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Wet paint or powder coat?(14 posts)

Wet paint or powder coat?Lone Gunman
Jul 23, 2002 5:58 AM
Got a set of decals for my '99 Lemond Z frame that has quick release paint in the BB area and little rust rivers where the paint has cracked and water got in and rust formed. Does powder coat form a smooth as paint finish? Can you get just about any color? What might be the down side of PC vs wet paint besides added weight(not a factor)?
re: Wet paint or powder coat?rwbadley
Jul 23, 2002 6:37 AM
My experience is you are better off with paint, as the powder coat will not have as nice a finish as is possible with paint. Powder coat also seems to pick up micro scratches easier.
re: Wet paint or powder coat?comedy-tragedy
Jul 23, 2002 6:50 AM
Just a couple of thoughts on your question.

Is powder coat as smooth as paint. Probably not. But is it smooth enough to still give a very nice finish, YES. Just do some research in your area and find a coater who does a fair amount of custom work and you'll probably find someone who can do a very nice job on your bike. There are also some very good power clear coats that can be put on over the decals, and these do exactly the same thing that a liquid clear does.

As to color. Power coat does come in virtually any color you would want, but most coaters don't have the ability to do anything more than a single color frame for you. There is a place in the Denver area that specializes in coating bike frames and they do some stuff that you would never be able to tell the difference from paint. They had some advertising on the Colorado Cyclist web site a couple of months ago, and if it's not still there I'm sure they could put you in touch with the company.

After coating two different frames, one of them titanium, I'd never go back to paint. It just doesnt hold up as well as powder.

re: Wet paint or powder coat?stik__boy
Jul 23, 2002 7:01 AM
or you could send it back and im sure lemond could/would repaint it for you..... but powder coating is VERY durable vs. paint. a downside is that it can hide cracks, although not very likely, it could happen....
Jul 23, 2002 7:11 AM
Check out their website. They can do just about anything with powder coating. Including making it as "wet" looking as paint and actually powder coating on the decals (with stencils) rather than sticking them on and applying a clear coat. I plan on having my steel mountain bike frame powder coated at the end of this season, as the finish is much more durable. You will be impressed with the pictures on the site.

For wet paint, try Both of these sites discuss the pros and cons of both methods, as they both do powder and wet paint.
Spectrum does very nice workGregory Taylor
Jul 23, 2002 8:28 AM
They did the coating on my late, lamented Dean. Very smooth, nice even finish. I liked it a lot...
AMAZING!! Found a powder coat shop 5 minutes from my house!!Lone Gunman
Jul 23, 2002 8:06 AM
Going to go look at some of his work today. He has done bike frames, can get any color I want in 5 gallon container quantities, mentioned a price of $75, I have the decals in hand, only want to go with one color frame, my only question now is about the CF fork, can it withstand 350 degree oven?

Lemond decals for my '99 were not available, the bike is out of warranty, not gotten any help from LBS, gonna do it local. There will be multiple coats of clear over the factory decals.
Can't P/C a C/F forkMike Prince
Jul 23, 2002 9:10 AM
I bought a Steelman frame last year which is powdercoated. At one point was considering a carbon fork (went with steel) and asked about powdercoat for it. Got a quick "no way" from Steelman along with $95 upcharge to wet paint the fork.

You won't be disappointed with powder. My bike was painted by Maas Brothers (Steelman's supplier) and looks good as new after a year and 7,000+ miles. A lighter color will show "micro scratches" as said above, but a good cleaning/polish takes them out. The paint is tough as nails (no chips, even on the bottom of the downtube/BB/chainstay) and looks every bit as good as wet paint to me.

Have fun.
Just back from the powder coat shopLone Gunman
Jul 23, 2002 10:29 AM
Saw some of his work, can't tell the diff from paint vs PC. Called Trek who says don't PC the fork or frame. The heat will do in the fork. So, I have to have it painted as well, but still not a big problem.

The guy does have access to low temp PC, bake at 250 degree stuff that is a safer bet to use on the frame. Just found a picture of the color scheme, I am excited.
Where do you live?jtolleson
Jul 23, 2002 10:49 AM
In case others are looking for such opportunities...
Western PA, 45mins NW of PittsburghLone Gunman
Jul 23, 2002 2:04 PM
The PC shop is a guy who has opened his own biz for painting lamps, railing, and all sorts of stuff. His shop is at an incubator biz building. We talked for about 15 mins, he showed me some finish paint samples, he painted for a lamp factory for 15 years prior to going on his own.
Western PA, 45mins NW of Pittsburghslow-ron
Jul 23, 2002 6:00 PM
I had a bike done by a guy down near Ambridge and the work was very good. Cost me $130 and turnaround was 2 weeks.
If you other deal falls through the name of the shop is prism. Here's the link.

BTW, from the little I know about powder coating the item needs to be metallic for the process to work. You could never powder coat carbon fiber.

Off subject but have you ever raced in Pittsburgh off of washington blvd at the velodrome? They've got races every Friday but it looks like you need to be part of a team.
Thanks for the link!!Lone Gunman
Jul 24, 2002 5:31 AM
Slowron, my PC guy used to work at Alsay Lighting over in Ellwood City painting lamps for 15 years. He went into biz on his own in the incubator in Chippewa Twp across from Preston Auto Dealership on Rt51. He showed me some samples of PC on metal, he beat 2 painted surfaces together that had it been my wet painted frame would have just chipped and flaked off. Sold on the durability aspect of PC. I found a picture of a paint scheme I want him to do, need to see if he can do it. 2 colors on the frame, no fade work, just solid breaks in color. Breaks are covered by decals, should be pretty easy to do.

Never raced in Pittsburgh, they used to have wednesday night races over in Highland park by the zoo on a track of some type there, just show up and race based on expirence level, not for me.
re: Wet paint or powder coat?Picshooter
Jul 23, 2002 5:49 PM
I don't think Powder works as well as wet paint on lugged frames. That said my Tigged Strong is PC'd. They did a nice fade, and it looks very nice.