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Painting a bike?

Old 08-25-14, 01:08 PM
  #1  
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Painting a bike?

I picked up a used bike for next to nothing and have since purchased a better all carbon bike so looking to unload the old one. The problem is it was painted with what looks like spray can paint chipping and coming off. I want to figure out how to get the cheap paint off and possible even the original paint and doing it over with original decals before selling.

Can anyone point me to a good tutorial on how to strip the old paint and if I would even need to strip the original paint or not? Also what type of paint I should use for the new one and how to get decals. I already have a paint *** so just need basic info and pointed in the right direction.
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Old 08-25-14, 01:48 PM
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IMO home painting is rarely worth it. Whatever you can apply will be much softer than the factory paint and a lot more prone to chipping and scratching. These days, scouring the surface, a good clean and then Hammerite applied with a brush is what I do if I think I have to. If ever I'll want a better result I'll drop the bike off to be sandblasted and then Powdercoated.
But there are several ways to get a bike back to bare metal. Some start by scraping them down with an industrial razor blade. Some use a steel brush wheel in an angle grinder. Some go the chemical route.
Pick method according to frame material. Can't do wire brush on aluminium for instance.
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Old 08-25-14, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
IMO home painting is rarely worth it. ....
I paint using the Chromax automotive system (formerly DuPont) paint at home. It's a a pain but the results are pro. You need the right gear and setup (HVLP ***, respirator, tent). Agree that it's really not worth it unless you dig doing it as an end in itself.
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Old 08-25-14, 02:44 PM
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Doubt the effort and expense will be repaid when you sell the bike, but I can see doing this just for the learning and fun of it.
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Old 08-25-14, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
I paint using the Chromax automotive system (formerly DuPont) paint at home. It's a a pain but the results are pro. You need the right gear and setup (HVLP ***, respirator, tent). Agree that it's really not worth it unless you dig doing it as an end in itself.
I have a both, respirator, ***, and air already setup for ceramic art I spray from time to time. Is this system something I need to "bake" or just apply and allow it to dry?
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Old 08-25-14, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Doubt the effort and expense will be repaid when you sell the bike, but I can see doing this just for the learning and fun of it.
Your probably right, I just figured since I already have a setup to "spray" all I would do is break the bike down and buy the paint. If that's the case I would be well ahead of the game in regards to costs as most will just entail labor.
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Old 08-25-14, 03:32 PM
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Kinda dopey that *** gets turned into ***.

With the Chroma system and similar, primer and color coats are solvent based and go on very easily and dry very quickly...in minutes. The tricky part is the clearcoat which is a two part PU. It wets through the colors down to the primer and unifies all the layers making them impervious to solvents etc after curing. It stays wet a long time and can pick up dust and also will travel and long distance and settle on stuff you don't want it on so you need a tent/booth. It needs no heat, just time to cure. Also, since it takes a while to cure it will sag if there's only a bit too much applied.
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Old 08-25-14, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
Kinda dopey that *** gets turned into ***.

With the Chroma system and similar, primer and color coats are solvent based and go on very easily and dry very quickly...in minutes. The tricky part is the clearcoat which is a two part PU. It wets through the colors down to the primer and unifies all the layers making them impervious to solvents etc after curing. It stays wet a long time and can pick up dust and also will travel and long distance and settle on stuff you don't want it on so you need a tent/booth. It needs no heat, just time to cure. Also, since it takes a while to cure it will sag if there's only a bit too much applied.
I called a local shop that sells chromax and they said it would be tricky to get the clear right. He suggested a single state paint instead. He said if you put the 2 finished products side by side you wouldn't be able to tell the difference and in fact the single stage may look better as it's a deeper darker finish.
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Old 08-25-14, 05:55 PM
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The cost will make you reconsider, a year ago I picked up a pint of Chroma base to repaint a set of automotive wheels @ $150, that was base only.
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Old 08-25-14, 06:31 PM
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Whenever I paint my truck or kitchen appliances or anything else metal I clean the spray-can's nozzle by spraying it on random parts of my bicycle's frame. It looks like hell: exactly what I want potential thieves to see.
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Old 08-25-14, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
Kinda dopey that *** gets turned into ***.
Spraygun worked
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Old 08-26-14, 03:00 PM
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Lots' of folks have painted bicycles, but doing it well requires talent.
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Old 08-26-14, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
The cost will make you reconsider, a year ago I picked up a pint of Chroma base to repaint a set of automotive wheels @ $150, that was base only.
Yeah I talked to a shop owner and he said it's not worth the hassle or costs and leaned me toward a pint of "single stage" black polyurethane paint instead. He said costs of paint would be about $50 and I wouldn't have to apply a clear. I may have to "wet sand" the uneven parts if I don't spray it well though.

Since the bike will be sold anyway I'm just trying to make it look better than the way it is now.
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Old 08-26-14, 05:02 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
To the original question, removing rattle can paint, I have had good success using acetone (fingernail polish remover). I had a Klein, with the typical wonderful OEM fade paint job. Unfortunately, the prior owner used rattle can white spray paint, and proceeded to ruin it. It was either somehow get that rattle can paint off, or part out the bike. I was surprised how well it came off, didn't even hurt the decals.
Thanks for the tips I will probably try that as it is now I can almost pull the paint off with my finger nail. I small can of self etching primer and then spray and apply decals and I should be good to go!
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Old 08-27-14, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
I called a local shop that sells chromax and they said it would be tricky to get the clear right. He suggested a single state paint instead. He said if you put the 2 finished products side by side you wouldn't be able to tell the difference and in fact the single stage may look better as it's a deeper darker finish.
Yes!!! The base and color are almost trivially easy to apply but the clearcoat is tricky...too little and it's lumpy or orange peel and slightly too much and it sags. It's tricky on broad flat surfaces but on the tight curves and corners of a frame is much trickier. For spraying the clear, it's best to rig the frame up so it's held firmly and can be rotated on a horizontal axis, like BBQ spit. After clearcoating, you can keep rotating it to help prevent sags. One of the cool thing about this kind of system is that you can do very complex multicolor schemes very easily. If you screw it up it's very easy to fix and get right prior to clearcoating, after which it's a done deal.

Also, the clearcoat disolves and wets through all the colors and primer, so if you mess up spraying the clear and try to wipe it, it'll smear everything.

You definitely need to practice on some test pieces first to get the spraygun settings, distances, sweep speed etc. down.
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Old 08-27-14, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
Yes!!! The base and color are almost trivially easy to apply but the clearcoat is tricky...too little and it's lumpy or orange peel and slightly too much and it sags. It's tricky on broad flat surfaces but on the tight curves and corners of a frame is much trickier. For spraying the clear, it's best to rig the frame up so it's held firmly and can be rotated on a horizontal axis, like BBQ spit. After clearcoating, you can keep rotating it to help prevent sags. One of the cool thing about this kind of system is that you can do very complex multicolor schemes very easily. If you screw it up it's very easy to fix and get right prior to clearcoating, after which it's a done deal.

Also, the clearcoat disolves and wets through all the colors and primer, so if you mess up spraying the clear and try to wipe it, it'll smear everything.

You definitely need to practice on some test pieces first to get the spraygun settings, distances, sweep speed etc. down.
I haven't sprayed anything in some time so I'll probably stick to the suggestion of getting a "single stage" paint that has clear built in. So the plan is this.

1) Strip old paint with acetone
2) apply a coat of self etching primer
3) spray 2-3 coats of single stage black paint
4) apply new decals

What do you think?
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Old 10-22-14, 09:54 AM
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@LGHT - did you get your frame done? I was perusing the painting threads, and this seems the most recent.

Last year I sprayed a frame after stripping the thing down to base metal. I used the Dupli-Color lacquer everyone says is cr*p. My son road the bike a bit, and it's for sale now. The whole ordeal is documented here for the curious:

Last night I finished my first attempt at powder coating. It turned out...... well, it turned out.
$10 frame, no fork purchase: (the fork is one I had laying around from a race bike that rusted out. it had been powder coated originally. HA!)

Photos after chemical paint strip, sand blast, powder puff and bake (probably I would have come out ahead time/money wise if I had gotten a part time job and bought a bike......)



Next up is this Nishiki frame/fork I picked up for $25.



My thinking is to fix the bad spots remove the decals, lightly sand the whole deal, spray with engine enamel (Dupli-Color 'cause I can get it at my local O'Reilly's). Then take all the 600 bits hanging on the black frame and stick them on the Nishiki. The black bike is 52cm - too small for me. Considering all the time/effort that went into the first two frames, I'm really after a lot less time/money going into the Nishiki. Just get the rust removed, smooth the whole deal with emery clothe, primer, paint, maybe clear coat, ride it.

I'm open to suggestions, criticism, or being made fun of in general in a constructive way. I'm still reading through the other threads on painting. Seems like the people with equipment say yer dumb to use rattle cans. The people who just want to clean up an old bike seem to say $30 in primer/paint/clear is all I'm willing to spend on a $25 frame/fork that will never sell for more than $25 anyway.
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Old 10-22-14, 04:58 PM
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I haven't even stripped the bike yet. Got pulled away for a few work projects and then the long list of "Honey Do's" from the wife has pretty much taken over my weekends for a while. I may have time this weekend to strip the parts and possible even do the acetone to get the spray paint put on the bike off. I'll be sure to keep the post updated as I have time to continue the project.
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Old 10-22-14, 05:52 PM
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FWIW, from my experience with two frames, one rattle can and one using automotive paints and Preval sprayer (you pour paint in to make your own spray can)

it is way more expensive than you think, in most cases you probably can get the frame powder coated for the same or less money.

Prep is every thing

More important than prep is wearing a good respirator

what I did
1. Strip frame with chemical stripper
2. make sure all the paint is gone, you will see anything left
2 1/2 mask
3. Wipe frame down with acetone or special paint prep.
4. paint with acid etch primer
5. paint with high build up primer
6. Sand smooth
7. Wipe dust off
8. multiple thin coats of color, follow the recoat times religiously
9. mutiple thin coats of clear
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Old 10-22-14, 08:09 PM
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If you are just looking to make a better looking beater out of an ugly beater, a product I have found that works fairly well is Rustoleum spray truck bed coating. It is tougher that regular spray enamels by a long shot and leaves a satin sheen finish in black or tan. The finish isn't perfectly smooth, almost like 800 grit sandpaper, and hides imperfections and scratches well. I refinished an old Trek 700 frame for a gravel mutt by using an electric sander and a spot sand blaster to remove almost all of the original paint. I used Duplicolor rattle can primer and two coats of the Rustoleum. It got a few rock chips but held up pretty well over two years of mixed surface and winter riding and still looks good, very similar to the flat black retro look that some manufacturers came out with in recent years.

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Old 10-23-14, 11:25 PM
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Beware: lots of misinformation in this thread.
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Old 10-24-14, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Scratcher09 View Post
Beware: lots of misinformation in this thread.
Please be more specific. I think there is a surprising lack of misinformation for a paint thread.
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Old 10-24-14, 07:50 AM
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Years ago, I had rust coming through the paint on my Bridgestone RB-2. I sanded the rust to bare metal and sanded most everywhere else I could reach with the sandpaper then had the frame bead blasted. I made sure to wipe it down thoroughly with mineral spirits before applying primer. I sprayed it with Rustoleum primer and finish paint in spray cans, lightly coating several times rather than one thick coat and it has held up very well. It hasn't chipped or cracked anywhere, and though I made no effort to duplicate the factory paint scheme or get replacement decals, I like it. I made a fade transition from deep blue tubing to white at the dropouts. Preparation is everything, just make sure you don't spray too much at once and get a run in the paint. IMO a thick coating sprayed in one pass is more likely to chip than several thin layers. . .applied before the previous coat has fully cured but after it has dried somewhat.

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Old 10-24-14, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Please be more specific. I think there is a surprising lack of misinformation for a paint thread.

I don't want to pick apart anyone else's contribution to this thread, and I don't want to jack it and turn it in to my own how-to thread either. For anyone wanting to paint at home it might be wise to seek info on an automotive refinishing forum. I have painted professionally and I am planning on painting my 34 year old Miyata soon. I will take a lot of pics so I can start a thread on that project.
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