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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My oldest has outgrown his bike. My youngest is ready for his first. The bike is in great shape but I wanted to reprint it. It's a steel bike from toys r us.

I would like to,

1. Take it to a local sandblaster to clean it down;
2. Prime it and paint my own designs;
3. Take it to a shop to clear coat and finish it.

Do-able? I've never done a bike. What kind of paint? Plenty of time to get educated on this.

Thanks
 

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If you're doing this for the therapeutic value, or for recreation, go for it. You have the plan. But between the time and material, you'll outstrip the cost of a new bike. Donate the bike to a charity and buy a new one.
As soon as I hear shop, as in sandblasting and clear coating, I hear $$$. I would strip it down to the frame, sand it with some 120, spray it with a rusty metal primer (if it's rusting), followed by two coats of Rustoleum, followed by a clear coat. Give it a couple of days to cure and then reassemble. Even that effort, as a painter, is more costly to me than a new bike. Trust me, I have a rusty ten speed, and the thought of painting it crossed my mind for all of two seconds. Fortunately, I live at the beach, where rusty dilapidated bikes are quaint and fit in just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Haha. Good post.

Mostly because i like projects and my oldest likes working with me. Also, I can't find this frame anywhere now, and for a kid bike it really is unique and tough.
 

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Why sandblast it? All you need to do is get good adhesion of your paint- so as JS said, sand to scuff it up a bit- prime and paint away.

I have a friend on a different forum who custom painted a great bike to look very WWII ish, put a lot of time and effort into a fantastic job. I just hope it doesn't get ripped off in 15 min on the street...

Here it is- just showing off some cool work-
 

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If you stole that bike, what would you do with it? Certainly couldn't ride it around town. Not being exactly an off the rack ride, you'd have to sell that on the other side of the country. That would be like stealing the Hope Diamond, who would you sell it to. Excellent restoration.

Dornier, you have the plan, just skip the sandblaster and the spray shop. Whatever you need can be bought for DIY, and you and your boy can do the whole job. I'm a buzz kill on overkill. Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you stole that bike, what would you do with it? Certainly couldn't ride it around town. Not being exactly an off the rack ride, you'd have to sell that on the other side of the country. That would be like stealing the Hope Diamond, who would you sell it to. Excellent restoration.

Dornier, you have the plan, just skip the sandblaster and the spray shop. Whatever you need can be bought for DIY, and you and your boy can do the whole job. I'm a buzz kill on overkill. Have fun.
Thanks.

Brushjockey, that flat green looks great!
 

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Yeah, unless you have shop connections, it's going to cost you too much to pay somebody else to sandblast and clear it. I would clean it up really well, scuff it up, with some automotive sandpaper, degrease it and clean it extremely well making sure that all solvents are rinsed off. Once you do that, limit how much you touch the frame - latex gloves and start hitting it with a nice primer. Get some quality paint that'll work with the primer and have at it. Wet sand it if you need to and then shoot it with a couple coats of clear. Done. If you take your time, You'll surprise yourself I bet.

Just remember that this is a kid's bike and it's going to get abused. Don't be heartbroken when the paint gets trashed.
 

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If you want a durable paint job, you need automotive paints. Either a catalyzed single stage or basecoat/clear coat. The paints will cost near or more than the bike when new. If you aren't setup for it and it wasn't real important I would take it apart to the frame, sand it, no need to go to metal if the paint is sticking. If you have a compressor you could get a Harbor Freight HVLP touchup gun and minimize the overspray. As far as what paint to use, the urethanes seem to stick to about everything but again, not cheap stuff.
 
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