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Thinking About Painting it Myself...Any Advice?

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Buster1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Guys,

I'm seriously thinking about media blasting and re-painting one of my 'new' prewar frames that is pretty bad and covered with house paint and other junk. I'd prefer to set up a little booth in my garage and spray it myself vs paying someone hundreds of dollars to do a multi-layered two-toned paint job and clear coat.

What advice do you guys have?

I am thinking of buying a basic/decent paint gun. I have a compressor already. Then it's just a matter of prepping the frame and using the right primer/paint...right? Any suggestions?

I could use advice on:
-Paint guns
-Type of primer
-Type of paint (read the Urethane may be the way to go)
-General advice
 

Talewinds

I live for the CABE
When you add up all of the dollars and cents to get started, it will get a bit pricey (kind of).
But if you've used a lot of rattle can, spent lots of time masking, stripes, etc, only to end up with a beautiful rattle can paint job that will chip if you glance at it cross-eyed, well, graduating to automotive paints will be a REVELATION for you. I've gotta run, I'll come back later and help you make some sense of it. I'm right in the middle of the learning curve so it's very fresh in my mind.
 

HARPO

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
If you use Auto Paint you shouldn't have any problems. Just make sure that the primer you use is the same brand as the Auto paint. Some paints don't play well together.
In-between coats of paint (after they're dry, of course), do a little light sanding with extra extra fine sandpaper and water. This will ensure a smooth, glossy finish when you're all done. When it's finished, a little polish and then some wax and you're set!
 

ohdeebee

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
A Lot to consider

If you really want a GOOD looking paint job there are a lot of factors to consider. Outside of the actual products and labor involved, first figure out what you want to accomplish. Do you plan to do an accurate restoration? Do you want to ride the bike and use it? Do you want to resell the bike once its done?

If you want the paint job to look correct don't even think about a clear coat. If you want to be able to use the bike, perhaps a clear coat isn't a bad idea, but I personally wouldn't buy a bike that's been repainted and clearcoated. Especially if it looks artificial to me.

Now, on to the actual paint process. You already mentioned that you will have the parts media blasted. Once you are down to bare metal make sure that the metal is prepped. I usually spray a light coat of primer at this point in order to stop any rust from forming. Remember, just because you may not be able to see any rust, doesn't mean that it hasn't already started and will come back later on. Once everything is in primer, I use a light body filler made to go over primer in order to fill in any metal imperfections. Depending on your goal with the bike this isn't necessary. So many of these bikes were far from perfect when they came out of the factory and I don't believe in restoring "better than new".

Once you are happy with the condition of the surface I prime the bike again. I try and use a primer that is colored to match what was originally used. Usually, but not always, this is red oxide. This colored primer match will also help your top coat match well. I wet sand everything after the base coat of primer is dry, but I don't go crazy with it. Again, I'm not trying to out do a factory paint job here.

As far as color goes, I usually use a urethane just because its easier to use than enamel in my opinion. On higher end bikes and restos I will use enamels because that is what was originally used. Enamel has less luster than uethanes but takes longer to dry and doesn't get as hard as a urethane. So again, if you plan to use the bike, and want a high gloss, durable paint job, go with a urethane. If you want an accurate resto, go with enamel.

Most of the paint I use has a cure period of between 15 and 60 days. Once this period is up you can wet sand, buff, polish, wax or do whatever to the paint. I've been doing this for a while and I can get paint to lay down like glass so I don't mess around with wet sanding and buffing once its done, but thats me.

As far as equipment goes. If you're going to buy a gun, buy an automotive touch up gun. I have a DevillBiss gun that sprays as small as a 2" fan. Perfect for tubing. It can also fan out to about 6" if I need it for doing tanks, fenders, chainguards, etc. I also have a bigger gun but rarely use it since it throws out a lot of material and you will end up with a lot of waste and a lot of overspray. You said you had a compressor, but make sure that it is able to keep up with your gun. Remember that you will be spraying pretty much constantly for at least 10 minutes and as long as 30 minutes in some cases. My touch up gun runs between 50 and 55 psi depending on the paint. Most compressors cannot keep up at 50 psi for 10 minutes at a time. Depending on the material you're using, you may not be able to take a break and wait for the compressor to reload.

Last but certainly not least. BUY A RESPIRATOR!!! Buy a good one right away with replaceable filters.

These are just a few aspects of painting that I've picked up over the years. There are a lot of little details and methods that you can only pick up after painting for a while. I would highly suggest honing your skills on other bikes that you don't care about before jumping into the one that you do care about. Anyway, I hope this helps and if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask.
 

redline1968

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
I use a hvlp set up and mix enamels to paint . i never use base/clear coat. you have to wet sand it and the frames have imperfections. you can cut into the base and this can cause lifting and paint imperfections which will cause a problem. if you dont know how the repair correctly do avoid base/clear. a good paint requires a little prep and and lot of patience. proctice, practice and practice. dont panic and not to worrie about runs they can be sanded out. read lables and follow instructions correctly. youll do fine if you dont panic on the first paint job.
 

Buster1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
THanks guys, do you have any recommendations on where to buy paint? I read about a place called House of Kolor on the Schwinn forum that looks really high quality.
 
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