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Painting a Frame(11 posts)

Painting a Framecouchcanoodle
Dec 2, 2003 12:58 PM
My roomate from college gave me a Nishiki American Eagle Semi Pro that was his father's last year, and I am going to restore it/convert it to fixed gear. The frame has some rust on it, so I've started to sand it off. I have primer and paint, but I'm looking for some tips of the trade, I guess you could say, on how to paint a frame. Is it crucial to sand off all of the original paint? I was originally under that impression, but I've been told that the old paint will work as a primer. Is this true? Any help and other tips would be greatly appriciated. I will also put up pics of my fixie once she's all done. Thanks.
Powdercoat it...rcmann
Dec 2, 2003 1:16 PM
...costs $50-60, lasts indefinitely, they sandblast the frame, do all the prep work, and it looks pretty good.
Where can you get you get that for $50-$60? (nm)Roundabout
Dec 3, 2003 6:42 AM
North County Powdercoating, San Marcos CA (nm)rcmann
Dec 3, 2003 8:23 AM
Interesting ... CyclArt, San Marcos, charges ...Humma Hah
Dec 3, 2003 11:42 AM
6 to 7 times that for basic powdercoating, but they won't apply decals to someone else's refinishing. Tis a pity.

Anyway, with powdercoating costing that little, and giving such superb results, its hard to wanna mess with a home job. Even CyclArt's high rates, which I paid for the cruiser, seem cheap now, in retrospect, based on how it improved the bike.
Interesting ... CyclArt, San Marcos, charges ...rcmann
Dec 3, 2003 4:25 PM
...a lot, that's for sure. They simply subcontract the frame to a powdercoater who does the job, so I'm not sure why it would cost so much. I just doublechecked with North County since it's been a couple of years. They're up to $75 now, frame and fork. But remember, that includes sandblasting, and if you've ever tried to sand a lugged frame really clean at home using emery cloth, steel wool, etc, it's very difficult to clean well around lugs, especially in the BB and seat cluster section. It's almost worth it just to get it blasted and make sure the frame is clean. Getting an inexpensive frame or a welded frame powdercoated is a great tactic. Getting an expensive lugged frame powdercoated is a crime.
Where can you get you get that for $50-$60? (nm)Peter B
Dec 3, 2003 10:24 PM
B&K Powdercoating in Grass Valley, CA charged me $75 to sandblast and powdercoat my Surly Steamroller frame and fork. Plenty of colors to choose from, and excellent results.
I am not a painter but here is my advicebigrider
Dec 2, 2003 1:22 PM
You don't have to strip it completely for a home paint job. I would rough it up using 600 grit sandpaper or steel wool and then I would clean it with alcohol or acetone and a rag to eliminate all grease and impurities from the surface.

When you spray paint it GO SLOWWW. Wait until that coat drys and do it again and again and again and again. Then if you want it shiny hit with clear for two or three coats. It'll look better than it did but not like you paid two hundred dollars for a paint job.
What is the bike worth to you?Humma Hah
Dec 2, 2003 4:18 PM
Self-inflicting a paint job on a bike has several drawbacks. 1) It is almost impossible to get a really good finish with no bumps unless you have a dust-free paint spray booth. 2) Pick a color you like, because its gonna manage to overspray and get on stuff whereever you paint it, no matter how many cardboard boxes and sheets of newspaper you put around it. 3) Nothing in a spray can sticks as well or looks as good as the stuff the pros have available, which ain't sold to the general public (it tends to be too dangerous and too hard to apply well).

But, it'll get some color on an old rat-bike cheaply. I'd sand off the rust, clean and roughen the good paint, prime the bare metal, and give it a couple of coats of something tough and intended for metal. My experience with the Dupli-Color automotive sprays is they look good initially, but don't last. An epoxy or urethane may be a better bet in the long run.

If the bike is worth anything, I'd take it to a pro. I'd opt for powdercoat unless you can't get the color or effects you want. If you have decals applied, have it clearcoated (that's typically a urethane, not a powdercoat clearcoat). You will stop regretting the money as soon as you get it back.
Have to disagree...rcmann
Dec 3, 2003 8:35 AM
...on not being able to get a good finish outside a spray booth. I paint one or two bicycles and motorcycles every year, and used to do it in a pretty dust free environment. I moved and didn't have a booth, so now I just paint in the back yard. I use auto paint, usually House of Kolor or PPG (BTW, both are easily available to the general public, just go to any auto body supply shop and you can get anything you want), and the finish comes out beautifully. On bikes I just hand polish with rubbing compound, on motos with bigger, flatter surface areas I colorsand to get out any dust nibs or bug tracks, or orange peel then machine polish and glaze. Comes out great. Can't really machine polish a bike as you'll burn right through the clear. Even the pros, who do perfectionist work, normally colorsand and polish their top of the line jobs. On a frame like this, I'd still recommend powdercoat. Good luck.
Have to disagree...DCDREW
Dec 3, 2003 11:42 AM
I painted my fixie, a 1980s steel Reynolds Trek frame. It turned out alright, It had some rust and nicks in the paint and I can't afford to shell out the bones for a pro job. Powder coating would be pretty sweet.

I sanded off the rust and roughed up the rest of the paint with sandpaper, cleaned it all with rubbing alcohol, and put 2 coats of primer (that krylon rust stopper stuff), 2 coats of paint (krylon metallic silver, kinda feaux-powerd coat), and two coats of clearcoat. It turned out alright, though I've only ridden it twice since the paintjob, so I don't know how it will hold up.

I could have probably done better sanding and prep work...if you want a completely smooth finish, you're gonna have to sand down to metal. But I had no problem with dust and I painted it on my back porch.

Good luck, the krylon metallic paints look pretty sweet, check them out. I need some decals now.