Custom Paint - Workshop specials.

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  • Take two of this paint job and the clear has gone much better. It still has a fair amount of texture to it though…does anyone have any tips on smoothing it out? Also there’s quite a level difference on the text, but it seems like it would be too big to wet sand to smooth it out - I’d be afraid of going through the clear. Do I just do another couple of layers of clear to make sure?

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  • Looks great!
    Excellent save!

    Please correct me if I'm wrong but it looks as though you've got a significant lip between the graphics and colour because you used masks rather than stencils. That is to say, your layers were black paint>trek stickers on>flip paint>trek stickers off>clearcoat. Flip paint works because its translucent but this means you have to build it high for good coverage. You can see where the pearls in the product have gathered at the edge of your graphics.

    The built edge lip is a combination of high build at the edge and the void left in the black.

    Best practice for this product is black base>chromatic paint everywhere>full flowcoat clear>wet flat>airbrush branding with stencils>clearcoat. This way round will give a smoother, flatter finish.

    You're absolutely correct on the next steps for making it smooth though; just build up some more clearcoat layers. When you're happy, you can gently cut the peel back and flatten it with 1200/1500/2000/3000 and then get some compound and polishing mops on there. The quality of your clearcoating will determine where in the process you should start wet-flatting.

    This is my old IG account which was hacked and overtaken so please don't contact the person cyber squatting BUT... this story has some tips...­ghts/18158210719050766/

  • Thanks! Yes, I've masked rather than use stencils; that'll have to be a lesson learned for next time. As it happens I've faded the chromacoat to black towards the BB, so the lip on the graphics gets less bad towards the BB.

  • Hi everyone
    )My name is Sergey. I am from Ukraine. And I started painting bicycle frames. You don't know me, but you may be interested or you know someone who will like my work. The picture is made entirely by hand. There are some drawbacks, but I'm just learning. And I am selling this frame) Thank you.

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  • About to send a load of frames to get sandblasted and going to do a small run of old school inspired paint jobs to then build up. While I don't have any spray gun experience I have used sprays for various work before, 1k mainly and confident I could get a good enough finish with the right stuff for frames.

    I've only ever used halfords car paint for frames, grey primer and metallics over the top along with matching gloss clear coat, which has worked and lasted ok! but I assume theres some better alternatives. Has anyone on here got first hand experience with respraying cans to a good finish and what materials they used?

    Etoe on youtube goes with montana gold paint -­mko

    He does mention in Q&A that 2K is best, then also says you can use 1k but then goes on to say that metal etch primer is better for steel frames. I assume any decent metal etch primer would work well with acrylic montana gold paint? or would it then be better to use actual car paints, Halfords etc?

    Just found this -­ro-xl-etch-primer-aerosol-spray-500ml

    Aim is to get finishes similar to the photos uploaded, 2/3 colours fades kinda thing or something like the ribble

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  • May be try
    Left over cans are available of FB market place to practice with, I've heard good things, when the work is put in sanding between layers. Lots of colours and finishes available.

  • Spray bike doesn't give a good flat finish imo so looking for proper sprays but thanks for the reply

  • Montana Gold is great product.
    If you're good with the processes and a confident maker/tool operator, there are benefits to a better quality paint like that.

    If you're more led by your budget, a Halfords colour will be fine too, it was designed for colour-matching and repairing finishes on cars so it's not garbage.

    Spray.Bike is for hobbyists so it has some limitation. The pigment is amazing and covers super well. It also builds high so can be very forgiving on uneven substrates... like those which have been media blasted for example. What it won't do is lay flat from the can so, unless you work it with abrasives at every stage, you will get a peely finish. I have a couple dozen of these cans in my workshop unused. They're all for sale. Fiver a can if you want to come to Dulwich and choose your weapons and have a look round, ask questions about finishing etc.

    Painting is easy.
    The skill in in the prep and finishing.
    the second clearcoat on the Supermeme bike makes all the difference... it could have benefitted from another AND some flatting and polishing to take it to the level of "premium" rather than "good diy job".

    Invest more money on the primer and clearcoat.
    2k products which utilise a hardener will give you a much more robust result.

    Where the colour is concerned, you should avoid 2k... you need the paint to be "open" so you can blend, fade or use masks and stencils as demonstrated in the video. 2k colours will set hard and prevent you from doing technical speciality finishes.

    Where those images are concerned, that precise effect on the Ribble can't be achieved using spray cans. It involves "floating" products on top of one another whilst preventing them from bonding together. It's done best with alcohol inks, custom-blended colour products and colourless solvents. Do LOTS of tests before you tackle that one. Have a look at Velofique to see it done well on a bike.

    The Cougar looks straightforward but is a very tricky finish to get right. I wish you luck on that one.

    For a DIY finish, Etoe's helmet video shows more of the complex layering processes involved in detail work -­aE4

    For primer, when we teach refinishing for bikes, we show people how to use an epoxy primer because...

    • it can work on almost any material
    • builds high so forgives textured substrates (like budget blasted steel)
    • sprays with similar properties to that of a clearcoat which has the effect of allowing you to practice clearcoating whilst you prime

    An etch primer is excellent but you'll need to do a LOT of prep on the steel to get it flat before you start.

    Feel free to ask any Qs or get in my DMS.

  • Looks great.

    Commendable work for sure.

    What type of products are you using?

  • Thanks)
    2k enamel paint, 2k primer, 2k varnish

  • Appreciate the lengthy reply. Some good points there to take on.

    Couple questions, for a professionally sandblasted steel frame (aurum) would it be better for a etch primer or high build 2K primer in terms of longevity? If the longevity is better it might be worth going for etch even with the added prep time.

    After some more research the only 2k primer spray paint I can find is Final Systems High Build 2K Primer Spray at £10 a can which I can't find many reviews for.

    Epoxy specific primer seems to only come in 1K if I am looking correctly.

    As an example if I was to use Final Systems 2k high build primer - 2 coats, then a max of 3 coats of Gold, then SprayMax 2K lacquer would this work? Afaik and can understand there shouldn't be any reaction when using them together?

    Lastly, in one of Etoe's videos he mentions that you shouldn't sand back the Montana gold which I find strange. Surely if masking etc, you'd want to produce a flat finish before the clear? If you agree what would you use?

  • There are 2 pack primers out there. Lechler 21907 for example if you want epoxy.

    If you're masking stuff up you can't get it flat before adding the clear, otherwise you'd just be sanding away the stuff you'd laid after the masking. Getting everything completely smooth is done by flatting the clearcoat.

  • Should've been clearer and mentioned it needs to come out of a can. Don't have access to a booth or spray guns etc.

    I hear you, makes sense. Thank you

  • In your opinion how much is it?

  • CROP sells SprayMax 2k in a can. You pull the pin at the bottom to mix them. Sometimes there's a bit of jiggery pokery with the lid and a release function but the mixing is done in the tin.

    Longevity of the primer isn't just down to the primer itself... its down to application and prep. Good refinishers can get excellent results with lots of different types of products.

    For the sake of your learning curve, and that of anyone we teach in Dulwich, we recommend that they stick to the same brands of quality products over and over until they master them.

    I wouldn't recommend that you prime directly onto a freshly sandblasted frame... you should key it first. The peened and undulated surface of a blasted steel substrate doesn't offer a sufficient enough key.

    Etch is going to be commonly recommended online for steel... if its all you know, its all you can recommend.

    Epoxy is my recommendation because...

    1 - You're going to be working on refurbed frames... these will have potential scuffs and scratches and such which will be flooded out by high build epoxy. Etch doesn't build very high so it won't hide all marring. Obviously you can sand your steel smooth but that removes material... or you can use body filler but that's another product to get involved in and another stage to factor.

    2 - Irrespective of your primer process, unless you're doing a "wet-on-wet" application (not recommended for a DIY effort), you will have a stage after primer which will involve you putting a key into the primer... ie, you need to sand the primer... if you sand a thin wash of etch primer, you can easily cut back to the steel and need to apply more primer. Epoxy builds higher so you have more forgiveness with this process.

    3 - The viscosity and curing time and mixing method of a 2k epoxy makes it similar to a 2k clear in terms of application. Clearcoat is the "point of no return" stage... you can't practice it without potentially ruining painted work BUT doing plenty of epoxy primer will give you some familiarity with the way this stuff sprays.

    All things considered... Etoe gets excellent results from rattle cans because of the experience they have with proper tools... a virtuoso will invariably get a quality tune from a toy instrument. The Etoe videos shouldn't really be indicative of what a newbie can look to achieve on a first attempt... we've all followed a recipe in a cookery book and rarely do our early efforts look the same as the finished pictures of the food...

    The better products and tooling you can invest in will make your work better. Control as many variables as you can... this will help you understand where the mistakes are being made and what your flaws are.

    I don't know if I mentioned this already in this thread but we hire our booth out... you could hire proper tools from us, buy proper products in smaller quantities than you can buy at retail and depending on what our tasks are on a given day, you can potentially ask us for assistance here and there.

    In answer to your questions about numbers of coats and such... this isn't as exact a science as you might think. There will be enough coats on there, when there are enough coats on there. A bike isn't a flat panel so you WILL get dry spray, overspray and fallout where you don't want it and this will dictate how and where you should apply your next coats.

    Reactions aren't exclusively as a result of poorly matched products... if you're too heavy at any stage with correctly aired solvents, you can create bonding issues and visible reactions. You'll only know if the products work together when you paint them.

    Fully agreed with @Brommers here.

    If you are looking to build up graphics with layering or specialist effects by stacking paints on top of one another, you will get product build. You can mitigate this in many ways but given that you're using rattle cans, you aren't in control of fan size, fan shape, product viscosity or pressure... in short, you'll sort-of get what you're given! You will have lips and edges and your product will potentially look a little peely at the beginning.

    As a general rule, you don't sand basecoat (colour). You get a smooth finish at the paint correction and detailing stages whereby you work the clearcoat.

    Making the colour stage smooth is not something you want... it would be like painting on glass and wondering why it isn't sticking together! Instead, be delicate in your colour application and aim to get as little product on as possible, then get a good clearcoat on there, then flatten it back with your preferred grade (I use a 600 Mirka goldflex pad and grey scotch), then I clearcoat again and on occasion, I'd do this once more.

    The Etoe Supermeme video didn't have this stage but after clearcoat, you wet sand and compound and polish if you want a premium finish. If you don't do this, you're just changing the colour of something and you aren't crating a premium/luxury item. Some finishes don't need too much work but in my humble opinion, a "gun finish" is for a production paint job and any kind of premium finishing needs to be polished properly.

    Your work will have peel in it... always... even those rare and mythical 'off the gun' finishes have peel. Look at every car you see in the street, it has peel... different brands and different colours and different product types all vary. In fact, on auto repairs, the trickiest part can often be putting the factory peel BACK IN to make it match! Peel isn't always an indication of poor technique, it's just art of the process and how you deal with it is what makes you a better refinisher... with that in mind, spend a few quid on some compounds and mops and a backing plate for your drill and learn to remove peel.

    I realise I've half answered some questions and answered some you didn't ask... I hope that helps.

    Also... the code for that Lechler epoxy is 29107, not 21907 as Brommers said... if you wanted to buy it from a paint dealer 'm sure they'd correct you but if you're looking online, you might get the wrong thing.

  • I think you're asking "How much can I sell this for?" and if so, my recommendation would be "Whatever the frame is worth".

    Your first effort is great BUT I'd suggest it isn't necessarily up to a standard you should look to be asking significant money for just yet. You should consider how well the products are bonded... how do you know the paint won't just flake off after a few rides?

    I'd recommend you paint a bunch more... for your friends... for free or for cost... explain that you're learning... get your skills up and get some feedback on how the finishes hold up to the rigours of daily use.

    Once you have faith in your work, you should calculate a system for figuring out what the finish is worth... cost of products, your markup, plus cost of your time. This is difficult of course because when you're new, you'll take longer and your products are more expensive so you can't really penalise your customers for that... instead, perhaps look to potentially earn less at the beginning and once your work is up to a high standard, charge appropriately and look to earn back for those early finishes you did for less money! I don't know if this is suitable for everyone but it's how I've tended to operate.

    If your skills are in the illustrative part of the process - the snake... you might want to collaborate with a refinisher and elevate the quality of your work that way. It's common for artists with no specific refinishing background to collaborate with refinishers and get excellent results...

    Here are a few...­ntries#/saffron-x-phil-ashcroft/­ntries#/dunn-x-spoon/­ntries#/illustrated-cannondale/

    I hope that isn't too blunt and offers you the insight you need.

  • TLDR but huge rep for sharing the knowledge

  • Thanks for the helpful info.))

  • I'll get a new bike, this is the first work in progress shot from the painter, there will be then also small silver holographic glitter flakes above in the clear coat. It should be a gradient in total, but with spacey space features.

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  • How easy is it to colour match?

    I have an old Gazelle that was in sparkly pink, its a hard colour to find. It has metallic flake.
    It was blasted and repainted appliance white, badly, by me years ago. Something I deeply regret.

    There is some old paint left in some parts, inside tubes, fork. Things like that, small areas essentially.

    Is this something b&q can do or should I start saving?

    edit: can't believe I've missed this over the years but pretty sure its the same pink on the 89 triatholon frame found here­oads/2017/11/Gazelle_1989.pdf
    The bike was apparently from 1989 too...

  • Thanks again for the in-depth information, appreciate it.
    Taken the advice and ordered 6 of the Spraymax 2k primers from there and hopefully they arrive in time for next weekend. Along with a 6 pack of 2k Clear and a bag of Montana Golds, from metallics to shocks and some of that other effect stuff they have going on.

    What would you recommend using for keying the raw frames and then again after the 1st layer?
    You mention 600 Mirka goldflex pad and grey scotch for the clear and just noting this down for future reference.

    If you are looking to build up graphics with layering or specialist effects by stacking paints on top of one another, you will get product build. You can mitigate this in many ways but given that you're using rattle cans, you aren't in control of fan size, fan shape, product viscosity or pressure... in short, you'll sort-of get what you're given! You will have lips and edges and your product will potentially look a little peely at the beginning.

    I hear this, in a dream world I would have an airbrush for all the smaller details but still early doors. I've had previous success with taking out the pressure of cans when it comes down to finer details with sprays. When using halfords car paints or 1k cans, dependant on the colour the pressure is way too much so half a minute or so of upside down spraying helps relieve this. Also having a range of caps of various soft widths actually means you can get quite fine details if you have adequate can control.


    Would love to hire out the booth and ultimately do the full paint course but its not currently affordable for me having been made redundant from my part time mechanic job which helped put less pressure on the business I started up. If you need an apprentice then let me know :-)

  • Hey,

    I don't normally pop in here, i let Ian do that lolz.

    loving what you are coming up with and tackling on your own.

    We're having a booth sort out and have a Roland CAMM-1 CX24 vinyl plotter for sale, we'd prefer it went to someone here rather than some random on ebay.

    If this interests you then drop me a line.



  • Things got shiny, alas some bits got burnt through in the process. The number of edges on this frame made things very tricky for me, being quite inexperienced. I’d also say that using spray cans did not give me an even coverage of gloss, although that too was a reflection of my skill level. I’ll have to leave perfection for the pros this time, it’s about time this frame got built and ridden!

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  • Sounds like you've got enough to be getting yourself stuck in for learning, if nothing else!

    In answer to your question on abrasives...

    There are no hard and fast rules but the general approach should be to try and get as deep a scratch as you can, without it being so significant that it can be seen when the next product is applied. This scratch depth will vary depending on the products you use... even down to which colour BUT... loosely speaking...

    On a steel frame you can key it with p120 and red Scotch.
    On a aluminium you can go with p180 and red Scotch.
    Be creative with blocks and shaped tools to get into every part of the substrate; if it doesn't have a scratch it it, that's where the bond will be weakest.

    You'll know if you've done it properly because every scratch on the bike will be the same depth and have some uniformity. If you can see individual scratches in your key, then they are deeper than your key so you'll need to go deeper than 120, then back up again.
    Be mindful of any edges on your hardware of course because you are removing metal.
    Wear PPE and all that jazz.

    Once you've got your epoxy on, if you're bold, Mirka Goldflex p400 will be excellent but this might be tricky and expensive so you could fare well with p600 too and use this for the step we spoke about earlier.

    If you're to paint a silver or a silver like product with lots of mica, you'll need to key to 800 or even 1000 as these types of colour won't hide a 600 grit scratch and will in fact highlight your prep marks.

    A good product to invest in here is a dry guide coat powder. Indasa, Mirka, 3m etc all make one... You take your primed bike, and cover it in black dust, then in the process of keying the primer, you'll be removing the black powder... once the powder is removed, the key is uniform and you can stop sanding. A few goes round with the powder and you'll master it. There is a less effective but common DIY method of this whereby you simply dust a splatter of product from a cheap spray can on the primed bike and go about keying.

    For a slim budget, you can buy a mouth atomiser and dump paint into it then get finer atomisation without buying an airbrush... takes practice but it works.

    Hope that helps.

  • Strictly speaking you're not really looking for a 'colour match' per se. That's more for doing a spot repair and if I've understood correctly, you're not planning to repair it but rather simply to re-do it again in a colour as close as possible to the original?

    For what its worth, any pink left on the bike won't be the original colour... it will have shrunk and faded so if you were to find the name of the actual matter-of-fact correct colour and spray that, it very likely wouldn't look the same as the bits left on the frame.

    There are loads of metallic pinks available. There is effectively a rattle can available for every colour that has ever been used on a car. With few exceptions, bikes are painted with car products so you simply need to find which car product it is. Custom colours are very uncommon on production frames but that can sometimes mean you'll never be able to buy the colour but have to have it made. This is done using a spectrophotometer in fancy situations but in a busy indie workshop... its done by eyeballing it and using lots of skill... really.

    There sadly isn't a cheaply available resource containing every automotive colour swatch but good paint shops do have comprehensive references (for the purpose colour matching proper repairs). You'd be welcome to come to our workshop in Dulwich and spend some time looking through our swatches until you find the nearest colour - or EVEN the actual one. Once you find it, you'll have the reference number and if its the case it's not a commonly available off-the-peg colour, you can use this reference number to have it custom mixed into a rattle can buy a good paint shop.

    DM me if you want to come and hunt for the colour South of the river.

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Custom Paint - Workshop specials.

Posted by Avatar for coldharbour @coldharbour