is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

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Brucey
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is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby Brucey » 23 May 2020, 12:07am

Several years ago my hack bike frameset showed its displeasure at my continued use of it by breaking. At which point it became clear to me that it was no longer something which would be easy to replace, having seen more than a few modifications etc over the years. At heart it isn't anything super special, and it is knocking on the door of a six-figure mileage now. I owes me next to nothing; most people would have binned it; I welded it up instead, didn't bother with nice paint or anything and carried on riding it.

Well, that was several years ago, and if the repair was truly rotten, or the rest of the frame was, it would have broken again, and it hasn't. So I'm (slightly reluctantly) yet again contemplating paint; scruffy is one thing but corrosion is quite another; this bike lives out of doors and there is plenty of damaged/missing paint for corrosion to attack. This will be it's nth respray, where 'n' is about five or six. Probably it will be another DIY paint job.

This time nearly all the old paint will have to come off, because I've somehow ended up with incompatible paints on the frame; some combinations only work if they are in the right order and in places where the paint has been repaired, the layers are in the wrong order and there is lots of paint crazing/cracking in these areas.

So I'm happy with the prep of bare steel and dealing with corrosion etc, then etch prime, zinc-prime, then several coats of cellulose primer, which dries rock hard and can be rubbed glass-smooth. So far, so good, in an elbow-grease-intensive fashion.

My problem is with the topcoat. Long ago I (rightly or wrongly) concluded that anything that came out of a rattle can or was something I could safely spray (as a one-pack paint) wouldn't be as hard and durable as a proper two-pack paint. I was reminded of this again recently when I realised that a frame I'd painted a few years ago hadn't even made it out of storage without the topcoat getting chipped.

So.... does anyone know of a DIY topcoat which isn't so delicate? Something genuinely tough? I know you can now get 'two-pack aerosols' but I have not used them myself; are they any good? I'm almost tempted to not bother with topcoat per se, just use the primer, rub it down well and then blow it over with clear coat.....

All suggestions welcome.

cheers
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Jdsk
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby Jdsk » 23 May 2020, 12:19am

Blast and powder coat?

Jonathan

Brucey
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby Brucey » 23 May 2020, 12:23am

not keen on that for a variety of reasons including that the braze-ones won't survive the kind of blasting they most often use.

cheers
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SimonCelsa
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby SimonCelsa » 23 May 2020, 6:02am

Why not try a marine paint. I can recommend Interthane 990 (used on the external decks of large Gas tankers trading worldwide) which at £150 for 5 litres is a bit excessive possibly. Dries up nice and shiny though!!

But seriously, maybe look at some type of marine paint, they usually give a fairly robust finish and you don't see many dull and dreary superyachts around.
https://www.gaelforcemarine.co.uk/en/GB ... gJ7dPD_BwE
I have no experience of the linked product, just a quick example.

millimole
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby millimole » 23 May 2020, 7:31am

Someone will be along in a minute to suggest brush coated Hammerite. Let me get in first by saying that I don't recommend that approach. My Bitsa was painted with Hammerite and it has chipped really badly. Better surface preparation might have helped, but overall its been a dissapoitment.
Leicester; Riding my Hetchins since 1971; Audaxing on my Dawes; Riding to work on a Decathlon Hoprider

PH
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby PH » 23 May 2020, 8:16am

I assisted a friend painting a camper with tractor enamel a few years ago and it seems to be holding up well, though obviously not the same project a a bike frame. can't remember the name, though some was left for touching up so wouldn't be hard to find out. Rollers for the main panels, four or five coats and lightly rubbed down between them, I was impressed how well it turned out, you have to be up close to spot it isn't sprayed.

Brucey
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby Brucey » 23 May 2020, 8:56am

I have to say I have been disappointed with hammerite/smoothrite in recent years; chips easily as others mention.

cheers
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 23 May 2020, 9:02am

Hi,
Yes hammerite can chip as said.
It's also difficult to get a good finish as it dries quickly.
It does tend to last better if you use the primer first.
So basically it's okay for parts that you can't see and are unlikely to get the knocked.
I would never normally use the stuff without primer, although the paint is sold as a one coat.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
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Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 23 May 2020, 9:12am

Hi,
Both my hack bikes live out side albeit under the carport.
Of course these are truly hack bikes because they are solely made up of secondhand parts I pulled from the tip.
And of course they are both aluminium framed.
I realise the displeasure in the OP in using aluminium at all?
But it does appear he also seems to use CF too :P
Both my hack bikes are of course MTB frames too,with front suspension too, Not sure it helps much at all, I have always ridden them fully loaded with junk hence the +23 kg weight.
Perhaps it's time to move on up and move into the 21st-century and try and aluminium frame?
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

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Graham
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby Graham » 23 May 2020, 9:16am

I wish I could find out how Dawes painted their frames back in the 80's. Mine is nearly 40 y.o. with only a bit of superficial rust.

I vaguely remember Dawes making the paint durability one of their marketing points . . some slogan like "tough-as-nails".

Obviously, making such long-lasting bikes is bad for (return) sales, but really great for living sustainably. If only there was a way to reward manufacturers for sustainable products. . . .

Sorry. . . . drifting O/T ( again )

Brucey
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby Brucey » 23 May 2020, 9:18am

FWIW I have tried hammerite/smoothrite with both minimal preparation and much better prep. The latter did improve matters but it still chipped very easily.

Interesting suggestions re boat paints and tractor paints. Do they go on well as thin coats? Can they be sprayed?

One of my objections to powder coating and other paints that go on thick, for bike frames, is that they badly obscure good lugwork. When I have made a nice-looking job of painting frames the base coats have been carefully applied and wet-flatted, which can deal with minor dents, marks etc and can preserve crisp edges on the lugs too. My 'dream topcoat paint' for bike frames would go on thin if necessary, cover well, and be very chip resistant.

(oh BTW I have had many aluminium framed bikes and didn't/don't really love any of them. Attempts to use them in all weathers mostly resulted in bubbling paint and severe corrosion of the underlying aluminium. We are talking about steel frames here, best keep it that way.)

cheers
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Mick F
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby Mick F » 23 May 2020, 9:20am

Hammerite isn't the same Hammerite these days. They changed the recipe so it wasn't so hazardous, but it's rubbish now.

As for sand blasting, it can be done sympathetically and would be the first thing I'd get done if I needed to strip the paint off a bike again.
Other than powdercoating, you should be able to go to a local car body shop garage and get them to spray paint your frame. If you're not fussed about the colour, they could use whatever they have left in their spray gun.
Mick F. Cornwall

jimlews
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby jimlews » 23 May 2020, 9:23am

Plastikote may be worth a try. (By Valspar)

It's the sort of thing that is sprayed (by rattlecan, so DIY) on steel garden furniture.

Vast range of colours and option of colour matching.

Edit: I think the tough paint used by Dawes was Imron (by Du Pont) and I think, not DIY.

francovendee
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby francovendee » 23 May 2020, 9:29am

I think the knocks a bike gets will defeat home painting jobs lasting very long.
Hammerite today is nothing like the stuff that had all the nasties in it.

About 7 years ago I spoke to a couple of painters at work on a bridge over the cycle track. The stuff they were using had a very strong smell and was transforming the rusty steelwork. I asked what the was product and where could I get it. I was told it wasn't available to the public, only to trade. They said if I came back with a can when they were finished they'd give me some.

It's been on my dinghy trailer since and there is no sign of rust. I never did get the brand name though. It smells very strongly but not the same as the old Hammerite. I wish I could get some more as it's gone hard in the tin.

I'm not sure if it would resist the knocks a bike gets, might be too soft.

Brucey
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Re: is there any such thing as tough DIY paint?

Postby Brucey » 23 May 2020, 9:41am

jimlews wrote:I think the tough paint used by Dawes was Imron (by Du Pont) and I think, not DIY.


I think you are right. Marketed as 'ardaznails' (?) IIRC. For a while Raleigh used similar paint too and it was pretty good stuff.

DuPont still use the Imron trade name but the paint itself isn't always quite the same thing, with modern solvent concerns etc. Definitely not DIY stuff in any event.

cheers
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