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I want to have my bike frame repainted.

What should I do before I give it to the paint shop? How would they like to have it prepared?

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If auto body shop. You can typically save some money if you will use a paint they have mixed and are gong to use. They will just put it in the booth with a car. –  Blam Jul 15 at 15:20

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

A few tips:

  • Painters don't know anything about bikes. If the paint shop is not specifically a bicycle paint shop, they may still offer to strip your bike of components for you. Don't let this happen! Most painters are unfamiliar with the intricacies of bicycle mechanics, and may improperly remove or damage some components, or not know or have the tools to remove others. For example, I've seen the pressed-in cups of the headset get painted over on more than one occasion.
  • Remove all the components. If you're not comfortable doing this yourself, a bike shop will be able to correctly do it for you.
  • Make sure the painters are aware of what needs to be masked off. Areas with exposed threads such as the bottom bracket, watter bottle cages, braze-ons for racks, fenders, or brakes should not be painted over! If the paint goes on thick, you might not be able to use these threads without re-tapping them.
  • Don't worry about frame prep. This is what the painters do know how to do. They'll know the right methods for removing the old paint, such as sandblasting.
  • If your frame is being sandblasted, worry a little about frame prep. Figure out what quality tubing your bicycle frame is made of. If it's heavy and thick, don't worry about it. However, if it's a nice, lightweight tubing such as most Reynolds brands, the tubing is in fact very thin at some points, and should not be roughly sandblasted! If the 'sand' is not fine enough, it may dent or severely weaken your frame.
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Ask them. Probably strip off all the cables and get it as clean as possible. They'll prboably do the sandblasting but check they may want it to come bare already.

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