Do steel frames need to be repainted?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do steel frames need to be repainted?

    I am having a trek 950 and another trek 930 rebuilt for my girlfriend. One frame needed some very minor brazing and had the paint stripped off the affected area. However this got me thinking, can I strip the paint off both frames and leave them bare steel? Is there some kind of clear coat that could easliy be sprayed ontop of the steel to protect it from the elements?

    The main reason I am considering this is becasue I did consider having them "acid dipped" to remove paint and surface rust all in one shot (car body shops do this a lot). I don't really feel like paying someone to powdercoat them or repaint them because getting the acid dip is very cheap where I live. Any comments on this idea?

  2. #2
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    they need to be painted unless you want more surface rust. Unfortunately none of the clear coats out there adhere well enough to raw steel; they need a primer underneath. I've looked into it myself and found a bunch of threads here and all over the internet about clear-coating steel. No good solutions unfortunately.

    Painting it yourself doesn't have to be hard or expensive unless you are trying to get a really fancy looking finish. If you're ok with a flat look just do a couple coats of rustoleum or something similar. Heck, try some spray-on truck bed liner for a crazy, tough look

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply. I thought there my be some kind of "automotive" solution to clear coating the frame with something made for engines etc, but I believe if I researched I would find the same as you did.

  4. #4
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    I understand that powder coating is fairly cheap.

  5. #5
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    I understand that powder coating is fairly cheap.
    Depends on where you are in the USA. Everyone in the Los Angeles area is quoting me a minimum of $200 USD. Not expensive by any means, but more than I want to pay. Also all the powder coat places want to charge me for sandblasting, even though an acid dip is more than adequate to remove all paint form the frame.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by momosgarge
    Depends on where you are in the USA. Everyone in the Los Angeles area is quoting me a minimum of $200 USD. Not expensive by any means, but more than I want to pay. Also all the powder coat places want to charge me for sandblasting, even though an acid dip is more than adequate to remove all paint form the frame.
    Olympic in Anaheim will do it for a lot less than that, and do a spectacular job. They did my DH bike (large frame, lots of tubes, some tough areas to get powder) for $120 or so.

  7. #7
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    About $100 Aus for me, say $90 US to "blast" and coat. You just need to make sure they don't coat the bottom bracket threads .

    For me that is probably cheaper than buying paint stripper, primer and paint.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by momosgarge
    Depends on where you are in the USA. Everyone in the Los Angeles area is quoting me a minimum of $200 USD. Not expensive by any means, but more than I want to pay. Also all the powder coat places want to charge me for sandblasting, even though an acid dip is more than adequate to remove all paint form the frame.
    Check with Embee in Santa Ana. I just had one frame done and getting ready to take another. They do a ton of the local BMX racer frames, and BMX racers are cheap.
    May the air be filled with tires!

  9. #9
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    I'll give Embee and Olympic a call. I sent Olympic an email a while back, but they either ignored it or it went into spam. Is there some kind of clear coat that could easily be sprayed on top of the steel to protect it from the elements? The consensus so far is that there is no such thing, any other ideas?

  10. #10
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    Get it cleaned then rattle can primer then rattle can paint! You could leave it raw and watch it rust........you could paint it with iron oxide to prevent rust or use naval jelly. For old crappy Trek's don't spend much money!

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