help, need suggestions for painting an old bicycle


Old 08-24-04, 01:05 PM
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help, need suggestions for painting an old bicycle


i am restoring a bike from the early 60's, i have sanded it down to the metal
using 60 grit, then 120 grit, then 220 then 400 grit sandpaper so right now its very smooth and clean.

The questions i have is some say to only sand to 120 or 150 grit before applying the first primer layer and now i am confused since others say to sand to 400 grit. Which is better or correct?

I also read somewhere vinegar is a good thing to apply before painting the metal, can anyone attest to this or suggest what to do?
i assume you just wipe it down and let it dry.

I am doing everything with spray cans,
step 1 - self etching primer, 1 layer
step 2 - sandable primer
step 3 - sand with 500 grit
step 4 - sandable primer 2nd coat
step 5 - sand with 500 grit
step 6 - paint first layer of paint
step 7 - sand with 1000 grit
step 8 - paint second layer of paint

is this enough to assure the paint will last over time?

also if vinegar is good for the bare metal surface, what is a good cleaner
to use between the primers and the primer and paint layer?
just warm water and dish soap and rinse?

any suggestions or thoughts on painitng metal would really help me out.

thank you
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Old 08-24-04, 01:27 PM
prowallguy's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: St. Louis MO
Posts: 2,597
your plan sounds solid to me, but this is more in the realm of autobody as compared to wall/ceiling painting. I'm going to move this question to the autobody forum, they can help you better.
Old 08-24-04, 10:44 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
Chyah...that's fine
It really should look/last awesome with all that work
I would say it's a little overkill...
but then I'm not restoring a cool bike from the 60's am I?
I'd say go for it, but nix on the vinegar between coats
Use a tack cloth
Old 08-25-04, 04:57 AM
mattison's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Cinti, OH
Posts: 5,549
Tack cloth for sure. You could also wet sand between the coats. What kind of bike is it? Orange Crate?
Old 08-26-04, 05:48 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 341
Hand sanding with 180G wet/dry with water will be enough for a finish where you dont notice the sanding. But any deeper scratchs (like 60G) that aren't sanded out will show. Then use a metal etching catalysed primer, (followed by regular primer,2 coats), after wiping it down with wax and grease remover. Next day (if dry) sand with 400G wet and blow off w/compressed air, wipe w/ wax and grease remover, dry, wipe with a tack cloth. Blow it off and run fingers over it to feel any imperfections (fix ), then spray basecoat / clear coat. All this material is available at autobody supply house. There shouldn't be any need to sand and polish after starting the painting. Practice on scrap to get your spraying technique down-no runs, no drips, no errors-batter up. You can get a nice finish with spray cans also but not quite as nice.

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