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Painted my bike with Testors

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Painted my bike with Testors

Old 11-26-12, 05:03 PM
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big chainring 
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Painted my bike with Testors

I was in the craft store today and picked up a bottle of red and bottle of orange Testors paint for use as touch up on my Bottecchia mixte. I mixed the two colors together and got a pretty good match. I was really impressed with the coverage the Testors had. Even going over paint chips that were down to metal and the Testors really covered. So after a half hour of tedious touching up I looked over at my recently acquired Super Course. Several areas on the bike were really faded. I mixed up a little paint to see if I could do some small areas. Then I did some more, and some more. Mixed up some more paint and did some more. Ended up doing the whole bike!

I am somewhat amazed at how it turned out. I did no prep to the bike. I used my finger to get some road grime off. No sanding, nothing. The Testors doesn't run, and dries with absolutely no brush marks. Great stuff! Of course pictures are a must with a thread like this. But it gets dark soooo early these days. I'll post as soon as I can.

If its durable I can't see using any other paint in the future. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 11-26-12, 05:06 PM
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I, for one, can't wait to see this. The Testors I know comes in tiny bottles. You must have been mixing a lot of little bottles to paint a whole bike. Was it done with a tiny brush? Was there any alcohol involved in this?
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Old 11-26-12, 05:16 PM
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For small touchups the Testors model paint might work, but I don't think it is a durable as car paint or even the spray bomb paints you buy at hardware stores because the Testors model paint is not really meant to be exposed to the elements. It will most likely fade quickly from UV exposure and will be too soft to deal with small stones grit and spray that your tires might kick up on the road.
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Old 11-26-12, 05:23 PM
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I don't know. The little model sopwith camel I made when I was 12 held up to all manor of abuse...
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Old 11-26-12, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by devinfan View Post
I, for one, can't wait to see this. The Testors I know comes in tiny bottles. You must have been mixing a lot of little bottles to paint a whole bike. Was it done with a tiny brush? Was there any alcohol involved in this?
Doesn't take much paint to paint a bike. One bottle will do it if you are painting over a similiar color.

Enamel is enamel. I've painted bathroom tile floors with regular interior enamel and it held up fine. The Testors is quality stuff. Time will tell.

I used a soft artist brush, 1/2" or so and no alcohol was consumed. Got a mean headache though from all the deatil and working around lettering and such.
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Old 11-26-12, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
For small touchups the Testors model paint might work, but I don't think it is a durable as car paint or even the spray bomb paints you buy at hardware stores because the Testors model paint is not really meant to be exposed to the elements. It will most likely fade quickly from UV exposure and will be too soft to deal with small stones grit and spray that your tires might kick up on the road.
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Probably correct - however, I painted the inside of the letters on the trunk of my '65 Falcon with Testor's back in the day and it held up really well to the elements so it might last a little longer than one might think.
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Old 11-26-12, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by scozim View Post
Probably correct - however, I painted the inside of the letters on the trunk of my '65 Falcon with Testor's back in the day and it held up really well to the elements so it might last a little longer than one might think.
Reminds me of a Saab that I owned long time ago. I touched up the paint with acrylic artist paints. I wasn't sure if it would last. Held up for as long as I had the car.

Painting is my trade. I think for the most part people over do it when they paint a bike.

I've used interior enamel on bikes too. Held up very well. The Testors is great stuff. Super fine highly pigmented paint. Paint takes a looong time to deteriorate. And the UV that a bike is exposed to is minimal unless you store the bike outside. I'm much more concerned with my exposure to UV than what the pigment in the paint on my bike is exposed to.
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Old 11-26-12, 08:34 PM
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Photos?
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Old 11-26-12, 08:40 PM
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I touched-up my Moto Le Champion frame with 3 Testors colors I mixed to match: I used my dremel to stir it, and though I ended up wearing much of it, the fraction that got on the bike flowed out wonderfully, and I was able to achieve a good color match. It dried to a hard glossy finish, that I am sure it will outlast me.

Testor's is good stuff - and if you have any doubts, just consider that if it were introduced today, it would be banned in California.
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Old 11-26-12, 08:56 PM
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Hmmm....I used some Testor's black on my Motobecane and was not real impressed; it did not dry to much of a gloss, and it seemed to come off easily when I did a polish. Though maybe it was just not cured yet. I will take BC's word as a pro and will give it another shot!
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Old 11-26-12, 08:57 PM
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i'm suprised finger paints are'nt banned in califorinia
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Old 11-26-12, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Chicago Al View Post
Hmmm....I used some Testor's black on my Motobecane and was not real impressed; it did not dry to much of a gloss, and it seemed to come off easily when I did a polish. Though maybe it was just not cured yet. I will take BC's word as a pro and will give it another shot!
There are several versions of Testor's black. In general, you need to get the real glossy version, as the other Testors tend towards a flat finish (in my experience).
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Old 11-26-12, 10:04 PM
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Also Testors has 2 kinds of paint. Enamel and acrylic. Use the enamel for the bikes. The enamel takes longer to really, completely dry than the acrylic but once it dries the enamel will be tougher than the acrylic. After a couple of weeks, you can even buff it out with rubbing compound and it will really shine. It will not be as tough as the Imron on your Trek, but that is a completely different class of paint with a catalyst you need to add to harden the paint. It's always best to use a wax and grease remover and then lightly sand - with a very fine sandpaper or even a Scotchbrite pad - before painting for the best long term adhesion of the paint.
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Old 11-27-12, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
I touched-up my Moto Le Champion frame with 3 Testors colors I mixed to match: I used my dremel to stir it, and though I ended up wearing much of it, the fraction that got on the bike flowed out wonderfully, and I was able to achieve a good color match. It dried to a hard glossy finish, that I am sure it will outlast me.
I touched up mine too, Auchencrow, but managed to do it with two colors. But I just happened to get lucky. One of the colors was Model Master German Silver Metallic, and the other was a brand I'd never heard of before. The hobby shop had but a few of them in bottles and sprays, called Boyd's Colors, or something like that. I think it's a Testor's product. The color was Dusty Rose Pearl and a couple of drops of that in the metallic silver and, Voila! A great match. I liked it so much I even just finished painting an old Silca frame pump to match. It acted kind of weird when I clear coated it, but turned out fine.

One thing to remember is that enamel isn't dry, really dry, for about a month. Maybe more, depending on conditions.
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Old 11-27-12, 06:20 AM
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Something has to be lost in the translation.

I read the post and had a vision of tedious touch-up, which many of us have done (and rubbed out too early, in my case).

Then my vision changes when the "voila!" moment hits, and big chainring talks about mixing two bottles and painting a frame. It goes from a normal touchup vision to a man striding around a cluttered workshop wearing a foil helmet, with the DeLorean parked in the background. Several hundred tiny bottles of Testor's model paint litter the floor. He's so high on fumes, the bike is now a miasma of color.

Then I realize that something must be lost in the translation, because big chainring is a capable and knowledgeable guy.
He knows what he's doing; far more than I do.

Still, it was fun to imagine him as a psycho scientist painting a bike, only to shout "it's ALIVE!"
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Old 11-27-12, 07:20 AM
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I just can't imagine painting a whole bike with a half inch brush. Eagerly awaiting pictures.
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Old 11-27-12, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
I just can't imagine painting a whole bike with a half inch brush. Eagerly awaiting pictures.
Funny, I was thinking the exact opposite!
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Old 11-27-12, 07:34 AM
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I gotta see this.
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Old 11-27-12, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by YoKev View Post
Funny, I was thinking the exact opposite!
What? You CAN imagine painting a whole bike with a small brush, or....you're NOT eagerly awaiting pictures?
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Old 11-27-12, 09:08 AM
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I did exactly the same thing with my Trek, except the color is orange and I had to Bondo a bunch of chips down the seat- and chainstays. Got a bottle each of Guards Red and Cadmium Yellow and Hemi Orange, and got an excellent match on the orange Imron. I used a brush, too, in lots of thin coats. It's held up surprisingly well.
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Old 11-27-12, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Something has to be lost in the translation.

I read the post and had a vision of tedious touch-up, which many of us have done (and rubbed out too early, in my case).

Then my vision changes when the "voila!" moment hits, and big chainring talks about mixing two bottles and painting a frame. It goes from a normal touchup vision to a man striding around a cluttered workshop wearing a foil helmet, with the DeLorean parked in the background. Several hundred tiny bottles of Testor's model paint litter the floor. He's so high on fumes, the bike is now a miasma of color.

Then I realize that something must be lost in the translation, because big chainring is a capable and knowledgeable guy.
He knows what he's doing; far more than I do.

Still, it was fun to imagine him as a psycho scientist painting a bike, only to shout "it's ALIVE!"
Yeah I am somewhat of a psycho artist scientist painter. I was working on a Bottecchia mixte, touching up some chips and scratches. THEN I started in on my Raleigh Super Course, and painted the whole bike. Of course my psycho ways, i didnt remove any parts or even bother to sand or clean the bike in any way. Just went for it in artistic psycho abandon. <(great band name.)
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Old 11-27-12, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
I just can't imagine painting a whole bike with a half inch brush. Eagerly awaiting pictures.
Well figure it this way. A fork blade is like 2 or 3 brush loads of paint. Thats painting the outside of one fork blade.
A chainstay about the same. I can take one brush load of paint from brake bridge to dropout. The key is a good brush that can hold a good quantity if paint, but also have a nice point for detail work. I've painted enough frames now that I have a good feel for it. The Testors is really the bomb though. Much easier and covers better than traditional gloss enamels.
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Old 11-27-12, 12:05 PM
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Pics, or it didn't happen.
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Old 11-27-12, 12:19 PM
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Did the same with my Trek 400 (and rubbed part of it out too soon or too aggressively). In my case it was an '85 Racing blue. The Trek vintage site claimed that Model Master French Blue was a perfect match. It wasn't (too light), but the right hue. I had ordered the French Blue from an online hobby shop as locally I could only find acrylic. I did find some darker metallic blue locally and mixed with the French Blue about 50/50 and got an almost perfect match.

Finish work isn't my thing, but it looks good from 10 feet. Someone will need to explain to me what should be done after it has dried 2 weeks or so in terms of "rubbing" it out. I used 400 wet/dry (wet) very lightly, then either 1500 or 2000 of the same, then rubbing compound followed by polishing compound and then wax.
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Old 11-27-12, 01:22 PM
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^ sweet bike! I like the purple/lavender. Is the original paint kind of a fade?
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