Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I've been trying some painting using spray cans.  Not for client bikes, just on a prototype for me.  It'll be a long time, if ever, before I explore painting for customers.  Painting properly takes a bit of equipment, space and practice.  By a bit, I mean a lot.

But, even with limited goals, there's much to be learned by doing something oneself.  And, it helps to walk in the shoes of a painter, in terms of understanding what I'm delivering to them.

Anyhow, I'm making some progress.  Just using Rustoleum.  I put a light primer coat of clear on the crabon frame.  Then tried feathering in black over the joints.  The edges aren't all that I'd like them to be, it probably would have gone more easily with an airbrush.

I also tried using some reflective paint for safety.  It's supposed to blend in and then POP under headlights.  It turns out that Black isn't a good color base to hide this stuff.  So I covered most of it up with black paint.  It's still there on the bare carbon sections, and hopefully adds a measure of safety on night rides.

Clear is tricky stuff.  To get a good finish, it needs to go on wet, right on the edge of running.  In fact, sometimes a minor run will flatten out before drying.  But, when you get runs, it means sanding them back.

Spraying on shaped surfaces, its hard to maintain an equal distance from everything.  Instead, the closest surface gets wet, and the further surfaces end up with a bumpy pattern which I attribute to partial setting up of the clear coat while airborne.

The following pictures go through a sequence of layers from rough to mirror like.  Enjoy!