer paint remover.
P1010773 on Flickr

Stripper and scraping.
P1010772, on Flickr

The below is a Trek 610 which had Imron paint. Very difficult to remove. even with a liquid chemical, it is hard to get to all the crevasses. Using a tooth brush helps. I don't know how you can effectively get to some of the areas without a stripper.
After the stripper process, I followed up with a wire wheel on a drill. Use only a brass wire as steel will remove steel.
Abrasive wheels can remove steel as well.
Heat and a scraper is injury prone as well as melted paint will stick to whatever is below it.
P1000805, on Flickr
__________________
Bikes don't stand alone. They are two tired.
SJX426 is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 01:16 PM
  #3  
merziac
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 8,746

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

Mentioned: 167 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2670 Post(s)
Liked 1,996 Times in 1,335 Posts
Your timing is impeccable, I just started a strip last night, cleaned and wire brushed all the grimey spots, used the zipper die grinder with roloc abrasive disc to zip a few bare metal lines in it for inroads.

Used foam sanding block to expand on those, scrub off some of the rust and breakup the top glaze, you could get a lot of paint off with these but a huge amount of elbow grease would still be expended.

A needle scaler would probably work for this but again detailing would be a slog.

Wiped it down with brake and carb clean to soften it BUT still going with stripper and will still have a lot of detail work getting it out of all the nooks and crannies. Going to get the frame good and hot to help the stripper and maybe use less, maybe.

Just don't see any way around it.

This is a nasty task and unfortunately calls for nasty measures.

If you have unlimited free time it is doable but still too much work imho.
merziac is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 01:17 PM
  #4  
scarlson 
Senior Member
 
scarlson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 1,496

Bikes: Ron Cooper touring, 1959 Jack Taylor 650b ladyback touring tandem, Vitus 979, Joe Bell painted Claud Butler Dalesman, Colin Laing curved tube tandem, heavily-Dilberted 1982 Trek 6xx, René Herse tandem

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 688 Post(s)
Liked 835 Times in 468 Posts
I like a wire wheel on an angle grinder. The grinder has a switch not a trigger so it stays turned on after you turn it on, it's more ergonomic to hold, it's spinning faster than most drills will go, and the bearings in an angle grinder are more suited to the side loads that a wire wheel will be putting on the tool than a drill's bearings, which are mainly for thrust loads so it won't wear out. I've used one to remove areas of a Joe Bell paintjob (really thick hard paint) on a cracked frame. It worked pretty well.

There are cup-shaped wire wheels and disc shaped wire wheels for different surfaces, and you should be able to buy a cheap set from Harbor Freight or something for less than $15.

If you are having trouble with crevices, heat those areas up with a propane torch until the paint bubbles or changes color, then the wire wheel doesn't need to do as much work.
__________________
Owner & co-founder, Cycles René Hubris. Unfortunately attaching questionable braze-ons to perfectly good frames since about 2015. With style.
scarlson is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 01:17 PM
  #5  
wrk101
Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 22,738

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 79 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 943 Post(s)
Liked 380 Times in 287 Posts
If you don't want to use chemicals or media blasting, then forget it. Cherish the blemishes as "patina".
wrk101 is offline  
Likes For wrk101:
Old 12-01-19, 01:28 PM
  #6  
jdawginsc 
Edumacator
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Goose Creek, SC
Posts: 2,850

Bikes: '87 Crestdale, '87 Basso Gap, '92 Rossin Performance EL-OS, 1990 VanTuyl, 1980s Losa, 1985 Trek 670, 1982 AD SLE, 1987 PX10, etc...

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 865 Post(s)
Liked 728 Times in 504 Posts
Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
If you don't want to use chemicals or media blasting, then forget it. Cherish the blemishes as "patina".
Hmmm...interesting thought.

Of course, I could just fill spaces, scuff up the existing paint, spray some primer and paint on top!
jdawginsc is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 01:31 PM
  #7  
3alarmer
Friendship is Magic
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 20,132

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 286 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22397 Post(s)
Liked 5,499 Times in 3,984 Posts
.
...I use chemical stripper as well, then clean up the details with a wire brush and sanding. If I could find someone here who would do it cheaply, like with dip tank full of stripper, I would happily pay for the service. There's a powder coater who will do bike frames who charges 40 bucks to media blast prior to coating, but will only do that for jobs you contract to powder coat. At this point I prefer to paint myself, because it's a more controllable medium.
3alarmer is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 01:32 PM
  #8  
delbiker1 
Mother Nature's Son
 
delbiker1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Sussex County, Delaware
Posts: 2,027

Bikes: Early 90's Ochsner road, 2006 Schwinn SS DBX, 2014 Orbea Avant MD30, 2004 Airborne Zeppelin TI, 2003 Lemond Poprad, 1989? Fuji Ace, 2001 Lemond Tourmalet, 2014? Soma Smoothie

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 535 Post(s)
Liked 629 Times in 360 Posts
I definitely use stripper. Well ventilated to the max. I stripped a Fuji Ace last weekend. Coated it with stripped and left it in my enclosed back porch with all windows open. Direct sunlight there so it gets warm during the day. Scraped it the next morning and used small amount of stripper again on hard to get to areas. Finished it about two hours later. By the evening I had the frame and fork sanded down to 600 grit wet. I will probably go to 1200 wet. Not sure about what finish to do at this point.
delbiker1 is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 01:35 PM
  #9  
3alarmer
Friendship is Magic
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 20,132

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 286 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22397 Post(s)
Liked 5,499 Times in 3,984 Posts
Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Hmmm...interesting thought.

Of course, I could just fill spaces, scuff up the existing paint, spray some primer and paint on top!
...if the existing paint is solidly attached, this works fine. You lose some detail around the lugs and pantographing (if there is any). You can use a self etching primer for added bonding with the old paint. Most paints have an overcoat window, where bonding will be best if you apply the overcoat within a certain time frame. Self etching primer might (or might not) help in the case of a very old, well cured under surface.
3alarmer is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 01:37 PM
  #10  
scarlson 
Senior Member
 
scarlson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 1,496

Bikes: Ron Cooper touring, 1959 Jack Taylor 650b ladyback touring tandem, Vitus 979, Joe Bell painted Claud Butler Dalesman, Colin Laing curved tube tandem, heavily-Dilberted 1982 Trek 6xx, René Herse tandem

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 688 Post(s)
Liked 835 Times in 468 Posts
I will also say that an angle grinder is cheaper than you might think! My $10 Harbor Freight one has served me for 7 years. Sure it heats up and vibrates like mad, and I had to replace the cord once, but it gets the job done.

__________________
Owner & co-founder, Cycles René Hubris. Unfortunately attaching questionable braze-ons to perfectly good frames since about 2015. With style.
scarlson is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 02:02 PM
  #11  
Mr. 66
Senior Member
 
Mr. 66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,938
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 600 Post(s)
Liked 534 Times in 346 Posts
The Roto-Stripper drill attachment worked for me in the past, back 30yrs ago. Still very labor intensive, it is like blasting. Chemical strippers probably easier. I'll do sanding and chemicals, starting with a heavy sandpaper to break the top layers. Slop it up, wait, wire brush, heavy steel wool, lighter wool to finish up. I'll do fine sanding and whipe with thinner before painting.
Mr. 66 is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 03:34 PM
  #12  
Ross200
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Dry Ice Blasting
Ross200 is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 03:54 PM
  #13  
gugie 
Bike Butcher of Portland
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 9,666

Bikes: It's complicated.

Mentioned: 1058 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3498 Post(s)
Liked 2,208 Times in 1,046 Posts
I know you didn't want to do this, but for $40 my local powder coater will media blast a frame. Every nook and cranny is clean metal when through, and the surface is perfect for paint or powder to adhere to.

That's what the professionals do to prep a frame.
__________________
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gugie is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 03:56 PM
  #14  
Nemosengineer 
Hair Ball
 
Nemosengineer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Murrieta Ca.
Posts: 431

Bikes: Teledyne Titan, Bob Jackson World Tour, AlAn Record Ergal, 3Rensho Katana.

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 177 Post(s)
Liked 338 Times in 161 Posts
Consider vapor blasting it doesn't damage the base material. I am lucky to have a company that provides this service near my home, Vapor Blasting USA, good stuff.


: Mike
__________________
Booyah Hubba-Hubba!!!
Nemosengineer is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 03:58 PM
  #15  
Last ride 76 
1/2 as far in 2x the time
 
Last ride 76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Northern Bergen County, NJ
Posts: 1,935

Bikes: Yes, Please.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 499 Post(s)
Liked 282 Times in 220 Posts
Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Hmmm...interesting thought.

Of course, I could just fill spaces, scuff up the existing paint, spray some primer and paint on top!
I'm trying a slightly modified version of that, having used some 180 and then 320 to get down to the primer, but not bare metal...
On my extremely paint challenged Rossin Ghibli, I've gone to bare metal in many areas, to do rust prevention, but I have tried to keep as much original paintwork intact as possible. I have not been able to find a half inch grid, so can't repair any stenciling. the only one I found so far is 3/4 inch.
Last ride 76 is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 04:02 PM
  #16  
seedsbelize 
smelling the roses
 
seedsbelize's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tixkokob, Yucatán, México
Posts: 15,428

Bikes: 79 Trek 930, 80 Trek 414, 84 Schwinn Letour Luxe (coupled), 92 Schwinn Paramount PDG 5

Mentioned: 104 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7079 Post(s)
Liked 890 Times in 605 Posts
Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Your timing is impeccable, I just started a strip last night, cleaned and wire brushed all the grimey spots, used the zipper die grinder with roloc abrasive disc to zip a few bare metal lines in it for inroads.

Used foam sanding block to expand on those, scrub off some of the rust and breakup the top glaze, you could get a lot of paint off with these but a huge amount of elbow grease would still be expended.

A needle scaler would probably work for this but again detailing would be a slog.

Wiped it down with brake and carb clean to soften it BUT still going with stripper and will still have a lot of detail work getting it out of all the nooks and crannies. Going to get the frame good and hot to help the stripper and maybe use less, maybe.

Just don't see any way around it.

This is a nasty task and unfortunately calls for nasty measures.

If you have unlimited free time it is doable but still too much work imho.
And I have my frame out, ready to start shortly. I will not be doing a complete strip, so sandpaper for me.
​​​​​​
seedsbelize is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 04:06 PM
  #17  
Last ride 76 
1/2 as far in 2x the time
 
Last ride 76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Northern Bergen County, NJ
Posts: 1,935

Bikes: Yes, Please.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 499 Post(s)
Liked 282 Times in 220 Posts
Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Hmmm...interesting thought.

Of course, I could just fill spaces, scuff up the existing paint, spray some primer and paint on top!
I'm trying a slightly modified version of that, having used some 180 and then 320 to get down to the primer, but not bare metal...
On my extremely paint challenged Rossin Ghibli, I've gone to bare metal in many areas, to do rust prevention, but I have tried to keep as much original paintwork intact as possible. I have not been able to find a half inch grid, so can't repair any stenciling. the only one I found so far is 3/4 inch.
Last ride 76 is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 07:53 PM
  #18  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 13,584

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 111 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6801 Post(s)
Liked 3,861 Times in 2,222 Posts
Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
I will also say that an angle grinder is cheaper than you might think! My $10 Harbor Freight one has served me for 7 years. Sure it heats up and vibrates like mad, and I had to replace the cord once, but it gets the job done.

is the angle grinder the reason for the lug having a ton of angles now?
mstateglfr is offline  
Likes For mstateglfr:
Old 12-01-19, 08:10 PM
  #19  
02Giant 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,975
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1516 Post(s)
Liked 623 Times in 410 Posts
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
is the angle grinder the reason for the lug having a ton of angles now?
That would be considered multi-faceted...
02Giant is offline  
Likes For 02Giant:
Old 12-01-19, 11:29 PM
  #20  
scarlson 
Senior Member
 
scarlson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 1,496

Bikes: Ron Cooper touring, 1959 Jack Taylor 650b ladyback touring tandem, Vitus 979, Joe Bell painted Claud Butler Dalesman, Colin Laing curved tube tandem, heavily-Dilberted 1982 Trek 6xx, René Herse tandem

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 688 Post(s)
Liked 835 Times in 468 Posts
Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
That would be considered multi-faceted...
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
is the angle grinder the reason for the lug having a ton of angles now?
Hawww, you all are too much.

I posted on this a while back, if you didn't see it. This was my Holdsworth/Claud Butler resurrection. Couldn't give up my trusty commuter after it cracked up on me due to inadequate bronze penetration under the lug. I did use a grinding disc to get rid of lug that wasn't brazed to the frame tubes, and it wasn't pretty but it got the job done! I ride it every day. Unless I skip a day.

In all seriousness though, that's the Joe Bell paintjob it removed, with the cup-shaped wire wheel. Some damn fine paint, I was sorry to see it go.
__________________
Owner & co-founder, Cycles René Hubris. Unfortunately attaching questionable braze-ons to perfectly good frames since about 2015. With style.

Last edited by scarlson; 12-01-19 at 11:36 PM.
scarlson is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 11:31 PM
  #21  
Bad Lag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal, for now
Posts: 1,500

Bikes: 1975 Bob Jackson - Nuovo Record, Brooks Pro, Clips & Straps

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 566 Post(s)
Liked 167 Times in 106 Posts
Ummm,... ever heard of sarcasm or sardonic humor?
Bad Lag is offline  
Old 12-01-19, 11:35 PM
  #22  
scarlson 
Senior Member
 
scarlson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 1,496

Bikes: Ron Cooper touring, 1959 Jack Taylor 650b ladyback touring tandem, Vitus 979, Joe Bell painted Claud Butler Dalesman, Colin Laing curved tube tandem, heavily-Dilberted 1982 Trek 6xx, René Herse tandem

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 688 Post(s)
Liked 835 Times in 468 Posts
Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
Ummm,... ever heard of sarcasm or sardonic humor?
Who me? That's why I laughed!!
Sorry if I was too much as well. I was considering not showing that picture because it might make the thread go off-topic because there's too much going on.
__________________
Owner & co-founder, Cycles René Hubris. Unfortunately attaching questionable braze-ons to perfectly good frames since about 2015. With style.
scarlson is offline  
Old 12-02-19, 01:39 AM
  #23  
Lascauxcaveman 
Senior Member
 
Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Port Angeles, WA
Posts: 7,900

Bikes: A green one, "Ragleigh," or something.

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1580 Post(s)
Liked 480 Times in 284 Posts
Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Hmmm...interesting thought.

Of course, I could just fill spaces, scuff up the existing paint, spray some primer and paint on top!
^THIS^

Unless it's a terrible, flaky paint job that can't give you a solid base, consider it an underprimer for your primer. Smooth out the rough spots, clean and scuff it so new paint will stick, and otherwise let it be.

Unless you are going for a powder coat finish. Then pay your powder coat guy to blast it. He'll make short work of it and not charge too much.
__________________
● 1971 Grandis SL ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix frankenbike ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course fixie ● 1973 Nishiki Semi-Pro ● 1980 Apollo "Legnano" ● 1984 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1986 Merckx Super Corsa ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1988 Schwinn Voyageur ● 1989 Trek 400 ● 1989 Bottechia Team ADR replica ● 1990 Cannondale ST600 ● 1993 Technium RT600 ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ●

Last edited by Lascauxcaveman; 12-02-19 at 01:43 AM.
Lascauxcaveman is offline  
Old 12-02-19, 02:15 AM
  #24  
verktyg 
verktyg
 
verktyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,744

Bikes: Current favorites: 1988 Peugeot Birraritz, 1984 Gitane Super Corsa, 1981 Bianchi Campione Del Mondo, 1992 Paramount OS, 1990 Bianchi Mondiale, 1988 Colnago Technos, 1985 RalieghUSA Team Pro, 1973 Holdsworth

Mentioned: 175 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 901 Post(s)
Liked 770 Times in 467 Posts
When I painted some frames back in the 70's I had access to a large sand blaster cabinet. It made quick work of the paint but you had to be careful around the "shore lines" of the lugs to prevent eroding the brazing material and leaving an undercut.

Another thing that I found that worked great was the dip tanks that radiator repair shops used. It was some kind of hot liquid that would strip the paint off in several hours. Don't know if that is still done since now days many radiators of made of aluminum, not copper.

3M makes a product called Safest Stripper Paint And Varnish Remover. There are no fumes and you can use it without gloves. I've had mixed results.

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-...4857497&rt=rud

Imron and similar paints plus powder coat are hard to remove.

verktyg
__________________
Don't believe everything you think! History is written by those who weren't there....

Chas. ;-)

verktyg is offline  
Likes For verktyg:
Old 12-02-19, 02:21 AM
  #25  
norcalmike
Senior Member
 
norcalmike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Salinas
Posts: 445
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Liked 123 Times in 71 Posts
I don't want to step on anyone's post but im.wondering if this can spread to removing cromovelato. I have a frame Id like to expose to chrome.
norcalmike is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.