TK’s frame is all done! The ‘logo’ is a stencil that I randomly chose, and in all honesty, i don’t much prefer. But it came out much clearer than my more cursive font in previous frames. Plus, TK lives in ALL CAPS. He rides in ALL CAPS. He used to type all his emails in ALL CAPS, AND IT WAS TOO FUNNY TO READ SINCE IT SEEMED LIKE HE WAS ALWAYS YELLING THROUGH THE COMPUTER! So maybe it’s fitting that the one and only all-caps stencil frame logo bike I made was for him! This frame is pretty much ALL CAPS too. It’s made to be beat upon, ghost-ridden, off-road toured into the ground, taken where ever he damn well chooses.
The color is still one of my favorites: “Pumpkin Orange,” and it’s just rattlecan (spray) paint from the hardware store. Here’s my very technical painting process for those of you that are interested:
- Emery-cloth (anything over 80 grit) the frame, then wire-wheel the frame, and wipe with rubbing alcohol &/or acetone.
- Use blue painter’s tape to tape up the BB, headtube, and anything else you don’t want to cover in paint.
- Wait for a non-windy day (…that can take awhile here) that is above 60 degees and 50% humidity.
- Find a shady spot and use some automotive grey primer on the frame with at least 3 light coats and let dry at least 4 hours. I’ve heard some wet or dry sand the primer with 400 grit emery cloth but I’ve yet to try that out. I have done it, however, on places where the paint got a run or there was some other inconsistency in the job. It mostly went back to steel when I did that so I don’t know what the hell I’m doing wrong.
- Hopefully it’s still not windy or breezy as you’d be amazed at what little dust and other things are carried in the air that stick to the paint…
- Paint the frame with at least 3 light coats from the rattlecan. I’ve been using Rustoleum or Krylon since it’s what I can get easily, but I am going to try out Duplicolor with metal specks for my next frame. Depending on the coverage you get (varies with how much of a breeze there is), you will need to go back and touch up the paint. Let dry overnight.
- Apply several layers of clearcoat. Dupli-color has a couple of clear coats that I’ve tried and they both seem the same. “Perfect Match” protective clear is one of them. I do two light coats 10 min apart, then a couple of heavier coats 10 min apart. Depends again on how much of your spray is going into the wind instead of on your frame!
I’ve been advised by a friend that restores cars to try out “Hammerite” since it has suspended metal specks that give the frame a more durable and protective finish, but I just haven’t tried that yet.
The above is as best I can do at home, with no special equipment or paint room, for less than $20. It is definitely NOT a strong finish and the slightest scrape will take it down to the primer but it does work in somewhat protecting the frame from rust and makes it look more finished. The clear coat really helps with the gloss of the paint finish, and adds an extra layer of protection to the paint. It’s a really thin clear protective coat that rocks need to bust through to get to the paint, but it does improve durability. And if you do get a scratch, it’s pretty much dead simple to touch it up.