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List of good bike painters?

Old 11-29-21, 12:58 PM
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List of good bike painters?

Anyone seen a current list of great painters who are still working? My Woodrup frame is coming back from some frame tune ups work within a few weeks, but the builder is no longer painting frames. I'll need to send it out for painting. I know of a few, but I'd like the benefit of more experience. Nearly anything you folks might say would be an improvement to my intelligence!
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Old 11-29-21, 07:07 PM
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Franklin frames is still painting. Hard to get ahold of him now that he took his website down.

franklinframe
at
windstream.net
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Old 12-01-21, 01:32 PM
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Joe Bell https://joebell.net/index.html
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Old 12-01-21, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
Thanks, Gents! Are there any more? There have to be more than two bike painters in the USA and Canada!
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Old 12-01-21, 04:50 PM
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I heard Russ Toleum does a decent job, and his co-worker Sandy Papier does all the prep work.
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Old 12-01-21, 05:02 PM
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Doug Fattic (Niles, MI, and active here) and Jeff Bock (Des Moines, IA) both paint frames, though perhaps only the ones they build. It might be worth checking with them. Ed Litton (Sausalito?, CA) as well.
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Old 12-01-21, 05:30 PM
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Ed Litton

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Old 12-01-21, 08:22 PM
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There are dozens. In addition to those listed above, the following come to mind
Hot Tubes
Adam at Now You're Finished. Adam recently moved from Seattle to East somewhere i believe.
Cycle Art
Spectrum
The Bicycle Shop,
velo color,
Waterford, (really nice job and reasonably priced)
Black Magic Paint,
Weigle....

This is probably easier to put into a google search than a post here since now you have to go search for those listed anyway. Once you've compiled the list with links, come back and put it up as a sticky!
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Old 12-01-21, 10:41 PM
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Charlie O'Leary, a framebuilder and powder-coater in Santa Fe, NM (https://olearypowdercoating.com), did my frame and I'm as pleased as can be.



New powder-coating work by Charlie O'Leary.

It looks like it's still wet...


The wet look
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Old 12-02-21, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
Doug Fattic (Niles, MI, and active here) and Jeff Bock (Des Moines, IA) both paint frames, though perhaps only the ones they build. It might be worth checking with them. Ed Litton (Sausalito?, CA) as well.
I was fortunate when I went to learn how to build frames in England in 1975 at Ellis Briggs that they also painted frames there too. I didn't try my hand at spraying when I was there but saw how all the prep work was done and the steps it took to apply several colors. Both the frame shop and paint room were on the 2nd floor and Andrew the journeyman builder and I would eat lunch and take breaks with Bill and Rod the painters. During those times they had plenty of time to explain what they did.

My schedule is pretty full teaching classes and doing charity work. Besides our Ukraine Bicycle project, I'm the school board chair of our 7 teacher 80 student K to 8 grade church school. My degrees in education paved the way for that job. I don't mind because it keeps me on top of the latest educational techniques. I often paint student made frames with their help as well as old Doug Fattic frames. I like to teach painting classes too. Most of my students have been professional frame builders wanting to skip the problems associated with shipping something off and hoping they don't mess up and get it back without damage in a reasonable time. It makes sense to try and control all aspects of making a frame yourself. It is also the most rewarding part of building. There is a real sense of satisfaction when finished with a beautiful paint job. It is the primary factor in how most people judge a frame. There are a lot of tricks to doing a good paint job and learning from an old pro can really shorten the learning curve. I seldom take on any regular paint work. I let everyone know that painting does not take priority and I absolutely can not promise a finish date. My students and my charities come 1st.

Jeff Bock and I have swapped painting techniques for many years. He does some really beautiful work. He is coming here next year when I teach Kirk Pacenti how to paint. We'll overload Kirk with our various techniques. Just like building, painters choose their methods that aren't all alike. Jeff and I have a completely different way to hold frames while we paint and our spray gun selection is very different too.
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Old 12-02-21, 06:43 AM
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There are so many good painters you'll have to narrow it down a little
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Old 12-02-21, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
I have owned a few bikes with Joe Bell paint jobs and they are all beautiful. Here is why these works are outstanding and not cheap:

Our Signature Finish provides you with the finest work available. It begins with chemical stripping of the old finish and low pressure powder blasting to remove rust and paint residue. The frame is then carefully inspected for defects or cracks before epoxy chromate primer is applied. Extra time is spent repairing dents, rust and other surface imperfections. After re-priming and careful hand sanding, polyurethane enamel color coats are applied, decals installed (if desired) and clear coats generously laid on with additional coats over decal areas. After curing in an oven, a careful hand sanding yields a perfect surface with decals smooth to the touch. This surface allows the final clear coats to flow out for the ultimate in depth and gloss. The frame is re-cured in the oven to ensure maximum durability and toughness before final inspection.
Any DuPont Imron Color is available for $750, and…
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Old 12-02-21, 10:45 AM
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I see that now, Unter! But still in/near Michigan there seem to be only a few who are actively working. For Doug F. you've seen his situation, Matt Assenmacher has restructured his business to be focused in another city and to be more of an LBS. When he moved me he told me he might re-open a paint shop, but there are a lot of health and safety issues in Michigan these days. We had a respected powder person, in my area, but not in the field any more. Chris Kvale in Minnesota was a go-to, but his shop was burned down and he's working to get restarted. We used to have Mark Nobilette, but he left the Midwest at least 15 years ago and is in a different world of cycle crafting. One of my favorites in Chicago closed his shop a year ago.

So yes, I see the need for a google search, but my intent here was to see if perhaps any vague thread exists here or someone can steer me to one that already exists. In other works look under the smaller, nearer rocks first. I don't see this as laziness. There is a list on Classic Rendezvous (of "on-topic" craftspersons), but it needs to be validated or confirmed (members contacted) because I think some of them are no longer in the game.
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Old 12-02-21, 01:01 PM
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Just to add to this, scratch Joe Bell off of the short term list if you are not already in his queue. I spoke to him this morning and he is not accepting any new work for the forseeable future as his backlog presently is >1 year. He recommended The CycleSmiths to work on my Steelman. I had approached Joe because he did some paint work for Steelman back when Brent was still building (unfortunately my bike is powdercoated and beginning to show its age a bit after 20 years and a lot of miles), and I had hoped he had access to the original Steelman decals/artwork to help me keep the heritage of the bike.
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Old 12-02-21, 02:10 PM
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Velocolour maybe? I always wanted to get him to paint a frame for me. I didn't mean you imply you were being lazy, just that the list never seems to stop. And like you point out, people drop out of the business.

OTOH, I think shipping is not expensive relative to the cost of a paint job. I'm not driving a couple of hours to save $60.
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Old 12-02-21, 03:34 PM
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There are generally painters everywhere. The quality and pricing will vary as well depth of services they provide builders as well as painter do not provide the same depth of services. Local shops may have connections to local painters. My recommendation is to keep it local if you can. You incur more risk and cost needing to ship. I am flat out disappointed how the vast majority of frames and bikes are shipped.
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Old 12-02-21, 08:39 PM
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Having used 11 different painters (including myself) over the last 45 years I agree that there's a big range of the skills, motivations and results that painters can offer. Those that are car centric have been some of the bigger disappointments. A car is quite different a set of surfaces then those of a frame.

As to shipping I agree that many painters don't do the same grade of protection that I send the frame with. I have and will in the future drive the frame to the painter if at all possible. Besides the possible damage reduction there's the better establishing the relationship that helps with the motivation I referenced.

The last two painters I have used were 4 and 9 hour drives away. I have often incorporated the trip with other activities to help justify the cost and time. Andy
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Old 12-03-21, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by pwyg View Post
There are generally painters everywhere. The quality and pricing will vary as well depth of services they provide builders as well as painter do not provide the same depth of services. Local shops may have connections to local painters. My recommendation is to keep it local if you can. You incur more risk and cost needing to ship. I am flat out disappointed how the vast majority of frames and bikes are shipped.
Everywhere? Name one who is within 50 miles of me.
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Old 12-03-21, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Having used 11 different painters (including myself) over the last 45 years I agree that there's a big range of the skills, motivations and results that painters can offer. Those that are car centric have been some of the bigger disappointments. A car is quite different a set of surfaces then those of a frame.

As to shipping I agree that many painters don't do the same grade of protection that I send the frame with. I have and will in the future drive the frame to the painter if at all possible. Besides the possible damage reduction there's the better establishing the relationship that helps with the motivation I referenced.

The last two painters I have used were 4 and 9 hour drives away. I have often incorporated the trip with other activities to help justify the cost and time. Andy
andy, if you want to put a name or two on th list, I think that would be great!
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Old 12-03-21, 08:49 PM
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For me, Jack Trumbull (owner of Franklin Frame) has no equal.
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Old 12-03-21, 09:34 PM
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One name has already been mentioned. The other has made it known that he's not looking to expand his client list, so I won't pass it along. Andy
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Old 12-04-21, 10:57 PM
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That’s cool, thanks, Andy!
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Old 12-05-21, 12:00 PM
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If you find someone you like, let us know
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Old 12-06-21, 08:04 AM
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After several great conversations with Jim Allen over at CycleSmiths, my Steelman is stripped down and headed to him this week for a repaint (8-12 week timeframe, which is fine given I am having hernia surgery next week and the doctor has said no cycling for 6-8 weeks). He came recommended from Joe Bell, and I am looking forward to seeing the results. Current frame is powdercoated a school bus yellow (20 years old), and while it's held up pretty well it's (well past) time for a change. Going to a dark red metallic with silver Steelman decals. His prices are in the same general ballpark as JB, and I have to pay a bit extra to have the existing coating removed as well as having my custom Steelman stem refinished as well.

I will post a thread at some point with before/after pics as well as my impressions of the work done. So far Jim has been great to work with and very helpful with providing input to help me zero in on the color.
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Old 12-08-21, 03:01 PM
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Here's something that may be marginally helpful - I got this from a decal repro site, hopefully this is OK to post:
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