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patina?

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Old 01-16-11, 03:09 PM
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patina?

i recently acquired this 1968/9 le jeune from a gentleman in france.

got to cleaning it up a bit today, and i'm not sure what i want to do about the paint.

i would always prefer to keep original paint, with scrapes and bruises, but i'm not sure how much original paint is still showing on this one.

the top tube and stays show signs of "touch up" throughout, and a pretty bad attempt at touching up. some of the gold lug pin striping has been covered up and just looks awful.

there are areas with dark stuff on TOP of the paint that just will not budge, and other areas where it seems surface rust might have developed and simply been painted over.

down tube, head tube, seat tube and chain stays look good enough to keep.

decals are not reproduced and probably impossible to find. also the colored stripes above and below the seat tube decal are hand painted, a detail i would prefer not to lose (to a repaint).
























i'm particularly fond of the hair buried in the paint at the top tube and seat lug.

i assume it would be possible (for a professional) to mask off the seat tube decal and stripes and paint the rest of the frame. stupid idea?

anyone ever painted a frame but kept old/weathered decals? how would that look?

suggestions?

thanks


EDIT: i have used meguiars scratch X and wax on certain areas with great success, but none of those areas had been touched up.
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Old 01-16-11, 03:21 PM
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personally, i like patina on some builds. i would carefully remove the hair with a razor blade and build the bike up with like new parts. too much patina looks, well, "abused" but on the frame only it looks saved and loved. (in my eyes)
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Old 01-16-11, 03:34 PM
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Tough call. I like the way it looks but pictures make things look better from far away. Were I you, I would build the bicycle exactly as it is. Do not spend a moment on the paint.

Once built, ride the bike for a while to ensure that there are no frame misalignment issues. I learned this the hard why when I built Big Green. These days, I clean a bicycle up, check geometry and then build the bike. I do not waste time with aesthetics at all. I do not install bar tape or even hoods for the test ride build.

If you like the bike, and after you have had time to think about it, then decide how to deal with the patina. By then, you will have had time to think and research your decision. And, who knows, you just might develop a love for that hairy old patina. That is, sort of what is happening with my present project - a late sixties or early seventies Bottecchia Professional...

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Old 01-16-11, 03:36 PM
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what cable stop is that on your front brake?
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Old 01-16-11, 04:34 PM
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Those botched red paint repairs are one reason why I prefer clear nail polish to paint touch up.

Drips, runs and HAIRS are distinct from what I would define as "patina", so I would do something to address them, while preserving the decals and as much of the original finish as I reasonably could. JMHO.
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Old 01-16-11, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
Those botched red paint repairs are one reason why I prefer clear nail polish to paint touch up.

Drips, runs and HAIRS are distinct from what I would define as "patina", so I would do something to address them, while preserving the decals and as much of the original finish as I reasonably could. JMHO.
i agree 100%. i was making kind of a joke in calling the somewhat sad condition my paint is in as "patina".

the hair will be removed. i will try to wet sand ONLY the "glob" at the end of the runs, then compound/scratchX and turtle wax it.
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Old 01-16-11, 06:50 PM
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What about the fork? That would probably drive what you are going to do with the paint.... particularly if you have to hunt one down.
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Old 01-16-11, 07:02 PM
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I'd go with rubbing compound over Scratch-X. It's a little more aggressive than Scratch-X. Then Swirl Remover followed by wax. We talked about this via PM and seeing it I would even now say leave the paint untouched except for rust areas. That is going to be a sharp looking bike.
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Old 01-16-11, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
What about the fork? That would probably drive what you are going to do with the paint.... particularly if you have to hunt one down.
oh, do have the fork, just not pictured.

Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
I'd go with rubbing compound over Scratch-X. It's a little more aggressive than Scratch-X. Then Swirl Remover followed by wax. We talked about this via PM and seeing it I would even now say leave the paint untouched except for rust areas. That is going to be a sharp looking bike.
thank you, and thanks for your previous advice (via PM). how does one "treat" the rust areas? particularly the seat cluster area, the rear stay cap seems to have some rust under the paint.
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Old 01-16-11, 07:16 PM
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I would keep going, I would be brave and even color sand it very carefully here and there first, 1500 grit, with a hard rubber block backer, not fingers. then do the scratch-x. Then I would consider the condition of the components. When all is coherent, often a less than perfect paint job works.
If you had all NOS parts for it, then I would probably have a different opinion.

The hair at the seat lug is most likely a paint brush hair, the guy doing the work could have used a pair of reading glasses.
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Old 01-16-11, 08:45 PM
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I agree with randy's comment above; build it and ride it before you decide. your findings on the initial ride(s) might inform your final decision, and if the frame doesn't fit or has a more serious issue, it's better not to invest time/money/effort into the frame. I'm going thru a similar situation now, and will be riding a frame with a hideous paint job for a few weeks, to make sure i really like it/how much i like it/that my build is sound before i make my mind up about the ultimate fate of the frameset.

-rob
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Old 01-16-11, 09:01 PM
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Wow, those decals are in pretty good nick!

Love the crazing on the white bits : )
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Old 01-16-11, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by surreal View Post
I agree with randy's comment above; build it and ride it before you decide. ...
+1

I would probably wet sand the top tube to bring the touched up areas down to the level of the original paint. If the color is a decent match, it may look fine. But don't do too much now. Build it up. Ride it. Postpone difficult decisions indefinitely.
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Old 01-16-11, 10:52 PM
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I'd use some model paints mixed to the side until they match. Repaint and finely sand. Rub out and add some heavy wax. Looks too nice to mess with much.
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Old 01-16-11, 10:58 PM
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I'd clean it up and leave the original paint. I might consider sanding down the bad touchups if I could find a better match.
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Old 01-16-11, 11:29 PM
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That 'hair' is most likely a paint brush bristle.
I don't call a bad repaint patina. There comes a point where you just have to fix it right. I'd either hunt down new decals, if their not out there, then your going to have mask and 'repair' the original paint as best you can. There also comes a point where painting is required as an act of preservation, not just cosmetics.
I was never one for the patina look, I'd always prefer my bikes to look as close to new as possible.
Having owned a few older Lejuene bikes, the original paint most likely was so thin it got worn down or surface rusted long ago.
The fact that someone took the time to cover up the bare metal may be why that frame is still with us today and not rusted away in a pile somewhere.
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Old 01-17-11, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by shnibop View Post
thank you, and thanks for your previous advice (via PM). how does one "treat" the rust areas? particularly the seat cluster area, the rear stay cap seems to have some rust under the paint.
There are many ways to deal with the rust. You might make a paste of Barkeepers Friend and apply it to remove it. You could also lightly sand to remove it which would have the benefit of feathering the edges with the "good" paint. Advantage of the sanding is you may find there was some rust hiding under the paint in areas that are getting feathered out. Barkeepers Friend may not reveal that to you. Model paint is a good choice for touch up, but nail polish offers a bewildering variety of potential matches. You might even just put clear nail polish over the cleaned up areas in keeping with the "patina" of the frame. There are other methods, but those two come to mind right away for me.
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Old 01-17-11, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I would keep going, I would be brave and even color sand it very carefully here and there first, 1500 grit, with a hard rubber block backer, not fingers. then do the scratch-x. Then I would consider the condition of the components. When all is coherent, often a less than perfect paint job works.
If you had all NOS parts for it, then I would probably have a different opinion.

The hair at the seat lug is most likely a paint brush hair, the guy doing the work could have used a pair of reading glasses.
Repechage-

Is there a particular reason not to use your fingers? I would assume the rubber block would create 'flats' in the paint on a round tube.

Just curious what your experience has been.
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Old 01-17-11, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by slowleak View Post
That 'hair' is most likely a paint brush bristle.
Which is likely an actual hair.
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Old 01-17-11, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by slowleak View Post
That 'hair' is most likely a paint brush bristle.
I don't call a bad repaint patina. There comes a point where you just have to fix it right. I'd either hunt down new decals, if their not out there, then your going to have mask and 'repair' the original paint as best you can. There also comes a point where painting is required as an act of preservation, not just cosmetics.
I was never one for the patina look, I'd always prefer my bikes to look as close to new as possible.
Having owned a few older Lejuene bikes, the original paint most likely was so thin it got worn down or surface rusted long ago.
The fact that someone took the time to cover up the bare metal may be why that frame is still with us today and not rusted away in a pile somewhere.
You know it doesn't really take a lot other then a digital camera and some quality time with Photoshop to get a reasonable image for reproduction of a decal, then you just need someone who can print them off, and there are a few guys around who will. The advantage of a strip and repaint is that with the paint off, you can do repair work, that could be fixing poor brazing, removing dents, adding or replacing damaged or missing braze-ons, then when it's repaired, a good prime and paint, and the frame could be good for another 25 years. The advantage of new decals is that you can get them made compatible with the new paint and clear coat them so they don't get damaged as easily as the old ones.
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Old 01-17-11, 12:55 PM
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Fix what you can and keep it original FOR SURE.
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Old 01-17-11, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
Fix what you can and keep it original FOR SURE.
Considering the poor quality of the paint job, I think the first thing up for debate is whether it is original, and if you think about it, it probably isn't. If it is original, then you need to wonder, if the builders have that poor a quality on the paint, then what is the rest of the quality like. I would think that at some point, the original paint was chipped and hacked up and someone did a spray over, without doing any sanding, the colour may not even be original, the multi-colour band above the downtube decal shows that green was painted over the light blue, which is scratched to the surface, and black was painted over red, and the white was painted over whatever, it likely wasn't masked and was done freehand. I can't see a bicycle builder doing it that way, they would likely make the decal longer and print it off as a single unit, as painting the stripes would be a lot of extra work, if they were painted on, they would likely be done with templates, where the template is placed, the colour put on, then the next template put on and sprayed over, continuing until all of the colour is done. This looks like it was done with a brush, and by someone who was not very experienced. The decal is ripped at the bottom, which indicates a blue underneath, some of the chips are filled in but still visible, indicating that it was painted over, possibly even with a brush. Which is evidenced by the hair.
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Old 01-17-11, 02:02 PM
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+1 Does not look original to me either. +1 Done with a brush (which can be OK) by someone that did not possess painting talent.

I love patina and maintaining original paint. I do not see patina and I do not see original paint either on that frame. But an in-person inspection by a knowledgeable person would be more accurate for sure.

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Old 01-17-11, 02:59 PM
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If that's THE Ebay frame from about a month ago didn't the seller mention it had some racing history behind it? You might get back with the seller and see if you can find out the story. That might be important in making the decision on what to do.

Speaking of pantina, what is the rule of thumb in dealing with the brown residue around the joint lines? Is that considered patina or dirt/grime?
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Old 01-17-11, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by headset View Post
Repechage-

Is there a particular reason not to use your fingers? I would assume the rubber block would create 'flats' in the paint on a round tube.

Just curious what your experience has been.
Fingers will follow the surface, a block can be deftly guided to hit the highs and skip the lows. The touch ups on the top tube show paint in a no paint area and on top of original. I would generally sweep in a diagonal, kind of barber pole stripe style, not around or along in a straight line. We are talking wet sanding, and wiping with a sponge often to clearly see what is going on.
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