To Paint or Powdercoat?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle Welding, Fabrication and Paintin' started by Smoothe, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Smoothe

    Smoothe New Member

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    Howdy. I have a set of mostly aluminum suspension forks and I want them to be flat black, dark & dull just like me.

    My LBS where I bought them from said to just scuff them up with some 50 grain sandpaper and spraypaint them, a little at a time.

    I was also advised to have them powdercoated, which would probably look a lot better and cost a bit more. What do you guys think?
     

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  2. KiM

    KiM New Member

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    powdercoating will stick better than most paints you will use, it might not give as prof finish as a good paint job though, but the durability of it in some cases out weighs this IMO...To get those forks sandblasted and powdercoated would cost me under 30 bucks here in OZ so its also very affordable, i just had a set of bull horn bars done at powdercoaters, my mate takes alot of frames there over the years, he didnt even want to charge him to have the bars sandblasted and powdercoated. Simple colours like black you will find get done quicker than colours as there is often alot of black pieces getting powdercoated where as colours you will often have to wait longer for, from past experience, might be different in the USofA

    KiM
     
  3. Fulltimer

    Fulltimer New Member

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    Powder coating will take more abuse than paint. It doesn't chip off like paint does.

    Terry
     
  4. Smoothe

    Smoothe New Member

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    Thanks Kim & Fulltimer, I'm calling the powdercoat guy. I'm buying a manic mechanic sprocket & adapter so I'll have him powdercoat those too.
     
  5. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Just a word on powder coat places. Look for one that specializes in custom automotive and motorcycle work. A lot of them just do commercial stuff, like lawn furniture, fencing and things that do not require a good finish. The custom guys know what customers like hot rodders and bikers want. The big commercial/industrial ones don't really give a darn and will not devote the time it takes for a good looking job. This from experience.
    Tom
     
  6. MarkSumpter

    MarkSumpter New Member

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    As said, Powder coating is way more durable than paint and another factor to keep in mind is that if you try to paint these yourself you may have some adhesion issues considering it is difficult to get all of the surface oxidation off of aluminum when prepping them due to the tight areas and compound angles. A good powder coater will probably acid dip these and then neutralize them before coating to insure a good bond.

    I would go for powder coating and look for someone that does this in the motorcycle / automotive specific field as 2door said for the best results.
     
    #6 MarkSumpter, Dec 8, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  7. scotto-

    scotto- Custom 4-Stroke Bike Builder

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    You could also have all those parts anodized in black, seeing as how they're aluminum. Just a thought and an option.
     
  8. Smoothe

    Smoothe New Member

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    Thanks 2Door, Mark & Scotto.

    I found someone near me that does automotive powder coating, they mostly work on custom muscle cars. I'm calling them as soon as I get a break from all these rental calls.
     
  9. wayne z

    wayne z New Member

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    50 grit?? I wouldn't use anything less than 150 grit.

    I think "powdercoat" is WAY overrated. Afterall, it is just paint, applied electroststicly, mainly to not have to deal with overspray and to save time.

    On complicated and busy shapes, it's hard to get good even electrostatic coverage, like where a bunch of tubes meert on a bikeframe or cracks, may not get enough paint.

    A good painter Knows to look for these places.

    If you can do good prep work, degrease,prime, and use quality rattlecan paint, with the oval pattern spraynozzles ,the results can be VERY professional looking.

    Wayne Z
     
  10. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

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    IMHO Rattlecan paint is no where near as durable as Powder coat and is rarely ever fuel proof. Color wise there is not as much to choose from but price it is not that expensive to get a powder coat done. Plus if a guy has custom welded a frame a good powder coater can oven baking the frame witch properly re tempers the Aluminum or steel at the same time . Good bang for the buck..
     
  11. Smoothe

    Smoothe New Member

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    Hi Wayne, Hi Goatherder.


    If I use these mountain bike forks I will probably go with spray paint. I paid $12 for them used at my LBS.

    I was recently at another LBS: Try Me Bicycles right around the corner from KC Vale. The owner, Leon, said he could get some triple tree suspension forks for around $100. I'll be back his way next week to check if they are brake-ready and put a cash deposit down if they are. These would go to the powder coaters for sure.
     
  12. wayne z

    wayne z New Member

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    Yeah all true and good points. It's all about tradeoffs.

    I have good luck with fuel resiatance on rattlecan painted tanks by letting them cure about 30 days then giving them a clearcoat of several coats of NAPA clear engine enamel.This stuff is designed to take oil and fuel exposure.

    Also, the automotive touchup paints from Car Quest ect. in the large rattlecans seems to be way better paint than the hardware store stuff, and a LOT more exotic colors than hdw store stuff. Even got pinstripe tapes there.

    I replaced and repainted my Honda Shadow 2 tone tank, with Honda auto touchup paints and was VERY satisfied with the results. 01-02-10_1658.jpg

    Wayne Z
     
  13. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    I've posted this suggestion several times and those who have taken the advice have thanked me. If you're looking for a way to fuel proof your paint try Top Flite, model airplane clear to overcoat your color coat. They call it LusterKote. It is fuel and heat resistant and goes on nicely. I like DupliColor automotive touch up for the color selection they offer but it does not do well with gasoline. I've used these two products on frames gas tanks and engines with good results.
    Tom
     
  14. scotto-

    scotto- Custom 4-Stroke Bike Builder

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    If you're still going black on aluminum, it's hard to beat an anodized aluminum finish. It looks professional in every way.
     
  15. bobby

    bobby New Member

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    what about dura coat? use it on guns and it last years. rubberized finish.
     
  16. scotto-

    scotto- Custom 4-Stroke Bike Builder

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    Is that like the liquid PVC you dip the item into and then bake to cure?
     
  17. bobby

    bobby New Member

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    they might have a application like that but i use a air gun. i might dura coat my frame but its too cold in ny now i have to wait for paint
     
  18. bobby

    bobby New Member

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    its like a 2 part epoxy. mix catalyst and spray and it hardens over night
     
  19. scotto-

    scotto- Custom 4-Stroke Bike Builder

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    Thanks bobby, gotcha. That would be a tough and lasting finish for sure.
     
  20. bobby

    bobby New Member

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    will be tough if you prep it right. sand blast it then clean it down with acetone. also i wonder if it softens the chain metal on metal? so its chain on dura coat instead of metal sprocket? gotta try that now myself
     

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