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Frame Painting(5 posts)

Frame Paintingdavidl
Jul 29, 2001 11:42 AM
Just looking into painting a frame. Has anyone done it? Mine is steel and I'm thinking of having it painted. Can you add braze-on fittings? Do you use a body shop? Who does this work professionally? Any shared experience is greatly appreciated.
re: Frame Paintingwes
Jul 29, 2001 12:48 PM
Having a frame painted can be a pretty big investment depending on how long you plan to keep the bike and the condition it is in. I'm talking anywhere from $100-500.

You can certainly have braze-on fittings put on, but I wouldn't advise it. Depending on who does it, you'll be putting you bike into the hands of someone with a blowtorch and possibly creating a weakness in the tubing. For your question about the bodyshop, if you mean an auto body shop, the answer is NO!!!!! Your LBS can probably set you up with someone, or most small frame builders will do it. I have used Joe Bell on occasion. He's very well known in So Cal and has a reputation nationally as well.

Make sure they strip the bike of all paint, and dip the thing since it's a steel bike you're talking about. This will get rid of all the rust and protect it in the future. Joe Bell goes through this whole process of glass beading the bike, 3-5 coats of paint depending on how much you want to pay, and a couple of top coats. His jobs are absolutely beautiful and I trust the bike to be totally cleaned out of any rust.

Some paint jobs just do a light powdercoat for $100 and lay any decals over this so they can peel off with time. JB lays the decals under the finish coats so they're there forever. Keep in mind though that you're paying him a few hundred bucks instead of 100.

Joe Bell is in San Diego and last I heard was working through Holland Cycles (custom framebuilder)

re: Frame Paintingmackgoo
Jul 29, 2001 5:51 PM
Check out
re: Frame PaintingBirddog
Jul 29, 2001 7:24 PM
I've painted my frame twice and am getting ready for a third time. I seem to ruin any paint job with acid sweat. The first time I had the frame media blasted by the best outfit around here and then I had it powdercoated. I thought the powder coating was the end all/ be all of paint from my research. Wrongo, I can ruin any paint. It started to blister in about 6 months. My sweat found some tiny pinhole, invisible to the naked eye. My cost for blasting and painting was $105.00.
After two years, I decided to do it again. Same blast guy, but this time I painted it myself with automotive paint. It is a female dog to paint a frame. It is very difficult to get the right amount of product on the frame without over doing it. I had some puddles on the bottom of the downtube, but over all it looked pretty good. Nine months later the blistering and popping started again. I used an HVLP setup when I did it. Cost for blasting and materials was about $70.00
This time, I'm going to try and find a smaller gun, maybe a touch-up gun to better control the volume. This is now my beater bike, so I'm not as particular as I used to be. Come to think of it, a couple cans of Krylon might be the answer. I can get it blasted for $25.00, so I could do it with a new color every year.
Good luck,
ps If it is a good bike and you're proud of it, have it done professionally.
re: Frame Paintingdug
Jul 30, 2001 11:06 AM
Trust me - go to a bicycle painting shop, NOT a body shop. Any frame painter can add braze-ons and do repairs.
Try Rainbow Cycle in Niwot, Colorado (near Boulder)
or Fresh Frames in Ephrata, Pennsyslvania (near Reading/Philadelphia)

I have used both and both are excellent.

Any frame painter will have a basic price and a slew of higher prices that include repairs, braze-ons, number of colors, decals (or hand painted decals), fades, pin stripes, clear coats, etc.

I don't have the phone numbers or websites handy, but they aren't hard to find. Its a fun process. Base price is ~ $250