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raleigh sports project: scratches and rust spots on frame. Fix up or leave?

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raleigh sports project: scratches and rust spots on frame. Fix up or leave?

Old 03-20-12, 01:59 PM
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raleigh sports project: scratches and rust spots on frame. Fix up or leave?

Hi, my bronze green raleigh sports was free, but neglected. The wheels and sturmey hubs are being built up(thankfully not by me!). The bike shop guy building them specializes in restoring old 3 speeds and will help with widening the forks and rear stays and filing if necessary. I do wish the bicycle was in better shape cosmetically. He recommends leaving the scratches etc and waxing the frame. I have read all over bikeforums about getting touch up paint and carefully touching it up. Can I get touch up paint to match the metallic finish? I can take the chainguard to a paint shop for a computer match. Would it be best to go to an automotive paint shop that would have endless car colour and finish options, or where would I find model paint?
Does Canadian Tire do matches for small bottles of auto touch up paint?
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Old 03-20-12, 02:02 PM
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Are the scratches all over the place or in a few concentrated areas?
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Old 03-20-12, 03:58 PM
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Canadian Tire doesn't match paints. They either have what you need or they don't. To get paint matched you need to go to a specialty automotive paint supplier. The sort which the autobody shops buy from.

Colour matching paint is never cheap or easy. And with metallics it's often never a perfect match. It's nearly impossible to apply metalllics in the same way to divots in an existing job then sand and rub then spots down and not have the whole thing look like it's got measles. The best you can hope for is that it looks OK to folks as you ride by at a fair clip or that don't look too closely. This is because the metallic particles never set up the same with spot touchups as they do when sprayed on as a complete coating.

As for leaving the spots I would say that this is a highly personal and charged issue. There's no doubt that repainting from scratch will devalue the antique aspect. But at some point the old finish is far enough gone that there's really no significant antique value anyway. But keep in mind that faithfully duplicating the original even to the point of getting a graphics shop to make up the proper stickers is not easy or cheap either. But if you go for a straight simple colour job then you lose the antique appeal all together.

In the end it's you that has to live with the bike. If you feel it's worth the trouble and cost then I'd say a full up reproduction is the way to go. But if it's not too bad I'd tend to wax it as the shop guy said and live with the "patina" that says to everyone that it's an older bike.
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Old 03-20-12, 04:10 PM
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If you have read all of the touchup postings, then you will see that few of us get matching touch up paint. Instead, we mix our own trial and error with model enamel. Just finished touching up two bikes, removed all of the touch up (match was not good enough), then back to the hobby store for another round of paint purchases, then repeated the process. I use a "ten foot" rule. Touchup should not be noticeable from ten feet away, but up close, you can probably still see it (but it is not way off).

I have a 1981 Raleigh, lots of scrapes on the top tube. But they have an undercoat, not the same color, but adds to the "patina" in my opinion. And touching up the amount of scrapes on that top tube would be near to impossible and look like crap.



Same bike from a distance:




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Old 03-20-12, 04:29 PM
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It is rarely worth the trouble atmo. Does the bike have a rust issue?
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Old 03-20-12, 06:17 PM
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I seldom bother with touch up on a bike that I am going to use. On most of my Raleighs the standard finish protection is wiping it down with a lightly oiled rag every now and again. A coat of wax certainly would not hurt. Meguiers Scratch X works wonders restoring beat up paint jobs. It won't make the rust go away, but it will clean up the rest of the finish and put a protective coat on everything.

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Old 03-20-12, 07:26 PM
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Touched up a silver U-O8 once, called it spot after that.
Scratches and missing paint are expected on older bikes, learn to apprecieate the patina.

I was cleaning off a newer bike the other day, notice a long scratch on the seat stay, "oh that was when I leaned againt the rock wall on LI. Then some scratches on the fender, " from walking down some steps in DC" and the chip on the front fork, "from the Bike pile at the end last years charity ride". I'd hate to paint over all those memories!
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Old 03-20-12, 08:04 PM
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+ what wrk101 says. Model enamels — trial and error. Do what the pros do at paint stores. Mix ... and then then use a hairdryer to see what it looks like after it sets. Sometimes you get really lucky. With the sky-blue on my Simplon, you have to search for my touckups — like I need my reading glasses. The purple on my Trek was a monster, and I never did get a good match

Here is a suggestion based on plans I have for my Woodrup. Take a Scotchbrite type pad — but the right grade. The ones I buy here come in brown, green, blue, yellow and orange. I may have them in approx the order of coarseness from harsh to fine. The second up from the finsest may be OK — but test it on someting. Use lots of soapy water. Go very gently around any decals. With fine, even strokes and checking once in a while, take any wax, dirt, oxides — even the rust off the tubing. Rinse. Now you should have a satin sort of finish — very clean. Some bare metal bits will be there too. You now have the option of touching up bare metal bits with model enamel (enamel — not acrylic or lacquer). After letting any touch up cure a day or two, mask off each tube in turn for a rattle can spray of clear enamel available any any number of suppliers. I've used just ordinary, clear enamel (no polyurethane blah blah) and it has survived beautifully. The masking and spraying individual tubes disallows over-spray that (for me anyway) always creates a fog on adjacent tubes.

So this is recommendation is based both on things I have done, and some new ideas I will be applying — hopefully in the near future.
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Old 03-20-12, 08:25 PM
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The only time touching up worked to my satisfaction was small chips (and I mean small) in an otherwise excellent frame - even then there was a bit of the measles effect. I think deep down we all admire a nice paint job, but either go all the way and repaint the whole frame if you want new, or leave it as patina.....half way both spoils the originality and can look awful.
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Old 03-20-12, 11:58 PM
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Thanks, it is not that bad, but there are scratches, dings and minor rust spots on the frame and fenders, not in a concentrated area. Yeah, from a distance it looks great. I thought at the very least I would deal with the rust and clear coat. It is meant to be a working bike, and maybe I will find a mint raleigh superb down the road(my husband will be sooo mad!).

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Old 03-21-12, 07:14 AM
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As others have stated it can be a real pain to match paint and sometimes can make a bike look worse when all is said and done, but sometimes you can luck out and get a good match mixing your own paint as I did when I received a Mongoose MTB with bad paint that cleaned up pretty good. The bike had very faded paint and rust spots on it plus where the dealer put his decal on it you could still see it once I removed the decal. I was able to match the light blue paint perfect to the point you couldn't tell I painted it from a foot away, that was until I clear coated it in which the touch up paint darkened up but it still would have passed the ten foot rule.

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Before, there was a good amount of damage on the top tube by the head tube from rust plus the decal marks.

After but before I cleared it,

After I cleared it,

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Old 03-21-12, 09:56 AM
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.....half way both spoils the originality and can look awful.
Not trying to be contrary ... but I might not be able to agree ... or to agree entirely. Metallics are really a challenge. You may end up mixing aluminum dust with clear and pigments ... as well as mixing colors. But other than that, the result really depends on how much effort you want to put on it and how much you understand color theory — stuff like the color wheel and how reflective angles can change and expose tonal differences. The first three pages of any painter's manual will help a lot. And page 15 of an art book will help some more. I sure would not blame anyone for not wanting to take the trouble. Even after you have achieved the right tone or shade of the color, you have to apply it — possibly building cured layers of paint that can be rubbed down and faired into the original paint. Of course, larger areas will need undercoat preparation and so on.

Very acceptable results can be obtained even over larger areas — not whole large sections of tubing perhaps — but sizable patches. But is can mean a lot of work. Or, you may just get lucky. One of the hardest colors to get right is — black!
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Old 03-21-12, 10:24 AM
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Can we see a picture?
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Old 03-22-12, 10:17 AM
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jyl:
Can we see a picture?
Here are pics of my '85 purple Trek 560 (Reynolds 501). The original finish is probably ‘Imron’, but it was chipped and scratched. Purple is really hard to mix; I made several attempts. Even the best one failed to get it right. But, when the whole frame, including the original decals, was very lightly fogged and washed down with thinners. I applied a clear coat. Made mistakes there too. But, the reflective index changed and thus chips and scratches done with fine artist brushes and blended. This is perhaps because my shade was darker than the original. The increased reflective index factor evened out the overall appearance. Also some curing took place. I've ridden this bike quite a bit, and nothing has changed.

One thing: I had a braze-on lug applied on the drive-side chain stay by a frame maker. (I did not like the chain-stay wire routing.) I did not even attempt to cover this area with a match. The flux and welding wrecked the original paint, so I just mixed a purple that keyed well enough to the original shade. Then I applied two coats straight on the metal. Chain-stays often have an off-colour protector band, so it is really not too out of place. This frame was a bit rough and lacked luster. Lots of chips and scratches. Anyway, after my build, riders at my local LBS made some nice comments.

Next is my blue Simplon 4-Star — a very rare Austrian frame in Reynolds 531 I bought out of Budapest. Chrome forks and chain stays. It had seen some real rough use, although the frame itself is true and OK. I have to look closely to see my touch ups, chip-fills and so on. A couple of small areas have since shown through because the frame is actually entirely chromed. I could have scuffed the chrome and applied zinc chromate as an undercoat, but I bypassed that and just applied model enamel on the chrome. I had an idea that someday I might strip the whole bike down to chrome. Paint does not adhere well to bright chromium, but this is working out very nicely

Then as on the Trek, I clear-coated it after rubbing the whole frame down with 1000 - 2000 wet. (I also removed some transfers that were partly wrecked and a very unattractive design). I have to look closely to see my touch-ups and fills. With effort I can find them — some more obvious than others. Overall, I made something that was less than just “patina” into something that I think is pretty acceptable. I really like the original colour. I hope these pics illustrate something as an answer to your request. I have “before pics” but they are buried in archive hard-drives and they really do not show the frames in the way they really appeared in good light.

PLEASE NOTE:the white streaks on th seat tube in # 4 are not imperfections. They are refections off the sheen of the clear coat.











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Old 03-22-12, 01:16 PM
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I know personally, I tried to match the bronze green of my Superbe with model paints. I took off the rack, and tried to match the color on the bottom of it. I figured that being an art school drop out that majored in painting would make it easy, but nothing really worked.

I think part of the problem as I later learned is that the original paints on the Raleighs was baked on over a silver undercoat/primer, a process not unlike powder coating. And it's not entirely out of the question that there might have been something used as a binder in the paint that can not be really reproduced (like perhaps lead). To the best of my knowledge (which granted is fairly limited) Raleigh has never really released any info on the process, other than it's baked on.

So after trying about a half a dozen greens and and about double the number various mixes of them and then applying the more promising ones to the underside of the rack (the color will be effected by what it is being painted on, so just because it looks good on a plastic mixing pallet or paper doesn't mean it's going to look the same on metal), I wasn't satisfied with any of them and decided to stick with it as is.

Edit: BTW the repaints above look great...

Though if you can get a good match on your own by all means share, I know I'm not the only one that would be interested.

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Old 03-23-12, 01:28 PM
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Well, as an art school graduate with at least one major in painting, I thought I would at least be able to mix paints. I have yet to spend alot of time on the frame to see how I feel about it. I have another vintage raleigh in attic hidden for decades condition, beautiful chrome, but the frame has been scratched up over the years. I did not think once about trying to fix it, but I am spending money on the raleigh sports, so maybe feel it has to look better? But baking the paint sounds right, since they used to do all sorts of things that took time, made long term sense etc..
Those repaints do look great.
I may go to an autopaint shop and see what they can come up with. I was looking at modelling paint websites and it's impossible to tell what greens would really look like.
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Old 03-23-12, 02:09 PM
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I have a Bronze Green 1972 Superbe and have all but given up on paint matching. Closest I ever came was some nail polish from the dollar store. I have a Bronze Green 1973 Raleigh Colt. The two bikes are not anywhere close to being the same color of green. (Not the best picture, but it gives you an idea of the color range)

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Old 03-23-12, 07:25 PM
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I just live with it. None of my bikes are closet queens so they get scratches. During a restore I will get the rust off by oxalic acid and put some clear nail polish on the spots if there is not that many to do, and then wax.
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Old 03-24-12, 07:08 PM
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Schwinntsa:
During a restore I will get the rust off by oxalic acid and put some clear nail polish on the spots if there is not that many to do, and then wax.
Nail polished is — or used to be — lacquer. I recommend clear acrylic enamel. Hard to get? Model stores have clear enamel. Or you can buy a small spray can of clear enamel and spray a bit into a can lid. Use an artist's brush to apply. As new chips appear, you can do this from time to time. Follow up with your wax and you are good to go and go.
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Old 03-26-12, 11:49 PM
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What kind of wax? My husband got some autowax on sale and I don't think it was what we expected. it's kind of gross that people put nail polish on themselves, but makes for lots of touch up material!
Yes, there are definitely different 'bronze greens'.
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