Blog 16-05-23

A very productive 4 hours in the shed today with all colour painting complete. That’s the frame, forks, handlebars and both wheel rims all nicely painted and ready for a final transparent glossy top coat. Now, at this point I must advise anyone who is thinking this looks like a good idea and is easy, well, it really isn’t. You need the patience of a badger watcher, keen eyesight to align the masking tape and all the care and attention you can muster. Think twice before you start a project like this. In fact, think about a dozen times, then think again. More than once I’ve wonder what the heck I’m doing.

I’ve lost track of the hours I’ve spent on this but must be in the region of 30 hours. The actual spray painting takes the least amount of time, it’s the preparation work that is most time consuming. The masking, setting up the outdoor spray area, removing the masking, rubbing down the faults, re-spraying the faults, cleaning up afterwards and so on. All take time and effort. Preparation is one of those things you cannot skip. It makes a huge difference to the quality of the final finish. Having said that this is by no means a professional job but reasonable enough that I’m happy with the result. Online costs for a professional bike respray can be as high as £600.

The next stage is to very, very carefully, rub down the paint with 1200 grade wet and dry sandpaper to smooth the paint down to a matt finish and remove any blemishes, ready for the transparent top coat. And also, to remove any paint ridges where two different colours have been masked with tape. You need to take care doing this so as not to break through the paint to the primer. I’ve two cans of top coat which should hopefully be enough. I may need to sand down again between coats but want to avoid that if I can.

Of course, this is just part of my custom build single-speed bicycle project, I still have the bike to assemble when all the paintwork is complete. But that’s the easy part, no hidden nasties or things that won’t fit. All the parts I’m using are either left over the previous bike build or new parts I’ve used before. Hopefully, should be up and single-speeding in a couple of weeks and in plenty of time for the Edinburgh Naked Bike Ride, on Saturday 8th July. Back again soon.

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