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Detailing with paint pens, anyone tried it?

Old 02-13-15, 09:17 PM
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burnfingers
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Detailing with paint pens, anyone tried it?

I'm finishing up a early 60's French roadbike and was wondering if anyone here has used 'paint pens' to detail the lugs on a frame before. If so, how did it hold up? What conditions has it been in? (dry garaged, damp shed, ridden in dry weather only or in rain too?) It claims to be oil based, so did you clearcoat over it or just let it cure? Do they lay down a fairly thick layer or did you have to go over the lines several times to build up the layers?

Any thoughts would be appreciated, never had cause to work with these before and on the surface at least they seem like they might work for what i need.

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Old 02-13-15, 09:35 PM
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I went crazy with a paint pen on my '73 Raleigh Grand Sports. As far as how it holds up I don't have a clue. I rode it once after finishing it before the snow hit. I only went over it once and did not clear coat it. Just make sure you use the oil based pens. I used the Sharpie brand pen. I like the way it turned out.

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Old 02-13-15, 09:58 PM
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I did mine with a Testors gold pen. It's seen a little rain and a little snow. Not much. I think I did it in early summer. Any problems with the way it turned out were my lack of ability to trace the lugs- but the color and the pen itself was good. I didn't think of it until half way through- With the Testors pen, trim the felt tip so you get more of a point.





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Old 02-13-15, 10:34 PM
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White Sharpie oil based pen to line the lugs of my '90 Trek 750 Multitrack (True Temper). Pretty easy with a steady hand and seems to be durable so far withstanding several bike washes & rides in the rain. Slow even application, a couple coats for solid coverage.


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Old 02-13-15, 10:45 PM
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Yup. Did my lugs on my Bianchi

Also lugs and with a little masking added a nice transition pinstrip on my Raleigh Supercourse between paint and chrome on the stays.





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Old 02-13-15, 11:24 PM
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I did these on a mystery frame a few years back. I also did the paint (not very well)...

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Old 02-14-15, 03:12 AM
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I did it on a yellow frame with nervex lugs. Looked ****ty.
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Old 02-14-15, 06:21 AM
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Use a brush......

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Old 02-14-15, 07:40 AM
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The good news is that they're easy to use, the bad news is I've used the oil based Sharpies on other stuff that was left outside all the time and the color faded to nothing over one summer. I've used them on my bikes but I keep my bikes inside and they've all been clear coated so hopefully that will prevent fading.
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Old 02-14-15, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by peter_d View Post
The good news is that they're easy to use, the bad news is I've used the oil based Sharpies on other stuff that was left outside all the time and the color faded to nothing over one summer.
Which Sharpie did you use? I've found black and the metallics to be quite color permanent, even when exposed to the elements. We've done some informal color fastness testing on both the gold and black, in which one surface was left exposed to ambient light 24/7 and the other surface was covered with opaque black mat board. I think my Crayola rep dropped off those markers back in September or late August and I've yet to notice any color shift or fade. I'll be very interested to hear which you used.

That said, I've used the metallic Sharpies over freshly painted tubes and found them to be very easy to use and control. My bikes are stored indoors, and if memory serves I've clear coated the lining every time they've been added. The gold lining over black tubing has an elegance that appeals to my own design sense - here's the "crusty mystery frame" I shared with the forum last year, after detailing with a Sharpie:

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Old 02-14-15, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by AZORCH View Post
Which Sharpie did you use? I've found black and the metallics to be quite color permanent, even when exposed to the elements. We've done some informal color fastness testing on both the gold and black, in which one surface was left exposed to ambient light 24/7 and the other surface was covered with opaque black mat board. I think my Crayola rep dropped off those markers back in September or late August and I've yet to notice any color shift or fade. I'll be very interested to hear which you used.

That said, I've used the metallic Sharpies over freshly painted tubes and found them to be very easy to use and control. My bikes are stored indoors, and if memory serves I've clear coated the lining every time they've been added. The gold lining over black tubing has an elegance that appeals to my own design sense - here's the "crusty mystery frame" I shared with the forum last year, after detailing with a Sharpie:

the metallic paint pens I have used remind me more of a Rapidiograph pen than a marker. With that, the paint smelled of lacquer. Worked pretty well, with the exception that on one frame I clear coated over later and the lining went a bit dull and dark. Appearing a bit vintage actually.
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Old 02-14-15, 11:59 AM
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I got a set of four Sharpie paint pens at Staples. White, blue, red, and.. maybe yellow? I haven't used that fourth one. I like them. The lines are a little thicker than I'd have chosen, and I had to go over some of them to achieve the desired opacity, but the result is pleasing. I did two color box lining etc on both my Holdsworth and Fothergill frames after painting them. I also clear coated, perhaps a mistake as the clear coat caused the red Sharpie to run a little. Doh.

I'll try to remember to post photos when I'm at a real computer.
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Old 02-14-15, 12:10 PM
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I am old, eyes don't work too well and I shake like a paint mixer (not really) but I easily managed the fender stripes with a paint pen and the panel edges with striping tape...

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Old 02-14-15, 01:16 PM
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I have used brushes and paint pens for striping. I prefer the paint pen - the last one I bought from Michael's - it had a Rapidograph style tip. I prefer it over the porous tip pens.
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Old 02-14-15, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by AZORCH View Post
Which Sharpie did you use? I've found black and the metallics to be quite color permanent, even when exposed to the elements. We've done some informal color fastness testing on both the gold and black, in which one surface was left exposed to ambient light 24/7 and the other surface was covered with opaque black mat board. I think my Crayola rep dropped off those markers back in September or late August and I've yet to notice any color shift or fade. I'll be very interested to hear which you used.

That said, I've used the metallic Sharpies over freshly painted tubes and found them to be very easy to use and control. My bikes are stored indoors, and if memory serves I've clear coated the lining every time they've been added. The gold lining over black tubing has an elegance that appeals to my own design sense - here's the "crusty mystery frame" I shared with the forum last year, after detailing with a Sharpie:

I've used gold metallic, blue and yellow for outlining lugs. The colours that faded outside were black, yellow and pale blue. The black was acceptable considering it was exposed to full sun over a summer but the blue and yellow pretty much lost all their colour. I'm sure that clear coating would prevent this.
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Old 02-14-15, 06:53 PM
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I just used a gold Testor pen (porous tip) to outline the lugs on my Raleigh. Mostly turned out okay, though the tip went mushy a lot quicker than I thought it would. I certainly wasn't abusing the tip. The fuzzier the tip, the less-fine I could paint, obviously. The paint itself seems durable enough, when I was doing some cleanup with a razor blade after it'd dried.
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Old 02-16-15, 08:23 AM
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Here's a couple photos of my Fothergill after I repainted it this winter. The paint is a mix of Rustoleum, mostly blue with almond and red added, applied with a brush. Home made waterslide decals, printed mirror image on a laser printer with gold and color added to the back of the decal with a gold paint pen (I don't remember the brand) and white added with a Sharpie paint pen. The laser printer did the red on the decal, but I went over it with the Sharpie red paint pen to ensure opacity. Applied the decals backwards, then added the box lining with red and white Sharpie paint pens. So far so good! Then I clear coated over the whole thing, resulting in some running of the red Sharpie; that was dumb. But I'm not doing it over.
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Old 02-16-15, 08:29 AM
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That's an interesting stem.
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Old 11-18-21, 05:48 PM
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Nice paint job too.

belated appreciation?
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Old 11-18-21, 11:37 PM
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I find they do a nice job of lug lining and box lining. I usually go over the line a second time after it's dry, to get better density. It seems to last fine, but I store my bikes in a dry basement and avoid riding in the rain.
1950s Metropole:

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Old 11-19-21, 02:14 AM
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Hand Drawn Pinarello
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Old 11-19-21, 02:43 AM
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Well done Duke!

And Mr. Booga that is some pretty high level "doodling". Wonderful end result.

I was just reading about paint pens for metal surfaces - apparently there is a big difference in longevity, weather resistance, amount of fading and or color change over time from one marker brand/type to another and some of them bleed more when lacquer is applied.
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Old 11-19-21, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by burnfingers View Post
I'm finishing up a early 60's French roadbike and was wondering if anyone here has used 'paint pens' to detail the lugs on a frame before.
Blasphaemous!!!! only amateurs would do that!!1!

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Old 11-19-21, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Duke7777 View Post
I find they do a nice job of lug lining and box lining. I usually go over the line a second time after it's dry, to get better density. It seems to last fine, but I store my bikes in a dry basement and avoid riding in the rain.
1950s Metropole:

Beautiful job. Beautiful bike.
Did you also do the box lining and cross hatching on the stay caps with the paint pen?
Brent
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Old 11-19-21, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
Beautiful job. Beautiful bike.
Did you also do the box lining and cross hatching on the stay caps with the paint pen?
Brent
Yes, I use various drawing aids to do the box lining and other details:


The pieces of 3/4 x 3/4 x 1/16 aluminum angle are for drawing the longitudinal lines, and the thick zip tie is for drawing the rings around the tubes. I find the main problem with the pens is that the results look too perfect. Original box lining was done freehand with a pinstriping brush, and the slight imperfections are part of the look. I tried a pinstriping brush, but just couldn't get good enough in the time I was willing to devote to practicing.
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