Can you really paint an old bicycle ??

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Joe Potter, Aug 18, 2003.

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  1. Joe Potter

    Joe Potter Guest

    Hello All,

    i have an old (1970s?) road bike by Nishiki that I picked up for $30 US and I would like
    to paint it.

    But, to have it painted would cost way more than the bike is worth. Can I do it? Will it look like
    hell warmed over?

    Thoughts?

    --
    Regards, Joe
     
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  2. Michael

    Michael Guest

    "Joe Potter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hello All,
    >
    > i have an old (1970s?) road bike by Nishiki that I picked up for $30 US
    and
    > I would like to paint it.
    >
    > But, to have it painted would cost way more than the bike is worth. Can I
    do
    > it? Will it look like hell warmed over?
    >
    > Thoughts?

    You might take off the crank and seat post, and look inside the frame for rust. If it has a lot,
    then it might not be worth it. But if it's clean, if the frame fits you, and if the frame doesn't
    have a million miles on it, a paint job could make for a nice bike. You can go to your LBS to order
    stickers for the bike.

    A good paint job goes from about $150.00 and up.

    M.
     
  3. Grenouil

    Grenouil Guest

    "Michael" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Joe Potter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Hello All,
    > >
    > > i have an old (1970s?) road bike by Nishiki that I
    picked up for $30 US
    > and
    > > I would like to paint it.
    > >
    > > But, to have it painted would cost way more than the
    bike is worth. Can I
    > do
    > > it? Will it look like hell warmed over?
    > >
    > > Thoughts?
    >
    >
    > You might take off the crank and seat post, and look
    inside the frame for
    > rust. If it has a lot, then it might not be worth it. But
    if it's clean, if
    > the frame fits you, and if the frame doesn't have a million miles on
    it, a paint job
    > could make for a nice bike. You can go to your LBS to order
    stickers for the bike.
    >
    > A good paint job goes from about $150.00 and up.
    >
    > M.
    >
    >

    It's tough to get a hard finish if you do it yourself - although a car buff friend told me to try
    appliance paint

    You may be able to do a bit better than $150 for a professional job - a local shop quoted me $110
    for powder coating a frame and fork
     
  4. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 18:57:59 -0500, Grenouil <[email protected]> wrote:
    > although a car buff friend told me to try appliance paint

    Good idea! Appliance paint goes on smooth, is rather tough, and comes only in a couple ugly colors.
    Colors aside, it sounds like the best way to DIY.
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  5. On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 22:11:16 +0000, Michael wrote:

    >> i have an old (1970s?) road bike by Nishiki that I picked up for $30 US
    > and
    >> I would like to paint it.
    >>
    >> But, to have it painted would cost way more than the bike is worth. Can I
    > do
    >> it? Will it look like hell warmed over?

    If you do it yourself -- and are not experienced and don't have all the equipment -- yeah. But you
    can get it powder-coated for less than you think. Friend of mine went to the shop I recommended, and
    went with a color they had in stock, and got a real nice finish for $80. Mine, I wanted a particular
    color (metalic cobalt blue) and a chromed fork, so mine cost $150.

    If you start adding up cost for paint cans, primer, and the effort required to strip the frame, then
    powder coating is a bargain. It also lasts a long time, and it very tough.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | This is my religion. There is no need for temples; no need for _`\(,_ | complicated
    philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our (_)/ (_) | temple. The philosophy is kindness.
    --The Dalai Lama
     
  6. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Joe Potter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hello All,
    >
    > i have an old (1970s?) road bike by Nishiki that I picked up for $30 US
    and
    > I would like to paint it.
    >
    > But, to have it painted would cost way more than the bike is worth. Can I
    do
    > it? Will it look like hell warmed over?

    Yes, you can paint your bike.

    I've done it. Spray paint works fine, if you don't mind touching it up now and then - it's not quite
    as durable as two-stage auto paint or powdercoating; but it is acceptable. You can remove the old
    decals using lighter fluid (and even re-apply them later if they're intact.)

    You don't have to strip the paint: Just sand it real good - nice and smooth - before painting.
    Judicious use of primer and body filler will allow you to build- up gouges and rough spots. Use auto
    primer on rust spots (after sanding thoroughly).

    If you're going to strip the paint, I recommend "aircraft paint remover". Other strippers will work,
    too. It's very messy - you'll want to wear goggles and elbow-length butyl rubber gloves. Chemical
    paint stripper is *nasty* stuff! Don't get any of it on your skin, in eyes or mouth. Be extra
    careful, and only strip paint outside or in a well-ventilated area. 'Nuf said.

    Plain old $2 cheap enamel spray paint dries pretty tough; but you have to let it "cure" for a
    week or so before rebuilding the bike (the hot summer sun does a good job of curing). You'll
    probably need 2 cans of paint, applied in several light coats. After it has dried for a few days,
    you can also spray it with polyurethane clearcoat. Any department store should have what you
    need. Surprisingly, I've had the best results with the cheapest generic house-brand spray paint.
    Go figure.

    If you want something special, there are some great new paints on the market. They even have that
    amazing irridescent multi-color paint in spray cans now (you may have seen it on Klein and
    Cannondale bikes frames, and on hot rod cars). It's a two-stage paint system, and comes in three
    different color schemes. The kit is under $20. It would look very sharp on a bike frame. I have a
    couple of frames that might get a irridescent paint job this summer.

    Total cost should be under $10. Time spent will vary from under an hour to a full day or more,
    depending on how elaborately you disassemble and/or strip/prep the frame.

    While you're being creative, why not buy a few bottles of Testors model paint and some small brushes
    and paint flames, or little murals on the frame? Get creative! It's a $30 bike; but you could turn
    it into your masterpiece (or practice for your masterpiece). If you don't like it, paint over it. No
    harm done.

    Be sure to snap some before-and-after digital photos and post them for us to see.

    Have fun,

    Barry
     
  7. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "Rick Onanian" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:eek:[email protected]...
    > On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 18:57:59 -0500, Grenouil <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > although a car buff friend told me to try appliance paint
    >
    > Good idea! Appliance paint goes on smooth, is rather tough, and comes only in a couple ugly
    > colors. Colors aside, it sounds like the best way to DIY.

    I have repainted several bikes over the years. Auto touch-up paint in an aerosol can is the worst.
    That stuff scratches waaaay too easily. I've had really good luck with Krylon aerosol paint. I think
    the best example is an old wrought iron and wood bench I have sitting in the Texas sun for most of
    the day (only shaded in the early morning and late evening). The Krylon satin black I shot on it
    several years ago shows no signs of fading and has put up with the abuse of playground balls with
    nary a nick. The bike I shot with metallic green touch-up paint at about the same time already has
    some major scratches.

    The most important step in a good finish is a good sanding job. Before you paint, make sure you wash
    it thoroughly and don't get your greasy hands on it again. Then shoot it with several light coats of
    primer followed by several light coats of paint. Don't spray it on too thick or the paint will run.
    Wait for each coat to dry as per manufacturer recommendations. Finally, take your time and it will
    turn out nice.

    Good luck! Buck
     
  8. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Joe Potter wrote:

    > Hello All,
    >
    > i have an old (1970s?) road bike by Nishiki that I picked up for $30 US and I would like to
    > paint it.
    >
    > But, to have it painted would cost way more than the bike is worth. Can I do it? Will it look like
    > hell warmed over?
    >
    > Thoughts?
    >
    > --
    > Regards, Joe

    Beauty resides in the usual place. vis: the "eye of the beholder" You can paint your own bike. You
    can do the job with a paint brush, spray can, or MegaMart special electric pump paint sprayer. You
    can strip to bare metal or paint over decals and all, it is your call. Who but you (and your
    in-laws) know how fussy you are? ;-p It is all up to you. If you are willing to strip down to the
    frame and hang it up with wire you can do a decent home paint job. I painted an old Norco mtn bike
    last winter. Could not hack another ride on the spotty robin's egg blue frame - handlebars
    included! Washed it with paint thinner and surface sanded all surfaces with something like 120
    grit wet/dry paper. The very tough paint had chips out of it, but no rust in the <not> chromoly
    steel frame. I laid down a primer coat over the existing paint with a rust paint primer, followed
    by a couple of coats of my favourite bright yellow rust paint. It dried to a tough bright yellow
    finish, very easily seen at night and easy to touch up with a brush. I did the entire paint job
    with a brush, as I did not have an area that would tolerate overspray from a paint gun or spray
    bomb. Some persons reactions were negative, as they thought it was silly to paint a bike with a
    brush. I felt a bit negative about my efforts for a while even though I liked the result. Then I
    went on my usual rides, shopping, visiting, etc. and naturally chatting now and then with other
    cyclists. Reactions to my paint job (from strangers) were mainly unsolicited. One young fella made
    me tell him exactly what I had done, as he did not believe a bicycle could be painted with a
    brush, and of course wanted to paint his bike too! So I guess the question is, how professional do
    YOU want it to look? Brush painting is a simple and not too difficult skill. In the days of Henry
    Ford, ALL of his Model T's were painted with paintbrushes. Good news!! Bikes have a much smaller
    surface area than a model T Ford. :-} It's not hard, do multi coats, be a bit skimpy re: thickness
    of each coat. You will do fine.

    Bernie
     
  9. OK, I know HOW to paint a bike, but should I? I have a 1954 Schwinn Traveler 3-speed (
    http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove/travelersmall.JPG ) Front and rear rack, fenders, generator and
    headlight work, tail light missing. Rear rim looks like it was run over with a car and
    "straightened" with a big ball pen hammer but is still ridable, front rim needs replacement too,
    otherwise it is mechanically sound. All I need to restore this to full functionality is new rear
    light, new rims, new brake pads, new tires... and a paint job. The original paint is about 40% gone.
    It had silk screened logos on the frame, hand painted pin stripes on the fork and a big decal on the
    chain guard. No way I can reproduce any of that. I am very hesitant to strip it and give it a plain
    jane utilitarian paint job and destroy what ever collectible value it has even with it's current
    ratty paint. But I can't leave like it is with bare metal hanging out. What to do, what to do...

    Lorenzo L. Love http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove

    "Americans are broad-minded people. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a
    dope fiend, a wife beater, and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive there's something
    wrong with him." Art Buchwald
     
  10. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > OK, I know HOW to paint a bike, but should I? I have a 1954 Schwinn Traveler 3-speed (
    > http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove/travelersmall.JPG ) Front and rear rack, fenders, generator and
    > headlight work, tail light missing. Rear rim looks like it was run over with a car and
    > "straightened" with a big ball pen hammer but is still ridable, front rim needs replacement too,
    > otherwise it is mechanically sound. All I need to restore this to full functionality is new rear
    > light, new rims, new brake pads, new tires... and a paint job. The original paint is about 40%
    > gone. It had silk screened logos on the frame, hand painted pin stripes on the fork and a big
    > decal on the chain guard. No way I can reproduce any of that. I am very hesitant to strip it and
    > give it a plain jane utilitarian paint job and destroy what ever collectible value it has even
    > with it's current ratty paint. But I can't leave like it is with bare metal hanging out. What to
    > do, what to do...

    You might go to the Schwinn forums on www.schwinn.com and see what the Schwinn fanatics
    think about it.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  11. Grenouil

    Grenouil Guest

    "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 22:11:16 +0000, Michael wrote:

    > If you do it yourself -- and are not experienced and don't
    have all the
    > equipment -- yeah. But you can get it powder-coated for
    less than you
    > think. Friend of mine went to the shop I recommended, and
    went with a
    > color they had in stock, and got a real nice finish for
    $80. Mine, I
    > wanted a particular color (metalic cobalt blue) and a
    chromed fork, so
    > mine cost $150.
    >
    > If you start adding up cost for paint cans, primer, and
    the effort
    > required to strip the frame, then powder coating is a
    bargain. It also
    > lasts a long time, and it very tough.
    >
    > David L. Johnson
    >
    A powder coat is the best bet for a tough finish - the problem for me is finding someone local who
    can powder coat at a reasonable price - return shipping cost to have it done non-locally on a low
    cost frameset is generally prohibitive.....
     
  12. On Tue, 19 Aug 2003 07:57:45 +0000, Grenouil wrote:

    > A powder coat is the best bet for a tough finish - the problem for me is finding someone local who
    > can powder coat at a reasonable price - return shipping cost to have it done non-locally on a low
    > cost frameset is generally prohibitive.....

    So, where's local? Bellsouth.net.... are you near a large city? I'm sure there would be a decent
    powder coater in Houston, Atlanta, or whereever the nearest big city is. Bikers -- that is, Harley
    riders -- use powder-coating for a lot of their customization.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | You will say Christ saith this and the apostles say this; but _`\(,_ | what canst thou say?
    -- George Fox. (_)/ (_) |
     
  13. Grenouil

    Grenouil Guest

    "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Tue, 19 Aug 2003 07:57:45 +0000, Grenouil wrote:
    >
    >
    > So, where's local? Bellsouth.net.... are you near a
    large city? I'm
    > sure there would be a decent powder coater in Houston,
    Atlanta, or
    > whereever the nearest big city is. Bikers -- that is,
    Harley riders --
    > use powder-coating for a lot of their customization.
    >
    > --
    >
    Nashville - and yeah, I've checked a couple of the Biker custom shops - they mostly do chroming.
    There is a powder coater who can do this at $110 - and I'm still looking.....
     
  14. ack <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I currently bike to the train (MARC http://www.mtamaryland.com/) then ride the train to DC. I
    > would like to take my bike with me but it's not allowed. Most of the other transit systems in the
    > area carry bikes ex: MetroRail (except rush hour), Metrobus, light rail in Baltimore and most of
    > the local bus systems carry bikes now also. I was wondering if anyone has seen a system for
    > carrying bikes on a train like Amtrak with no baggage cars. I'm curious if there is a current
    > system being used somewhere else that I could use as an example when asking Maryland Transit for
    > an option other than buying a folding bicycle and packing it into a carrying case.

    CalTrain, running from San Francisco to San Jose (and on to Gilroy on some runs) has space on the
    northernmost car of each train for bikes. You wheel your bike in and bungee it to the wall or to
    other bikes. There are some trains with a second bike car. Each bike car has a max capacity of 32
    bikes. See http://www.caltrain.org/caltrain_bikes2.html . I live across the street from one of the
    stations and I can tell you that the bike option is quite popular.

    - rick
     
  15. ack <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I currently bike to the train (MARC http://www.mtamaryland.com/) then ride the train to DC. I
    > would like to take my bike with me but it's not allowed. Most of the other transit systems in the
    > area carry bikes ex: MetroRail (except rush hour), Metrobus, light rail in Baltimore and most of
    > the local bus systems carry bikes now also. I was wondering if anyone has seen a system for
    > carrying bikes on a train like Amtrak with no baggage cars. I'm curious if there is a current
    > system being used somewhere else that I could use as an example when asking Maryland Transit for
    > an option other than buying a folding bicycle and packing it into a carrying case.

    CalTrain, running from San Francisco to San Jose (and on to Gilroy on some runs) has space on the
    northernmost car of each train for bikes. You wheel your bike in and bungee it to the wall or to
    other bikes. There are some trains with a second bike car. Each bike car has a max capacity of 32
    bikes. See http://www.caltrain.org/caltrain_bikes2.html . I live across the street from one of the
    stations and I can tell you that the bike option is quite popular.

    - rick
     
  16. That's what I want to do, restore it. I could make a nice utility bike out of it easy enough, but
    restoring the paint job back to original condition is well out of my skill and financial abilities.

    Lorenzo

    ThreeLeggedDog wrote:
    > It's value as a collector's item is minimal, unless the bicycle is very rare. I don't think
    > Traveler's are but I hunt for English roadsters not Schwinns. Collectors tend to look for bikes in
    > as "original" condition as possible. Post your question at Old Roads be and get their opinion.
    >
    > Have you considered restoring it? It would be an interesting project, definitely not cost or
    > effort effective but still interesting. Help with the logos, pin stripes and decal can be
    > obtained. This is an aspect of bicycling I wasn't even aware of until last year.
    >
    >
    > On Tue, 19 Aug 2003 05:22:43 GMT, "Lorenzo L. Love" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>OK, I know HOW to paint a bike, but should I? I have a 1954 Schwinn Traveler 3-speed (
    >>http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove/travelersmall.JPG ) Front and rear rack, fenders, generator and
    >>headlight work, tail light missing. Rear rim looks like it was run over with a car and
    >>"straightened" with a big ball pen hammer but is still ridable, front rim needs replacement too,
    >>otherwise it is mechanically sound. All I need to restore this to full functionality is new rear
    >>light, new rims, new brake pads, new tires... and a paint job. The original paint is about 40%
    >>gone. It had silk screened logos on the frame, hand painted pin stripes on the fork and a big
    >>decal on the chain guard. No way I can reproduce any of that. I am very hesitant to strip it and
    >>give it a plain jane utilitarian paint job and destroy what ever collectible value it has even
    >>with it's current ratty paint. But I can't leave like it is with bare metal hanging out. What to
    >>do, what to do...
    >>
    >>Lorenzo L. Love http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove
    >>
    >>"Americans are broad-minded people. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a
    >>dope fiend, a wife beater, and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive there's something
    >>wrong with him." Art Buchwald
    >>
     
  17. On Tue, 19 Aug 2003 22:10:00 GMT, "Lorenzo L. Love" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >That's what I want to do, restore it. I could make a nice utility bike out of it easy enough, but
    >restoring the paint job back to original condition is well out of my skill and financial abilities.
    >
    >Lorenzo
    >
    >ThreeLeggedDog wrote:
    >> It's value as a collector's item is minimal, unless the bicycle is very rare. I don't think
    >> Traveler's are but I hunt for English roadsters not Schwinns. Collectors tend to look for bikes
    >> in as "original" condition as possible. Post your question at Old Roads be and get their opinion.
    >>
    >> Have you considered restoring it? It would be an interesting project, definitely not cost or
    >> effort effective but still interesting. Help with the logos, pin stripes and decal can be
    >> obtained. This is an aspect of bicycling I wasn't even aware of until last year.
    >>
    >>
    >> On Tue, 19 Aug 2003 05:22:43 GMT, "Lorenzo L. Love" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>OK, I know HOW to paint a bike, but should I? I have a 1954 Schwinn Traveler 3-speed (
    >>>http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove/travelersmall.JPG ) Front and rear rack, fenders, generator and
    >>>headlight work, tail light missing. Rear rim looks like it was run over with a car and
    >>>"straightened" with a big ball pen hammer but is still ridable, front rim needs replacement too,
    >>>otherwise it is mechanically sound. All I need to restore this to full functionality is new rear
    >>>light, new rims, new brake pads, new tires... and a paint job. The original paint is about 40%
    >>>gone. It had silk screened logos on the frame, hand painted pin stripes on the fork and a big
    >>>decal on the chain guard. No way I can reproduce any of that. I am very hesitant to strip it and
    >>>give it a plain jane utilitarian paint job and destroy what ever collectible value it has even
    >>>with it's current ratty paint. But I can't leave like it is with bare metal hanging out. What to
    >>>do, what to do...
    >>>
    >>>Lorenzo L. Love http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove

    Well, that's the thing to do then but consider it a long term or a "wheel and deal" type project.
    Over the long term you can put a little bit aside each month and save until you have enough for the
    paint job or get to know the people who are currently restoring bikes in your area and barter with
    them for the task. Provide the paint and you'd be surprised how little an auto paint shop will
    charge you for the project (Don't use auto paint, it chips). The great thing about bikes is that you
    can still ride them while you are working on them.

    Schwinn parts are common in the U.S., even old ones. Ebay is a great source for them. "Networking"
    works for restoration projects as well, ask your LBS about anyone who works on or owns old bikes.
    Check around your neighborhood too. I peddled past a house for six months before by chance I really
    looked at it and saw the forty something bicycles hidden in the shadows of the big front porch. Only
    another bicycle lover will tolerate someone in shorts and soaked in sweat knocking on their door at
    seven o'clock in the morning. I won't lie to you and tell you that restoring a bicycle is an easy
    thing to do, I'm working on a 1939 Rudge-Whitworth that will take me forever. But I'm having fun and
    learning a hell of a lot doing it. Consider it a challenge.
     
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