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Bicycle painting help, tips, suggestions

Old 07-18-14, 08:10 AM
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Talman Phoenix
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Bicycle painting help, tips, suggestions

Hi! Thanks for viewing this thread and feel free to offer any input that you think might be helpful. I am going to paint my bike. I understand there are a lot of forums talking about this but I need some SURE-FIRE results that I KNOW after reading your thread that that is THE BEST WAY to strip, prime, paint, and coat my bike that I can do without spending $300 on the painting alone done professionally. So with an open mind I am willing to answer any questions you may have as well as any suggestions you know would work. OKAY, so even though I ride a fixed gear, I felt that there would be more experience and knowledge in the Commuting forum. My Bike: Steel Frame and Fork. Idk if you need to know anything else, just ask. Thanks
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Old 07-18-14, 08:28 AM
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Maybe try searching through the hundreds of posts in the Mechanics forum that already exist instead of asking us to write it all out again...

That being said, a rattle can job will never look as good as a proper respray, or a powdercoat job.
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Old 07-18-14, 10:51 AM
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Why do you need to strip the factory paint? Just overpaint the old paint with whatever you like. Save so much effort and more protection from more layers.
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Old 07-18-14, 02:40 PM
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I've attempted many spray jobs with all of the required & suggested prep work. In short, the results suck. No rattle-can job will every survive it's first encounter with any surface other than a pillow. Save yourself the time, money and exposure to toxic chemicals and go get a proper powder coat. Or pay to have the frame media blasted and an auto shop do a legit job.
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Old 07-18-14, 11:13 PM
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The easiest way that I have found is to remove all the components and take the frame to a nearby powder coater. They take it as is, strip it, clean it, powder coat and return it to you in about a week. I chose a custom color and it was still only $125. Can't beat that for making an old frame come back to life. I even bought a new decal set to put on it. Looks original except fro the color.
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Old 07-19-14, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by surfjimc View Post
The easiest way that I have found is to remove all the components and take the frame to a nearby powder coater. They take it as is, strip it, clean it, powder coat and return it to you in about a week. I chose a custom color and it was still only $125. Can't beat that for making an old frame come back to life. I even bought a new decal set to put on it. Looks original except fro the color.
Have you priced rattle cans lately???

$125 is incredibly cheap to get a quality finish applied.

Especially when it will last an untold number of times longer than a homegrown spray paint fiasco.
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Old 07-19-14, 07:46 AM
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My Surly C-check got blown over by the wind three times and had not even one nick on it when I sold it. Powder coat rocks!!!
A spray bomb job wont even stand up to the chain lube and stuff that you cant help getting on your bike, or the weather of leaving outside.
You will spend lots of time with the prep, then feel mad when the finish erodes quickly and seemingly for no reason.
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Old 07-20-14, 03:48 PM
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Project Portfolio | Advanced Custom Powder Coating, Inc.

https://www.google.com/search?q=lake...m=122&ie=UTF-8
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Old 08-15-14, 02:04 PM
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Thanks for the input. I have looked at a local powder coat company and they will do a single color for $60 as well as media blasting so I trust it will be cheaper than having to repaint it when ever it got a scratch. Thanks again will post photos or something when it is completed. I plan to keep upgrading the bike afterwards so i will start with re-painting/finishing it and then go from there.
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Old 08-15-14, 02:17 PM
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Has anyone had experience having a bike powdercoated, then taking it home to apply decals, and bringing it back for a second powdercoat of clear to protect the decals? Were you charged for two powder coats or was there some give on the pricing?
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Old 08-15-14, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Has anyone had experience having a bike powdercoated, then taking it home to apply decals, and bringing it back for a second powdercoat of clear to protect the decals? Were you charged for two powder coats or was there some give on the pricing?
In short, this is not how powder coating works.

To explain: You would need to apply the decal design in paint using the spray and cover method to produce layers that eventually build up to be the image you're looking for, then put it in the curing oven. Clear coating of powrder coated stuff makes no sense, as powder coating (unless chemically changed for different result) has a naturally reflective end product. Otherwise you put the decal on top of the powder coated item & thats that.

- Andy
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Old 08-15-14, 07:13 PM
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Ah, I see. Can you spray clear coat (paint) over powder coat? The reason is, some decals are quite fragile.
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Old 08-15-14, 08:47 PM
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Hire mylar adhesive replicas of the decals printed, and the mylar will be, functionally, the clear coat.
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Old 08-16-14, 06:10 AM
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You can paint a bike yourself perfectly well - the trick is NOT to use a rattle can. Use a high adhesion acrylic and foam brushes after very careful prep. See eg

Painting cheaply with Rust-Oleum - Ninja250Wiki

..Some of the industrial/marine/agricultural acrylics make powder coating seem delicate, although might not look as good. (They have names like "Agrikote" and tend to come in a choice of only grey or safety orange.) Imron is probably absolute best - you find it on early Konas, buses, helicopter gunships and a few very expensive modern custom builds. Just read the safety instructions carefully. (Imron dissolves lungs and has to be sprayed wearing a spacesuit, for example. Which is you don't see it on $700 Trek hybrids - it's so dangerous that even Chinese slave labour factories won't touch it.)
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Old 08-16-14, 08:49 AM
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BF member @randyjawa (Randy) has written on how to paint a frame using a brush rather than spray. Results are said to be 90% or better! compared with a good spray job. Finish is, I suppose, a little rougher, it can be durable. You don't have to inhale as much toxic crap.

BF member @rhm (Rudi) uses a similar approach and has had good results.

This is a huge time/money trade off. A durable paint job takes a lot of work. They say prep is the most important stage: sanding, cleaning, and priming. Then you need several layers of paint. Then you need as much time as possible between coats, so the paint can harden. Between each coat, more sanding will give a smoother result than less sanding.

I'm in the middle of my first paint job, inspired by Randy and Rudi. I can't yet report my satisfaction. I've applied only one coat so far. A friend did the prep for me, thank goodness. I trust he is better at that than I am.
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Old 08-16-14, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
Excellent article!
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Old 08-16-14, 09:22 AM
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Old, early last century, cars made by small manufacturers were sometimes hand brushed. The three wheeled Morgan was one example. Once the paint is on and cured the brush strokes are color-sanded out. Kinda like taking orange peel out of a crappy mass production sprayed finish.

Brushing finishes is a centuries old technique. I don't really think that the paint cares how it gets out of the can and on the object. I would imagine the main concern of the paint is whether or not it's applied to a properly prepared surface. The eye of the beholder probably won't be able to tell if a glossy paint job was achieved by modern chemicals and heat causing the finish to flow smooth and shinny or if it's shinny due to the age old practice of mechanically smoothing (sanding).
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Old 08-16-14, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Ah, I see. Can you spray clear coat (paint) over powder coat? The reason is, some decals are quite fragile.
I wouldn't. Powder coating is basically a spray-on polymer that bonds to itself to form a hard shell. Putting anything onto it & expecting it to stay on without issue is expecting too much. I had a band aid wrapped around my old cruiser's top tube long enough that it was really stuck on there, but that adhesive is designed to stick to oily skin & it was stuck around to itself. Most non-BSO have cover & spray graphics, and sticker decals are on lower end bikes. There are clear powder coat applications.

- Andy

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Old 08-16-14, 09:26 PM
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I tried to spray paint a bike frame with spray paint from the hardware store. Actually, I did the preparation and persuaded my brother to do the painting because it was a winter camouflage pattern and he is good at that. Anyway, I can report the following results.

I did not put any sort of clear coating over the paint because I was worried about compatibility with the paint, so the finish is just paint. It does not look as good as a powder-coating job.

After a winter of riding, there is some rust. In other words, the home painting job is not as durable.

If the preparation is not FLAWLESS, then, when you hit an imperfection with primer, like a little old paint or decal glue not TOTALLY removed, the imperfection will just JUMP out at you when the paint hits it. Preparation is everything.

The only reason I did it myself is that I wanted a winter camo pattern and this was the only way I knew to get it. The result is good, thanks to the artistry of my brother. But for a single-color paint job, if you want it to look good, I would reconsider the plan to do it oneself. YMMV.
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Old 08-16-14, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by swwhite View Post
If the preparation is not FLAWLESS, then, when you hit an imperfection with primer, like a little old paint or decal glue not TOTALLY removed, the imperfection will just JUMP out at you when the paint hits it. Preparation is everything.
The best Porsche bodyman that I knew described it as having a cut on your hand and spraying it with a carwash wand. Once the "skin" is compromised, the rest is doomed.
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