Custom Paint - Workshop specials.

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  • This is a chrome finish I did about 11 years ago. Wet spraing a chrome finish seemed quite a new thing at the time, in the UK anyway. It was a bit wierd process!
    You do all the normal primers then a 2K gloss black - left to fully cure. Then a silver nitrate solution thinly sprayed, which is gently wiped to lay all the particles down (yeah, sounds strange), then a water based sealant (looked like PVA to me!), then normal 2K clear over the top.
    Never again.
    There are lots of other ways to get a semi-reflective finish now, including that one where they seem to contantly spray the part with distilled water which looks highly reflective after.

    Pictures from the customer once he built up the bike.

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  • Would anyone have any pictures of just the front of a bike painted, i.e. stem, forks and headtube area fading into bare metal. I but there's some out there but my googling is letting me down.

  • Anyone painted mudguards ? If so what guards

  • Anything made out of steel* would be a good base I would think (Honjo, Berthoud, VO)?

    *the first person mentioning SKS will get a virtual slap.

  • Thanks building a Cielo have the pant mix formula from Chris king a really helpful company
    Just got find guards & get decent painter

  • I've got a 2K glossy clear coat. If I was to put it on and decide that I want it matte. Would it be a problem to put matte clear coat on top of it?

    In that case would it have to be 2K as well or would an acetone based paint work?

  • Does anyone have a source for printing custom frame decals? Not sure how different the stock and stuff needs to be but from the feel they are usually quite thin and regular vinyl printing might not cut it. Any help appreciated!

    Also open to alternate ways to apply custom decals to a frame that won't break the bank.

  • Big shout out to @privatepatterson for nailing the design brief on my recent project. Took a grainy image taken from Google and ran with it - the final design looks so much better than what I had in my head.

    10/10 for communication, design work and execution. I'd highly recommend Quinntessential Customs Workshop for any custom paint job you might be considering.­?igshid=1jdapjlcencdy

  • If you paint matte, best practice is to apply gloss first anyway.
    Matte clear isn't as strong as gloss... it has a chemical accelerant in it which forces it to cure faster, preventing it from forming that glassy skin you get with gloss.

    Get the gloss on there, allow it to part cure for a few days, then wet-flat it at 500-800 grit (depending on your confidence) and then get the matte over the top. the matte will land flatter and look cleaner overall.

    In my humble opinion, matt is almost never worth it if you actually intend to use your bike.
    Matte can't be de-nibbed very well whilst refinishing so you can end up with greater surface inclusion and it can't be polished if you scratch it. If you get thigh rub or you have any kind of luggage rubbing on a matte finish, it will actually buff it up.

    A good budget way to get a non-gloss finish without re-clearing is to throw a few quid at something like Rupes wetflatting discs or 3m Trizact at 3000-6000 grit and use that very wet, with a soft interface pad all-over the bike. It will dull off the sheen enough to give you the matte effect without having to re-clear it.

    In terms of pairing different types of products together, try wherever you can to use products designed to work together. The solvents will interact in order to give an optimal chemical bond. There are many exceptions to these rules but if you don't know them, play safe.

    Having the finish LOOK good is only one part of it... what's the point in having a five-colour airbrushed graphic under matte clear if you're going to scratch it in a day?

  • Just use regular sign vinyl.
    Opt for an "economy" vinyl... it will be thinner.
    Blast a heatgun or hairdryer over it and it'll soften and shrink onto the factory finish better than straight slapping a sticker on there.

    As much as we might say "decals" they're all still stickers and you'll still see and feel that they're stickers. Even the top online sellers with exclusive licenses for old brands and such are still providing stickers... thin as they are, they'll never appear flat under a clearcoat without additional work and even in that case, they'll represent a weak point in the layers and they'll be prone to chipping off.

    Waterslides or dry-rub transfers will get you the smoothest appearance but the application is a bit tricker but custom ones are EXPENSIVE. 4D Modelshop is where I buy custom graphics when paint ing simply won't give the level of detail I need.


    This isn't something you should do.
    There are limitations with the products and the bonds.
    Instead, you use a clearcoat direct to the steel and treat it as a primer and apply the fade over the top.

    You CAN fade with clearcoats but fading requires you to be sparing with the product and in doing so, you aren't getting the right coverage and the paint will chip off.

  • How much coverage are you looking for?

    Harder makes an XL which has a .6 nozzle.
    After that, have a look at the SATA Dekor which comes with a .8 as standard I think.

    Pressure aside, if you don't have the tank capacity, you're fighting a losing battle.

    You can get almost anything done on a bike with a decent midi gun.
    Some painters will be strict devilbis users, others will die fighting for SATA and then there are weird Iwata people... you'll be fine with something from Sealey if your product and prep is good. Your gun should have a .8-1.2 needle and nozzle combination with the smaller working for most basecoats and the larger end being better for UHS, primers or clear.

  • Are you able to provide clear coating for steel?

    I'm aware about the lack of corrosion protection for clear paint on raw steel but I am wondering for the future about the phosphate coating and clear powder coat as seen on raw Bromptons etc.

  • If you're happy to accept that the clearcoat itself contains to anti-corrosion chemicals, then the answer is "yes".

    EP or ED coatings are great for protecting steel.
    Some brands do it as standard before paint.

    If you go down the route of having the raw substrate cleared, I'd recommend utilising some kind of brushed effect on the surface of the metal. This will help clean the substrate and remove any contaminants likely to be the root of rusting and it will provide a key or 'tooth' for the product to bond with.

    Having a high-polished or even slightly buffed steel frame clearcoated can look great but the product is just sitting on the top and it will flake off if you look at it funny... like all the old cromovelato ones you've seen after a ride or two.

    We can also add inks/dyes/candies/flakes to the clearcoat so you can add just the smallest flourish.

    If you want to include branding to the design, we'd apply the direct adhesion clear, key it, airbrush the graphics on, then clear and polish it as normal.

    At the minute, Cole Coatings Workshop is only painting our own designs a few times a year because Dan and I have have other commitments but to have Paul at Quinntessential do it for you, it'd be £150 flat if the bike arrived in the condition you'd like it to be preserved in.

    If I'm not mistaken, some powdercoaters might be willing to give you a clear powder direct to the steel, it would be potentially cheaper but this might not strictly be 100% clear and could look a bit nicotine stained in appearance.

    Hope that helps.

  • Perfect, thank you for the comprehensive reply.

    I may be in touch in the future. The frame I'd want done isn't built yet but I'd like it just raw steel as built and clear coated, no polishing just protecting.

    I'll also have another 2 frames done hopefully by the end of this year that I'd just like in a single colour gloss finish. So I'll contact you about those too.

    Are Cole coatings and Quinntessential 2 separate entities? and are you involved with both?

  • Any time.

    If you just want a flat/solid single colour gloss finish on steel/aluminium, you're always better with a powdercoater (who knows what they're doing). powder is far tougher than wet-spray products.

    If you're looking for fruiter stuff like metallics etc AND you have carbon forks then wet-spraying is your guy.

    Cole and Quinntessential are two wholly separate things.

    Cole Coatings Workshop is Dan and myself.
    We work on anything that we can fit in the booth but based on our job commitments, we're only painting things we've designed; we don't have time for much else sadly.

    Quinntessential is Paul Quinn, former Cole Coatings Workshop apprentice.
    I also work on Paul's designs, customer comms, polishing, detailing, airbrushing etc.

    Both use the same space but Paul is there full time so he can tackle more stuff.

  • Anyone recommend someone to custom paint match a silca Impero to bike frame colour.

    Bit like these sexy Breadwinner vibes...

  • Get in my DMs.

    Almost any of the refinishers in the country can do that for you.
    The tricky bit is the colour match...

    If we can find an accurate paint code, we can order it from any paint dealer and you'll have the same colour from the tin... it won't be the same age nor have the same UV protection. This means it might not be perfect from the off AND it will age differently.

    Next option is to eyeball the closest off-the-peg colour and then tint or shade to match. Colour will be the same but the products won't be the same type or the same age so they'll fade differently.

    All that considered, it's a straightforward process.

  • Anyone know how much paint is on a Canyon Ultimate SLX out the factory?
    What might you save with a raw and clear coat?

  • Thank you for the comprehensive answer. I ended up not matting it. Hearing your arguments against matte paint I’m glad thats what I settled for.

  • What is best material to cut a stencil from? Frisket film or vinyl, will be cutting with scalpel if that makes a difference.
    Also plan is to just sponge on a gold/green flip pigment and then clear laquer on top from rattle can, any laquer will do? Or 2k for durability?


  • As Hoops has retired from custom jobs, where would I need to go for some creative custom paint work? I have been looking into hydro dipping designs which might be something I'm after.

  • @privatepatterson is the man behind Cole Coatings.
    Their stuff always looks impressive.

  • Ey up.

    CNC blade or laser plotter cut graphics will always give you a sharper, more consistent and quite importantly repeatable edge so you can fix your mistake!
    DM me if you want me to put together some stencils or masks for you.

    Flip paint off a sponge is a guaranteed fail - don't do it.
    You need to lay a clean black base first and then for the chromatic product to do it's job properly it needs to lay down with some level of consistency in the coverage and a sponge won't give you that.

    A rattle can clear is fine for a DIY finish.
    Buy a few cans of the same brand that provide the basecoats you use - they will be from the same chemical family so they will bond well.

  • Hydro-dipping is a lot of fun for repeat patterns and such like but any type of plunge process isn't well suited to tubes as it can't "meet" perfectly.

    Next thing to consider is that hydro dipping doesn't always apply colour in the way it is designed. It's often ink just sitting on the surface. I know I go on about this a lot but it is vitally important to apply paint "properly" if you want a strong and robust finish. Automotive products aren't made for a paint brush or a low-pressure application etc. We can do great things by breaking the rules - marble textures, splatter for example are popular - but strong, well-cured paint is from a gun, over a well prepped and primed substrate and is then sealed under an appropriate clearcoat (or two) and then wet-flattened and polished.

    What I do with Dan at Cole Coatings or with Paul at Quinntessential relies on no one particular novelty or style; instead we pride ourselves on executing any type of finish to the highest standard we can with the best products and tooling... that is to say; single colour on a shit frame or twenty colours with mad airbrushing and specialist effects on a carbon race frame... you'll get the same level of quality in the finish.

    That type of effect you're talking about can be done in lots of ways but for something as highly detailed and textured as your image, I would recommend Lucia aka Velofique. Lucia was in my workshop a few weeks ago to learn how we polish and detail a frame and I was lucky enough to see her work up close and it looked amazing - like a true starscape or galaxy. She uses alcohol inks and manipulates them to flow and float around to get unique and organic arrangements.

    I've yet to put the time in to getting to grips with that technique so I wouldn't recommend myself at present but I would highly sing the praises of Lucia. Tell her I sent you.

    Any (good) refinisher you do get in touch with at this time of year will have a wait list. Summer bikes get painted in winter. You couldn't get your bike over the line this side of the New Year with me and I imagine Lucia might be the same. I know Ali and Becca are booked solid at the minute and I'd hazard a guess Tommy and Jack are also.

    Good luck with your finish!

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Custom Paint - Workshop specials.

Posted by Avatar for coldharbour @coldharbour