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My method of choice is to drop them off at the powdercoaters, but both local powdercoaters are kind of industrial operations. They do great work on lawn furniture, and the bikes are definitely coated with powder, but it's not what I would call a show-quality finish. Sometimes it's a bit plasticky looking.

Are there any places that specialize in bikes that I could ship a bike to? Or should I start looking at body shops that use paint instead of powdercoat?

If anyone paints their own frames let me know; I don't really have space for a proper painting operation.
 

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I'd say you want paint not powder coat. Without seeing pictures or the frames the way you describe it it sounds like you have lots of mils of powder coat. Great for protection, but not show quality. Also see if there are any Cerakote applicators in your area. That another option.

(disclaimer, I'm not a frame builder. But I am a paint guy. So take my free internet advice for what its worth)
 

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I've had two frames powder coated and I'm very happy with them, very durable. I don't know if I'd call them "show quality" but I ride my bikes rather than showing them. I can PM you the contact info if you'd like. The guy has done lots of bikes.
 

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Never built a frame, but I've repainted a few myself and paid to have a few repainted. Check around with local auto body shops, some may be happy to throw a really nice coat of paint on random projects like a bike frame for little $ just for something different and interesting to do. Almost infinite possibilities for color, cool effects, etc also.

spraying paint isn't rocket science, but it definitely takes skill and the right equipment to do it well.
 

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Look for specialty powdercoating/ceracoating operations and avoid industrial joints that exclusively do gates and the like.

I've got a local-ish bloke that just does moto/gun/bike stuff. There are alot of things to cock up with bikes, interference fit surfaces, thinwall tubes, not having 5mm thick coatings, etc. Go with a pro, it's worth the extra cost.
 

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For a powdercoater that specializes in bikes, Spectrum Powder Works has a good reputation and supposedly the best.

Dark Matter Finishing is another specialty shop, although I'm not sure if he powder coats or uses liquid. Incidentally, he used to work at Spectrum.

@9GUY9 might still be in the business (I've no idea), but here's his Trek Sawyer that he did.

Could always ask your local frame builder who they use.
 

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Over the past year I've been teaching myself how to paint. It's not super hard but there is a learning curve and definitely not something to be done willy-nilly (even water-based paints are toxic).
If you want to go that route I'd suggest looking at the following channels on YouTube to get a handle on process: ETOE, Paint Society, The Gunman, Pharraway.
You will need a decent compressor, air dryer, 1-2 guns (primer and base/clear), a proper respirator, and (if you're doing this outside which you should be because 'splosions + toxicity) you probably want to invest in an easy-up tent to help block wind/dust/etc.

I'd start the learning process by buying some cheap water based kids paint, thinning it down and learning to spray panels consistently (plywood, fridges, your dog, whatever).
Then I'd move to things with curves (discarded bike helmets, bowling pins, etc) because they're way different than panels.
Once you get the hang of that repeat on the curved things with real paint and go through the whole process from primer to clear + learn how to "cut and buff" (you will definitely need that skill down the line).
Once you get that figured out, move on to a bike.

Other things to keep in mind. It's mandatory to properly prep your substrate. Since time is more valuable than money right now I've opted to bring my frames to a local powder place and have them blast/epoxy prime my frames. That way I can come back to the project when I have time and not worry about too much. (You will have to sand the orange peel out of the primer though).
 
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