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stripping paint from an aluminum frame..and leaving it off ?(5 posts)

stripping paint from an aluminum frame..and leaving it off ?ishmael
Jan 21, 2004 6:10 PM
What is the best, and easiest, way to strip paint from the a bike. I'll likely want to keep the original surface, so I dont want to have rub with a steel brush or anything. I'll likely want to clearcoat it with stuff from the hardware store but would it be bad to let it go without?
Is the itegrated headset going to be an issue?
re: stripping paint from an aluminum frame..and leaving it off ?Spoke Wrench
Jan 21, 2004 6:31 PM
You could take the paint off with a chemical stripper, but I don't think that it's going to leave a nice looking mirror finish. You'll have to coat the aluminum with something to prevent the natural oxidation from making it kind of muddy looking.
sawdustArnold Zefal
Jan 21, 2004 7:50 PM
use a strong chemical paint stripper like Jasco. find yourself a good size bucket of planer chips/sawdust (try a cabinet shop). after the stripper has sat awhile and bubbled the paint, take handfuls of the sawdust (long heavy duty gloves are essential) and work it into the stripper. it will lift away all the muck and leave a nice scratch free finish on the tubes. use a nylon scrub brush to work the sawdust into tight spots. reapeat until all paint is gone. this works great and is easy to clean up as you can sweep up all the muck as its assorbed into the sawdust. I learned this trick refinishing furniture but it works super on bike frames, just did one a few days ago.
I stripped a mountain bike forkMel Erickson
Jan 21, 2004 8:59 PM
A Cannondale DD60 to be exact. First, there is no easy way. Second, remove the headset or tape it off. I used the heaviest duty chemical stripper I could find (gel) and a nylon brush. Took many coatings and alot of elbow grease but it worked well. Depending on how the frame was prepared before it was painted it's likley you'll have to spiff up the surface before coating with clearcoat (a must to prevent oxidation). Wet sanding with various grits (again, depending on how rough the surface is) and finishing with rubbing compound or simichrome should leave the surface how you want it (anywhere from matte to shiny depending on how much work you put in and what you like). 2-3 coats of clearcoat and you should be good to go. Be prepared to work hard for your finish. One more thought, the welds might not look as good nude as they do painted.

Actually, the easiest way is to have it bead blasted but you'll end up with a bead blasted finish. If that's not what you like you'll have more sanding and finishing to do than you would if you chemically stripped the frame.
re: stripping paint from an aluminum frame..and leaving it off ?J2
Jan 22, 2004 6:47 AM
all these ways work but to me the easiest way to remove paint off alumium (and the cheapest) is using easyoff oven cleaner. but be warned, use it outdoors and don't leave it on too long. but basically just spray it on, leave it like you would an oven (you can speed up the process by using a hard brush), come back and wash it off. it takes just about everything off (sometimes the weld areas can be a little hard and you might have to do by hand). after that i use mother's alu polish and a sander with a good cloth. if i want a mirror chrome look i'll have to use more elbow grease but using a hand sander is the way to go, just use a good cloth that you can keep tight. as for keeping the shine, two ways, either clear coat it or leave it, but if you leave it you will need to touch it up as it dulls, not a major problem, it just means you have to polish your bike about every month or two. hope this helps, i've done this on alu frames, cranks, handlebars, forks, brakes, stems, rims, anything alu.