Painting Darts on a bike

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JRE

I live for the CABE
Getting ready to paint one of my project bikes and was wondering if anyone has written a how to on masking of the frame to paint the darts any tips tricks or point me in the right Direction will be greatly appreciated.
 

the tinker

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I am just a hobbyist, not a professional painter. I don't have air brushes and fancy equipment.I know you will get great tips from the professionals here on the Cabe, as we have a great "Cabe Crew", that know everything you need to do a great job! This is what I do: First, a solid base coat. I paint a frame, and that primary coat,[ the finish coat] has got to be applied correctly and cured. I'll let the frame set a month or more, no less, before doing anything. You don't want your base coat crinkling up while you are applying your graphics. You don't want you base coat peeling up when you remove your masking tape.
The frame has to be firmly supported if you intend to do the whole thing at once. Sometimes I do one side at a time, by laying the frame on a table. I do one side, and a week later, I do the opposite side. I don't rush.
By securely supporting the frame in a stand, you have access to both sides. My stand is from 1970 and it is heavy duty, and the is no movement once the frame is locked in.
I clean the frame, to make sure no grease, dust or fingerprints are on it prior to masking.
Use the narrowest tape. 1/8 - 1/4 inch. After it's down, I go over "all" of the edges and press firmly down just prior to painting.
I use a good brush, no cheap ones and most important, " One Shot" brand paint. I think it's the best made. It's not cheap, but results are fantastic.
As soon as it's done , while wet,:( I remove the tape, all of it. You have to be patient and careful. An Exacto knife blade works best to lift difficult small pieces of tape up, without smudging your paint.
I keep cotton"Q Tips" handy. I dip them in solvent and tightly twist the cotton end. Use them to "fix" up any errant lines, or excess paint. These bikes below, aren't show bikes, but daily riders that I still own. The green ranger is on the stand in my shop now. Last photo shown is a before picture. I have been looking for the Westfield chain ring that goes on it for a month now. God knows where I put it.

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Trout

Look Ma, No Hands!
I am just a hobbyist, not a professional painter. I don't have air brushes and fancy equipment.I know you will get great tips from the professionals here on the Cabe, as we have a great "Cabe Crew", that know everything you need to do a great job! This is what I do: First, a solid base coat. I paint a frame, and that primary coat,[ the finish coat] has got to be applied correctly and cured. I'll let the frame set a month or more, no less, before doing anything. You don't want your base coat crinkling up while you are applying your graphics. You don't want you base coat peeling up when you remove your masking tape.
The frame has to be firmly supported if you intend to do the whole thing at once. Sometimes I do one side at a time, by laying the frame on a table. I do one side, and a week later, I do the opposite side. I don't rush.
By securely supporting the frame in a stand, you have access to both sides. My stand is from 1970 and it is heavy duty, and the is no movement once the frame is locked in.
I clean the frame, to make sure no grease, dust or fingerprints are on it prior to masking.
Use the narrowest tape. 1/8 - 1/4 inch. After it's down, I go over "all" of the edges and press firmly down just prior to painting.
I use a good brush, no cheap ones and most important, " One Shot" brand paint. I think it's the best made. It's not cheap, but results are fantastic.
As soon as it's done , while wet,:( I remove the tape, all of it. You have to be patient and careful. An Exacto knife blade works best to lift difficult small pieces of tape up, without smudging your paint.
I keep cotton"Q Tips" handy. I dip them in solvent and tightly twist the cotton end. Use them to "fix" up any errant lines, or excess paint. These bikes below, aren't show bikes, but daily riders that I still own. The green ranger is on the stand in my shop now. Last photo shown is a before picture. I have been looking for the Westfield chain ring that goes on it for a month now. God knows where I put it.

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Great advice. I use a Mack pin stripe brush even painting between tape, they load up good so you can draw a long line with out reloading the brush as often, and they are made for thin lines so it's easy to say inside the tape. Not cheap, Squirrel hair, they will last if you take care of them.
 

bikerbluz

Finally riding a big boys bike
Great info. I have painted a couple but have yet been brave enough to try darts and pin striping. I will pick up the proper equipment first. Tinker, you said you use q tips tightly twisted, I do some firearms shooting, and there is a product like a qtip that is cotton and comes to a fine point. These are used to clean in the small crevices of a firearm. They should work great, I would think, for this type of work, too.
 

Shawn Michael

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Ni
I am just a hobbyist, not a professional painter. I don't have air brushes and fancy equipment.I know you will get great tips from the professionals here on the Cabe, as we have a great "Cabe Crew", that know everything you need to do a great job! This is what I do: First, a solid base coat. I paint a frame, and that primary coat,[ the finish coat] has got to be applied correctly and cured. I'll let the frame set a month or more, no less, before doing anything. You don't want your base coat crinkling up while you are applying your graphics. You don't want you base coat peeling up when you remove your masking tape.
The frame has to be firmly supported if you intend to do the whole thing at once. Sometimes I do one side at a time, by laying the frame on a table. I do one side, and a week later, I do the opposite side. I don't rush.
By securely supporting the frame in a stand, you have access to both sides. My stand is from 1970 and it is heavy duty, and the is no movement once the frame is locked in.
I clean the frame, to make sure no grease, dust or fingerprints are on it prior to masking.
Use the narrowest tape. 1/8 - 1/4 inch. After it's down, I go over "all" of the edges and press firmly down just prior to painting.
I use a good brush, no cheap ones and most important, " One Shot" brand paint. I think it's the best made. It's not cheap, but results are fantastic.
As soon as it's done , while wet,:( I remove the tape, all of it. You have to be patient and careful. An Exacto knife blade works best to lift difficult small pieces of tape up, without smudging your paint.
I keep cotton"Q Tips" handy. I dip them in solvent and tightly twist the cotton end. Use them to "fix" up any errant lines, or excess paint. These bikes below, aren't show bikes, but daily riders that I still own. The green ranger is on the stand in my shop now. Last photo shown is a before picture. I have been looking for the Westfield chain ring that goes on it for a month now. God knows where I put it.

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Nice work Tinker, and great advice guys. Thanks for sharing.
 

JRE

I live for the CABE
Thanks I’m a Industrial painter by trade but have never done any fine detail masking.
 

Dave Stromberger

I'm Afraid I Can't Let You Do That
System Administrator
The Tinker's advice is good! You didn't mention what bike you're doing, or if you want to do it factory original.

When I paint a bike, I'm typically going for factory-correct and accurate, so I'll trace the originals before stripping the bike. I'll often create a stencil with my computer and vinyl cutter. This is a no brainer for tank and chainguard graphics, but on a frame it's almost not worth it in some cases, because applying the darts to a round and sometimes curved tubing will yeild all kinds of different results, depending on how you apply it... so it's kinda tough to do. Not too long ago I did up some for a Sears Chief, but I've recorded all the exact dimensions and landmarks to help with applying them.

DS
 

the tinker

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
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The Tinker's advice is good! You didn't mention what bike you're doing, or if you want to do it factory original.

When I paint a bike, I'm typically going for factory-correct and accurate, so I'll trace the originals before stripping the bike. I'll often create a stencil with my computer and vinyl cutter. This is a no brainer for tank and chainguard graphics, but on a frame it's almost not worth it in some cases, because applying the darts to a round and sometimes curved tubing will yeild all kinds of different results, depending on how you apply it... so it's kinda tough to do. Not too long ago I did up some for a Sears Chief, but I've recorded all the exact dimensions and landmarks to help with applying them.

DS
Sorry for the photo duplication. The bikes below I painted. The 41 Schwinn Ace I only did the tank. I traced the graphics off another tank. Still own all these bikes , except the Ace.
The first Schwinn I did was the red one pictured . That I used stencils that I bought. Since then, and only on the Schwinns, I traced the frame graphics with tracing paper. Then transferred it to hard manila cardboard [ File folders are excellent for this] to make a master stencil set. These I outline onto vinyl self stick paper and cut out. I painted the head tube area the color of the darts. I apply the stencils and paint the entire frame the base color, and immediately remove the stencils.I did four Schwinns like that, they all turned out good.
That's one way I've done it. The way I prefer and I think it's the right way, and the easiest and best, is to trace the darts, or accurately draw a couple on hard paper. Cut them out. Position where you want them on the frame and lightly outline in pencil. Then mask off on the pencil lines. Paint each dart and remove tape immediately. Let these darts" set up" a couple weeks and mask off for pin stripes . This works good on the darts, but I don't think it's possible on the Schwinn Graphics. Now, I'am 68 years old and my hands shake. If they didn't , I would attempt the pinstripe brush, as in days of old. I've tried it and it turns out bad every time for me... However, I do own a Bugler Pinstripe tool and its great for fenders. Also a perfect stripe, every time on rims, in about 10 seconds per side.
On the green Ranger frame, it's a junker. I think I paid 40 bucks for it. I liked 1930's "Rollfast" darts, so it has Rollfast graphics on it, and will become a ......yes, I'll say it.....a Ranger RATROD.
That is what I love about this hobby. Do your own thing and always...have fun!
 
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Dgoldman

Finally riding a big boys bike
I use automotive 2 color base coat then clear. If you use automotive low tack painters tape, you can spray base coat colors within 45 minutes of each other without the paint sticking to the stencils. Clear coat with medium reducer an hour after the last base coat. The reason for painting both base coats and clear writhin three hours is so all coats chemical bond together. This results in a much more durable finish. A inexpensive detail HVLP spray gun can be had from Harbor freight for $30. You would be surprised how well a $30 spray gun lays the paint down. Stencils for many bikes can be bought off of EBay and are low tack tape.
Good luck!
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