Anyone painted their bikes?

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Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby hidingfromheadwinds » 11 Feb 2020, 4:30pm

Interested to know what method of painting you used, what paint and on what frame. Any any cool pictures of your own DIY paintwork jobs!

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Mick F
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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby Mick F » 11 Feb 2020, 4:50pm

No DIY photos, but years and years ago, I spent ages scraping and sanding and then used a couple of spray cans to paint the frame. I hung it up in the garage to spray it. Lots of waste as the spray goes everywhere.

Fifteen or more years ago, we bought a secondhand Mixte frame bike for Mrs Mick F from a market stall. The bike was "a girl" and bright pink and we called her Barbie. :lol:

Some time later, I stripped off all the components and tried to rub down the frame like I did before, but I gave up and looked online to find someone who would sandblast it. Found a place down towards Looe, and took the frame and forks there.

The chap there asked me if I wanted them powder coating. £30odd for sandblasting and powder coating! :D
He asked me what colour, and I immediately said RED! :D

Barbie turned into Barbarella.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby Ugly » 11 Feb 2020, 5:03pm

Have a look at the Classic Lightweights site under restoration. I have painted a couple of veteran roadsters and got good results with enamel paint brushed on. Strip back to bare metal, primer coat, three coats of enamel, transfers on, two coats varnish, rub down between each coat.I know some people who get good results with spray cans. I have also had a couple of bikes powder coated with good hard wearing results, but you do lose the crisp detail of good lug work and water slide transfers don't stick well.

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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 11 Feb 2020, 5:24pm

IIRC 1975
White house paint :P
Rode it to tech for a year.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby djnotts » 11 Feb 2020, 6:58pm

When I had more patience did a few. My favourite (mid-50s Rotrax):



Rattle can car paint and hand!
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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby Jamesh » 11 Feb 2020, 7:13pm

I did it to a cheap British eagle frame with wilko exterior paint.
Cheap but not a great success however I don't mind if I damage the paint now so it's not so bad after all!

Modern paint is low in voc and is therefore very soft for days after painting it.

Best getting old fashioned solvent based enamel or two pack polyurathene or epoxy paints. Or plastic coated...

Cheers James

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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby hamster » 11 Feb 2020, 8:01pm

Several MTBs at my local powder coater - great durable job for around £70. I wouldn;t use them for a lugged frame as the crispness would be lost.

Previously my tourer by Chas May with a wet coat - still looking nice 18 years later.

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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby David9694 » 11 Feb 2020, 10:54pm

I’ve made a hobby of this over the past 2-3 years. My MO is to get a tatty 531 frame off EBay. I use “car” aerosol paint, which I get colour matched if I’m recreating say an old Raleigh.

This does all take a lot of patience, which I’ve learnt largely the hard way. Holts and Halfords have given me good results, Canbrush for the translucent “candy” shades. Car shades are mostly less “bold” than generally what’s required for a bike frame. Look closely in Halfords for pearls as well as metallics.

Strip all components - headset, bottom bracket. Attack the existing finish with 400 grit wet and dry paper and get it smooth all over. You don’t have to get every last bit of old paint off, but you do want it smooth to the touch;clean up with panel wipe. If you’re springing the rear dropouts, now is the time. You need somewhere to spray and to hang it up - a tree branch in a back garden on a warrmish and windless day. Block up all threads with kitchen roll or whatever comes to hand.

A couple of coats of primer, rubbed down with 1200 grit, clean up with panel wipe each time. Keep the spray can on the move, about 8” away lots of thin applications and check from all angles. Give that a couple of days to dry properly.

You can do a silver mid-coat, over which you’ll spray a translucent candy shade; I’d start with a single shade, but if you’re going to do say a white contrast head tube panel on a lugged frame or a contrast seat tube, spray that next and allow to dry. Mask off what you’re going to keep - e.g. tape for stripes. Maskol is an artist’s material I’ve found useful for detailing like holes in lugs and as backup insurance around the edges of say a contrast head panel.

Make sure you’re in the right frame of mind for top coating and set the time aside. Check from every angle that you’ve got good coverage.

You can do cheat’s lug lining with a metallic Sharpie pen. Stickers Planet will make you decals to order and there are plenty of suppliers of retro decals. Finish with a couple of layers of clear coat lacquer.

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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby hamster » 12 Feb 2020, 8:14am

Havin tried rattle can paints in the past, it's very hard to get coverage into the nooks and crannies of the frame.
However my biggest disappointment is how soft the paint is - it chips easily and isn't as hard as enamel.

When you tot up the cost of the cans and materials then there's little cost saving. That's fine if you are doing it for fun, but if you simply want your bike repainted then a proper frame finisher is worth it.

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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby Brucey » 12 Feb 2020, 8:45am

most rattle can paints are indeed pretty feeble and scratch/chip more easily than a professional finish would. However this should be balanced against the ease with which well-matching repairs can be carried out; spare paint is guaranteed to be a good match. Chips down to the metal are not so much or a problem; there may be sound paint beneath the fresh stuff and/or a good layer of primer, and the right primer can dry as hard as iron, even if the topcoat is a bit feeble.

My view is that DIY paint jobs are fine for a sunday afternoon bike, but a bike that sees a lot of weather and/or the daily grind is probably better off with a more durable paint finish.

FWIW my personal recipe is

1) remove all paint
2) phosphate treat the steel, and/or use etch primer
3) apply several coats of zinc-rich cellulose primer (eg David's Zinc 182)
4) apply several coats of grey cellulose primer
5) rub down until glass-smooth, and repair any areas where the paint film is breached
6) apply topcoat(s), transfers and then clear coat.

#6 is the tip of an iceberg really; it is the part that you see, but what makes the paint job durable is what lies beneath it. IME it is OK to use 400-600 grit paper to rub primer down, but if you colour-sand the topcoat, that is the time to break out the 1000 grit paper.

A small spraygun/compressor setup makes light work of spraying a bike frame; yes the paint thickness won't be perfectly uniform everywhere, but a small spraygun with a very narrow/directional plume can get into all kinds of nooks and corners pretty well. Even if you use rattle cans for the topcoat, it won't matter if the topcoat is a bit thin around the back of the seat cluster; it isn't going to wear away or anything, and the strength/corrosion protection is provided by the primer etc beneath.


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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby scottg » 12 Feb 2020, 8:16pm

Removing components is not required, if you use Robbialac.....


Why not the best, buy Cyclo-Benelux.

Mike Sales
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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby Mike Sales » 12 Feb 2020, 8:22pm

A friend told me he was going to paint his bike. I pointed out that stripping all components made it easier to do a good job.
Next time I saw him he told me he had done the job.
"Did you take anything off?"
"Yes, the pump!"

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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby axel_knutt » 12 Feb 2020, 8:35pm

I once saw a kid in town who'd been busy respraying his bike. He'd done the lot, frame, wheels, tyres, sprocket, chain, chainset, brakes, handlebars....

He must have been in a hurry to ride it, the only bits that weren't painted were saddle, pedals and handgrips.
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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby niggle » 13 Feb 2020, 8:38pm

Painted my ebike's alloy frame: stripped it totally back to bare metal with paint stripper, rubbed down with wire wool, brush painted with about 3 coats etch primer, rubbed down, top coat brushed on of Rustins Small Job in 'Buttercup'


However I wished I hadn't bothered, last time I used Rustins Small Job it was oil based and did quite a good job (in Pearl Grey) on the steel mudguards of my daughter's Raleigh 3-speed, but it is now water based and as thin as water, very hard to use, lots of runs and sags, gave up after about 6 coats and hours of rubbing down and decided it had passed the ten feet test. Already got one gouge in the top tube, though to be fair sliding down the corner of a brick wall will knacker most finishes. I have some colour matched aerosol paint in Nissan Sonic Blue with 2K clear coat, originally bought for a bumper touch up on our Nissan leaf but never used, which I will attempt to spray my wife's hybrid with when the weather gets warmer. This time I will start with aerosol etch primer on the aluminium frame. Lovely colour:


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Re: Anyone painted their bikes?

Postby alexnharvey » 13 Feb 2020, 9:19pm

I have been thinking of painting my winter bike once the gritters are away for the year. It is heavily rusted around the BB chainstays and bridge area.

Thinking of following a similar procedure to what Brucey outlines with slight adaptation.

Degrease and steam the frame.
Strip to bare metal.
Treat with phosphate (rust converter)
Prime with epoxy anti corrosion primer (novol protect 360 or similar)
Some top coat to cover the epoxy from UV. Maybe something nicer if the primer goes on well.