's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

do-it-yourself repaint of a steel frame(17 posts)

do-it-yourself repaint of a steel frameBecky
Mar 20, 2002 11:24 AM
I'm kicking around the idea of repainting my old steel hybrid just for fun. Can I use a run-of-the-mill metal stripper and a scraper on it or do I risk turning it into sludge (or rust or other undesirables) by doing so? I've heard that blasting is highly reccommended for stripping steel frames, but my budget is limited... Thanks in advance.

re: do-it-yourself repaint of a steel frameDave Hickey
Mar 20, 2002 11:37 AM
I've done a couple of old frames. I used Airline brand paint stripper bought at an autoparts store. After applying primer, I used many coats of Krylon. Warning: these paint jobs will never be as durable as a professional job but it is alot of fun. Total cost for stripper, primer, and paint was about $25.00
Couple of hintsSpoke Wrench
Mar 20, 2002 11:57 AM
1. Your result won't be any better than your surface preparation or any better than your materials.

2. The best result I ever got was when I used lacquer. Be sure you use a primer that is compatable with lacquer.

3. A round tube has four sides. If you shoot at it from four different directions, you will have better luck at getting full coverage with no drips.

Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
I'm with Spoke and Dave: It's fun, but...retro
Mar 20, 2002 12:10 PM
I've done a couple for my kids. It's fun and not too hard to get a good-looking job (I even did a passable rainbow fade for an 8-year-old). But as somebody said, it's not going to last nearly as long as a professional job.
I used Jasco stripper (Home Depot), but I'm not sure stripping is necessary if you get all the grease off and sand lightly--I think the primer that's on there is better than anything I can do at home. Use several light coats rather than trying to gob it all on at once, and let it DRY! before you start handling it.
I'm thinking about painting my old blue steel Trek, converted to singlespeed, but I think what I'll do is sand it down, hang the frame from a garage ceiling joist and provide a bunch of paints and skinny brushes for my 16-year-old daughter and her friends...
Powder Coat?B2
Mar 20, 2002 12:27 PM
Since I work for a General Contractor, I occasionally work with custom fabricated steel items that are furnished with a "powder coat" finish. The end product seems quite durable. The only thing is, I believe they use a fair amount of heat in this process. Does anyone know if the this process would be acceptable for a steel frame?

If I play my cards right, I might just be able to throw my frame in with the next batch of stuff the steel fabricator sends out for finishing (I've got a canopy coming up in a couple of months).

Powder Coat?comedy-tragedy
Mar 20, 2002 2:50 PM

I've powder coated the same steel frame twice. The only thing you need to worry about is the frame prep they do and making sure the powder is properly cured before taking it out of the oven. It shouldn't be to big a deal to find someone who has done bike frames before, depending on where you are.

The only real drawback to coating is that it's a single color solution, unless you find someone who does custom coating for bikes. There is such a place over in the Denver area but I'm not sure of the name anymore. You might find them in the Qwest Dex pages for Denver.

Powder Coating is less expensive that liquid paint and 7-10 times more durable. I just had my new Ti frame coated and love the result.

Good luck
what about car repair shops ?PeterRider
Mar 20, 2002 12:44 PM
I heard that car repair shops were also sometimes doing paint jobs on bikes. Also, I was said that if you are willing to use the paint color that they are using that day for cars, ie if they don't have to change the color for you, it can be pretty cheap, of the order of 40-50$, since basically the main costs for the repair shop comes from having to change paint color.

Did anybody use this solution ?

re: do-it-yourself repaint of a steel frameslow-ron
Mar 20, 2002 12:51 PM
I've painted a few junkers and just completed a repaired frame and here are some of my suggestions. If you're stripping try to get the type of stripper that's pasty and not a liquid. With the paste you can glob it on and let it sink into the exisiting paint. The liquid stripper runs all over the place.

If you're using enamel make sure you let it dry in between coats. This can take a couple of days. If you don't let it dry it's very soft and can't be sanded for the next coat and you may run the risk of getting crinkles in the paint.

Try to heat your frame after completing all the base coats and clearcoats. I stuck mine on the oven for 20 min @ 150 to bake the paint to the frame. I got this suggestion from the framebuilders discussion board and it's probably the best advice I've received regarding home paint jobs.

As for powdercoating, I've spec'd this out for many applications on structural steel and it's very durable. The colors and finish are a bit boring for a bike frame. One thing about powder coating is that you must have the metal totally stripped and free of grease or the process doesn't work.
baking? Do tell!Becky
Mar 20, 2002 1:00 PM
I've heard of baking a frame once painted, but how on earth does one accomplish that, short of borrowing the oven at your local pizzaria?
sweet talker, Betty Crockerslow-ron
Mar 20, 2002 1:18 PM
I was going to put the frame in a giant oven that we have at work but the oven is being used for a stupid work function, imaging that.

I waited until my wife went to the gym and I took out all the racks in the oven. I placed as much of the frame in the oven as I could on top of some old teflon cookware and I closed the door part way. Then I placed a thermometer in the oven and set the temp. for 180. A lot of the heat blows out the door but inside temp. stayed at 150. I rotated every ten min. until the whole thing was uniformly heated. Est Voila. Make sure you use some oven mitts, 150 is pretty damn hot.

You could also use a hair dryer and keep moving it all over the tubes to accomplish the same goal. It really does make the paint harden quite nice.
Surprised mama bear did catch you...or the smell [nm]jagiger
Mar 20, 2002 1:41 PM
Nuthin' says lovin' like a frame in the oven ...DaveG
Mar 20, 2002 5:44 PM
Didn't the Pillsbury Dough Boy say that? While I would probably try something as crazy as this, that's the kind of stuff that would have me sleeping on the couch for a week if my wife found it. Very creative.
re: Best bet..jrm
Mar 20, 2002 1:04 PM
Is find a sand blasting booth rental and do it yourself. Alot of commercial paint stores will have a classified board where you may find one. Or try the business yellow pages.
you can do it but it usually looks like a d-i-y job NmSpirito di Finocchio
Mar 20, 2002 3:15 PM
I did's how...spdplayr
Mar 21, 2002 6:26 AM
I redid a fuji roubaix commuter using airplane stripper and dupont high heat enamel.. Fuji used an epoxy primer and it was a beeotch to get off. i was scraping and sanding for HOURS! but the frame was clean and smooth and then I rubbed it down with ackeehall. i primered it immdediately and let it sit. i stuck a broom handle in the ground and put the bike over it upside down (handle in the seat tube). this was cool b/.c i was able to rotate the bike as to hit three sides well. I got down on my knees to paint the "top of the bike" (remember it's upside dn) and even did a black rear triangle, white frnt -seat stay, top tube, down tube-, and a black fork. I had a guy make vinyl decals for the bike of a made up name and after i put them on i clearcoated the whole thing. looks good and i get loads of questions as to what kind of bike it is. people actually wondered where they could get one--i tell them to buy a fuji and then stop by my garage.
Don't do it yourself...greg
Mar 21, 2002 7:55 AM
It'll look like you did.

I've had two frames stripped and powdercoated for $70 each and they look fantastic. Find a local chemical stipper. Sandblasting is abusive to the frame and takes away a small amount of the steel too. Then call around local painters and powdercoaters. If they have frame painting experience, all the better. A strip should run you about $30-$35. (You'd probably spend $25 on stripping solution yourself plus time, mess and health hazards.) And a powdercoat should be about $35-$40. (Once again, you'd spend about $25 on paint plus time, mess and health hazards.)
re: do-it-yourself repaint of a steel frameBecky
Mar 21, 2002 8:04 AM
Thanks for all the great advice! I'm not doing this for the looks (although anything is an improvement over the current paint!), but rather for the fun of working with my hands and investing time in something. Reading this thread has me excited to start working on it- thanks again!