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Whatís your experience having a bike painted?

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Whatís your experience having a bike painted?

Old 09-27-20, 09:39 AM
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Whatís your experience having a bike painted?

Just checking to see what experiences any of you have had when having a bike painted by a pro. I have a vintage bike (early 1980s) that Iíd like to have wet painted (not powdercoated), but Iím not sure what pricing, prep work, or finishing work will cost. I understand prices will most definitely vary, but Iíd like to hear from any of you who have had your bike painted. Thanks!
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Old 09-27-20, 09:48 AM
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Do some home work and find someone with a good reputation locally.
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Old 09-27-20, 10:31 AM
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Expect to pay a lot for good quality, especially if the frame has dings in it, which the painter will want to fill so their persistence doesn’t reflect unfairly on his/her work. If they are good, you will have to wait your turn in line. Some will say that the value of a historical relic will fall if it no longer has original paint, no matter how battered, but most bikes aren’t in that category. Instead, a bike that has a finish you are proud of, and really like colour of will be cared for better and ridden more, making it substantially more valuable to you. (Speaking from experience.)

Do it. You won’t regret it. Two years from now you will have forgotten what it cost... and are more likely to regret not springing for extras like panels or fades or smoke if that’s what you really like but decided to forgo. Also the painter will have access to better original decals than available to just anybody—worth paying for even if they have to make them. You will save a lot if you can disassemble the bike entirely, although the painter will be happy to knock out the headset cups for you. Likely it’s not worth your while to remove the old paint — the painter will do a better job than you can, faster, unless you are a pro at it.

My only plea is not to rechrome anything. I don’t pretend to know anything about hydrogen embrittlement etc. but from an environmental and occupational toxicology point of view it would be better if chrome-plating disappeared, just as radium dial painting and white-phosphorus match-making did. (Yes I know there are important military requirements for radium and “Willy Peter” but that’s another story.)
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Old 09-27-20, 10:31 AM
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I had one bike professionally painted in 1985. He used DUPONT IMRON paint which I believe was state of the art at the time...

https://bodyshopforum.com/imron-pain...-need-to-know/





...

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Old 09-27-20, 10:58 AM
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A local here with charge about $700 for single color, for bikes of his own manufacturing. About $800 for other branded frames. That's complete tear down,strip, prep, paint and rebuild.
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Old 09-27-20, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by mackgoo View Post
Do some home work and find someone with a good reputation locally.
Of course I will do this - I always try to do my homework, and this is part of it. A couple builders lost their shops during the local protests/riots, and I've got messages in to other builders. Just thought I'd check for other opinions/experiences from people who have already had frames painted. Thanks for the replies, so far.
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Old 09-27-20, 11:09 AM
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Cost and lead time, if you can afford both, are worth it for that "special" frame. A really good powder coater can approach the level of quality of wet paint. Some color schemes are much better with wet paint.

If I could afford to, I'd wet paint all of my bikes. I can't, so I pick and choose.

6 years ago this cost $750 and took 6 months from the time I dropped it off.



Three years ago, $300 got me this powder coated



From 10 feet, quality looks he same. The blue and white color scheme wouldn't be much improved with wet paint, whereas the red on the wet painted bike really pops. Note that both are clear coated wet.
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Old 09-27-20, 11:21 AM
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Though I have never had any of my bikes painted by a professional, I do know one thing for sure. If the components or chrome plating still sport their patina of age/use, then the fresh paint might look out of place.

I, personally, cannot afford a professional paint job, but I suppose, for the right bike, I just might go there (without sharing the information with Mrs. Me). However, these days the best I can afford is painted with a brush...


or with a rattle can (hope to finish the build on this one today)...
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Old 09-27-20, 12:44 PM
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randyjawa , very nice brush work !

What type of paint did you use?
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Old 09-27-20, 03:47 PM
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.
...if you have some time on your hands, try stripping and repainting some lesser bike you don't much care about. Try to do the best job you can Seek out, buy and apply all the right decals. Make sure you do two colors so there's some masking of the lugs involved. It will give you an appreciation of why a decent repaint with urethane paint costs $750-$800 and sometimes more.
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Old 09-27-20, 04:16 PM
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I have some experience in painting bikes and guitars, so that’s definitely an option. And if it gets too expensive, I’ll do it myself. I will likely need practice with better paint than what you find in a rattle can, though. This is my last project that I painted and built up from a stripped frame.

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Old 09-27-20, 04:28 PM
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Painting can be all over the map.
Can get expensive, rarely recouped, but if you love the bike, go forward.
I have spent up to $600 - last pro job was 8 years ago, maybe more!
no chrome, no lug lining, with transfers. One had contrasting head and seat panel.
Did have lug window detailing.
Masking can cost too...
Today, I am saving my pennies for a single color job with transfers- I expect to pay $850.
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Old 09-27-20, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ddeand View Post
I have some experience in painting bikes and guitars, so that’s definitely an option. And if it gets too expensive, I’ll do it myself. I will likely need practice with better paint than what you find in a rattle can, though. This is my last project that I painted and built up from a stripped frame.
I brush painted an old Jeunet that I used for winter commuting and while it’s nowhere near as good as randyjawa ’s, it’s way better than when I tried to rattle-can it several years before. I used Tremclad enamel, not a lot of choices of colours but it stays on. I found those little disposable sponges on a stick worked better on metal than bristle brushes did — no brush marks. And you can stipple and dab it on over the old paint until it covers. No way did I have the patience to strip or blast iit to bare metal.

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Old 09-27-20, 05:58 PM
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For me to do a paint on frame and fork, it takes at least eight hours, and that is using Imron, phosphotizing agent, and that assumes the bike is clean coming in. A strip and medial blast will be a few hours at an outside shop at their going rate. I charge $100 per hour for any work, and the cost of materials are extra. A clean strip blast and phosphotize coverage will be at least 3 hours. For me it is an $1300 job. I can send one out to a powder coat shop and it costs about $300 and is usually done in a couple of weeks. Just my thoughts, Smiles, MH
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Old 09-27-20, 06:09 PM
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randyjawa , very nice brush work !

What type of paint did you use?
I am trying to remember but, for the life of me, I cannot. Usually, I would use something like Rustoleum, It flows well but takes a long time to harden or dry, depending on which term best describes the process. This Peugeot was painted with a brush using Rustoleum...


These days, I prefer to use lacquer thanks to my new paint booth...


I find that the lacquer dries much faster and harder in a much more reasonable amount of time. Apply the color, art and then clear top coat, followed by a good rubbing out with rubbing compound. Takes a while but the results are worth it...
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Old 09-27-20, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ddeand View Post
I have some experience in painting bikes and guitars, so thatís definitely an option. And if it gets too expensive, Iíll do it myself. I will likely need practice with better paint than what you find in a rattle can, though. This is my last project that I painted and built up from a stripped frame.






...the advent of Urethane clear coat in a can has significantly transformed home bike painting. It's durable, the can it comes in has a pretty high quality spray nozzle, and one can will cover a frame and fork IME. It seems to go on pretty well over just about any paint you can think of to use as a color coat, even though (i know) that's not recommended in the literature. I liken it to casing whatever color effects and decals you've thought to apply in clear glass. The stuff is quite remarkable. And it's a 2 part urethane paint, so incredibly durable. Wear a high quality respirator mask when spraying this.

There are C+V people who object to it as "too shiny" or inauthentic. I kind of like the shine, and the stuff definitely makes your repainted bike more serviceable as a rider.







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Old 09-27-20, 06:44 PM
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I have never had a professional paint job done on a bike due to cost however, I have had a half dozen powder coated. The guy I have do it does an excellent job and they never turn out with the heavy, syrupy look. I have never spent more than $100 to have one done. Here are the most recent ones I have had him do.


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Old 09-27-20, 06:57 PM
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@ triple alarmer,
I use Menzerna polishes for some work and it is recommended for a lot of finishes as well as guitars. Have you ever used it for a final polish? Smiles, MH
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Old 09-27-20, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
@ triple alarmer,
I use Menzerna polishes for some work and it is recommended for a lot of finishes as well as guitars. Have you ever used it for a final polish? Smiles, MH
...in all honesty , I rarely polish the final urethane clear coats I apply here. I do attempt to apply the paint to just this side of saturation, so there's some risk of an occasional run if you're not paying attention. But those are pretty easily repaired if you wait a few weeks for full cure, then sand and spot polish the result. I'm probably not as good as a professional, but I'm the only guy I can afford for stuff like this.

Like everyone who does something like this, I have developed a certain way of working. For example, you can put together a pretty adequate spray outfit for automotive color coat paints with a filtering unit and a small spray gun from Harbor Freight, if you already have a decent portable compressor. For small stuff like a bicycle frame and fork, you don't need much in the way of paint capacity in your gun.

I know what they used to have for painting cars over at the body repair classes at the community college in Merced. That's all nice stuff to have, but it's overkill unless maybe you are painting bikes for a living.
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Old 09-27-20, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...the advent of Urethane clear coat in a can has significantly transformed home bike painting. It's durable, the can it comes in has a pretty high quality spray nozzle, and one can will cover a frame and fork IME. It seems to go on pretty well over just about any paint you can think of to use as a color coat, even though (i know) that's not recommended in the literature. I liken it to casing whatever color effects and decals you've thought to apply in clear glass. The stuff is quite remarkable. And it's a 2 part urethane paint, so incredibly durable. Wear a high quality respirator mask when spraying this.

There are C+V people who object to it as "too shiny" or inauthentic. I kind of like the shine, and the stuff definitely makes your repainted bike more serviceable as a rider.
I used the 2-part Spray Max Clear Coat on the Raleigh, and it worked well. I have a small spray setup and a very old, disposable tent that I could use as a spray booth outside. Maybe Iíll give that a shot. I really donít want to have more into the paint job than the worth of the bike (although, it is a nice frame - Serotta Club Special).
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Old 09-27-20, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ddeand View Post
Of course I will do this - I always try to do my homework, and this is part of it. A couple builders lost their shops during the local protests/riots, and I've got messages in to other builders. Just thought I'd check for other opinions/experiences from people who have already had frames painted. Thanks for the replies, so far.
I didn't intend to come off like a dick. I live in Southern California Joe Bell did one of my bikes and it came out great. I'm using another guy closer for another project. All I was trying to say is I'm sure everyone here has a great "local/close by" go to guy. Find yours. Of course if you want to send your frame to Southern California, Joe Bell is almost world renowned, I'll let you know about this other guy.
On another note these rattle can painters seem to have some very good results.
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Old 09-27-20, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mackgoo View Post
I live in Southern California Joe Bell did one of my bikes and it came out great. I'm using another guy closer for another project. All I was trying to say is I'm sure everyone here has a great "local/close by" go to guy. Find yours. Of course if you want to send your frame to Southern California, Joe Bell is almost world renowned, I'll let you know about this other guy.
On another note these rattle can painters seem to have some very good results.
Since Iíve done the rattle can thing on a couple bikes, I wonder if I can get better results with a sprayer setup and higher quality paint. I think that was my aim by having a pro paint the frame. I initially contacted Chris Kvale in Minneapolis, but his shop was gutted during the riots earlier this summer. I also contacted another guy who I thought was a little steep price-wise, but after seeing some of the amounts listed here, I think his prices are fair. Since I havenít paid for something like this before, I had no idea what the costs were. Fortunately, I have the winter to either expand my knowledge and skill base to do it myself or to scratch together the funds and have it done. The other option is powder-coating which can be done for around $100 by a guy here in town. Thanks for the advice - I really do appreciate it.
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Old 09-27-20, 09:41 PM
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Bruce Risely at Color Factory in South Jersey, near Toms River, can be around $200 for blast, prep, decals, 1-color paint and clear. He's been paining for 30+ yrs, maybe more? Haven't used him yet, am expecting to try a frame or two there over the next few weeks. I know somebody knowledgeable who's used him extensively and has been very happy with the results. Bruce is so old school he doesn't have a website:

Color Factory
23 Main St
Waretown, NJ 08758
609-242-0665

Franklin Frames in Ohio is fairly well-known, has also been painting forever, should be under $400 for a basic 1-color job, similar basic process as Color Factory above. Franklin's site says he does a chemical strip after blasting, I'm not sure what that's about. I had an '82 Columbine done here a couple/few years back, he did a very nice job.

REPAINTING

I'm not very familiar with mid-range cost folks, say $600-$800.

I know Joe Bell a little, great guy who clearly does great work, and charges for it. Basic JB paint job starts at $750, without decals, and I'm guessing it would be pretty easy to run it up to at least $1k pretty quick. I have/had a few frames with JB paint, and lots of builder use him for their frames.
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Old 09-28-20, 06:55 AM
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+1 for the local guy if you can find them. I have had our local framebuilder Andy Gilmour paint a few frames, nice work with Imron which holds up well. If the frame is worth respray I don't like the idea of shipping back and forth. One frame's paint was too much for sandblaster and had to be done chemically and he did not charge anything extra. He has been painting his and other frames for 40 years, has not raised his prices in years, this is from his website, decals are extra if not supplied with the frame/fork:Sandblasting: $50.00

Basic paint job: $300.00

Tandem sandblasting: $80

Tandem painting: $450

Includes:

Single paint color (DuPont Imron)

2 coats of primer

2 coats of color

2 coats of clear

Additional colors: $80.00 each

Masking: $60.00 per hour

Additional coats of clear: $75.00

Custom paints from House of Kolor:

Candies: $100.00

Pearls: $100.00

Shimrin: $100.00

*There will be a charge for bondo on dents
Here is the latest:
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Old 09-28-20, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ddeand View Post
Just checking to see what experiences any of you have had when having a bike painted by a pro. I have a vintage bike (early 1980s) that Iíd like to have wet painted (not powdercoated), but Iím not sure what pricing, prep work, or finishing work will cost. I understand prices will most definitely vary, but Iíd like to hear from any of you who have had your bike painted. Thanks!
I have a mid-70s Witcomb frame. A cycling buddy who worked in a local auto body shop repainted it for me in about 1993. DuPont Imron. It was pretty nice and held up for a while. As I recall, I left the headset for him to remove. I left it plain white because I never liked the Witcomb decals. 😊

I just repainted it for the second time last winter. I did that by hand using cheap artist brushes and I used Rustoleum oil-based paint. It looks surprisingly good. The frame is still waiting to be turned back into a bike however.

Otto

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