Schwinn Phantom original paint info

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Maurice

Look Ma, No Hands!
Fellow Cabers, I've extracted a LOT of info in my short 2 months here which is helping me with my first 2 old Schwinn projects. I'm very grateful. And I'm hoping to actually contribute some small amount here today. In researching the idea of possibly recreating my dad's childhood green Schwinn Phantom, which he got Xmas 1953, I'm at the paint phase. I've read info here and elsewhere online about recreating correct "original" Sherwin Williams oil based single stage enamels (2 stage-clear coat wasn't invented yet) Schwinn used in 1953 along with their red oxide primers. Here's what I learned first-hand today.

First off I was very lucky to meet Glenn in San Clemente CA (he's built/rebuilt hundreds of old Schwinns and has a wealth of knowledge) and purchased from him a bare metal 1953 frame that I'll use for the project. I brought the frame and tank to a local pro hot rod shop her in Norcal I've used before, for their sandblasting and primer services. So after reading countless articles online I decided to walk into the local Sherwin Williams store for paint with my original green Phantom chainguard in hand. I'll add a photo.

Both SW employees stared at the computer together and found NO RECORDS of Schwinn paint for 1953... I was under the impression they'd just come up with the correct Schwinn paint codes and I'd be off to the races. But after much discussion they said they CAN color match my green chainguard and produce a quart of water based high gloss "all surface" enamel that would be a 99% color match for $31. They do also carry oil base, like Schwinn apparently used in the '50s, but in only satin finish. Disappointed I took that info back to the body shop. The shop owner was NOT surprised SW had no Schwinn paint code references today from the 1950's. He said ANY paint store/shop/body shop can color match within 99%. And no reason in today's paint world to use a red oxide primer under the top coat like Schwinn did.

I also know we can purchase online a great rattle can paint product for lots of different Schwinn colors. But after concluding my rattle can paint skills are limited, I decided to have the shop paint this frame and tank with their paint gun, in their paint booth, with a controlled environment. My plan is to purchase the stencils online and paint the 2 tone black parts myself. Maybe a mistake. So I may rethink that part... But tomorrow I'm going to the automotive paint store that this shop uses to purchase a pint or quart of their color matched paint. When the frame is painted I'll post some photos. Anyway, I just wanted to contribute to the Cabe today with this small bit of info. I hope it helps and doesn't add to any confusion.
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Maurice

Look Ma, No Hands!
Me too! I agree with both of you. Original worn paint over brand new paint any day! But my frame has NO paint. It had all the paint already removed before I got it.
By the way, I only have parts and pieces of a Phantom so far. The frame and tank are being painted now because they are without paint now. I'm leaving the original paint chainguard unpainted!
 
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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
For a correct restoration some use the red oxide primer, or a better primer that's color tinted. Schwinn did not buy paint from Sherwin Williams, that's why they have no records.
 

Maurice

Look Ma, No Hands!
Thanks for the headsup GT. I must have misread the Sherwin Williams brand paint somewhere? What brand paint did Schwinn use in the 1950's?
 

Maurice

Look Ma, No Hands!
I wasn't sure where I had read that Schwinn used Sherwin Williams paint in the past. It puzzled me, and I definitely don't want to give wrong info out. My objective was to pass along what I learned today while shopping for "original" paint. So what I found was an online site offering reproduction paint in rattle cans. The site doesn't say that Schwinn used SW paint, only that THEY DO in reproducing their paint for sale! So my mistake. I copied and pasted what they claim.

Automotive grade Sherwin-Williams acrylic enamel paints which replicate the original Schwinn factory finish perfectly!​

So that's my mistake. I misinterpreted what they claimed. And that definitely adds to my limited Schwinn knowledge.
 

coasterbrakejunkie1969

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I wasn't sure where I had read that Schwinn used Sherwin Williams paint in the past. It puzzled me, and I definitely don't want to give wrong info out. My objective was to pass along what I learned today while shopping for "original" paint. So what I found was an online site offering reproduction paint in rattle cans. The site doesn't say that Schwinn used SW paint, only that THEY DO in reproducing their paint for sale! So my mistake. I copied and pasted what they claim.

Automotive grade Sherwin-Williams acrylic enamel paints which replicate the original Schwinn factory finish perfectly!​

So that's my mistake. I misinterpreted what they claimed. And that definitely adds to my limited Schwinn knowledge.
The paint that Schwinn used is a completely different paint even if SW claims it to be so. Only in color, the chemical make up of paint has changed. There are products used in the past that are unavailable today. I know it has been over a bunch of times but the enamel's of yesteryear contained hardeners that made the paint far superior then today's paints. You are going about it the right way, a good automotive paint is the way to go. Powder coating would produce a harder finish but I would think matching the color more difficult. I think it has also been pointed out proper curing the auto paint is also key. Good luck and looking forward to seeing it go together. We all want a green Phantom, well some of us.
 
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