Powder Coat or Paint...Any Regrets? An old question from a different perspective...

Jim

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I painted my frame... as I have dozens of others. I have to say, if I could have got it blasted and coated for the price mentioned above... it's a no brainer... powder it is.
In other words, pick your battles. Get the frame powdered if you can get it done cheaply, then learn to paint on all the little bits and pieces. Once you've experience with the bits and pieces, perhaps you'll have learned enough to try your hand at the tank and sidecovers.
 

BluzPlayer

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I will leave the advice with this.
I have painted cars and trucks and motorcycles. I've sprayed lighted signs where the spray pattern had to be perfectly even as the light came through the paint.
I love paint. For certain things.
When it comes to durability; there is nothing that can hold up like powdercoating. Signal talking about bolt heads and screws tearing powdercoating.. Hmmm.
May be possible, especially if not applied and or cured correctly.
Regardless whatever paint you use will tear easier. Not everything that can damage paint will damage powdercoating. But anything that can damage powdercoating will damage paint.
As far as fitment issues ae concerned. Typically paint would be applied and finished at around 1.5 to 2 mils. Powdercoating is typically applied between 2 and 3 mils.
There are techniques used to reduce mil thickness at critical areas as well as the standard masking and plugging of areas that require that attention. Those particular areas can be made powder free if necessary.
If the powdercoater is made aware of any potential issues with parts fitting he can take the proper steps.
As for powdercoat looking like plastic???? Perhaps it is possible depending on the powder chosen and the substrate it is on I suppose.
I've never made any powdercoated parts that were mistaken for plastic. Nor have I personally seen any but anything is possible.
It is far more likely that the powdercoating is thought to be painted in a standard manner, especially with all the trick colors ( pearls, candies, veins, flops, etc) that are now available.
For frames which are closest to the ground and debris the durability of powder is unmatched. You will spend fsr less time doing repairs.
Ask your powdercoater for a small part as a sample. Paint a small part. Set them side by side.
Fling rocks at them with all your might. The choice be extremely obvious. Or place the parts in a can with nails and shake it with all your might. Then compare. Again it is obvious. This question becomes one of personal preference. But if the objective is to reduce the need for "repairs" the choice is clearly weighted to the more durable product. Repairs to powder is as simple as a repair to paint.
Before I knew powdercoating and I was painting frames I found myself using the POR products. Very good product that gets very hard and the best wet paint choice available for frames or other items that require durability. I will be looking forward to your process whatever direction you go. If learning a new skill is part of your equation that is always a plus as well. But as Jim (a man with much experience) said.. Painting a frame isn't easy and not what you want to learn on.
Thanks for opening this discussion and good luck with your decision.
 

46th Georgia

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Thanks for the feedback 46. Fitment issues after PC is definitely a concern that I'm not really interested in running into.
If you get a chisel blade for an exact-o knife, it's not that hard to clean, or better yet, buy some of the high temp masking tape that the Powder coater uses and mask it your self after sandblasting. If you decide to paint it, a good quality, catalyzed acrylic enamel is what I recommend. It doesn't have to be the latest-greatest, just a decent quality. Finding a shop to spray it could be a challenge. Check with local motorcycle shops and see if they know anyone.
 

halfmile

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Maybe the ole "enamel dip" process. Black would be a piece of cake.:thumbsup:
Chad-Daly-01-scaled-800x450.jpg
Chad-Daly-05-scaled.jpg
 

drgonzo

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Many years ago, pre-interwebs, I watched a guy on TV restore an old Triumph. He painted the frame with a brush and said the factory did the same. I don't know we if that's true but his bike came out nice
 

EvenmoreXS

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I painted my frame... as I have dozens of others. I have to say, if I could have got it blasted and coated for the price mentioned above... it's a no brainer... powder it is.
In other words, pick your battles. Get the frame powdered if you can get it done cheaply, then learn to paint on all the little bits and pieces. Once you've experience with the bits and pieces, perhaps you'll have learned enough to try your hand at the tank and sidecovers.
Side by side it will most likely cost me more to paint everything myself than to PC the specific things I'm concerned about. PC isn't as cheap as I'd like but it really isn't prohibitively expensive either. I can afford it and from the word of mouth I've received about the PC'r I would use I have no doubt he could keep it thin-ish in the places that fitment matters and protect the threads. Communication is key. I can possibly paint the calipers and engine mounts etc., small bits..., which are relatively less complicated and time consuming to paint and prepare for PC at a later date.

Thanks Jim. Experienced advice is what I'm after. I can't trust everything I find on the internet, but I do trust the good folks here.
 

EvenmoreXS

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I will leave the advice with this.
I have painted cars and trucks and motorcycles. I've sprayed lighted signs where the spray pattern had to be perfectly even as the light came through the paint.
I love paint. For certain things.
When it comes to durability; there is nothing that can hold up like powdercoating. Signal talking about bolt heads and screws tearing powdercoating.. Hmmm.
May be possible, especially if not applied and or cured correctly.
Regardless whatever paint you use will tear easier. Not everything that can damage paint will damage powdercoating. But anything that can damage powdercoating will damage paint.
As far as fitment issues ae concerned. Typically paint would be applied and finished at around 1.5 to 2 mils. Powdercoating is typically applied between 2 and 3 mils.
There are techniques used to reduce mil thickness at critical areas as well as the standard masking and plugging of areas that require that attention. Those particular areas can be made powder free if necessary.
If the powdercoater is made aware of any potential issues with parts fitting he can take the proper steps.
As for powdercoat looking like plastic???? Perhaps it is possible depending on the powder chosen and the substrate it is on I suppose.
I've never made any powdercoated parts that were mistaken for plastic. Nor have I personally seen any but anything is possible.
It is far more likely that the powdercoating is thought to be painted in a standard manner, especially with all the trick colors ( pearls, candies, veins, flops, etc) that are now available.
For frames which are closest to the ground and debris the durability of powder is unmatched. You will spend fsr less time doing repairs.
Ask your powdercoater for a small part as a sample. Paint a small part. Set them side by side.
Fling rocks at them with all your might. The choice be extremely obvious. Or place the parts in a can with nails and shake it with all your might. Then compare. Again it is obvious. This question becomes one of personal preference. But if the objective is to reduce the need for "repairs" the choice is clearly weighted to the more durable product. Repairs to powder is as simple as a repair to paint.
Before I knew powdercoating and I was painting frames I found myself using the POR products. Very good product that gets very hard and the best wet paint choice available for frames or other items that require durability. I will be looking forward to your process whatever direction you go. If learning a new skill is part of your equation that is always a plus as well. But as Jim (a man with much experience) said.. Painting a frame isn't easy and not what you want to learn on.
Thanks for opening this discussion and good luck with your decision.

Excellent Bluz... You'd probably like the sound of my 81 Ibanez Artist Double cutaway through my Egnater tube amp. But I digress.,,

I don't have any plans for fancy colors. Black, white and grey for the most part with some chrome of course. All taste-full like. I get the "Not everything that can damage paint will damage powdercoating. But anything that can damage powdercoating will damage paint." and communication with the PC'r would be key to any potential fitment issues. Less time doing touch ups and more time on the road is the goal and I'm hoping to get the better side of that balance. There will be nicks and dings either way. It's inevitable. The fewer the better and hopefully none that end up requiring drastic measures... like re-coating.

"Repairs to powder is as simple as a repair to paint." This is where I lose trust in the internet and come to you guys. This is acceptable but I keep seeing people say it doesn't work out. If I decide to go PC my next quest will be seeking knowledge in doing a quality touch up in my garage, but I'll ride over that bridge when I get there.

Thanks Bluz! And stay tuned, once I get things rolling on the project I'll do some posting. I'm one of those "plan ahead and have at least some idea of what to expect before you start" guys. If you don't know what to expect, how will you know if your screwing up? Look before you leap, or something like that.
 

EvenmoreXS

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Maybe the ole "enamel dip" process. Black would be a piece of cake.:thumbsup:
View attachment 212347View attachment 212348
Suhweeet Halfmile! I've read about that online and seen a few images but nothing like the tie-dye you have there. Can't decide if its Beatles themed or just one of those special mushrooms. Definitely one of a kind. PC may be easier though...

Thanks for sharing, I'm sure others will enjoy too.
 

EvenmoreXS

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Many years ago, pre-interwebs, I watched a guy on TV restore an old Triumph. He painted the frame with a brush and said the factory did the same. I don't know we if that's true but his bike came out nice
I want to doubt the Triumph frames were painted by hand, but thats probably because of how poorly things are done these day's. The saying, "they don't make things like they used to." definitely has stood the test of time. True craftsmanship is not always easy to find these days. Go look at a early 1900's house and then go look at a late 1980's house and tell me which one looks like it was built as fast as humanly possible with the cheapest components... by the lowest bidder.

They probably did paint them by hand. I like to think they were built back then, not produced.
 

Max Midnight

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...I'm starting to lean towards paint with several base coats and 2K clear coats. Potential for fitment issues and inconsistent touch up ability of PC are a deterrent. If I do paint it myself, touch ups would likely be less complicated. I have no doubt I can do it, but setting up a clean space to paint and dry will be the difficult part in my current location. The tools are readily available to aquire, but space... that comes at a premium.
If it was a toss up between a home paint job (rattle cans?) or PC then I'd go for PC.
Refitting parts to the frame wasn't an issue and the coater had plugged all the mounting point threads and open orifices. One thing he didn't do was to mask off the V.I.N. plate so that came off when the frame was blasted.

I say PC v. rattle can because you won't get the same degree of hardness and durability that you get with a pro job.
Also note that with paint less is often better. The thicker the paint the more prone to chipping, have a read of this.
 

EvenmoreXS

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If it was a toss up between a home paint job (rattle cans?) or PC then I'd go for PC.
Refitting parts to the frame wasn't an issue and the coater had plugged all the mounting point threads and open orifices. One thing he didn't do was to mask off the V.I.N. plate so that came off when the frame was blasted.

I say PC v. rattle can because you won't get the same degree of hardness and durability that you get with a pro job.
Also note that with paint less is often better. The thicker the paint the more prone to chipping, have a read of this.
Great info Max, Thanks. If I do go with paint I'd want to purchase a couple of guns and try to do as professional a job as I could. Possibly a mixture of spray and brush in some areas. I've been researching mixing paint correctly. All the paint research and the need to set up a temporary spray booth and the cost as well as time and learning associated with painting is leaning me back towards PC. As Jim said, I can still learn to paint, just maybe not so much out the gate. I have some painting experience but this would be a new can of worms. I like a challenge!, but I don't like wasting time or money.

I can't find my VIN on the frame. I believe the PO may have painted over it when he raked the front end. The sticker is still there but is so old and worn its unreadable. I found a post on here where there is a company, or person, who will remake your sticker as new and looks original but I don't think mine is in good enough shape to have that done. Once the frame is blasted I plan to see if the VIN shows back up. If not it may have a new neck without a VIN or possibly a swapped neck with a non original to the bike sticker. Who knows... In either case I'll consider options for adding it back. I do have the title. My bike came with all the things you get from a PO. She won't have any more of that nonsense when I'm done.

I've already done a lot of solid work to her over the years but I bypassed the cosmetic stuff to make her a one kick wonder. Now she gets the makeover and some additional updates.

Thanks for all the great feedback everyone.
 
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