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Clubman: clearcoat or don't?

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Clubman: clearcoat or don't?

Old 04-25-11, 09:53 PM
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brianinc-ville
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Clubman: clearcoat or don't?

I'm finally getting around to the '51 Raleigh Clubman that I got a few years ago (though I like the idea of it, it hasn't been a high priority -- I'm generally much more interested in more utilitarian bikes). Anyway, as you can see in these pictures:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/8335804@N06/tags/clubman/
the paint is pretty bad. In some places, it'll come off when rubbed with a finger. I definitely don't want to re-paint the bike -- but do you think it's a good idea to clear-coat over the paint and decals here? If so, any advice on materials and technique?
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Old 04-25-11, 10:02 PM
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wax. wax. wax.
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Old 04-25-11, 10:40 PM
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Hmm. Tough question without seeing the bike. Clearcoat will not repair damage nor will it keep paint on that has rust underneath. So, the best you can do is scratch off the bad paint, repair it, and then maybe clear coat over it. OR repaint - which you mentioned you don't want to do.

Saving an old paint job is a lot of work.

One thing I can say for sure is that you need to test the clear coat on an inconspicuous part of the bike. If you spray enamel over laquer paint or visa-versa, the undercoat will bubble and lift and the decals will crack, wrinkle, and virtually dissolve.

Sounds like one helluva project. Sounds like something I would do.

Good luck.
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Old 04-26-11, 04:45 AM
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Clean the bike up and ride it with care. Preserve the patina of age, it is gorgeous. Your art appears to be good, also. In my mind, painting the bicycle would be a big mistake. And clear coating over the present patina makes little or no sense to me at all.

Keep in mind, I share my opinion, not fact.
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Old 04-26-11, 06:21 AM
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the bike looks great the way it is!
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Old 04-26-11, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Clean the bike up and ride it with care. Preserve the patina of age, it is gorgeous. Your art appears to be good, also. In my mind, painting the bicycle would be a big mistake. And clear coating over the present patina makes little or no sense to me at all.

Keep in mind, I share my opinion, not fact.
+1 . Don't clear coat it.
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Old 04-26-11, 07:09 AM
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I'm not voting on this one!

I agree the frame looks great as is, but I understand that the existing finish is so fragile you want to do something to toughen it up without rubbing it. If rubbing it with wax will ruin it, then wax isn't the right way to go.

I have never tried to clearcoat something like that, and would be very cautious about doing so. If I did it, I would certainly not use anything sold as clearcoat. I would consider an artists fixative, though.
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Old 04-26-11, 06:42 PM
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I did a lot of work on a really rusted '37 golden arrow. It seems the best way to get through these things is to polish everything while removing as little of the original material as you can. Looking at the pics of my bike when it was found.



shop iso by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr


You can see it was very rough. I was able to bring out a pretty decent finish.



IMG_3827 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr



IMG_3773 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr


If you can imagine, the fenders look like speckled bird eggs. It's very pretty in "person".
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Old 04-27-11, 08:22 AM
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Gorgeous Golden Arrow Frank. -Not everyone can expect their bike's paint to clean up like that though: I'm working on my '51 Armstrong 3-spd, and can attest that (as the PO implies) the paint had just turned to chalk and just washed off in some areas, and wax acted like paint stripper.

So I decided I would simply clean it, and stop there. After all, it's an old bike, and looking like an old bike is OK. (but a dirty bike is not OK)
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Old 04-27-11, 08:39 AM
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This must be the same blue paint they used on my old Dodge Dart - UV rays just turn it to dust. I recently posted a question about the paint restorers they sell at the auto parts store. Thinking about trying one. In theory there should be a product that will slightly soften and then bond with the paint. But who knows? (not me)
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Old 04-27-11, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by formicaman View Post
This must be the same blue paint they used on my old Dodge Dart - UV rays just turn it to dust. I recently posted a question about the paint restorers they sell at the auto parts store. Thinking about trying one. In theory there should be a product that will slightly soften and then bond with the paint. But who knows? (not me)
I like the idea. Has anyone tried artist's fixitive?
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