Matte black

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Adam Rush, May 10, 2004.

  1. Adam Rush

    Adam Rush Guest

    I've been putting together a really nice mixte commuter bike lately.
    However, it has a horrendous paint job and plenty of surface rust.
    So, I'd like to strip it and repaint it, on a budget. No powder coat
    for me--it's Biltema auto touch-up paint all the way.

    The part I was wondering about is, can one put a clearcoat over matte
    black and still have it be, well, matte? Or is clearcoat superfluous
    here?

    Okay--what is clearcoat *for*?
     
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  2. On Mon, 10 May 2004 00:50:51 -0700, Adam Rush wrote:
    > I've been putting together a really nice mixte commuter bike lately.
    > However, it has a horrendous paint job and plenty of surface rust.
    > So, I'd like to strip it and repaint it, on a budget. No powder coat
    > for me--it's Biltema auto touch-up paint all the way.


    I'm no expert on paint, but I've done a couple of bikes on a very low
    budget (though enough, at this point, that I'm saving up for a decent
    airbrush so I can use better paints of my own mixing without paying an arm
    and a leg) and I might have a note or two.

    First, you're going to want to make sure that you prime the thing with a
    high zinc content primer. This will give you best protection from the
    elements and give you a nice surface for your base coat.

    > The part I was wondering about is, can one put a clearcoat over matte
    > black and still have it be, well, matte? Or is clearcoat superfluous
    > here?


    First and foremost, you're going to want to make sure you've got chemical
    compatibility between your primer, color coat, and clear coat. The
    easiest way to do that is to use a single "system" (a commonly named line
    of products from a single manufacturer), but for most inexpensive stuff,
    just make sure you don't mix acrylics and lacquers. Also, lacquer is
    going to eat decals.

    As for the clearcoat on your matte black finish... well, I'd first caution
    you against a matte black bike. Yeah, it's kinda macho and stuff, but
    unless you plan on using it for covert operations, you're sacrificing a
    whole lot of safety for a little bit of cool.

    When I built my fixie, I was going to do it matte black (with the idea of
    covert ops firmly in mind), but then decided that I should wait and build
    an invisible bike that is only used for those purposes and make sure that
    any bike that I'm going to be riding on a regular basis is VISIBLE. I
    ended up coating most of the surface of the thing in highly reflective
    vinyl film (the stuff used on road signs). It's held up incredibly well
    and lights up like a neon tube in a headlight beam.

    That said, you can get a non-gloss clearcoat.

    > Okay--what is clearcoat *for*?


    Here's my limited understanding (but a google search might do you much
    better than asking us... there are REAL paint experts out there who aren't
    just into bicycle stuff): A color coat isn't usually built for
    durability. The color paints are optimized for pigment and finish. Hell,
    the color coat isn't even meant to penetrate or protect... that's why we
    have primer. The clear coat is there to provide a hard surface that
    protects the color coat. It's an added layer of hardness and thickness...
    sort of like a tuffy strip between your tire and tube, but in reverse.

    It's true that some clearcoats are there to provide that glassy or mirror
    surface, but that's just one kind of clearcoat.

    Also, if you're doing any decals, you'll want to put them on the color
    coat (so that the color shows in the transparent or cut-out parts of
    the decal), but under the clearcoat for protection.

    Anyway, those are my few bits. Feel free to correct me, experienced folks.

    EK
     
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