Author Topic: Paint own bike or pay for powder coat?  (Read 2093 times)

Fuzz

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Paint own bike or pay for powder coat?
« on: February 26, 2016, 03:36:03 PM »
Hi MMM hivemind:

A local autobody shop offered me $125 to powder coat the frame of my bike. It's an aluminum cargo bike with a lot of chips and damage to the paint. My vanity is tempted. My guess is a DIY job will look terrible (not a huge concern) and be much less durable (sort of a concern). A DIY job done right will probably cost 40-50 between the solvent, sandpaper, primer, paint and any sealant/gloss. Is that a reasonable estimate?

BDWW

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Re: Paint own bike or pay for powder coat?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2016, 03:44:26 PM »
First, powder coat durability is all about the prep work. Any skimping there and it will peel.

Second, I'd be very wary of letting any old powder coat shop coat aluminum. A lot of powders require ~400F to cure, and that can weaken annealing on certain aluminums. Generally, you want a lower temp powder, something that cures at 250F.

From Kona's blog.

http://cog.konaworld.com/the-painter-the-baker-the-frame-cooker-maker/
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 03:52:09 PM by BDWW »

FerrumB5

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Re: Paint own bike or pay for powder coat?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2016, 03:50:52 PM »
I once brush painted (with aluminum based paint) my 1976 bike lubed it and such. Still works

robartsd

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Re: Paint own bike or pay for powder coat?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2016, 03:58:10 PM »
Why worry at all? Aluminum doesn't actually need protection - it oxidizes to provide its own - and since a DIY job would "look terrible" but that is "not a huge concern" why bother painting the bike? If you're dealing with steel on the other hand, paint to protect it.

obstinate

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Re: Paint own bike or pay for powder coat?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2016, 12:25:18 AM »
It is good for a bike to look ugly. Marginally less likely to get stolen.

robartsd

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Re: Paint own bike or pay for powder coat?
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2016, 09:11:41 AM »
It is good for a bike to look ugly. Marginally less likely to get stolen.
I don't think it's all that marginal if you pair the ugly bike with a good lock - there's just too much easy pickings for a bike thief to bother.

Jack

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Re: Paint own bike or pay for powder coat?
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2016, 10:06:38 AM »
Aluminum? Strip it and leave it bare!



In my pre-mustachian days, I paid $100 for my commuter bike's frame to be powder-coated. The finish is still pretty much perfect.

I'm in the process of DIY repainting my new-to-me tandem bike frame now (with plain old Rustoleum from Home Depot). PM to remind me in a year or so and I'll let y'all know how it held up.

(Both bikes in question are steel. The commuter bike needed refinishing because it was rusty; the tandem needed refinishing because it had the most horrendously, embarrassingly ugly paint job ever -- somebody used a brush to write things like "BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" all over it. Literally, exclamation points all the way down the top tubes!)

Fuzz

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Re: Paint own bike or pay for powder coat?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2016, 12:14:06 PM »
Thanks for the FYI on the powder coating temps. Sounds like a nightmare.

I went ahead and painted a glossy red. It looks....not good. I would recommend a flat matte - maybe a black or gray to anyone else who reads this.