Mysterious white substance on paint.

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Masterlathe

On Training Wheels
I have a 1948 Goodyear Double Eagle Deluxe bicycle that I have had for a while. When I got this bike the paint had white chalky patches on it everywhere. I thought it might have been cause from being stored under a swamp cooler where water was dripping on it all the time or somewhere where as sprinkler might have been spraying on it for a long time. I eventually rubbed most of it out, but then as I was looking at other old bikes from the same era, I noticed that some of them had the same white chalky substance on the paint, is this caused by something in the paint formula? I am very curious as what is causing this to happen...........
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
I live in the Phoenix Metro area and work in a building that has three large commercial swamp coolers. One is directly over my cutting table and Miter saw and when that cooler is running everything is gets covered with calcium and lime deposits. Then the boss decides to park his Black GMC next to the cutting table and after a few days he accuses me of getting over spray all over the truck. I had to show him what that cooler was doing to the saw and table to prove to him I didn't over spray his truck with paint. Your issue might be the same thing, but it would be all over everything, not just the paint. Never heard of paint growing some kind of chalky white stuff so something is getting on the bike.
 

Masterlathe

On Training Wheels
I live in the Phoenix Metro area and work in a building that has three large commercial swamp coolers. One is directly over my cutting table and Miter saw and when that cooler is running everything is gets covered with calcium and lime deposits. Then the boss decides to park his Black GMC next to the cutting table and after a few days he accuses me of getting over spray all over the truck. I had to show him what that cooler was doing to the saw and table to prove to him I didn't over spray his truck with paint. Your issue might be the same thing, but it would be all over everything, not just the paint. Never heard of paint growing some kind of chalky white stuff so something is getting on the bike.
I did some more research and found that zinc coated metals when exposed to the element creates what they call " White Rust". I then did a little morem research and found out that some bicycle frames, especially older ones were zinc coated and then painted. What happens is when the painted has oxidized away or the paint is worn through the zinc gets exposed to the elements and creates the White Rust.Onthe bike I have, it appeared as you desrcibed, as white stuff like what comes from a swamp cooler, but that stuff wil;l come off with water, this stuff is tough like rust, hence i guess the name white rust. It took me hours to rub that stuff off and every place I rubbed it off was to bare metal when I was done. Thats why on some older bikes I checked out the paint had the same issue. The chrome was unaffected by by white rust, it had just regular rust. Thanks for the info.........
 

cyclingday

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Interesting conversation.
When I got this bike, it too had a strange white crusty film all over it.
I never did figure out what it was.
I was able to remove it with a careful application of barkeepers friend and 0000 steel wool.
The bike came from Prescott Arizona, and now after reading this thread, I’m thinking that the white crust may have been the result of sitting next to a swamp cooler all those years. Huh!
1548198
Here is the as found picture, and then after some TLC.
1548200

I didn’t even know that it had been a red bike when I started.

So, let this be a lesson to all the guys out in the desert.
Keep those bikes away from the swamp coolers!
Lol!
 

dasberger

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Interesting conversation.
When I got this bike, it too had a strange white crusty film all over it.
I never did figure out what it was.
I was able to remove it with a careful application of barkeepers friend and 0000 steel wool.
The bike came from Prescott Arizona, and now after reading this thread, I’m thinking that the white crust may have been the result of sitting next to a swamp cooler all those years. Huh!
View attachment 1548198Here is the as found picture, and then after some TLC.
View attachment 1548200
I didn’t even know that it had been a red bike when I started.

So, let this be a lesson to all the guys out in the desert.
Keep those bikes away from the swamp coolers!
Lol!
Nice bike Marty 😜... This one came out of Oregon and it has a similar chalky but pinkish rust.

IMG_3693.jpg

I've just started working on it trying to free the fender and the neck with zero success. The PB Blaster makes it seem like its green but inside of the fenders are definitely red... Curious for sure. Not really sure what it's going to look like once it's cleaned up we shall see

IMG_4216.jpg
 

Masterlathe

On Training Wheels
Interesting conversation.
When I got this bike, it too had a strange white crusty film all over it.
I never did figure out what it was.
I was able to remove it with a careful application of barkeepers friend and 0000 steel wool.
The bike came from Prescott Arizona, and now after reading this thread, I’m thinking that the white crust may have been the result of sitting next to a swamp cooler all those years. Huh!
View attachment 1548198Here is the as found picture, and then after some TLC.
View attachment 1548200
I didn’t even know that it had been a red bike when I started.

So, let this be a lesson to all the guys out in the desert.
Keep those bikes away from the swamp coolers!
Lol!
Very cool bike man, what a difference.......
 

vincev

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
I did some more research and found that zinc coated metals when exposed to the element creates what they call " White Rust". I then did a little morem research and found out that some bicycle frames, especially older ones were zinc coated and then painted. What happens is when the painted has oxidized away or the paint is worn through the zinc gets exposed to the elements and creates the White Rust.Onthe bike I have, it appeared as you desrcibed, as white stuff like what comes from a swamp cooler, but that stuff wil;l come off with water, this stuff is tough like rust, hence i guess the name white rust. It took me hours to rub that stuff off and every place I rubbed it off was to bare metal when I was done. Thats why on some older bikes I checked out the paint had the same issue. The chrome was unaffected by by white rust, it had just regular rust. Thanks for the info.........
Would this be considered patina ?
 

Masterlathe

On Training Wheels
I've seen bikes that were waxed heavily, and the residue gets chalky over time also.
I thought that a possibility also but have since found out for sure, that on my bike it is a zinc coating that was applied to the frame to protect against corrosion before the paint was applied, and as the paint wore thin or in areas where there was a scratch the zinc oxidized creating "white rust" Its a bear to get off and leaves bare metal afterwards, but it still looks a lot better removed.............
 
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