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Discussion Starter #1
I wasn’t sure where else to post this. I am about to attempt painting a full suspension carbon frame bike.

Does anyone have any recommendations for the most durable paint and/or topcoat?

I’ll also be installing a vinyl frame protection kit after I finished painting it.

i’m going to do rattle can and I’m OK with buying expensive paint like a 2K or something like that. From what I’ve read the activated paints seem much more durable.

Thanks!
 

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I sell paint for a living. I specialize in industrial coatings, epoxies, urethanes, etc.

Yes an activated or cross linked paint is going to generally be the most durable. But buying the right paint is the easy part. Whats in the bike now? What kind of finish are you looking for?
 

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Ian Limburg
*Custom* 2016 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 770 MSL
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I wasn’t sure where else to post this. I am about to attempt painting a full suspension carbon frame bike.

Does anyone have any recommendations for the most durable paint and/or topcoat?

I’ll also be installing a vinyl frame protection kit after I finished painting it.

i’m going to do rattle can and I’m OK with buying expensive paint like a 2K or something like that. From what I’ve read the activated paints seem much more durable.

Thanks!
1911183


IMG_4196.JPG

Above are pictures of the custom paint on my current carbon fiber MTB. I bought it off a guy who has done multiple bikes and always does a custom paint job. The paint itself that he used looks very nice and I'll enclose a picture of the type he used below. Next is to find a good finish/top coat to go on top of the paint, of which I don't know much about. Good luck!

1911184
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I sell paint for a living. I specialize in industrial coatings, epoxies, urethanes, etc.

Yes an activated or cross linked paint is going to generally be the most durable. But buying the right paint is the easy part. Whats in the bike now? What kind of finish are you looking for?
Thanks for responding.

The bike is a Santa Cruz, who are known for their thick, robust paint. It’s my understanding that I just have to sand the factory paint just enough to offer good adhesion for whatever I put down on top of it. I’m looking for a matte finish.

do you have any opinion regarding spray.bike products?
 

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Thanks for responding.

The bike is a Santa Cruz, who are known for their thick, robust paint. It’s my understanding that I just have to sand the factory paint just enough to offer good adhesion for whatever I put down on top of it. I’m looking for a matte finish.

do you have any opinion regarding spray.bike products?
My opinion of their products wouldn’t be fair as I work for a competitive spray paint company.

That said I’ll gladly give you any tips regarding painting it. Are you trying to repaint the whole bike or just touch it up?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My opinion of their products wouldn’t be fair as I work for a competitive spray paint company.

That said I’ll gladly give you any tips regarding painting it. Are you trying to repaint the whole bike or just touch it up?
I want to repaint the entire frame. I’m no maestro when it comes to rattle can, but I painted a steel frame recently and except for a few drips I had to fix it came out looking great.

The frame is a 2015 Santa Cruz 5010. there are some chips, & scrapes that I’d need to fill as well. The topcoat of the factory paint job looks to be semi gloss/satin.
 

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I want to repaint the entire frame. I’m no maestro when it comes to rattle can, but I painted a steel frame recently and except for a few drips I had to fix it came out looking great.

The frame is a 2015 Santa Cruz 5010. there are some chips, & scrapes that I’d need to fill as well. The topcoat of the factory paint job looks to be semi gloss/satin.
If you can wait, I’ll sit down at my computer tomorrow and type out a full response. Kind of a PITA, to do on the phone.
 

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1. Clean the frame extremely well. Remove all oils, grease, and dirt.

2. Sand the frame. I wouldn't go any rougher than 320 grit. Wet Sanding is nice as it keeps the dust down. Get about a half gallon of water and add a drop of dishes soap to it. The soap is a lubricant. You're going to sand till the entire surface is dull and lightly scratched evenly.

3. Clean and the frame again and at this point do not touch it with your bare hands. Using gloves keeps any hand oils off the surface.

4. Next spot prime the areas that need to filled with spot putty. I like this https://www.rustoleum.com/product-catalog/consumer-brands/auto/primers/self-etching-primer Putty needs a prepared surface to bond tot, just like paint.

5. Fill all areas that need it with this. https://www.amazon.com/Bondo-907-Glazing-Spot-Putty/dp/B0002JM8PY#ace-g7448806443 Then sand those filled spots back smooth.

6. Prime the entire frame. I would prime, and then give it a light sanding to smooth out the surface again.

After all that, paint with your choice of color, or color and matte clear.
 

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I'm no pro when it comes to paint, but everything I've read says to do several light coats to build up the colour. If you try to do it in one go you'll get runs, orange peel etc. You might think after the first coat that you haven't done it right, but keep going. Make sure you have plenty of time to do it right - you want the next coat to go on just as the previous one is drying off (normally 10-15 minutes, more if it's cold), so the solvent in the new paint just starts to soften the drying coat underneath. This makes it adhere really well but without creating too thick a layer of wet paint - exactly what you want for durability and a great finish. If you need 4-5 coats, that's a good 2 hours or more from start to finish. Same process goes for primer and clear coat too (with a good few hours curing time between each paint type).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
1. Clean the frame extremely well. Remove all oils, grease, and dirt.

2. Sand the frame. I wouldn't go any rougher than 320 grit. Wet Sanding is nice as it keeps the dust down. Get about a half gallon of water and add a drop of dishes soap to it. The soap is a lubricant. You're going to sand till the entire surface is dull and lightly scratched evenly.

3. Clean and the frame again and at this point do not touch it with your bare hands. Using gloves keeps any hand oils off the surface.

4. Next spot prime the areas that need to filled with spot putty. I like this https://www.rustoleum.com/product-catalog/consumer-brands/auto/primers/self-etching-primer Putty needs a prepared surface to bond tot, just like paint.

5. Fill all areas that need it with this. https://www.amazon.com/Bondo-907-Glazing-Spot-Putty/dp/B0002JM8PY#ace-g7448806443 Then sand those filled spots back smooth.

6. Prime the entire frame. I would prime, and then give it a light sanding to smooth out the surface again.

After all that, paint with your choice of color, or color and matte clear.

Awesome! I really appreciate the advice.

it’s coming through loud and clear that preparation and the proper application of paint is the most important to a long lasting finish... but does the TYPE of paint (or brand even) really not matter?

some spray paints are $20 a can, others are $5... I’d rather spend another $20 on great paint if it will really make the difference.

It seems like acrylic is the go-to these days... sound right?

this is a mountain bike and its gonna get ridden hard... I know no paint can protect against scratches and chips, gouges etc... I’m just looking for the most durable type of spray that a novice can apply.

thanks again!
 

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Bad prep will always result in a bad finish. But you can do amazing things with kids' paint and a brush if you know how to do it right.

Or to put it another way, when Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel with paint made from plants and bugs and rocks (citation needed), was it the paint or the skill of the user?
 

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Awesome! I really appreciate the advice.

it’s coming through loud and clear that preparation and the proper application of paint is the most important to a long lasting finish... but does the TYPE of paint (or brand even) really not matter?

some spray paints are $20 a can, others are $5... I’d rather spend another $20 on great paint if it will really make the difference.

It seems like acrylic is the go-to these days... sound right?

this is a mountain bike and its gonna get ridden hard... I know no paint can protect against scratches and chips, gouges etc... I’m just looking for the most durable type of spray that a novice can apply.

thanks again!
Acrylic Paints range from art paint, to wall paint, to automotive paint. What acrylics and the blend of them are what makes it durable or not.

I've done several sets of car wheels for friends with spray cans, that have held up fantastic. All with $5 spray cans. But if you want a better finish I suggest a two part clear over the top.

Base coat/color with Rust-Oleum Stops Rust. Then clear coat with https://www.amazon.com/USC-Spraymax...otive&sprefix=spraymax+,automotive,458&sr=1-1
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Acrylic Paints range from art paint, to wall paint, to automotive paint. What acrylics and the blend of them are what makes it durable or not.

I've done several sets of car wheels for friends with spray cans, that have held up fantastic. All with $5 spray cans. But if you want a better finish I suggest a two part clear over the top.

Base coat/color with Rust-Oleum Stops Rust. Then clear coat with https://www.amazon.com/USC-Spraymax-Matte-Clearcoat-3680065/dp/B0178ABUVM/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1BD5NZBMN17OZ&dchild=1&keywords=spraymax+2k+matte&qid=1611673625&s=automotive&sprefix=spraymax+,automotive,458&sr=1-1
Great! Thanks! I’ll post some pics when I’m finished.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Great! Thanks! I’ll post some pics when I’m finished.
L
Acrylic Paints range from art paint, to wall paint, to automotive paint. What acrylics and the blend of them are what makes it durable or not.

I've done several sets of car wheels for friends with spray cans, that have held up fantastic. All with $5 spray cans. But if you want a better finish I suggest a two part clear over the top.

Base coat/color with Rust-Oleum Stops Rust. Then clear coat with https://www.amazon.com/USC-Spraymax-Matte-Clearcoat-3680065/dp/B0178ABUVM/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1BD5NZBMN17OZ&dchild=1&keywords=spraymax+2k+matte&qid=1611673625&s=automotive&sprefix=spraymax+,automotive,458&sr=1-1
I’m going with a high-quality acrylic spray in cans.

Will the Spraymax play nice with acrylic?

Also, I read a tip that suggests wet sanding the color coat with 5000 grit prior to applying top coat. Thoughts? Is that for adhesion or aesthetics?
 

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Always test your paint systems before applying them to the finished product. But it should be fine.
2000-5000 is for both.
 
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