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Anyone ever try automotive paint on a frame?

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Anyone ever try automotive paint on a frame?

Old 02-07-12, 10:34 PM
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Anyone ever try automotive paint on a frame?

I have a Raleigh international that really needs a paint job and i am sure i don't want to do the old spray paint job on her. One thing that i considered was automotive paint. I had never heard of anyone doing this but i am sure you guys might see it a lot.

If anyone has had good or bad experience with this please let me know.

I'm not going to do the paint myself but we were going to use an air compressor.

Is there anything in between auto paint and powder coating?

Thanks!

-Harry
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Old 02-07-12, 11:05 PM
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??? The majority of frames are painted with "automotive paint"... Dupont Imron is a popular choice with framebuilders, for example.

Powdercoating is a dry powder which is electrostatically applied and then melted onto the frame.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:07 PM
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oh ok, but what i was really trying to find out was if anyone has done it themselves with an air compressor or if there was maybe better ways to do the paint but get a finish similar to auto paint.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:12 PM
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I've heard good things about Preval's refillable canisters. But yes I think automotive paint is always the go-to for diy bike painting...
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Old 02-07-12, 11:27 PM
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Several years ago I did two frames with automotive paint. I used a small compressor and a "touch up" spray gun. It was a lot of work but the end result was excellent. I stripped the frames down to bare metal and used the primer recommended by the auto paint shop, followed by the base coat and finally the clear coat.

I would do it again but I would have to have the right frame considering the work involved.
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Old 02-08-12, 12:15 AM
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Yes, I did a DIY with automotive paint on my Look. It was recommended here in this forum by far more experienced painters. Prep work and a clean work area are probably of greater importance than what type of paint you use. I've only painted the one frame so don't have much point of comparison. I will say, if you go that route, don't scrimp on the paint mask. Trust me.
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Old 02-08-12, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Rabid Koala
I would do it again but I would have to have the right frame considering the work involved.
^+1. Much more work than I anticipated.

P.s. I didn't have access to any spray guns/compressors. I bought a three-coat auto paint (white base, pearl top coat, clear--plus blue, red, yellow, black, grey, white ) which the paint shop put in spray cans.

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Old 02-08-12, 12:45 AM
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Nice job on that Look frame, could you show a before and after if you could?

What is a good psi to spray it at? If you have used a compressor.
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Old 02-08-12, 02:02 AM
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Dude - No problem - Just make sure your primer and final colored paint are compatible by the book - Also note there is a set time in between your coats and a set time in between your primer and final coats - Sorry - If you spray auto paint then you know this - If it gets messed up - Strip it and do it again - No problem... I hang my frames in the attic to let the Texas heat cook the paint on after they have dried a few days...


If you can afford it - Powder coat rules...
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Old 02-08-12, 02:57 AM
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I've just painted a 1970s frame using aerosols only. Preparation, preparation and more preparation is the key. Stripped the frame of old paint to bare metal where necessary, removing any traces of rust with a rotary wire brush on a drill. Flatted back using 320 wet & dry. 3 x primer coats, de-nibbed with 3M Scotchbrite pad, cleaned off with a tack rag and panel wipe. 3 x top coats (non-metallic 1970's period colour - Mercedes-Benz aqua blue - mixed by my local auto paint store) then 3 x lacquer coats (20 mins between coats), left for a day to harden, then flatted back with 2000 wet and dry. 3 more lacquer coats - a week to let the lacquer harden (it's winter here!) then flatted back again with 2000 wet & dry and buffed by hand with G3 compound. Has come up a treat: no runs, no orange peel and if I say so myself, I don't think a professional job would have turned out much better. Only difference is a pro would have done it in a few days, not a few weeks! Cost - around 30/$50 for paint & materials.

Time and patience required in bucketfuls to get a satisfactory result.
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Old 02-08-12, 05:39 AM
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There's no way to tell you the correct PSI Harry. Volume is more important than pressure for successful spray painting. It also depends on the gun and what tip is on it. You going to try an auto body type touch up gun?
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Old 02-08-12, 06:32 AM
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Harry. Automotive paint is the way to go.

I just purchased a pint of Chartreuse for my Super Tourer to acquire some needed touch-up paint that I applied by brush to some paint dings. I used a local Sherwin Williams Automotive paint store and went through their color chips and found an exact match to the fork sample that I carried in w/me. Then I picked out the brand name paint I wanted and they mixed it.

Keep in mind though, applying a quality spray paint paint job is more than prep and squirt. I do this for a living in my Metal Fab business and also restore vehicles, so I know this all to well.

For a typical urethane (epoxy) paint application, just in product / expense (assuming you have nothing to start with), you'll need primer, reducer, & catalyst. Then the appropriate paint color mix, reducer and a catalyst again. IF you clear coat, the same array of products once more. Some (possibly all) of the different reducer and catalyst needs MAY be different for each application shot, thus you could end up needing as many a nine different products, some being only available in quarts as the smallest amounts able to be purchased. It adds up quick too! You could end up in the $150 or more price range for quality "paint".

I assume that you'll still need a compressor, gun and LOTS of practice too.

Just so you'll have a better idea of what all is involved....

Max
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Old 02-08-12, 06:55 AM
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I wonder what would be a good paint to use if one didn't want to go through all this two and three stage stuff?
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Old 02-08-12, 07:08 AM
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The other thing to consider is that an automotive paint respray is simply not nearly as durable as the original bike paint finish (at least in most cases... there are a couple of French and Italian original coatings i've come across that are as fragile as egg shells.) The process and materials originally used on many vintage frames is no longer available - nor would you actually want to use them, assuming they were (cancer, etc.) But I think there are sometimes unrealistic expectations for the long term viability of resprays on riders. If you plan to hang it on the wall that obviously changes things. These days I nearly always try to refurb the original surface as best I can, usually with pretty great results. For those few situations where deterioration has progressed too far I've gone the powder coat route. Should that be the case, be sure to use someone who actually knows how to PC a bike frame. I'm fortunate to have a local PC'er who specializes in bike frame restoration and doesn't lay it on super thick, does a marvelously subtle job on the finish.
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Old 02-08-12, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by buldogge
??? The majority of frames are painted with "automotive paint"... Dupont Imron is a popular choice with framebuilders, for example...
Imron is one of the most toxic paints available. It's definitely not for the casual user.
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Old 02-08-12, 07:37 AM
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Maybe it's a good idea if people also detailed the safety measures they used when doing these DIY spray jobs, i.e. mask, air-fed hood or whatever the case may be. And I know different paints require different safety measures so it's not just a matter of using a "mask". By not disclosing these details there is the risk we encourage others to skip these vital precautions and I know that would never be the intent.

Sorry to rain on the parade but I came across this post a while back and it made me stop and think...

https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/s...ad.php?t=14051
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Old 02-08-12, 08:00 AM
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Can You Use Automotive Lacquer With Success

Not to highjack the OP thread or start another painting thread I thought I would ask some of you that may have some experience spraying lacquer or may have used it in painting a bike frame. I have only painted in Enamels no matter the project and have had great results, but I have a friend that has a ton of NOS lacquer paints from when he used to paint custom cars and I have many different colors I can pick through and use to paint bicycles with. I have all the equipment needed and his help if needed to do the job but wanted to know if there is a reason I shouldn't use lacquer to paint a bike frame, is it a durability issue would it be better then a rattle can job.

Glenn

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Old 02-08-12, 08:01 AM
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I have painted a frame using single stage auto urethane. The total cost of materials was over $90. I used a 5hp 30 gallon compressor and a Sharpe detail gun. It came out very nice.

I disagree with AZORCH. Modern urethanes are more durable than the paint found on most bicycles.

old_dreams is correct. The stuff is poison.
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Old 02-08-12, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Glennfordx4
Not to highjack the OP thread or starting another painting thread I thought I would ask some of you that may have some experience spraying lacquer or may have used it in painting a bike frame. I have only painted in Enamels no matter the project and have had great results, but I have a friend that has a ton of NOS lacquer paints from when he used to paint custom cars and I have many different colors I can pick through and use to paint bicycles with. I have all the equipment needed and his help if needed to do the job but wanted to know if there is a reason I shouldn't use lacquer to paint a bike frame, is it a durability issue.

Glenn
For me, it would be the preferred finish. But, I think your friend will probably tell you, lacquer requires a LOT of hand work and many, many coats. Not as durable as enamels but if done right, nothing quite matches it in appearance, IMO.
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Old 02-08-12, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois
I disagree with AZORCH. Modern urethanes are more durable than the paint found on most bicycles.

old_dreams is correct. The stuff is poison.
urethane clears are used on most wet paint jobs on bikes. Production bikes mostly seem to be powdercoated. Anyone interested in painting should look up isocyanate safety. It can cause permanent asthma, sometimes fatal within a day. The people that spray truck beds prove this on a regular basis.

On the recommendation of my paint supplier (30 years ago), I used lacquer clear coated with urethane. It was reasonably durable. Say it in a heavy hillbilly accent: "that's what the nascar boys down the road use"
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Old 02-08-12, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
urethane clears are used on most wet paint jobs on bikes. Production bikes mostly seem to be powdercoated.
Are we talking about modern bikes now? This is C&V. Powder coat and urethane were not available when our vintage bikes were built.
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Old 02-08-12, 08:27 AM
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Don't skimp on the gun! Buy a small one, but don't go cheap. Correct pressure and volume just takes practice, and some cardboard to victimize.

To do this right is pretty expensive for a one time deal. I have never tried the pre-mixed aerosol cans but from some recommendations here I think that might be a good option.

Personally, I would ask around and see if someone in your area will powder coat your frame. Or better yet, call a locally owned body shop and see if they will spray it if you do the prep. Unless you are doing it for the DIY experience (which I completely understand) paying someone may be a cheaper option depending on what's available.

I also echo the comments here on safety. Buy a full body paint suit and a respirator mask (the one with the big circle things on the cheeks). I made myself sicker than a dog painting a car when I was 17 because I thought it was no big deal. It's a big deal. Professional paint is beautiful, but it's pure poison.

Also don't paint without proper temperature control and ventilation. Painting in the cold is a waste of time and money.

Sorry to ramble, but to spend all the money and then orange peel a paint job is a terrible feeling (ie, my 17 year old painting experiment).
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Old 02-08-12, 08:33 AM
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I have used Duplicolor paint from a rattle can. I believe it is lacquer based. I haven't put enough miles on the bike to really say, but so far the paint has held up very well. I used their self etching primer-good stuff. The paint also comes in quart cans if you have a sprayer. Look for it in auto parts stores but be ready to try a few of them, not everybody carries the self etching primer.
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Old 02-08-12, 08:36 AM
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Try lacquer. It has good, old fashioned C&V poison in it, as opposed to the new-fangled poisons.
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Old 02-08-12, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by whatwolf
I've heard good things about Preval's refillable canisters. But yes I think automotive paint is always the go-to for diy bike painting...
Preval's work, it is necessary to reduce the paint for it to flow well. This goes for any automotive paint, DuPont Chromabase for example. Been down this road a bunch. The clear coat is the trick, I use dedicated guns for primer, color and clear coats. The best clear coats are two part, there are windows of effort too, some require that the clear must be applied within 24 hours of the color for example. It can be done in a day if you time it right.

Your first paint job will not be cheap, the third or fourth will be good when you dollar cost average it.
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