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Frame Painting

Old 04-25-24, 06:37 AM
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Frame Painting

My current bicycle is a blue, and I want to paint it a custom forest green. The bike is made out of aluminum, and my question is what kind of paint and steps do I need to take to repaint my bike?
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Old 04-25-24, 09:00 AM
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What type of paint application are you using? Rattle can, brush on, compressor powered spray gun? What type of paint is already on the frame? Have you looked at paint types/brand limitations or instructions as found supplied by the manufacturers?

I am beginning a relearning of painting with a "auto" spray gun applied paint (on steel in my case) and every paint I have considered (rattle cans of different brands, brush on Rustoleum and various "auto" paints) have had instructions on the vessels of paint as well as on line at respective web sites.

IME the big difference between a steel and an aluminum frame is the prep and base/primer layer. With some primers wanting certain color paint types for best results. With no other experience or guidance I would follow the manufacturer directions.

As to the steps- there are so many vids and, even here, forum threads on the process best followed. Have you explored the search function in this forum yet? Other on line possible sources of information? What I will take my time to say about this is that there's a huge range of results and a huge range of what's acceptable. The more care in the prep the "nicer" the paint job will look when done, independent of the paint used.

When I started to build frames back in the 1970s I also did the paint work (Dupont Imron, a classic epoxy type of paint). After a half dozen+ paint jobs (over a few years) I decided that I wanted a nicer looking result and sought professional painters. Now that a good wet paint job can be between $500-$1000 and my standards of what my personal bikes look like have, let's say, evolved (or devolved) I am starting to try painting again and not with rattle cans or brushes (done both and still want nicer results). I have a good relationship with a few "real bike painters" (one posts on BF and on this topic) and am growing a relationship with a local "auto paint" supplier (brick and mortar store). I suggest you consider the same as possible. Andy
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Old 04-26-24, 04:26 AM
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To repaint your aluminum bike blue to custom forest green: Clean, sand, prime, paint, clear coat, and let dry completely.
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Old 04-26-24, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by RMTBaiden
My current bicycle is a blue, and I want to paint it a custom forest green. The bike is made out of aluminum, and my question is what kind of paint and steps do I need to take to repaint my bike?
I think you'll get better responses for DIY painting in the Classic and Vintage section. Everything John T said above is true, as he's a professional. There's garage rattle-can painters in C & V.
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Old 04-26-24, 08:28 AM
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Did I miss John T's post? Or is it in another thread? Andy
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Old 04-26-24, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
Did I miss John T's post? Or is it in another thread? Andy
I was wondering the same thing when I read the message. I found spray.bike and I looked at there reviews. I also seen videos on how to paint and the proper techniques. This is probably going to be an early 2025 project though.
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Old 04-26-24, 12:05 PM
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I painted 2 bikes one with rattle can and one with auto paint....did a lot of research

to do it "right" it is a lot of work and more expense that you would think. I doubt that I would every paint a bike again .... I would go powder coat or if it was a special bike a bike painter pro..... (of course never say never)

rattle can is not as durable as autopaint

here are steps as I did them there are other opinions
  1. take everything off the bike so all you have is frame and fork
  2. Strip all existing paint (chemical stripper) (any left will show in final paint
  3. De grease frame with paint prep or acetone, do not touch frame without gloves after this
  4. wear good resipirator mask for all painting
  5. mask anything you did not take off the bike
  6. acid etch primer (for steel) similar for aluminum
  7. Sandable primer
  8. Sand
  9. use tack cloth
  10. 2-3 color coats, recoat strictly following recoat times (more thin coats is better than fewer thick coats)
  11. 2 clear coats recoat strictly following recoat times
  12. Allow time to cure depending on paint used
  13. put parts back on
  14. show off the nice job
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Old 04-26-24, 07:48 PM
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A quick search using in the Framebuilders "Search This Forum" for painting in the thread title yields about all you need to know:

https://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=16897863

You might read the threads and then ask questions if you still have some.

One of the biggest differences (the biggest probably) is you need to use an etching primer on bare aluminum. Steel really doesn't need it. I'd use (have used) auto-paints. If you're doing the work, it doesn't make sense to use cheap paint. Read the threads in the search above...
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Old 04-26-24, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
Did I miss John T's post? Or is it in another thread? Andy
It was in my imagination, apologies!
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Old 04-26-24, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC
It was in my imagination, apologies!
So was it an imagery post of just not linked? If it does exist in another forum can you link that? Andy (trying to learn more about painting)
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Old 04-27-24, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
So was it an imagery post of just not linked? If it does exist in another forum can you link that? Andy (trying to learn more about painting)
I had just read a different post by John Thompson and my brain confused your post with his.
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Old 04-27-24, 07:14 AM
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I'm pleased to be confused with John he's a very knowledgeable guy. Andy
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Old 04-27-24, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by RMTBaiden
I was wondering the same thing when I read the message. I found spray.bike and I looked at there reviews. I also seen videos on how to paint and the proper techniques. This is probably going to be an early 2025 project though.
I think there are better paints than spray.bike, which tends to leave a lot of a kind of dusty powder lying around, especially if you don't keep the can nice and close to the work at all times (but then it drops powder on other parts of the frame). I have found Montana Gold acrylics preferable. No doubt there are much better paints to use than acrylic. But Montana Gold with a 2K clear-coat on top works for me. Sand it with 400 grit first, clean it up religiously with acetone (spray.bike say not to use acetone but I think you can ignore that), put the primer and the colour coats on about half an hour between each, then wait a couple of days leaving the frame somewhere warm, and put the 2K clear on, outside, and don't breathe any of it in. Wait another couple of days before building the bike up. This isn't a professional paint job but it looks pretty decent and is fairly durable.
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