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SS in CO
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
anyone know about painting a fork? I'm wanting a custom paint job on my new fork and I was curious if anyone knows what kind of paint to do this with. I'm pretty much just going to paint over the existing color on the fork with my own design. anyone have any ideas about this? not spray painting, but custom design painting...thanks.
 

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Weird huh?
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here is what I did...

02 RS Psylo SL, coil boinger

It came black.. As I'm on a personal crusade to eliminate that friggin color from the bike world....I decided to paint.

Now that said, mine is flat primer gray grey? now. By choice. I like it.

I took off the metal decals, and took the shock apart. Be sure to remove the interior wiper seals if your shock has them. (notice I'm using the correct term shock, for the bouncy thing on the front of the bike)
Anyway I got everything off and out of the shell.
Denatured NOT isopropyl alcohol. Use denatured alcohol to remove all grease and oil. I then sanded it by hand twice, to roughen up the finish. 1st 80, then 120 grit. The idea is not to take off the present paint, but to prepare the surface for new paint. Don't go down to the metal, there's no reason.
Next, I used Krylon brand, primer flat grey paint. Maybe 3 coats total I think. Let 'em dry about an hour between coats. I got a small run on one of the legs, so I left it a day, and sanded it down on the spot, then re-sprayed. Looked perfect.
Set oven to 225 degrees. It's gonna smell, so be prepared for that.
I set the shell in the oven, middle rack, and 'baked' it for 1 hour. Much higher and you'll risk scorching the paint.
Remove from oven, cool, cut into squares, serves 4, enjoy.
Once it's cooled, you've got a fairly sturdy paint base. If yer gonna paint it custom, I'd suggest still putting on primer as a base coat, and baking that. I just like the color so I left it.
After you apply whatever color you decide, you can bake it again, try to use a 200 degree setting if your oven has it. A lot don't go that low, and 225 is pretty average. If that's the case, leave it in for maybe 20 minutes. When you remove it, some parts of the paint (heavier areas) may sill be volatile. You need to let the thing cool slowly so the vapors can release as it cools and hardens.
After that, you can have it or hand paint it yourself with whatever design ya like.
Couple of pointers:
There are a lot of really good quality spray paints out there. Most any quality brand enamel will work well if you take the time to cure (bake) it. Baking is not absolutely necessary, but adds trememdously to the durability.
One suggestion is to purchase automotive 'high heat' enamel. This is used to paint transmission differentials, engine blocks, etc. This bakes up very well and is much more durable than normal enamel, but not available is very many colors.

Enjoy, and if you can, post some pix of the end result.

Cheers,
Mike
 

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SS in CO
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
you're talking about the lowers on your fork right? I have a noleen mega air that is all white with no decals. I am not painting the entire fork, just putting something on the bottom 4-5 inches and leaving the rest white. if I don't bake, what happens? do I only need to bake the primer, or should I bake the entire thing again when it's done? if I don't prime, what happens? thanks.
 

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Meh.
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cmdrpiffle said:
02 RS Psylo SL, coil boinger

It came black.. As I'm on a personal crusade to eliminate that friggin color from the bike world....I decided to paint.

Now that said, mine is flat primer gray grey? now. By choice. I like it.

I took off the metal decals, and took the shock apart. Be sure to remove the interior wiper seals if your shock has them. (notice I'm using the correct term shock, for the bouncy thing on the front of the bike)
Anyway I got everything off and out of the shell.
Denatured NOT isopropyl alcohol. Use denatured alcohol to remove all grease and oil. I then sanded it by hand twice, to roughen up the finish. 1st 80, then 120 grit. The idea is not to take off the present paint, but to prepare the surface for new paint. Don't go down to the metal, there's no reason.
Next, I used Krylon brand, primer flat grey paint. Maybe 3 coats total I think. Let 'em dry about an hour between coats. I got a small run on one of the legs, so I left it a day, and sanded it down on the spot, then re-sprayed. Looked perfect.
Set oven to 225 degrees. It's gonna smell, so be prepared for that.
I set the shell in the oven, middle rack, and 'baked' it for 1 hour. Much higher and you'll risk scorching the paint.
Remove from oven, cool, cut into squares, serves 4, enjoy.
Once it's cooled, you've got a fairly sturdy paint base. If yer gonna paint it custom, I'd suggest still putting on primer as a base coat, and baking that. I just like the color so I left it.
After you apply whatever color you decide, you can bake it again, try to use a 200 degree setting if your oven has it. A lot don't go that low, and 225 is pretty average. If that's the case, leave it in for maybe 20 minutes. When you remove it, some parts of the paint (heavier areas) may sill be volatile. You need to let the thing cool slowly so the vapors can release as it cools and hardens.
After that, you can have it or hand paint it yourself with whatever design ya like.
Couple of pointers:
There are a lot of really good quality spray paints out there. Most any quality brand enamel will work well if you take the time to cure (bake) it. Baking is not absolutely necessary, but adds trememdously to the durability.
One suggestion is to purchase automotive 'high heat' enamel. This is used to paint transmission differentials, engine blocks, etc. This bakes up very well and is much more durable than normal enamel, but not available is very many colors.

Enjoy, and if you can, post some pix of the end result.

Cheers,
Mike
That's how I did my old fork. I already had it apart for a rebuild. I didn't bother baking it though.l Iet it air dry. I was just too lazy, plus I didn't want to stink up the house. I'm thinking about stripping it all again and painting it white (assuming that I don't sell it).
 

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cmdrpiffle said:
02 RS Psylo SL, coil boinger

It came black.. As I'm on a personal crusade to eliminate that friggin color from the bike world....I decided to paint.

Now that said, mine is flat primer gray grey? now. By choice. I like it.

I took off the metal decals, and took the shock apart. Be sure to remove the interior wiper seals if your shock has them. (notice I'm using the correct term shock, for the bouncy thing on the front of the bike)
Anyway I got everything off and out of the shell.
Denatured NOT isopropyl alcohol. Use denatured alcohol to remove all grease and oil. I then sanded it by hand twice, to roughen up the finish. 1st 80, then 120 grit. The idea is not to take off the present paint, but to prepare the surface for new paint. Don't go down to the metal, there's no reason.
Next, I used Krylon brand, primer flat grey paint. Maybe 3 coats total I think. Let 'em dry about an hour between coats. I got a small run on one of the legs, so I left it a day, and sanded it down on the spot, then re-sprayed. Looked perfect.
Set oven to 225 degrees. It's gonna smell, so be prepared for that.
I set the shell in the oven, middle rack, and 'baked' it for 1 hour. Much higher and you'll risk scorching the paint.
Remove from oven, cool, cut into squares, serves 4, enjoy.
Once it's cooled, you've got a fairly sturdy paint base. If yer gonna paint it custom, I'd suggest still putting on primer as a base coat, and baking that. I just like the color so I left it.
After you apply whatever color you decide, you can bake it again, try to use a 200 degree setting if your oven has it. A lot don't go that low, and 225 is pretty average. If that's the case, leave it in for maybe 20 minutes. When you remove it, some parts of the paint (heavier areas) may sill be volatile. You need to let the thing cool slowly so the vapors can release as it cools and hardens.
After that, you can have it or hand paint it yourself with whatever design ya like.
Couple of pointers:
There are a lot of really good quality spray paints out there. Most any quality brand enamel will work well if you take the time to cure (bake) it. Baking is not absolutely necessary, but adds trememdously to the durability.
One suggestion is to purchase automotive 'high heat' enamel. This is used to paint transmission differentials, engine blocks, etc. This bakes up very well and is much more durable than normal enamel, but not available is very many colors.

Enjoy, and if you can, post some pix of the end result.

Cheers,
Mike
These are great instructions! A couple of questions:

- The spray paint is canned spray paint or using a power sprayer?

- How shiny is the finish when done? Does it look much different than a typical fork mfgr paint job?

- When baking, must all surface of the paint be suspended from the oven rack to prevent making a mark in the painted surface? Does the paint get soft during baking?

Thanks!
 

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some answers

No power sprayer..I used a can from Ace Hardware. Krylon (sp?) is the brand I used. Good question on the oven. No you don't need to bake it, it'll just be a harder more durable finish. I put my lowers on the top edges of a baking pan, so it had 4 small points of contact. Yes, you could tell where it sat on there, but I figured as much and rested it on the back, and laid it perpendicular, so the marks are symmetrical as well. (you wont really notice 'em, they're like tine indentations.
I didn't use gloss paint on this, but have on other things that I've baked. Yes, you can get them as glossy and professional as if they come from the factory. The real key is to use a few light coats, build em up and let them dry completely before putting on the next coat. That's the part that gets me 'cause I'm either lazy, or too anxious to get it done.
In an ideal world, you'd put on 1 coat a day, and let it dry 24 hours before applying another.
If the results aren't as glossy as you'd like, simply spray a high gloss laquer clear coat over the thing when you're finished painting. I'd seriously recommend baking after the clearcoat however, that's the one coat that's critical to get dry and hard.
Don't use high heat. 225 degrees is what I use.
Good luck,
Cheers,
Mike
 

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what if you line the rack or baking sheet with wax paper?

or better yet, skewer the lowers with some long metal rods (coat hangers?) that pass through the sliders and out the lower bolt holes. support the skewers with some blocks... or bend the ends into hooks and hang off a rack.

i'm repainting my fork lowers as well, scuffed the original paint with emery cloth/scotch brite pad, washed, used brake cleaner prior to first coat to degrease, but find it unnecessary. the original paint was/is really thin and without any base coat/primer. too much sanding revealed the metal underneath particularly at edges when trying to scuff up nooks. the magnesium underneath is really really soft and sands away easily. so dont sand too much.

first coat was applied while drunk, outside and around 1am. the night air was too humid and caused moisture to accumulate, making the paint thin and watery at the lower edges. 2 days of dry time and still wasnt completely dry so i washed off the wet area to reapply. second coat applied sober, but at night again and with a super thin coat. much better result, quicker drying (inside the house now instead of the cold damp garage).

the results aren't perfect, a couple barely noticeable runs (sanded it a little before second coat), some minor bubbles, but overall satisfactory. nice "ultra flat black", rustoleum brand, $2/can at home depot. might sand again, give one more coat and then try baking it.
 

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Dear Drunkle

Yer right. Using something to hold it up off the oven rack would be ideal. I was too lazy, did think about McGyverin' something up though.

Like Drunkle says, you don't need to bake it. It'll make the paint harder, that's all. It wont scratch off as easily.

As another note, I'd heartedly recommend Drunkle's idea of liquor with laquer. Sometimes, if you make a few mistakes and have bubbles or runs....they just don't seem as important after a few quality lagers!

Besides, if anyone ever has the cajones to cap on yer paint job, you can always say you were pretty toasted.
 

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what? i'm the first to ever work on something while drunk? crap, i gotta patent that...

fork is in the oven, hanger and all. i just hope that not washing it down again wont result in palm prints...

oh yeah... drunk again too...

it's flat black like straight black primer. like anything else, i yell at anyone that looks too closely...
 

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Any Pics...

Any pictures of these results guys?

I am looking at paining a set of Fox F80x's black to match my bike.... :) Want a nice gloss black, and something durable.
 

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cmdrpiffle said:
02 RS Psylo SL, coil boinger

I took off the metal decals, and took the shock apart. Be sure to remove the interior wiper seals if your shock has them. (notice I'm using the correct term shock, for the bouncy thing on the front of the bike)
Good painting tips, but the entire motorcycle community has been tinkering with high tech suspension for many years, and in that community everyone agrees that: shock = rear suspension and fork = front suspension.

I can't quite understand why the bicycle industry hasn't adopted this terminolgy.
 

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I painted a Z2 Atom Bomb once using a method similiar to the one described as above cmdrpiffle but instead of putting my fork in the oven I used a heat lamp. I can't remember how long I let it bake but it was for a couple hours. It turned out to be a bomb proof finish.

One tip on painting anything outdoors - make sure you do it somewhere where dust won't blow on into your paint. Or using a big box as a paint booth. Also, I'd wipe the fork down really good with a tack cloth after sanding but before painting. You can't get a good paint job on a dirty surface.
 

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Zanetti said:
Good painting tips, but the entire motorcycle community has been tinkering with high tech suspension for many years, and in that community everyone agrees that: shock = rear suspension and fork = front suspension.

I can't quite understand why the bicycle industry hasn't adopted this terminolgy.
Funny you say that... Becasue in Australia if you calla fork a "shock" you get alot of weird looks.... In Australia and most other parts of the world a shock is the rear shock, and the fork or suspension fork is on the front- really not that hard to follow is it America?
 

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All valuable advices... I learned a lot. Seriously.

225 degrees.... you mean Farenheit, right?

Because at 225 Celsius the Mg of the lowers would be severely affected, even steel would be affected; not to mention the paint as most paints start chipping at around 150 C.

Just asking and as a note for those non-Imperial System users (there are lots of us).
 

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CulBaire said:
Funny you say that... Becasue in Australia if you calla fork a "shock" you get alot of weird looks.... In Australia and most other parts of the world a shock is the rear shock, and the fork or suspension fork is on the front- really not that hard to follow is it America?
I'm only familiar with the northeast portion of the US, but a fork is a fork here also. When suspension bikes first arrived, I remember hearing the term front shock once and awhile but this is the only place I ever hear it now.
 

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yer right

I was being sarcastic! Correct term for the front boinger is a fork. I refer back to the days when you only had front suspension on bicycles. We called em' shocks. Air shocks, coil shocks, elastomer shocks. Term went out when rear suspension became common. As one of the last holdouts who has never ridden a rear suspension bike...I use 'shock', for the front.
Warp003.....yes sir, Farenheit. I should'a realized the worldwide draw of this forum and converted or just given it in Celsius.

Sorry folks, no pictures for me. I've only a crappy little clicker on my cellphone and it's not worth publishing, trust me.

Cheers,
Mike
 

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Oh how it stinks!

My house smells stinks. I'm using 170 F temp, and it smokes lightly when the thermo kicks in and heats up the oven to the preset temp. Cheap'o oven! I can't help - am I seriously damaging the paing? My wife comes back home in an hour. Gotta open the window and let the cold air in. I bet she still figures I did "somthing." :D
 
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