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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Repainting a carbon frame?

    My Hightower frame is a bit rough with clear coat peeling and other scrapes and scratches. I have a paint booth (and paint team) at work and could easily get my frame repainted during one of our other paint batches. It seems like a project that could be enjoyable and produce a good outcome.

    Has anybody done this on a carbon bike? Anything to consider? I'm going to start researching and figure this would be a good time to replace bearings, etc., also. Any info or lessons learned would be appreciated.

    Seth

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  2. #2
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    Dec 2007
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    The resale value of your frame / bike will drop to approximately zero.

    Beyond that, no major issues other than sealing up the obvious places, and get ready to spend a boatload of time sanding the old paint off.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    The resale value of your frame / bike will drop to approximately zero.

    Beyond that, no major issues other than sealing up the obvious places, and get ready to spend a boatload of time sanding the old paint off.
    Toast, unpack that. Will resale go down because people will wonder why it is repainted or because you think the job win turn out poor?

    The paint shop is a full automotive shop and i have no concerns about the quality of the end product including clear coat.

    I seem to see a lot of "custom painted" bikes on Facebook and pinkbike for equivalent asking price of a factory job. Not sure if they are getting their asking price though...

    I figured it would be quite a bit of prep work.

    Seth

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  4. #4
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    It'd go down just because most people are wary of buying a repainted frame. Particularly with carbon frames, repainting it properly is tricky, and it doesn't get done very often. Plenty of times if the frame was repainted, it's because there was some prior issue.

    Really what it comes down to is that for any reasonably common frame, given the choice of buying a non repainted frame and a repainted one that may or may not have a sketchy history, I (and most others, I think) will buy the non repainted frame every single time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    san diego
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    2,141
    A thorough photo documentation job might help assure future buyers.

    A guy I know repainted his wife's bike. He said it was a lot of work, especially sanding old paint. Came out pretty nice though. If you're planning to keep the bike for a few years more the bike's age will probably factor more into value than the paint job.

  6. #6
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    Stickers.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2007
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    Stickers are a decent option and I agree with evdog about pre-paint pics. We also work closely with a graphics and wrap company. I would guess that they could match the color and print me some stickers that would go over the top of the bad clearcoat and this might be the best option.

    I will likely go and spend some time with my painter and see what he recommends. He repainted my father's aluminum frame and it's beautiful. He used to run his own paint and body shop so he knows paint and repairing paint. There is probably no way to remove only clearcoat, but perhaps I can cover the bad areas with stickers and repair the clearcoat in the other areas.

    Seth

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    875
    If it matters: it will almost certainly void your warranty.

  9. #9
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    May 2008
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    On a genuine ol' fashioned authentic steam powered aereoplane
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    Get a full wrap that all the cool kids are doing now. Can easily be removed if you want to sell it.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2008
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    paint remover might work better than trying to sand paint off, sandpaper might scuff the carbon ?

    but I think its likely a waste of time & money
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    paint remover might work better than trying to sand paint off, sandpaper might scuff the carbon ?

    but I think its likely a waste of time & money
    Soaking carbon fiber in some of the most caustic chemicals you can find seems... risky.

    Seth - keep in mind that repainting metal frames is a lot easier. Media blast it to remove old paint. Put new paint on. Carbon is a different (and more labor intensive) can of worms.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2007
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    From the little research I did today wet and dry sanding is the way to go, not any sort of chemical paint remover.

    My warranty is already hosed because I'm the second owner.

    This would definitely be time intensive and not sure on cost as I would likely have it shot with another run of black or white that we do in our booth.

    Front runner right now is a combo of clearcoat repair and stickers, although we will see what the paint guy says on Monday!

    Seth

    Edited because I didn't write real good.
    Last edited by sethschmautz; 09-27-2020 at 06:57 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    14,721
    If you plan to keep the bike for 3 more years? WTF do something really cool.

    You are already the 2nd owner, the bulk of you original $$$ is gone, traded for grins.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

  14. #14
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    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregn
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    Repainting a carbon frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Soaking carbon fiber in some of the most caustic chemicals you can find seems... risky.
    Extremely risky! Id only allow a chemist to do it, and even then Id never trust the damn thing! The types of chemicals that can strip paints also have potential to break the polymer bonds of the resin holding the carbon fibers together.

    Unless you hate your frame and always wondered what raw carbon fibers looked like, then go right ahead!
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  15. #15
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchralphMacchio View Post
    Extremely risky! Id only allow a chemist to do it, and even then Id never trust the damn thing! The types of chemicals that can strip paints also have potential to break the polymer bonds of the resin holding the carbon fibers together.

    Unless you hate your frame and always wondered what raw carbon fibers looked like, then go right ahead!
    Funny you should mention this but my degree is in chemistry. Either way would sand, not strip...

    ... but I haven't moved on this yet. Was sick last week and the paint guy is quarantined this week.



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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    ADKs & Good parts of JerZ
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    394
    Why not just scuff and paint over the existing paint, this removing any concern of chemical reactions and bonding of new paint, as it should bond fine to the factory paint if prepped properly? Im thinking in terms of repainting a car on top of a factory paint job without a full strip down. Seems like something that would work out ok/better than dealing with the exposed carbon. If painting on existing paint - whats the dif if the underlying frame is metal or carbon...


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