MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

THE GRAN PREMIO - INTRO

FINDING THE GRAN PREMIO

BUILDING THE GRAN PREMIO

RIDING THE GRAN PREMIO

GRAN PREMIO COMPETITIONS

GRAN PREMIO CRANK ?

GRAN PREMIO SHIFTING?

GRAN PREMIO CONTROLS

GRAN PREMIO - PAINT & ART

GRAN PREMIO BUILT 

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

THE GRAN PREMIO PAINT & ART

Painting and decorating a vintage bicycle frame set is never a cheap proposition.  Basically, there are three fundamental ways to paint a bicycle...

Hire a professional painter and PAY BIG BUCKS. Or...

Spray paint the frame and fork set yourself, if you have a place to work in and resources to work with.  Resources such as an air compressor.  A spray gun with appropriate tips.  And, of course, a place where you can actually spray paint, know that doing so will create quite a mess.  Or...

You can paint the frame set yourself, using a paint brush to do so.  Do not laugh at this last option.  Really decent results can be had painting a frame set with pretty ordinary materials and it can easily be done in your kitchen, with little or no mess to clean up once the task is complete.  And, paint a frame set with a brush is considerably cheaper than using any kind of spray application.

Hire a professional = hundreds of dollars.  Spray it yourself = well over a hundred dollars, if you use spray cans.  Paint it with a brush = roughly sixty bucks.

To keep costs down, I prefer paint a bicycle frame set with plastic paint and apply the paint with a paint brush.  That said, I decided to go with spray can application on the Legnano, for a number of different reasons.  How much would a rattle can application cost, when compared to a brush job?  How many cans of primer, 1st color, 2nd color and clear, would I need if I used spray bombs.  What kind of results could be expected from a spray can?  How messy is it, really?  These questions, and others that come to mind, needed answering if I was to be in the best position to help others figure out how to paint their bicycles for minimal cost but still achieve acceptable results.  My results with a brush so far...

The decision made to go with spray cans opened up opportunities to improve restoration efforts.  I could get just about any color I wanted.  However...

The only way to get the actual color needed was to have the color special mixed.  I would need a minimum of three cans of 1st color, one of 2nd color, two of clear and two primer.  That is a total of 8 cans of spray paint.  At $29.00 per spray bomb, the total cost of the paint would run close to a hundred and fifty dollars.  Expensive, to say the least, but a darn sight cheaper than having the bicycle painted by a professional painter.  But still not cheap enough for my pocket book.

To keep costs down, I decided to go with a generic color that was readily available.  I have used plastic paint in brush form many times, and in spray bombs on a couple of occasions.  I find the paint is both easy and forgiving to apply.  It flows nicely, levelling out to a beautiful glossy finish.  To that, add the fact that the paint is pretty durable.  Price?  Five dollars a can.  Still a few bucks to part with when eight cans will be needed, but the least expensive of any available options.  My only concern with spray paint application is that I have no good place to spray paint in.

I did try using the Bicycles for Humanity basement work shop, but lighting was poor and floating debris a problem.  None the less, the environment did the job and I managed to shoot several coats of "department store bought pretty close to what a Legnano's color should be" pressurized plastic paint.  The results are hardly perfect, but the overall effect is pretty darn pleasing, as far as I am concerned.  Next time, I will make greater effort to control for suspended particulate in the air.  Particulate which can, and will, settle onto tacky surfaces, diminishing the quality of the paint job.  The blemishes caused buy trapped debris can only be repaired by sanding smooth and applying another color coat.  Or, if not excessive, lived with.

Art was to be another issue.  The vinyl down tube decals were not too difficult to source, but their quality proved to be less than hoped for.  For my money, the decals were too large and poorly presented.  The lines were offset, or crooked, for lack of a better word.  And the print separations were clearly visible.  They did, however, install fairly easily but that is about the best I can say of them.  Next time I order, I will consider dimensions of any decal and ensure that I understand the decal type!

The head and seat tube decals, obtained from the same supplier, were of Dry Fix design and pretty much useless.  These Dry Fix, or rub-on, decals simply did not work.  I followed the suppliers application instructions and emergency application instructions, should the decals not work.  Still to no avail.  The decals had dried out and nothing I tried would make them stick.  And I was not joking when I said that the supplier had included a set of emergency instructions with the shipment.  I do wish I had been warned of this problem before ordering the decals.

At any rate, the decals failed to work and, with time running out, I had no choice but to leave them off of the bicycle.  I would prefer to at least enter the bike in the Bike Forums Cheapo Build-Off Contest, even though the build results fall a wee bit short of my expectations.

In all fairness to the decal supplier, he did offer to refund my money and shipping costs.  Perfect, but the damage had already been done.  I could care less if I get the few dollars back.  Why do supplies think that an I'm sorry and here you go back to square one is adequate compensation when they drop the ball?  Anyway, the lesson I learned through this miserable experience is certainly worth the twenty or so dollars I sent to the fellow.  Back to the build...

Two colors were part of the plan and in keeping with the original paint Legnano livery - a reasonable Legnano like green with an antique white seat and head tube panels.  Being a Street Restoration, I was not trying to copy exactly what Legnano had looked like back in the sixties, when this old bicycle made its appearance.  This was not to be a costly restoration and I felt free to compromise appearance if forced to do so.  The Legnano was to be a less than perfectly refurbished bicycle, built for fun and on the tightest possible budget without sacrifice to either function or safety.

Though I did my best to two tone the bike, there was a bit of a ragged edge between colors.  I disguised this with vinyl tape, available at just about any automotive department store.  The tape is identical to the vinyl cut decals I get from a fellow in Australia and can be clear coated with Krylon, if so wished.  To break up the white panel on the seat tube, I edged it in double line black.  The effect proved to be quite pleasing and the look very professional, sort of.

I selected 1/8" red for the fork blades and stays.  I do not clear over the vinyl tape on either the blades or the stays.  Rather, I can remove it and easily renew the tape any time I feel the need.  It has been my experience that the paint joint between chrome and painted surfaces is fragile, at best.  The tape serves to both protect and beautify the junction.  My opinion, of course.  Clear over it if you wish.

At this point I had to make a decision.  Forget the contest, get the art I needed and finish the paint work.  Or, build what I had, without clear coating the paint and art.  I decided to build...

NEXT - THE GRAN PREMIO FINAL BUILD

 

 

 

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