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Thoughts/Tips on Re-Painting a Frame

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Thoughts/Tips on Re-Painting a Frame

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Old 10-18-12, 07:19 PM
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anti_uzd
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Thoughts/Tips on Re-Painting a Frame

Hello,

So... I have a PSV-10 and have been contemplating spraying/painting it due to scratches and stuff. I have a couple questions before I even go through with it. Will it devalue my bike? If i was to spray/paint it... What do i do about the Original brand letterings on the frame? just tape over it or... i'm not sure. Do i sand it down? I'm very nervous about doing all this! haha which is why im here asking you guys! Any thoughts or suggestions on how to go about all this would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-18-12, 07:25 PM
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Welcome to the Bike Forums.

Most of your concerns are address in Should I Paint My Bicycle? Hope it is a help.

The short of it is that you should carefully consider to paint or not to paint. It can be costly and, as you suggested, significantly lower a vintage road bicycle's value.
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Old 10-18-12, 07:26 PM
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Don't do it. It will definitely devalue the bike, especially since you obviously don't know much about painting.
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Old 10-18-12, 07:39 PM
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Thanks guys!!!
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Old 10-18-12, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Don't do it. It will definitely devalue the bike, especially since you obviously don't know much about painting.
Yeah, but a PSV-10 in rough condition is hardly an investment instrument. If he wipes out half the value with a rattlecan, then he's out what, $100?

The real issue, IMO, is that unless the existing paint is truly awful, and he's wiling to invest the time, money, and effort to learn and then apply good quality spray paint, then the results are going to be worse than what he's already got.
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Old 10-18-12, 09:38 PM
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What's the consensus on a partial repaint. I have vintage frame that has lost the art/decals from the seat tube. I was thinking of painting the head tube (but not obscuring the chromed lugs and the headbadge) and a matching panel and stripes on the seat tube tube. Then I would re-apply the missing art/decals/transfers. This would transform the look a little, but keep it within the style/era of the maker. Travesty or beneficial re-finish?

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Old 10-19-12, 04:13 AM
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The OP is asking Forum members to offer opinions based on nothing concrete. We need pictures of his/her concern, before anything meaningful can be shared. That said...

The answer to the question asked is huge and requires considerable understanding, far more that can be offered here(hence the suggestion to look through the feature article I suggested in a previous post). Also and, so far, the general theme of offered advice is don't do it, partial or otherwise.
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Old 10-19-12, 05:10 AM
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Any decision on repainting, touching up, new decals, etc can be boiled down to your intentions. What do you plan to do with it?

a-Sell?
Then market value is the deciding factor, after costs.
For a generic example:
"As is" value = $300 - $50 rehab costs = $250.
"Restored" value = $300 - $60 powder coat - $50 decals = $190, and that's max.
As the "As is" value goes higher, it's my experience that the "Restored" value goes lower, even if it's professionally re-done.

I'll give you a more specific model:
"As is" 1985 Ironman = $240
"Restored" 1985 Ironman = $300 - $60 powder coat - $50 decals = $190
What would most people rather ride? In this forum, the "As is," and most other people, the "Restored," in my experience. I believe wrk101 would support that the vast majority of the market is shopping based on price, not some deep-seated primal appreciation of the craftsmanship, engineering, and street cred of a 70's or 80's bike.

So, even if the market value is enhanced, the costs involved can easily wipe that out. If you plan to give it away, you can decide if the recipient is a rider, a hanger, etc. Just be sure you're not giving someone a "cool thing" to you that is an "old bike" to them.
Remember the market. If it's not us, the trend is away from "as is."

b-Ride it?
"As is" = $300 investment, current components, and it rides like you want it to. The down side would be the appearance and it's degraded resistance to rust, dings, etc vs. the mitigation of those by already-present rust, dings, etc. Are you happy with the appearance? That's really the only issue on a bike that rides like you want it to, as the "life" of the bike is pretty much the same.

"Repaint" = $300 invesment, current components, complete teardown and re-build plus $110 (min) in powdercoat and decals = $410. The down side is the cost, and labor, vs. the "new" bike that looks good when you ride it, and will for a long time. The "value" is in how you feel when you ride it and your happiness with the appearance. For some, the wrenching is part of the enjoyment, so you can figure that, too. I'd much rather work on bikes than bowl, fish, golf, or go shopping with my wife, so the re-doing has value to me.

Again, if it's a keeper, you'll probably die before the bike, and look about the same without maintenance. I've re-coated and repainted biks for various reasons, but value was never the consideration. Appearance and resistance to wear/tear was the main propellant in those instances, and all of them are regular riders. The more the value of the bike, the more I could rationalize spending.

Upgrades to modern components, stuff like that, a completely different issue, I believe, than OP's questions....

Disclaimer: $60 powder coat and $50 decal costs are determined to be the absolute minimum required. Paint costs and decal costs can easily exceed $500, and if you send it off to a pro, this can go to $1100-$1200. Your results may vary. This ad is paid for by the RobbieTunes for King of the World Election Committee and other mentally deficient supporters.
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Old 10-19-12, 05:28 AM
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For the kind of dollars we are talking about, the difference in value is negligible. However, if you do it yourself, it can take a considerable number of hours. Patina has its place, but I like to ride a nice looking bike and wouldn't hesitate a repaint to suit my tastes.
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Old 10-19-12, 05:42 AM
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Old bike with new paint looks funny IMHO, you'd expect scratches and chips. But if there is nothing left of the original, than re-painting becomes necessary. Unless of course you want your old bike to look like a new bike which in the end costs more than the a new bike.

There is another option. Repaint only the damaged areas and let the repaint/repair be part of the bike's story. I find this more appealing, cost worthy and exceptable in most situations.
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Old 10-19-12, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
What would most people rather ride? In this forum, the "As is," and most other people, the "Restored," in my experience. I believe wrk101 would support that the vast majority of the market is shopping based on price, not some deep-seated primal appreciation of the craftsmanship, engineering, and street cred of a 70's or 80's bike.

So, even if the market value is enhanced, the costs involved can easily wipe that out. If you plan to give it away, you can decide if the recipient is a rider, a hanger, etc. Just be sure you're not giving someone a "cool thing" to you that is an "old bike" to them.

Disclaimer: $60 powder coat and $50 decal costs are determined to be the absolute minimum required. Paint costs and decal costs can easily exceed $500, and if you send it off to a pro, this can go to $1100-$1200. Your results may vary. This ad is paid for by the RobbieTunes for King of the World Election Committee and other mentally deficient supporters.
+1 For resale, the market is not interested in bikes that need work. They want clean bikes that are ready to ride. People that will buy "projects" are like me, they expect and get a hefty discount.

+1 The average buyer is interested in two things: price and appearance. They do not know the difference between Shimano 105, Shimano 600, Tange 1 tubing or Tange 5, etc.

+1 Collectors and enthusiasts (like the folks on here) are more interested in originality. I see a repaint, and I lose interest immediately.

+1 To Robbie Tunes disclaimer: good luck finding a PC for $60, and all the decals you need for $50. PC in some areas will cost you $150 to $200 alone.

I sold a Paramount once, and all the buyer cared about was that the bike was pretty. She could care less that it was a pretty special bike.
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Old 10-19-12, 07:25 AM
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I've read about nice-looking amateur repaints over the years on this forum, so I believe that they exist. But I have yet to actually see a good-looking amateur repaint, although I've seen plenty of crappy-to-abysmal ones. My opinion is that it's almost always a bad idea to have a bike repainted. You're too likely to regret it later (don't ask me how I know this). On the other hand, you'll never regret not painting it, because your options are still open.
Either way, if you do decide to repaint, I think it's worth paying someone who knows what they're doing to do it for you. If you get a local motorcycle guy to do it, it probably won't cost much more that what you'll spend on materials, assuming you're going to buy what you need to do it right.
Of course, if you enjoy working with spray paint in the same way that most of us enjoy wrenching, go ahead and have a good time with it. You might eventually produce good results.
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Old 10-19-12, 07:45 AM
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^ I don't know... the ones that sloar shows in this thread look pretty nice. I don't know how "amateur" he is though, seems to know what he's doing.
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Old 10-19-12, 07:47 AM
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The first questions I would ask are:

Is the existing paint original?
Is the existing paint sound (does it protect the frame adequately)?

If I answer 'yes' to both of the above, then I would not repaint under any circumstances. If I answer 'no' to both, then I would probably go for it. If my answer was one 'yes' and one 'no' then I would be sorely tempted but, based on past experience, I would resist. I have several bikes that fall into that category now, and I have successfully resisted the temptation to repaint. And will probably continue to do so.

I have had pretty good results doing partial repaint, repairing blemishes etc while preserving as much as possible of the original paint.
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Old 10-19-12, 08:41 AM
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Well, assuming the bike in question is the one in the valuation thread, I would never consider reprinting it. That bike has issues, but paint is not one of them.
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Old 10-19-12, 09:21 AM
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Somebody posted this a while ago and I really liked it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MsVWj3fGkY

Rattle can jobs can look pro if you take your time and do it right.
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Old 10-19-12, 09:30 AM
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Everybody's given you pretty good advice. If someone asks "should I repaint my bike" and you have no other information, the answer is probably "no".

Mine started out looking like this. This one, I decided to repaint:

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Old 10-19-12, 09:47 AM
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I don't have a vast collection, but of the six I have (including one I am building for my son) this is my accounting for finishes — present and future.

* One on which I repaired numerous chips and damage by carefully infilling with a mixing of enamels (applied with art brushes) ... then clear coated after a rub down. All graphics were preserved.

* One where I just brushed enamel on the stays just to keep the rust off — my old and trusty MTB. I don't really care what it looks like.

* A handmade, 35 year old frame with a gorgeous color and great graphics. I'm bending over backwards to try and retouch the chips, scrapes and gouges. I will not even try and clear coat the result — just some very hard wax. We'll see ... I'm kind of excited.

* One that is in the process of being paint-stripped with a heat gun due to some light rust that has nevertheless gone "to the bone" ... to the metal under the undercoat. Long story on the decals — let's not go there.

* One classic, hand-built frame that is badly chipped and buggered. I could live with that and some wax and touch ups, but I hate the colour. So it's going to be painted. I tried imagining living with the colour — and failed! The decals are not going to be cheap — dammit!

In the latter two cases, I am thinking of using an airbrush. I will not go into the 'whys' and 'wherefores' here except to say that decades ago in the motorcycle world I saw some amazing work that employed airbrushes as opposed to a regular spray gun, or touch-up gun. Bit of a PITA, but it works. (Best you have a small compressor).

As Randy suggests above, see his "My Ten Speeds" site. He has written up and illustrated an excellent step-by-step guide to brush-painting a frame. I like his results. But be prepared: in another lifetime I was a painting contractor. Painting pipe with durable enamels is a bit of a challenge. Don't expect a luscious finish without a lot of effort, preparation and practice. Lighter colours usually give you a better result due to the incidence of light as reflected on imperfections. Try white, blue-grey etc.

I agree with all the advice given above. Contingency is an all important consideration. If you intend to keep the machine, suit yourself. A suggestion and IMHO: regardless of what you do to paint your frame, obtain decals that are contemporaneous with the frame ... decals that identify the tubing. This is a pet thing of mine. Others may say that without the brand/marque included you still have nothing but a steel triangle. But of course, obtaining any other, additional facsimilies of the original artwork is a good and better thing. Then again, if you you intend on keeping the machine and don't care for conservation, decals may mean nothing to you. But, we C&V people are inclined to preserve the identity.

Extrapolating from numerous other threads on this subject, that is to say according to my memory, a lot of members may advise the following: thoroughly overhaul the bike. Wax the daylights out of it to protect the metals. Ride the snot out of it. If you really fall in love with the bike, tear it down and send it off to a pro for painting.

These days you usually have these choices that will be, or should be applied after a full preparatory treatment for removal of old finish and rust — unless it is expressly stated that the refinisher will do all the stuff for you. Sometimes paint is removed by heat. Sometimes chemically. There are a number of options. And as for preparation of the frame in other ways, see below.

CHOICES — other than DIY

* Sprayed two-pack special enamels. (This is not a DIY project sort of chemistry. The paints are extremely toxic, and the spray environment is strictly controlled.
* An electrolytic process known as "powder-coating". There can be dubious results, so get recommendations. You may get only what you pay for.
* An automotive shop may undertake a respray using acrylic enamels. You may have to expedite the stripping yourself.
* Perhaps the last company on the planet to spray stove enamel (a baked, traditional enamel) is Argos in the UK. (See their website.) A very nice finish.

Before putting up the dosh for a pro painting job, you want to be sure all the bending and tooling that an old frame may require has been done before the new finish goes on. In the process, you may even discover that the frame is knackered and not worth refinishing.

Some usual stuff includes: "stringing" the frame to see if it all lines up and is true and straight (again see Randy's site). Aligning the stays and drop outs. Chasing the bottom bracket threads. Refacing the bottom bracket shell ( I have found just one that really needed it, and it was on a handmade frame!). Making sure the threads on the steering tube are clear and unbroken. Taking care of any extensive, internal corrosion in the tubing has to be either neutralized or removed.

Hmmm ... makes one think twice about vintage ... does it not? Well, maybe not.

And, as implied above, even a rattle-can paint job adds up. Abrasives, strippers, tapes, spray bottles, decals. And then the possibly dubious performance of the result. YMMV. Some members are quite satisfied with their canned finishes, but they will all say that preparation is vital. And curing the paint is an important factor.

There is this thread that you started ... but a LOT of other discussion is heaped up in the archives. Please chase it down.

So, best of luck. Show us some pics. Keep in touch. Don't go away. Don't give up. ENJOY!
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Old 10-19-12, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by anti_uzd View Post
Hello,

So... I have a PSV-10 and have been contemplating spraying/painting it due to scratches and stuff. I have a couple questions before I even go through with it. Will it devalue my bike? If i was to spray/paint it... What do i do about the Original brand letterings on the frame? just tape over it or... i'm not sure. Do i sand it down? I'm very nervous about doing all this! haha which is why im here asking you guys! Any thoughts or suggestions on how to go about all this would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!
The very fact that you are contemplating a spray can paint job speaks volumes about your feelings about the bike and plans for its future. My personal opinion is that a nice paint job makes a bike more enjoyable to ride. It pleases me; as opposed to what some collector might think or the possible kudos I'll receive online.

Enjoy owning your bike.

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