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Thread: Frame Painting

  1. #1
    ndf
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    Frame Painting

    I just finished painting a steel road frame and wow what a horrible experience! I feel like I've ruined 2^19 brain cells, my left arm is sore from all the stripping and sanding, the finish is crappy and the frame feels like 2kg heavier than when it was stripped bare.

    What do you guys do for finishing a frame?

    Ideally I would have liked to get the thing stripped back to steel and just ride that, it looked really mean, but then rust would be an issue. Is it worth sending the frame to a proffessional sprayer? Powdercoat or enamel? How much do these services typically cost? Do you guys know anyone in the Melbourne area that likes stripping and spraying bike frames?

    There is a little on this topic on the various forums, but they seem to suggest don't DIY (well now I know) or are very USA specific - and I'm sure things are slightly different here.

  2. #2
    www.nspbikes.com.au nickj's Avatar
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    Frame Painting

    ndf,

    im getting a 1943 track frame powdercoated by gripsports.com.au (in Research, just out of Melbourne) - im getting some things fixed up also, the coating is about $130 if you get other work. $160 if you dont which is a relative standard to other places i believe.

    kevin at paconi in braeside does it also, roughly the same price, i think he does enamel though.

    n.

  3. #3
    ndf
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    Frame Painting

    Quote Originally Posted by primz
    ... gripsports.com.au (in Research, just out of Melbourne) ...
    Thanks Nick!! I had to drop the s to: http://gripsport.com.au/ but these guys look excellent.

  4. #4
    Hipster
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    Frame Painting

    gripsport's horizontal rear dropout conversions don't look too horizontal!? some seem almost parallel to the CS?

    Most powdercoaters will charge about $50 to do a frame that has been stripped/sandblasted. Sandblasting will cost about $30-$45. Most powdercoat jobs do not seal the frame from rust/oxidisation, although there are places that do it properly (such as Spectrum Powderworks in the US). Professional wet paint jobs (with 2k clear) will probably start at $150 for single colour, no decal restoration. 'Wet paint' jobs (eg polyurethanes) are the best option for a lugged steel frame if you want to retain lug definition.

    A full pimpin/custom paint job with House of Kolor paint, (sandblasted, 2k primer, basecoats, and 2k PU clear) can be yours for around $350.

  5. #5
    www.nspbikes.com.au nickj's Avatar
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    Frame Painting

    hmm, thats really annoying. because im having a beautiful track frame from the 40's powdercoated... and i was wondering about lug definition, but i didnt know enough about the process. oh well, its too late now. i'll post final pics up here so people can see the results.

    i was quoted $160 for a wet paint job from Paconi. in hindsight, i should have gone with them.

    n

  6. #6
    ndf
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    Frame Painting

    hmmn.. is it possible to just get a clear rust treatment? A lugged steel frame looks very nice when fully bare. Especially if it's got that 'etched' dark gun metal, or slightly polished look :)

    By the way - my spray-bomb came up looking pretty nice, but the surface is slightly fragile and chips easily. The suffering with undercoat fumes, stripper and paint mess was easily worth as much as others charge.

  7. #7
    Hipster
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    clear finish

    A raw/bare metal look can be achieved by; sandblasting and sanding to achieve the required raw finish, then apply a durable clear powdercoat layer (porous), which then needs to be sealed with a 2k epoxy clearcoat containing adhesion promoter. So it can be done.

  8. #8
    www.nspbikes.com.au nickj's Avatar
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    Frame Painting

    i got my frame back powdercoated... its reasonable, but not amazing. the surface of the frame was pitted in some areas which was highlighted in the new paintwork. i'll post some pics of it soon.

    i did have another frame just bead-blasted. as ndf noted, it looks nice, especially seeing the careful bronze brazing.

    is there ANY way i can achieve a nice paintjob at home? i mean, i cant go baking things, but im patient. or is it just impossible?

    n.

  9. #9
    Hipster
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    Frame Painting

    primz,

    your best chance for success at home (without professional spray equipment, compressors and booths) is with an airbrush. You may need to thin the paints down a bit more than normal to get it through the smaller airbrush nozzle. Use automotive quality paint (etch primer, can use basecoat system for the colour), but you will need to use 2k paint for the clear, or it won't be durable, or you can use 2k colours without a clear in some cases as they are durable and glossy. Use a mask suitable for 2k systems! google Suzy Jackson's article on her painting escapades.

    Dust is the enemy! clean your workspace well and mist the area down with water before shooting any paint.

  10. #10
    www.nspbikes.com.au nickj's Avatar
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    Frame Painting

    hey malto, thanks for the reply

    i googled suzy jackson, and found said article here:

    http://www.littlefishbicycles.com/frame/painting.html

    very handy. it looks like she achieved quite a nice paintjob - also considering it was her first time.

    is there anything that comes close to what you've suggested that can be bought in spray cans? im beginning to think i should just take this stripped frame to a builder and have them do it. or maybe even an automotive body workshop? i wonder if i masked the frame and brought it in if they'd go over it cheaply...

    nick.

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