Getting a frame painted?

iand-83 Posts: 132
edited August 2013 in MTB general
Instead of buying a new bike I am looking to give my Specialized Rockhopper some TLC and the frame is starting to looking a bit tatty and is a weird anodized finish, was looking to get it painted is it best to locate a specialist or will a local powder coater be ok?


  • Kowalski675
    Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    Don't use any industrial coaters - they can wreck a frame if they do it wrong. Always take it to a good coater who specialises in motorcycle and bicycle parts - they'll make sure all the relevant areas and threads are masked. If in any doubt make doubly sure that they understand which bits you want masking. Even if they don't wreck the frame with over zealous blasting, powdercoat is a bitch to remove from places that you don't want it. Always run a tap through any threads before rebuilding, even if they've been masked. Depending on what type BB you have you may need the frame facing after coating too.

    Don't rule out anodising either - it's cheap, durable and light.
  • pete_s
    pete_s Posts: 213
    For painting there's Argos cycles in Bristol. For powder coating there's Armourtex in London. Both very good companies.
  • wattsi
    wattsi Posts: 1
    Hi Pete, i was just reading your post and i work at fast line powder coaters, and kowalski is correct in saying dont take to an industrial powder coaters, there are a few reasons, i will list them below but if anyone ever has any queries about getting frames or parts powder coated just message me and i will give you the knowledge you require.

    1, Stripping
    A) industrial place strip metal using either sand or chilled iron and this demolishes the integrrity of your frame, also it can leave miniture pieces sticking through the paint work and leaves a rough finish.
    B) a good powder coaters will used a chemical did to remove old paint and then use a non aggressive blast medium such as aluminum oxide or bead blasting. this will remove rust but not damage the frame.

    2, Masking
    A)with industrial firms they usually hire some empty head who will not know about masking at all, they may stick some rolled up card through the bottom bracket if your lucky
    B) a good powder coater will mask of the bottom bracket with masking tape and stem bearing cups in the same way, also the use of silicone plugs to mask any tapped holes.

    3, Pre-treatments
    A) this is a tricky one as most industrial plants use a wash system which will use iron phosphate or a similar pre-treatment, but then again you will be lucky if you get any and you wont know until 6 months later and your paints flaking off because there was none.
    B) there are 3 schools of thought for this: etch primer - iron phosphate - zinc phosphate, my personal recommendation is that of a good two pack etch primer as this is a wash primer acid that stops the rot and all helps paint adhesion

    4, The Actual Powder Coating
    A) beware of some industrial shops as they will use economy style powders and these are for shop fittings and indoor use only (epoxy polyesters)
    B)quality powder coaters will use architectual grade powders which are full polyesters and are designed for outdoor use, there are also other techniques for applying powders better ways but that will remain my secret for now,

    Hope this information will be useful,
  • pete_s
    pete_s Posts: 213
    Seems fair, but Armourtex specialise in bicycle refurbishment.
  • Kowalski675
    Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    I just wish we had the massive choice of special effect powders that the Americans get to choose from: