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Frame painting

revversrevvers Posts: 81
edited February 2010 in Workshop
Hello. My Reynolds 653 frame is looking very tired and has a few chips in the paint. I've decided it's time to get her looking good again! Can I take my frame to be sandblasted and primed, or should I do it by hand? Is it advisable to powder coat the frame or should I spray it? Was going to start with the forks to see how it comes out. Can I get replacement 'Reynolds 653' stickers? Any advice gratefully received


  • The Reynolds 653 tubes were quite thin. The chainstays were 0.6mm thick, so check that they have not rusted through. ... -sizes.jpg
  • :shock: I think they are ok, just chips where the top coat has come off
  • A couple years ago i did an old ribble frame entirely by hand as i wasn't gonna pay to have it sandblasted! it didn't take too long or too much effort. i just sprayed that by hand with lots of layers of laquer and the finished result was pretty good.
    On the other hand we sent my mates MTB frame in for sandblasting and powdercoating and the result we got back was really really good.

    For me it just depends how much you wanna spend on it. Doing it on the cheap, sand and spray by hand, spending a fair amount of cash get it sandblasted and powdercoated.
    Giant Reign - now sold :-(
    Rockhopper Pro - XC and commuting
    DH8 - New toy :-)
  • Mines a Ribble too! I have a really cheap sandblasters near me who are very good. I was just worried about the steel being so thin, although they did my Lambretta scooter for me so I hope it'll be ok
  • revvers wrote:
    Mines a Ribble too! I have a really cheap sandblasters near me who are very good. I was just worried about the steel being so thin, although they did my Lambretta scooter for me so I hope it'll be ok

    Take it to them and ask their opinion... :wink:
    Giant Reign - now sold :-(
    Rockhopper Pro - XC and commuting
    DH8 - New toy :-)
  • elcanielcani Posts: 280
    I built-up an old Ribble 653 frame for a mate. Got it chemical-stripped(better than blasting if tubes are thin) and powder coated for £30 at Greenspeed Powder in Macclesfield. Finish wasn't totally perfect (a few tiny bubbles), but for £30 I wasn't complaining.





    Finished Bike:


  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    from all the other threads on frame re-painting it seems as if its not worth stripping it by hand. you can usually get a frame stripped and powder coated from £30-£80.

    Also some places offer chemical etching which i think only etches the paint not metal? please correct me if i am wrong.
  • NervexProfNervexProf Posts: 4,202
    Powder coating is more durable - 50 microns thick as against 5 microns on a wet spray.
    Most domestic appliances, i.e. washing machines et al are powder coated, thus scratching and marking is less likely.

    Restored my son's Peugeot - see link here with powder coating, cost £60 - it would have taken a week or so of hand labour to get a like finish.[email protected] ... 335844080/
    Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Just take it to a proper frame resprayers - it will look gorgeous. I wouldnt bother with powder coating to be honest - unless you're planning on knocking the bike about.

    Argos are always highly spoken of - but theres lots to choose from. Ask in the LBS. And yes - they'll be able to get the stickers and for £100 or so - the frame looks as good as the day it was made.
  • Bob Jackson are very good at resprays - they also do a collection service
    Expertly coached by - the blog for Viner owners and lovers!
  • ... decals.pdf
    Ref R52 Reynolds 653

    All decals are £4.95 each/pair, including, packing and postage. (US$7.45) + UK VAT where applicable
    Where more than one decal is ordered, or forks are ordered at the same time as the frame decal, the additional decals will be charged at £2.00 each/pair (US$3.00) + VAT where applicable
    Payment by PAYPAL (we need your email address with order)
    Tel – 0121 777 3853
    Fax - 0121 777 3153
    January 2009..
  • The problem with corrosion on these frames is on the inside of the tubes. The outside is painted but not usually the inside.

    Seatpillar sizes
    The seat tube of the Reynolds653 (and 753) tube set was outside diameter of 28.6 mm (inch and an eighth) so with a wall thickness of 0.5mm (at the top and 0.7mm at the bottom bracket) this would require what size seatpillar? 28.6mm -(2 times 0.5mm) = 27.6mm so with a clearance fit and a bit of allowance for distortion in the tube during manufacture then 27.4mm seems the obvious size.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    653 tubing generally takes a 27.2mm seatpost. It really depends on how good you want the frame to look / how much it's worth - you can pay up to £300 for a respray. If you want it to look gash to prevent theft, then DIY, if you want it to look good, generally leave it to professionals. If you want a home job to look good, do it inside / when it's warm and leave plenty of time between coats and rub-down between.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • laelae Posts: 555
    You can repaint it yourself with top quality results if you're willing to put the time in.

    You can strip a steel frame really easily. If you have an electric drill, get a wire cup brush/wire wheel (wheels are a bit better) and a 'manual' toothbrush sized soft wire brush. Get some nitromors and slap it all over the frame as per the instructions - after a while the paint will start to bubble off and becomes really soft. Attack it with the drill/wheel, using the wire brush to get into the little areas where the drill can't reach. Messy, but within a couple of hours, you'll have a pristine stripped frame. Wash it in very diluted soapy water and dry it very thoroughly, and you can begin painting.

    As for painting, you can get very good results with car paint cans but it just takes a bit more work and if you're doing more than a couple of bikes it's probably cheaper to buy a compressor and spray guns etc (I bought my first compressor and gun set from Aldi for £80 and managed to paint a car perfectly acceptably with it). All spray can paints etc should be available at a motor factors. I would recommend Hycote paints and primers - Halfords colours are alright but their primers are very watery. For a higher quality job I'd buy a compressor and use acrylic or cellulose paint, it's tougher than stuff out of a spray can, goes on in less coats and needs less sanding.


    You need to protect your steel with red-oxide primer (basically a waterproof sealing primer). The steel should be well scuffed by the wire wheel, but use a soft lint-free cloth (i.e. old t-shirt) and some degreaser/thinners and wipe it down, just to make sure there's no grease or oil or dirt left. A few coats of this, waiting 15 mins between coats, and you're done. Dry for 24hrs (drying times are for storing the bike in a warm place like a heated garage - if you're drying outside (which I strongly recommend against) or in the shed, double them)

    Now is the time to fill any little nicks or scratches or dents in the frame, using bodystopper (fine filler). Use per packet instructions.

    Then you can apply a few coats of filler primer, in the same way as before. This is essentially a thick paint. You need to sand it to a smooth finish with some 600g sandpaper (with plenty of water and a drop of washing up liquid to stop the paper clogging). If you sand through, you can always apply more paint, but be careful around edges as they are particularly easy to sand through. Wait 24hrs, then -

    Then apply colour primer (white, black, grey or sometimes red) in much the same way, five or six thin coats, wait for 48hrs before sanding with 600g

    Then apply colour, lots and lots of coats this time - if you're doing it with cans you'll need four-six cans, usually waiting 12 hours between each can. Dry for 48hrs, then sand with 600, 800, 1000g, then 1500g, then 2000g to get a really smooth finish. If you're gonna lacquer it, don't bother going over 800.

    If you're using a metallic colour then this is the time to apply a lacquer (protects the little metal flakes which can oxidise very easily - when you see an old car bonnet that's gone all milky it's usually because the lacquer has lifted and the metallic paint has started oxidising). Smooth down the paint with 800, then lacquer (if cans, 3 or 4), same method as colour, sand up to 2000g again. It's up to you if you want to do lug lining or transfers before or after the lacquer, it doesn't make much difference either way.

    After your top coat has cured properly (give it at least 48hrs in a warm place, or a week hanging up in the shed) then it's time to polish it. You can get little bottles of polishing compound, or if you've got some T-Cut lying around you can use that (dilute the T-Cut a bit though, it's somewhat harsher than polishing compound). Follow the instructions on the bottle. You should end up with a beautiful shiny frame.

    The people that say 'you can't do a decent home repaint' are just jealous because they don't know how to do it :lol:
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Life is too short for home resprays ! ;-)
  • laelae Posts: 555
    It only takes a few evenings. It's also incredibly satisfying. I suppose it comes down to whether you love cycling or whether you love bikes. I love bikes over cycling.
  • Evil LaughEvil Laugh Posts: 1,412


    Their results look good and is where I'll be taking the wife's new (old) steel frame.

  • Powder coat it, very durable finish and no hassle.
    I have also used Greenspeed in Macclesfield, £30-35 incl sandblasting. Much better finsih than I could have achieved and i have a compressor and professional spray gun from when I used to work on cars.
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