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Removing paint from a frame?

fizzgigg142010-04-29 01:08:46 +0000 #1
I recently inherited a 1994 Specialized Rockhopper Sport. After taking it to my LBS, I found that it's in sad, sad, sad shape so I figured that it would be my first solo project. I'm thinking of converting it into a commuter or touring bike.

Question of the day for said bike is: How do I remove the orange paint that someone slapped on the frame? There are brush strokes, drips, bubbles... In short, it looks awful. The orange paint looks like exterior trim paint that you would use on a house. It doesn't flake off too easily but there are spots where it has come off.

I'm not expecting to take off the orange and find a perfect, factory finish, but I would like to remove the orange and not do too much damage to the clear coat and original paint underneath (if possible).

Any ideas?

Thanks!
uforgot2010-04-29 01:24:42 +0000 #2
I don't see how you are going to take the top paint off without taking it all off. Maybe I'm wrong, but...

About a year ago popoki_nui posted some pics of her bikes. She paints her own frames and I was impressed. I asked her how she did it and she sent me these instructions.

Re paint: On my Gitane TdF, I used DuPont automotive paint made up and put in spray cans. (I saw that blue on a Dodge truck and loved it, so I had them make up that color for me ) Most auto/bodyshop supply stores can make up any color you wish in a spray can; it's the exact same paint bodyshops use, but in a spray can. Check your Yellow Pages for autobody supply shops. Then just go into the supply shop, browse thru the color sample book, choose the color you want, and get them to make you up TWO spray cans. This paint is more expensive, but you get a wider selection of colors, and better spray cans v.s. spray cans off the shelf.

On my black Bianchi and yellow Kuwahara I used Armor Coat spray cans I bought off the shelf at a hardware store. It is good paint at lower cost.

Tremclad anti-rust paint is good too, but comes in only a few basic colors

You will also need two spray cans of automotive scratch-filling, sandable primer. I prefer the gray color. And, you may need one spray can of clearcoat as well. So:

-two spray cans of primer,

-two spray cans of whichever type of colored paint you wish to use,

-one spray can of clearcoat if required.

No matter what paint you use, the key to a good looking finish is the prep work before painting!! If your frame is badly scratched/gouged/rusted, you should probably strip off all the old paint and start your project from bare metal. You should use that nasty paint-remover gel you get in hardware stores.

You will also need:

3-4 sheets each of:

#80 grit sandpaper

#150 grit sandpaper

#220 grit sandpaper

#400 grit wet-and-dry sandpaper (the black paper)

#600 grit wet-and-dry sandpaper (ditto)

-masking tape; the regular tan stuff and the green painter's tape.

-acetone

-a couple of those Scotch-Brite scrubbing pads.

-small tube of spot putty (sometimes called glazing putty) available at auto supply stores.

Also, a wire wheel/power drill combo will help with rust removal, but if you haven't got one the sandpaper will do.

Whew! That's what you will need to refinish your frame (plus a good place to do the work). I know it may sound daunting here, but it really isn't all that difficult!

My own project is going rather slow, but I'm down to bare metal and I had a terrific time going through the auto parts book. So many colors! Mine is going to be a sparkly mint green with a honey brooks saddle. I'l probably be in my 80s when I get finished and too old to enjoy it. Hope this gives you more ideas!
Popoki_Nui2010-04-29 01:31:04 +0000 #3
A lot will depend on exactly what kind of paint it is (the orange stuff). If it's some kind of latex house paint, there probably isn't much you can do apart from trying to peel/scrape it off. If it's some kind of oil-based house paint, or some kind of synthetic enamel-type paint, you MAY be able to remove it by soaking a cotton rag with paint thinner, wrapping the rag around the frame and allowing the thinner to soften the orange paint. You'll need lots of rags, and lots of thinner. If the orange paint does soften, use another saturated rag to gently wipe off the orange paint. If paint thinner doesn't seem to work, try acetone. Make sure you wear gloves and a mask.

The theory here is that the orange paint will be newer and softer than the harder, original professional paint underneath, and thus will seperate off the original paint.

This will be a big and messy job! It will be pretty difficult to clean the orange paint completely from all the little nooks and crannies like around the seatstay and chainstay bridges, lugs, braze-ons, and such. And ultimately, you could well damage the original paint that you're trying to save (and it may be in sad shape anyway).

But....nothing ventured, nothing gained; give it a try on a toptube/downtube/seat tube and see if it works. Decide how to proceed from there. Good luck!

~Sherry.
fizzgigg142010-04-29 01:57:01 +0000 #4
Thank you both for the ideas. I'll try the paint thinner idea first, I had the same thought but didn't know if if would be safe for the frame. Eventually I do want to paint it myself. The original paint was a very nice grey/lilac color which would be fine, but I just know that it's not going to be salvageable.

Quote:

Originally Posted by uforgot

My own project is going rather slow, but I'm down to bare metal and I had a terrific time going through the auto parts book. So many colors! Mine is going to be a sparkly mint green with a honey brooks saddle. I'l probably be in my 80s when I get finished and too old to enjoy it. Hope this gives you more ideas!

Good luck with your project. The honey colored brooks saddles are very pretty and very classy looking. I'm sure it will look wonderful with your sparkly green frame.

Now you have me thinking... deep purple... I need a deep purple bicycle!

Now I just need to get the cranks off.

~suzie
Popoki_Nui2010-04-29 01:45:17 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by uforgot

My own project is going rather slow, but I'm down to bare metal and I had a terrific time going through the auto parts book. So many colors! Mine is going to be a sparkly mint green with a honey brooks saddle. I'l probably be in my 80s when I get finished and too old to enjoy it. Hope this gives you more ideas!

ufirgot: Are you taking photos of your progress? If you are, maybe we can see some...?

Or at least some before-and-after pics. Sparkly mint green sounds great!

~Sherry.
mimitabby2010-04-29 02:55:16 +0000 #6
popoki nui

what about YOUR bike? I'd like to see THAT.

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