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Trying to be a painter! (Urago content)

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Trying to be a painter! (Urago content)

Old 08-24-22, 06:40 PM
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Trying to be a painter! (Urago content)

Okay, so this is my first effort at trying to do a "quality" re-paint a a bicycle frame. The candidate is a mid-1950's Urago Debutante. Not a high end frame but one that is still worth doing nicely. I'm using automotive paint from Napa Auto and a spray gun from Harbor Freight. This is how the color coat came out. Next up will be placing the decals and clear coating everything with satin clear. I don't really like the super shiny look.

The chrome on the fork crown and socks was not salvage-able so I decided to do those in silver instead. I also did some silver on the rear to balance it out. It does not look like chrome but kind of represents what was there originally. The blue is pretty close to the original color so I am trying to keep it in character.

The Urago Debutante was a model that remained relatively unchanged for many years so I have a little latitude with the decal style as well as the rest of the build. Anyway, this is step one.
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Old 08-24-22, 06:50 PM
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Very nice color, I like the matte finish
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Old 08-24-22, 06:54 PM
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Looks great!
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Old 08-24-22, 10:12 PM
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Looks nice! Decals go best over a layer of glossy paint, you can then finish with whatever else you want.
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Old 08-24-22, 11:37 PM
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If you look into paint pearls you might be able to find some silver that's more shiny for your next paint job.
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Old 08-25-22, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by kroozer View Post
Looks nice! Decals go best over a layer of glossy paint, you can then finish with whatever else you want.
I agree. Iíve found I can get nice depth without cloudiness if I lay down some layers of gloss clear coat and then use satin for the final coat. In that case, per your suggestion, I can either put the decals on top of a gloss base coat or on one of the early gloss clear coats.
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Old 08-25-22, 05:26 AM
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Could you give some more details about the paint you have used, and will be using, and the spray gun you used? I have had some projects where I have wanted to do better than rattle can re-painting, but have been put off by the investment required, and the number of choices to make. make.
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Old 08-25-22, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by KenNC View Post
Could you give some more details about the paint you have used, and will be using, and the spray gun you used? I have had some projects where I have wanted to do better than rattle can re-painting, but have been put off by the investment required, and the number of choices to make. make.
Just wondering......I wonder if an auto body shop would spray a framed in addition to a car they are doing? Seems to me that silver, black, white, grey, are used a lot at most shops. I particularly loved the yellow on my 2003 Mazdaspeed Protege and the 2002 orange version. Three part paint, not cheap
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Old 08-26-22, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by etherhuffer View Post
Just wondering......I wonder if an auto body shop would spray a framed in addition to a car they are doing? Seems to me that silver, black, white, grey, are used a lot at most shops. I particularly loved the yellow on my 2003 Mazdaspeed Protege and the 2002 orange version. Three part paint, not cheap
Most autobody painters are accustomed to painting large, gently-curved panels. Bicycle frames, with their small-diameter tubes and tight spacing around the bottom bracket and seat lug, require a very different technique and usually a smaller spray gun. Good lug definition requires a fairly thin coat, just enough to cover. This is not to knock autobody painters: theirs is also a highly-developed skill, just a somewhat different one than frame painters.

I admire the OP for taking on this project. As an amateur who has painted a handful of frames I know the concentration and attention to a plethora of details that is required. I also know that I am learning from my mistakes, lots of mistakes!
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Old 08-27-22, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by KenNC View Post
Could you give some more details about the paint you have used, and will be using, and the spray gun you used? I have had some projects where I have wanted to do better than rattle can re-painting, but have been put off by the investment required, and the number of choices to make. make.
I have used automotive paint from House of Kolor. They have beautiful pearl and metallic base coats. I either get them in quarts or spray cans. High quality automotive paint is expensive, so no sense getting more than you need. I have been able to get some of it from the Amazonians. Other times Iíve ordered from other online suppliers. Iíve also used automotive paint in spray cans from auto parts stores. I use automotive primer in spray cans from the hardware store. The automotive paint in cans has gone on smooth and easy.

Iíve used two-part (paint + hardener) urethane clear coat because of its exceptional hardness, but urethane is such nasty stuff that Iíve lately been willing to accept normal paint hardness for better peace of mind. I do use all the cross ventilation I can muster in my finishing area and I use a respirator mask.

I donít have fancy paint guns. The one I use for base coats came from Home Depot and the one I use for top coats came from Harbor Freight. They are not fundamentally different. I just dedicate one to clear coats to avoid problems from colors I may have left in a nook or cranny of the gun from the previous job. I think learning how to set up the guns goes a long way toward better results. (This may be a lifetime endeavor :-)

I also try to remember that itís just a bicycle. Stripping it down and starting over is not the end of the world if something goes wrong. Itís more important to experiment and have fun.
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Old 08-27-22, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by KenNC View Post
Could you give some more details about the paint you have used, and will be using, and the spray gun you used? I have had some projects where I have wanted to do better than rattle can re-painting, but have been put off by the investment required, and the number of choices to make. make.
This is the spray gun I am using, $29.99 from Harbor Freight! It has a 4 ounce gravity feed paint cup which is more than enough to coat the frame and fork in a single batch. The paint is a house brand from Napa Auto. It is not cheap so I purchased two colors that will give me options for other projects. The clear coat will be a satin finish because I am generally not a fan of high gloss finishes. The primer coat is an "etching" base that bonds well to bare metal, This frame mostly had some paint remaining but there were bare patches as well. Another project I have is totally bare metal so I was buying for other jobs as well.




I did some practice runs with inexpensive paint from Home Depot and was not particularly happy with the result, but when I used the "good" paint it went on much better! The gun only takes a little bit of fiddling with to learn how to adjust it properly and it is better to do that with an inexpensive paint. I'll be putting a layer of clear on today and then the decals, then finish with another coat of clear in a day or so. Will post more pics then! I didn't make any progress yesterday as I was goofing around on the moto.


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Old 08-27-22, 12:29 PM
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.

Thanks for the info on the gun and paint.

What pressure setting are you using? I'm assuming you are using a conventional air compressor rather than HVLP.

Originally Posted by Oldairhead View Post
This is the spray gun I am using, $29.99 from Harbor Freight! It has a 4 ounce gravity feed paint cup which is more than enough to coat the frame and fork in a single batch. The paint is a house brand from Napa Auto. It is not cheap so I purchased two colors that will give me options for other projects. The clear coat will be a satin finish because I am generally not a fan of high gloss finishes. The primer coat is an "etching" base that bonds well to bare metal, This frame mostly had some paint remaining but there were bare patches as well. Another project I have is totally bare metal so I was buying for other jobs as well.



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Old 08-27-22, 06:05 PM
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OP,
Conceptually, I think going with the matte finish is quite interesting....in my opinion once the decals are in place it will have just the right amount of sheen that many of us like seeing on an as found unmolested/restored bike.
I can't wait to see the final result.
BTW, nothing wrong with the H.F. purple gun..all of their guns work well enough for general/hobby purpose small projects, just be sure the settings give a good spray distribution. I also remove the plastic strainer.
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Old 08-28-22, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
.

Thanks for the info on the gun and paint.

What pressure setting are you using? I'm assuming you are using a conventional air compressor rather than HVLP.
I find I use between 20 and 30 PSI, but that is one of the things I fiddle with if I am not happy with the flow Iím getting. Iíll add that itís good to have a compressor with a good size tank. My big one broke right before my last paint project and I had to use my portable one. It couldnít keep up and I kept having to wait for the tank to refill.
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Old 09-04-22, 07:03 PM
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Well, this is how it looks after the clear coat and the decals applied. I'm not particularly happy with the finish surface of the clear. My excuse is that I had some flat lighting that made it harder to see the surface texture of the satin clear coat during application. Overall the result isn't bad, but not stellar either.



This is what it looked like before.


I'll keep working on this one, but the next one up for paint is a 1971 Lygie!
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Old 09-05-22, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldairhead View Post
Well, this is how it looks after the clear coat and the decals applied. I'm not particularly happy with the finish surface of the clear. My excuse is that I had some flat lighting that made it harder to see the surface texture of the satin clear coat during application. Overall the result isn't bad, but not stellar either.
Looks good from here! I donít know if this is the source of your dissatisfaction, but Iíll mention that you can use 800-1200 grit wet sandpaper to ďflat sandĒ orange peel off the top coat and then buff the luster back into it with fine polishing compound. This works best (is safest) if youíve laid on 3-4 coats of clear coat. As you are wet sanding, you know the orange peel is gone if you no longer are seeing little shiny spots in the surface. These are the low spots in the finish and you are level when they are gone.

I donít do this as much to bikes as I do to guitars Iíve sprayed, partly because itís easier to flatten a flat surface without sanding through the top coat, and partly because I find minor orange peel less noticeable on the tubes of a bike.

But again, itís only a bike and you can just lay on a couple of new coats of clear if you get carried away. But if you sand through a decal or the base coat, thatís a bigger redo . . .
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