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Durability of DIY Paintjobs(6 posts)

Durability of DIY Paintjobscarpe_podium
May 23, 2003 9:06 AM
I have an older Bianchi (converted FG) that I use for commuting. The old girl needs a fresh coat of paint. How durable is the celeste spray touch up paint from Bianchi? Doug, I know you painted your Pista. How's it holding up? I'm considering a cyclart or similar job, but hate to spend the cash on my "c" bike. I have a air compressor and a paint gun. Should I buy regular automotive paint and go that route? I called around locally, and it costs about $80 to powder coat the frame. They can't guarantee a match though. What about decals? Anybody else done something similar?
Depending on how well you prep it....Gregory Taylor
May 23, 2003 9:37 AM
...a DIY paint job can last a good long time. My fixie has a DIY job -- Krylon out of a rattle-can. Two years later, it still looks great. Before you laugh, just remember that Krylon started out in the '50s as a durable aircraft paint. It covers well, is cheap, and doesn't chip easily. And, if you are careful in your prep and application, it looks great.

I too have a compressor and paint gun, and have tried my hand at painting a bike with automotive enamel. I got good results, but it was expensive. Auto paint and primer costs $$$ and is highly toxic. Bike frames are also tricky to paint without runs, and (for me) a full-size automotive paint gun isn't the preferred tool of choice to get in to all of the tight areas like around the bottom bracket cluster. I used a smaller touch up or "door jam" gun that I could use to get into tight spots.

When you cost it out, factoring in the hassle of setting up to shoot and cleaning up afterwords, going with an automotive finish will probably be within shouting distance of the $80 you were quoted for the powder coat job, and wouldn't be as durable. BTW, my Dean is powdercoated, and I think that it is really the way to go for equipment that needs a tough finish, like a commuter bike.

If you still want to spray it yourself, but just can't get over the stigma of using a rattle-can, I've painted a couple of bikes using thinned-out brushable Rustoleum. I use mineral spirits to thin it - Rustoleum works well and is very cheap.
My low-budget job looked pretty low-budget in one summercory
May 23, 2003 1:54 PM
I've only painted the "C" bike (and a couple of used kids' bikes), too, and only with hardware store spray cans (GOOD spray cans, though...). Prep was a pain, as it always is, but it was surprisingly easy to get a good, smooth coat. I even did one of the BMX bikes in a rainbow fade that looked great.
The problem for me, at least, was that Krylon just isn't that durable compared to factory paint. I'm not all that careful about where I lean my commuter to begin with, and where a factory job might have just scratched or scuffed, the spray paint could chip off.
My low-budget job looked pretty low-budget in one summerLoGear
May 23, 2003 3:36 PM
I also used Krylon to paint my "everyday" bike (20 yr old 2nd hand Trek). After 2years, it looks as good as day1- not a single paint chip. Here's what I did-
1. sanded rust-spots down to bare metal (fine sandpaper)
2. applied rust-resistant primer to bare spots
3. lightly sanded entire bike with fine steel wool
4. 3 light coats of Krylon from spray can
5. 2 light coats of Krylon clear from spray can
For maintenance, I keep the bike clean & apply paste wax a few times a year.
I wouldn't paint a high-value bike, but for an old bike I'm quite happy with the results.
Mine was dopeburdiman
May 23, 2003 4:57 PM
Painted a c-dale with dupont imron. Color, day glo orange and it lasted over 10 years - looked good the whole time. Painted the rims too.
My next experiment is gun blueing instead of paint -BowWow
May 23, 2003 9:11 PM
Lighter than paint, a quick wipe-down with a WD-40'd rag and you're set to go... Not to mention that great gun-metal finish!