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First paint damage, how to seal / repair ?

AndyG1AndyG1 Posts: 7
edited July 2009 in Road beginners
After a few chain slips during initial set-up, my new steed has it's first paint damage :-(

Has anyone got any tips to seal / repair paint damage on an Alu frame ..? And what about minor scratches on carbon forks ?

Any tips would be gratefully received...Cheers


  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    Nail varnish works well, or car touch up 'pens'.
    London to Paris Forum

    Scott Scale 10
    Focus Izalco Team
  • AndyG1AndyG1 Posts: 7
    Thanks CJW.. Though as much ..Will raid the girlfriends bag make-up bag (first time only, honest)....Nice bling on the Scott by the way, good to see it's being well hammered...!
  • ChisholmChisholm Posts: 20
    Top tip is to use a cocktail stick to apply, learnt that from a french polisher
    Btwin Sport 3
    Scott Scale 50
  • laelae Posts: 555
    Touch up pens are pretty good for little repairs and chips.

    With an ally frame, rust isn't a problem BUT the aluminium will still oxidise if moisture gets under the paint, so the paint can still 'lift' off the frame if it isn't sealed properly. If you can't repair a chip soon, a good stop-gap measure is to put some clear nail varnish over it just to seal it.

    If you run your finger over the chip you'll feel the thickness of the paint. If you just blob paint on this, you'll see a small 'drop' in the paint level, so first you need to feather out the chip with some really fine (600 or 1000g sandpaper) on the end of your little finger or on a pencil (this also keys the frame/paint to accept the paint better).

    Then you can carefully put your paint on. Wait for a few days for it to cure properly, then carefully go over it again with some 1500g sandpaper to make sure the paint is level. This will give you a rough surface which will need polishing back up to a shine - use rubbing compound or T-Cut (commonly found in the back of someones garage) and a damp cloth, and gently rub over the repair until it's shiny. Don't overdo it as the paint on bike frames is quite thin and you can polish it all off if you aren't careful.

    If your frame is lacquered (most are, especially if it has a metallic finish) then you'll also need to put a lacquer over the repair. Use the same process to apply the lacquer.

    If the repair is bigger then you can use the same process but with a spray can instead of a touch up bottle, just mask off the rest of the bike. Most people mask off a square around the repair - don't do this unless you want to have a patchwork paint job! It's better to mask off the whole tube that's damaged and feather out the paint away from the repair - it will blend in better and the line between one tube and another provides a visual break which will hide a slight mis-match in colour.

    As for tiny scratches in carbon fibre - they can probably be removed with any fine rubbing compound or T-Cut and a damp cloth, but try it on an inconspicuous area first and be gentle!
  • AndyG1AndyG1 Posts: 7
    Experts reply, many thanks. The frame is lacquered and I'll set to work after I clean down tonight.

    Hopefully I'll never need the "bigger" advice but it's early days...
  • laelae Posts: 555
    If the paint is really ruined, it's a good opportunity to repaint the whole bike in your favourite colour :wink:
  • AndyG1AndyG1 Posts: 7
    Not quiet ready to "Pimp my ride" just yet but with the state of the Suffolk roads (and my decent skills or lack of (we do have a few hills)), might not be too far away.. Cheers
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