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Opinions on clearcoating original vintage paint ...(4 posts)

Opinions on clearcoating original vintage paint ...Humma Hah
Jun 15, 2002 6:50 AM
... So let's say, for the sake of argument, you've bought yourself a really nice old roadbike about three decades old, with original paint and decals in decent shape. You intend to ride it, not just hang it up as a collectable. Its worth about $400-500 today, bound to appreciate if kept in good shape.

Do you have it clearcoated to protect the original paint, or does the very act of clearcoating it diminish the value?

I'm a believer in clearcoating any new finish and decals -- did it to the cruiser which still looks pristine 1.5 years and 6000 miles later.
re: Opinions on clearcoating original vintage paint ...jfox
Jun 16, 2002 6:17 AM
There is a good discussion of this in Jim Cunningham's "Cyclart" site. Economic considerations, ethics(!) in restorations etc.
Jim told me his opinion in person ...Humma Hah
Jun 16, 2002 6:40 AM
... when I told him I was looking for an old Paramount frame the day I sat down with him and picked the color for the cruiser. Jim is of the opinion that it's your bike, it is ONLY a bike, and you can do anything with it you want. Of course, he's in the business of refinishing and clearcoating bikes, although he's also a collector (you should see his personal rides, all quite unique, including a 3-speed derailleur WITH COASTERBRAKE!).

I lean that way myself, but at that time was looking for a bike with either a trashed paint job, or which had already been repainted once, so I would have no qualms about changing the color. But now I've gone and bought me the frame of my dreams (including a color I really like), apparently with good original paint and decals. I'm inclined to protect it. I'm just looking for opinions from vintage bike enthusiasts NOT in the business of refinishing bikes.
Conditional yesWalter
Jun 16, 2002 1:38 PM
I repainted my Basso w/o qualm b/c it had already been sprayed ( a really ugly fade at that). If it had been original I'd have been very interested in a protective coat.

So long as you have no doubt that the clear is compatible with the base paint and you have the equipment to properly spray a clear coat I'd say go for it. A semi-gloss shouldn't alter the appearance of the frame and it will give some protection to decals that will only become more fragile and expensive to replace.