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Painting/sanding a carbon frame?

Old 03-01-17, 07:01 PM
  #1  
MidasTouch
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Painting/sanding a carbon frame?

So I want to paint my carbon road frame and I would just Prime it and spray it then clear coated it like I've done before on stuff with really really good results. I don't care about the weight I'd be adding which is "substantial". The hold up is the fact the stupid bikes decals are decals instead of paint so the decals are raised all over the thing just enough that Primeering and sanding it will never be smooth so they intact have to come out.

It would take light years to just sand it as is and burn thrunthe decals. Using a paint stripper would be too messy, smelly and impractical to do at home here as well as I imagine taking it to the actual weave.

The only easy thing I can think of would be to block off all the holes in the frame and have it sand blasted or something? Like a walnut shell blasting?


Ideas?

It might sound absurd but I HATE the decals and branding on the frame and will sell the bike otherwise. I already had the paint made up which is aston Martin British racing green.
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Old 03-01-17, 07:15 PM
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400 grit wet/dry by hand would be the harshest sandpaper I'd want to use on any composite bike part.
Walnut shell is probably safe too.
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Old 03-02-17, 06:32 AM
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Is there a specific form of blasting like xxxxxx soft media or something a thing? Are all walnut blasting created equal?
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Old 03-02-17, 09:54 AM
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What could possibly go wrong?
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Old 03-03-17, 01:31 PM
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So the current decals are under a clear coating on the bike?

If so, your best bet is to sand off the clear coat around the decal and scrape it off. Fade sand around the edges for a smooth transition from painted to unpainted. There are different grits of walnut blasting media available if you really want to go that route.

In any case, you do NOT want to use a chemical stripper on CF. They, chemical strippers, will weaken the CF and epoxy. In some cases it will even melt the piece.

I'd suggest just selling the thing and getting a different bike if you hate it that much. Less headache, less money spent, more riding time.
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Old 03-03-17, 02:12 PM
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Personally I would not trust any media blasting ... I am sure some sort of safe method exists, but I wouldn't trust just anybody to do it right ... is the shop going to replace the frame if they subtly weaken it so it folds up seven months from now? Good luck with that ... and I;'d always worry that the person doing it left the stream in one place just a bit too long, created a soft spot .....

I'd do it by hand and if i wasn't willing to put that much work into my own bike (speaking as someone who has repeatedly hand-sanded a steel frame, I would) then I would know the bike wasn't really worth that much to me and I'd sell it and replace it.
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Old 03-03-17, 03:00 PM
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I don't know about walnut shell blasting. Be careful.

Walnut shell is used to blast carbon buildup from inside engines, from the intake ports on heads and the back of valves. That stuff is pretty tenacious and walnut shells do a good job of taking it off.

@Maelochs makes a good point and I'd be very wary of blasting it with anything.

Ask around in the automotive world. The guys who do custom cars would know how to refinish carbon parts.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 03-03-17 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 03-03-17, 07:35 PM
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problem is i DO like the frame, its awesome looking stiff & aero and even if i got something else id still like to paint it, its just the raised graphics giving me a fit right now otherwise id be scuffed then premiered and painted right over no problem.

I will talk to some auto shops tomorrow but i think they are going to want something crazy $$$ to even prep it for me to paint myself
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Old 03-03-17, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MidasTouch View Post
problem is i DO like the frame, its awesome looking stiff & aero and even if i got something else id still like to paint it, its just the raised graphics giving me a fit right now otherwise id be scuffed then premiered and painted right over no problem.
If you like the frame, take the time. The area f the decals can't be that big.

As zze86 suggests, lightly sand the clear coat just over the decals and razor-blade them off.
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Old 03-04-17, 01:54 AM
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Plenty of examples of sanded frames (with significant weight reduction) over on Weight Weenies. It is a laborious process. No way around it. Anything that might soften the paint would also very likely cause damage to the epoxy holding the frame together. Not worth the risk to even try. If you don't want to do it I am sure you can pay someone to do it for you. You just might not like the cost (though with the right tools that job will go far quicker).
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Old 03-04-17, 02:14 AM
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If you want to see how to do the job properly, have a look at this guy, he really knows his stuff

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Old 03-04-17, 07:40 AM
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Possibly, I mis-read. You have decals on the bike. I didn't see where they had a clear coat over them. Can you take a hair dryer, heat them up, and slowly remove them with a razorblade?

If they have a clear coat over them, this won't work.

I mention a hair dryer because of the low heat. A heat gun may be first choice, but I would be afraid of overheating it. I would over heat it anyway.

Personally I wouldn't sandblast on carbon, but I don't know much about that.
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Old 03-11-17, 06:18 PM
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Can't find anyone local.

Last edited by MidasTouch; 03-11-17 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 03-13-17, 01:25 AM
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You're going to sandblast a carbon frame?

What could possibly go wrong!?!
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