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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to redo my old Mongoose BMX bike that I use as transportation around campus...I'm also considering making it into chopper of sorts, but for now I want to just disassemble it, repaint it and replace some parts. So, that leads to my question is there somewhere I can find a reliable how-to on the "right" way to repaint a bike? In my head it seems simple 1. Remove all part 2. Sand/grind 3. Paint 4. Reassemble. I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that there are some subtleties to it that I'm missing...
 

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I'd like to redo my old Mongoose BMX bike that I use as transportation around campus...I'm also considering making it into chopper of sorts, but for now I want to just disassemble it, repaint it and replace some parts. So, that leads to my question is there somewhere I can find a reliable how-to on the "right" way to repaint a bike? In my head it seems simple 1. Remove all part 2. Sand/grind 3. Paint 4. Reassemble. I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that there are some subtleties to it that I'm missing...
Unless you want to give it a fancy custom paint job, I'd say the steps are:
1. disassemble
2. take it to the nearest electrocoater and have the frame sand-blasted and powder coated
3. reassemble.

If you don't want to spend the bucks to do it right, I'd recommend not painting it yet. Besides, if it looks too nice it'll get pinched.
 

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Powdercoating will probably give the best and most durable results. If you're inclined to take shortcuts in your prep work, you'll never get good results spraying it yourself.
 

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BlazingPedals has a good point, if you make your bike look too nice it will likely get stolen. The number of bikes that get stolen where I live is totally ridiculous. Sometimes I worry about my fixies and they're not even very expensive bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
well, powder coating sounds great, but you have to bear in mind that this is a cheap mongoose from sports authority circa 2000. it still has plastic pedals and weighs a ton. as far as it being stolen, my campus is pretty secure and I'll most likely have the luxury of keeping it inside much of the time. as far as painting it myself, i have a paint sprayer at my disposal, but i was hoping someone would say i could get away with several coats of spray paint and some sort of sealant. part of my plan was to paint it myself in order to get the experience of preparing the metal since id like to be able to do that on the bits of rust on the inside of my jeep doors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
also bear in mind that im a 20 yr. old poor college student and i have loans and a Jeep engine replacement hanging over my head. for me part of the fun would be in doing the work myself any way. ive never disassembled/reassembled headsets or chainsets. might i encounter any problems there?
 

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The rattle-can stuff is easy on, easily scratched. I've never had good luck with it. The fancy $87/quart, 2-part paint might be better, but then you'd have to come up with a sprayer. Even then, prep is very important to getting good results. If it's not worth an inexpensive powder coat job, chances are it's better left the way it is.

You can do the disassembly/reassembly without repainting anything.
 

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If you have the spray equipment and prepaired to do the prep work look for a base coat / clear coat system of painting. They are epoxy. Thats what is on many autos now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
to remove the old paint/tiny bit of rust should i just use a wire brush drill/angle grinder attachment? does the paint need a smoother finish than that?
 

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to remove the old paint/tiny bit of rust should i just use a wire brush drill/angle grinder attachment? does the paint need a smoother finish than that?
A friend of mine did his fenders with one of those and you need to be rather careful as those wire brushes that attach to a angle grinder can really bite into the metal if you are not careful.
 

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to remove the old paint/tiny bit of rust should i just use a wire brush drill/angle grinder attachment? does the paint need a smoother finish than that?


Got to the auto parts store and get aircraft paint stripper it's spray on stuff is nasty but works great. I have seen a number of bikes there were painted with just rattle cans I am planning to do that myself.
 

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I had a bike powdercoated. I decided to save myself $25 and strip the frame myself. Big mistake! But... maybe your time is only worth $1-2/hour. If you've got your heart set on it, there are several ways to get paint off; probably a combination of them will get the job done:

Torch/heat gun
chemical paint stripper
paint scraper/putty knife
sandpaper/steel wool

Strip it bare, sand it smooth with 400-grit sandpaper, then clean scrupulously before priming.
 

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Just had my steel road bike blasted/powder coated. $50usd. If your time is worth anything, you can't do it that cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, I opted for the cheap route/being stubborn and took the sanding, priming, painting, sealing route. It seems to have worked out alright. At this point I'm not too concerned about it any more. I had to lightly sand the red since it was gloss paint before I sprayed it with the lacquer and of course the primer started to show through...the whole point in this bike is to be left outside my dorm as quick transportation to class so I said screw it and just heavily lacquered it.

lessons learned: next time, try the aircraft stripper; sanding sucks; painting sucks; wire brush attachments can gouge the remaining paint a lot; angle grinders will not leave a clean cut ever (with my skill level at least); and of course, always pay careful attention to the way everything comes apart so you remember how to put it back...but thats for another thread....
 

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Rat Biker
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So, I opted for the cheap route/being stubborn and took the sanding, priming, painting, sealing route. It seems to have worked out alright. At this point I'm not too concerned about it any more. I had to lightly sand the red since it was gloss paint before I sprayed it with the lacquer and of course the primer started to show through...the whole point in this bike is to be left outside my dorm as quick transportation to class so I said screw it and just heavily lacquered it.

lessons learned: next time, try the aircraft stripper; sanding sucks; painting sucks; wire brush attachments can gouge the remaining paint a lot; angle grinders will not leave a clean cut ever (with my skill level at least); and of course, always pay careful attention to the way everything comes apart so you remember how to put it back...but thats for another thread....
Yep done body work before it does suck big time specially if ya gotta start slingin bondo on cars now you're talkin fun(sarcasm)


Looks like a pretty good job
 

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Does your school have an auto body shop department/class? If it does offer it as a project for the students. It will likely be free to you and help the students in the class with their course work/credit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Nah, that would have been great. I'm in college now but in high school they would have let me use the facilities...should have gotten started sooner....haha. I frankly didnt even think of the compressor for blasting...would that have entailed constructing a booth or something? the other thing that always kills me is not having space. at home i have that basement which has only the space pictured haha at school ive been using my gf's garage and as it is her roommates dont appreciate the bikes and kayaks that appeared when school started. I can only imagine what theyd think if i started blasting or spraying down there...to be fair I have kind of gone a little overboard with the stuff I guess...
 

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Back in the Saddle
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I've done a couple of old bikes pretty simply. Wire brush and steel wool off anything flaking, spray with a primer designed to go over rust, then multiple coats of spray paint. Clear coat if desired. For an old steel bike, it does fine, and is cheap. One can primer, 1-2 paint, 1 can clear coat. Will it chip? probably - but so does the paint on the bikes I've bought at the LBS. For a campus commuter, primer + a flat paint would seem to do the trick.
 
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