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Paint touch-up advice

Old 04-29-13, 08:26 AM
  #1  
tarwheel 
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Paint touch-up advice

I've got a Waterford RST-22 that I picked up used a couple of years ago. It quickly became my favorite bike because it fits me perfect and rides better than any bike I have owned. It has a beautiful original factory paint job, but unfortunately the paint is not proving to be very durable. When I bought the frame and fork, it had a lot of small chips and scratches but the seller included the correct Waterford base and top-coat touch-up paint.

I tried to touch up the chips and scratches before I had the frame built up, but in my haste to start riding the bike, I didn't do a very good job. Although the color matches just fine, the spots I painted are all "lumpy" and uneven. The frame has also acquired a number of new chips and is obviously very fragile. Eventually, I would like to get the frame repainted but can't afford it right now. However, I would like to do a "proper" touch-up job to make the bike look better and protect it from rust.

So, my question is: What are the steps and procedures I should follow to properly retouch the paint job? The paint color is Waterford deep forest green, and the base coat is gold. Some of the chips and scratches are very small, but some are as large as a dime or penny. Chipping is worst on the drop outs, seat tube clamp and chain stays.
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Old 04-29-13, 08:41 AM
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If I may: Very good touch up is one of the most difficult things to accomplish, IMO. Paint applied with a small brush is usually lumpy compared with the sprayed finish next to it. The only way to avoid this is to lay on light layers of paint, very thin, and lightly sand with tiny strips of 600 to 1500 paper after the coats are dry. Good and dry, which takes as long as 3 weeks sometimes but you can usually lightly sand after a couple of days. Build up the spots so they're just proud of the sprayed surface then smooth it down to meet the level surface and blend it in. Then, to bring the shine up hit it with rubbing and then polishing compound. It's a LOT of work to do it right. An airbrush and masks help, but it's still a lot of work.
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Old 04-29-13, 08:49 AM
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Brush work simply looks bad, though I'll admit I lack the technique and patience of the poster above. White on white or black on black, fine..but I learned the hard way to leave it alone, ...or send it out.
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Old 04-29-13, 09:09 AM
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to do touch up with a brush you need really, really thin paint

as you notice, you're just acquiring more scratches.. i'd just leave it alone. if you live in a rust prone area, perhaps cover with some clear nail polish
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Old 04-29-13, 09:24 AM
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I presume that the paint has a layer of clear coat, although I am not sure about that. If I sand the layers of touch-up paint and then follow that with polishing compound, will it blend in properly if it has a clear coat finish? It is worthwhile to me to go to all of this trouble on the very visible chips on the top and seat tubes, but I wouldn't bother for some of the chips on bottom side of chain stays and the drops.
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Old 04-29-13, 09:41 AM
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There is an interesting thread on this on thepaceline: https://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=128544

In the 3rd post, there is a link to a thread on some other forum for this as well, with some interesting tips:
https://weightweenies.starbike.com/fo...hp?f=3&t=53264

I too have had problems with getting a good blend (or any blend at all, really), but haven't been anal enough to spend the amount of time on it that is really required.
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Old 04-29-13, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
I presume that the paint has a layer of clear coat, although I am not sure about that. If I sand the layers of touch-up paint and then follow that with polishing compound, will it blend in properly if it has a clear coat finish? It is worthwhile to me to go to all of this trouble on the very visible chips on the top and seat tubes, but I wouldn't bother for some of the chips on bottom side of chain stays and the drops.
i found "rubbing compound" which is a bit more aggressive than polishing compound is pretty good for smoothing out lumps. i don't like using sand paper
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Old 04-29-13, 04:00 PM
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First off: contact Waterford and get a bottle of the correct touch up paint. Only then will you know if it is a one-step or two-step paint that was used. They provide good instructions with the touch up paint - follow those closely.
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Old 04-29-13, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by AZORCH View Post
First off: contact Waterford and get a bottle of the correct touch up paint. Only then will you know if it is a one-step or two-step paint that was used. They provide good instructions with the touch up paint - follow those closely.
In my original post, I said that I have the correct Waterford touch-up paints. That wasn't the issue, it's how to actually do professional quality touch-ups
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Old 04-29-13, 08:35 PM
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I've never had luck with a brush. I've actually done better using a tooth pick and patience to let it dry between coats. Drying takes a looong time
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Old 04-29-13, 08:35 PM
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I use a technique I've used for rock chips on cars that seems to work pretty well on bikes.

If the paint is even slightly thick, first thin the paint slightly with thinner. Using the pointy end of a toothpick, dip it in the paint and place a drop at a time into the area that needs paint. DO NOT fill up the chipped area in one try. Allow the thin layer of paint to dry and then continue to layer up the paint - thin layer, dry, thin layer, dry - until it is just proud of the area surrounding it.

Give a couple of days for the paint to totally cure.

Take a tiny piece of sandpaper and attach it to the eraser end of a pencil with glue. Use the pencil sander to sand the paint back to the level of the surrounding paint. You will probably have to follow up the sanding with a Scratchx type compound and then wax.

It is an extremely time consuming task to make it perfect.
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Old 04-29-13, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by blilrat View Post
I use a technique I've used for rock chips on cars that seems to work pretty well on bikes.

If the paint is even slightly thick, first thin the paint slightly with thinner. Using the pointy end of a toothpick, dip it in the paint and place a drop at a time into the area that needs paint. DO NOT fill up the chipped area in one try. Allow the thin layer of paint to dry and then continue to layer up the paint - thin layer, dry, thin layer, dry - until it is just proud of the area surrounding it.

Give a couple of days for the paint to totally cure.

Take a tiny piece of sandpaper and attach it to the eraser end of a pencil with glue. Use the pencil sander to sand the paint back to the level of the surrounding paint. You will probably have to follow up the sanding with a Scratchx type compound and then wax.

It is an extremely time consuming task to make it perfect.
Exactly.
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Old 04-30-13, 03:21 AM
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The issues are not complex. As others have said, it's tedious. You have the issue of color handled, with the original Waterford paint.

Paint chips and scratches have depth, and you want to restore the proper depth (fill the hole), and you want it to last, which involves surface preparation and treatment of any rust. Clear coat complicates the process a bit. How tedious you want to get depends on how you want it to look and how long you want it to last.

Initially, any rust has to be treated, removed, or neutralized. This is best done chemically, due to your wish not to re-paint. Let's just assume you've handled that, and move on.

Primer can be used where you're covering bare metal. Like paint, primer can be too thick, so it can be thinned and applied, just enough to cover any bare metal. Non-bare metal can probably skip the primer step. Like others, I feel a brush is often too large and applies too much substance at a time.

I like to thin the paint, and use a Q-tip or toothpick to apply it, and let it dry, use several coats to build it up. For scratches, I dab the paint on with a cloth, wiping it into scratches, then very carefully wiping off excess, It sometimes streaks, but the streaks can easily be cleaned up later.

I rarely sand the spots, but I've been known to "reduce" the touchup areas with fingernail boards or green scuffing pads and rubbing compound. Scratch-X does work better than paste wax. Too much pressure will send you right back to square one.

I've been known to abandon projects because the touchup drove me nuts.
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Old 04-30-13, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by blilrat View Post
Take a tiny piece of sandpaper and attach it to the eraser end of a pencil with glue. Use the pencil sander to sand the paint back to the level of the surrounding paint. You will probably have to follow up the sanding with a Scratchx type compound and then wax.
The tiny piece of sand paper attached to an eraser is a good tip. For small spots. For slightly larger areas, larger than a spot, say, I use this method.
Next time you buy a cup of coffee at a kiosk, grab a handful of those narrow wooden stir sticks. Spray a fairly heavy coat of spray adhesive on the back of a sheet of sand paper. Let it try to a slight tack. I usually start with 800 on up to 2000, or even 3/0 or 4/0 crocus cloth. Lay the sticks on the semi-dry, glued paper and when dry, cut them out with an Xacto knife. This gives you a long, narrow and flat tool with which to level the painted area.

As for the toothpick, I use tiny artist's or modeler's brushes, up to 0000 size.
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Old 04-30-13, 09:05 PM
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. Now I just have to find time to do the work and get some decent weather. The Waterford is my main commuter bike, but I have another one I can ride in the interim. I may just decide to keep the current paint job if it turns out well enough.
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