Re: How to repaint a bike frame
You didn't mention how you'll be painting. Are you using a compressor and gun or rattle can or what? Most of us don't have resources beyond rattle can paint jobs, which can look quite good or pretty bad. I've done both, ha!
I've tried cheap paint, expensive paint, Dupli color from NAPA and the best I have found in rattle cans is tractor paint made be Van Sickles. It is very good quality enamel, which covers well and does not tend to run unless you really overload it. They also have clear coat.
It also depends I think on what your intentions are for the bike. Is it going to be a daily rider, commuting to work in different kinds of weather? Garage kept or just under a tarp? Hauled around on a carrier or in the back of a pickup? Will you ride on nice asphalt or gravel roads or even off road?
My point is that it seems like no matter how hard you try, the paint gets screwed up during assembly and from just riding the bike. I try to prep the bike well and lay down a good paint job, then expect to have to touch up the scrapes and scratches later on as they occur. And if the bike is ridden a lot then at some point it is going to need a makeover. If you can have it powder coated it will last best, but if you do it yourself then you can figure on redoing it yourself, so best not to get your pants in a bundle when it gets scratched.
Gnu is an auto body guy and paints cars. And his skill shows in his builds. I use a rattle can, paint outdoors and there is a world of difference in approaches. You need to know your resources in skill, equipment and money and go from there. Then you also know what questions to ask. Some guys do amazing paint jobs with a rattle can and can give you valuable tips.
No matter how you paint your bike, heres a little tip for dealing with the scratches later on. Unless it is Gloss black (black is black and not hard to match), paint a washer or bolt or something while painting your bike. Later on ask a girlfriend, sister or whoever to take the painted washer to a place that sells fingernail polish. I go myself. Who cares? I'm old and eccentric. Match it up as close as you can in color. Black, reds and whites are easy to find. And some places sell a whole lot of colors in different shades. Now you have a touch up paint bottle with it's own little brush. I do this now whenever I can. I got the tip from Mike Simpson (thanks, bud).
Someday when I grow up I will probably lose interest in toys with wheels, but until then...