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Anyone have experience with custom paint jobs?

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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Luck and a bit of clever negotiation by my LBS on my behalf put me in a position to get a bike with a custom paint job. (Basically, the color I wanted that comes as default was on back-order due to the Rona, and I got a RTP frame at no extra charge instead.) I have a design picked out already: my idea is to combine one color (a shade of yellow) with raw carbon that is just clear coated. With the right shade of yellow, that should kick butts (my taste, obviously). My design should be easy to do just with the default stickers (or so I think): you cover up the areas that should remain carbon with stickers, spray, remove the stickers and add clear coat. (Probably it is more complicated than that and I have no idea whether it really is that simple.)

I am sure some of you have had custom paint jobs (one of @bloaker's 37 bikes must have one, no?). Is there is anything you recommend I should keep in mind? Any tips and tricks? This is a high-end LBS, but they are not artists. (There is also someone in the region if you want artwork, but that's add another 100,000 ¥ and I am not that kind of guy.)
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
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I have had a couple custom painted in Portsmouth VA. It was done by a Vintage bicycle guy, so the stripping/degreasing of frames was his forte!
The bikes that I thought looked best were ultimately not ones that faded, but ones with sharp lines.
I don't have any pics of mine (pre-digital days), but this is the gist...

1613102261276.png

The exposed Seat & chainstays are Sexy! While I normally would not want to paint ti, I knew I could find a pic of this easy.
The cutoffs on the frame are easy for the painter to keep perfect symmetry - where more often fades are not precise.
 

OreoCookie

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The original color scheme was this:
red & white (original).jpg

My idea is this:
yellow & carbon (background removed).jpg

Please ignore my bad photo shop skills. The gray should be exposed carbon. The other 3T decals likewise should be carbon. In addition, I'd like my team logo on the inside of my forks. Very discrete and classy.
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
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Curves are done with tape and a delicate touch.
It is hard to get "perfect" however there is no reason it cannot look great.
It just comes down to who does the tape job.
 

jonmanjiro

Speeding Up
Dec 29, 2019
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Kadowaki? If you're that kind of guy? I've never gotten anything painted by them, but judging from their Instagram feed they sure do gorgeous work. They also paint Tyrell's frames.

Can't offer any pointers for DYI. I've tried painting a couple of cameras before but that didn't turn out well. Repairs, not a problem, painting... nope. I leave that stuff to the pros now.
 
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zenbiker

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Mar 4, 2008
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I just finished "custom" painting a steel frame. By custom I mean black, just black, no logos no decals...proper old school.
 

andywood

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I've heard of people doing them in car spray paint workshops. Just put the bike in at the same time as they do a car. Maybe worth asking your local workshop. Then you just need to wait till someone decides to spray their car yellow.

Andy
 

lsampaio

Warming-Up
Jan 3, 2021
16
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Is the most famous paint shop in Tokyo. I have never used their service, but have heard only good things. The drawback is that it usually has a waiting list due to high demand.
I know you want DIY, but just if it serves for reference.
 

OreoCookie

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Curves are done with tape and a delicate touch.
It is hard to get "perfect" however there is no reason it cannot look great.
It just comes down to who does the tape job.
The idea is that apparently 3T supplies the decals with the frame. So I purposefully kept it easy by letting them reuse the decals.
I've heard of people doing them in car spray paint workshops. Just put the bike in at the same time as they do a car. Maybe worth asking your local workshop. Then you just need to wait till someone decides to spray their car yellow.

Andy
The workshop will do the paint job for 25,000 ¥ for two colors. Seems reasonable, I think.
 

microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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Yes, my bike's (steel) frame was stripped of paint and repainted to order. The man (Mr Numata at Above Bike Store) did an excellent job.

It cost a lot. And the paint is somewhat fragile. Well, it's nowhere near as feeble as that of my circa 30-year-old Cinelli frame, but it's not as resilient as that of my 39-year-old Miyata.

I don't know where in the Tokyo area one can get a frame powder-coated, but that's what I'd look for.
 

microcord

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Coincidentally, there's a new, relevant thread at Bike Forums: "Powder coaters you like - post them here!". It's in the context of the "classic and vintage", but I'm sure that the powdercoating process doesn't discriminate between frames that are thirty years or thirty days old, or between top tubes that are horizontal or those that aren't. That website is very US-centric but welcomes contributions from elsewhere; people can and do write in from Europe, Australia, etc, even Cambodia (where one man brought back a trashed Zunow frame from the dead). Fingers crossed that somebody with good experience of powdercoating in Japan will chime in.
 

microcord

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The last I heard, Equilibrium was using Cook. But for me, the question is less "How amazing will the result look when on a display stand or photographed in a studio?", and more "How protective will the coating be (and yes, how attractive will the frame look) after the bike has had a decade of normal use, with the occasional fall and other minor mishap?"
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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Kadowaki? If you're that kind of guy? I've never gotten anything painted by them, but judging from their Instagram feed they sure do gorgeous work. They also paint Tyrell's frames.
Pretty sure the OP has a carbon bike.
Coincidentally, there's a new, relevant thread at Bike Forums: "Powder coaters you like - post them here!". It's in the context of the "classic and vintage", but I'm sure that the powdercoating process doesn't discriminate between frames that are thirty years or thirty days old, or between top tubes that are horizontal or those that aren't.

@OreoCookie you have a painter already lined up right? Just wanted artistic input?
 

OreoCookie

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Pretty sure the OP has a carbon bike.
Yes.
@OreoCookie you have a painter already lined up right? Just wanted artistic input?
Yes, I do. Artistic input is also appreciated. But I was just curious about things like agreeing on colors, how you explained your design to them, etc. In the design world, it is not uncommon that you sign mock-ups once you agree on it.

I'll meet the owner of the bike shop next weekend to nail down the details.
 
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