Painting rims... part of the rims that is?

Discussion in 'HOW TO' started by xray, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. xray

    xray Gold Member Pro Member

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    I'm still working on my 62 Typhoon rat, that I'm making into an 8 speed. I'm hoping it will be ready for some pix next week.

    I got the Nexus 8 speed coaster brake laced into a new rim, and got the rear triangles spread apart to accommodate it. I cold set the frame using the wooden clamps trick I found in an old thread here on this board. I eased the rear dropouts apart using a couple of Harbor Freight clamps, gradually, spreading them easing them apart and then checking the spacing. I got them out to about 136 mm and then bent the dropouts back in to make them roughly parallel.

    So, here's my next task - I bought plain aluminum rims, I did not want fully painted rims and didn't really want any stock color either, but I would like to add a touch of color to them. This is going to be strictly a coaster brake bike - no rim brakes.

    The profile of these rims has flat side walls, then a flat bevel, then a roughly flat center portion where the spokes attach.

    I'm thinking I'd like to paint just the sidewalls or just the bevels, leaving the rest of the rims aluminum silver. The bike is black, but I'm using some red and burgundy accents. I'd probably do the rims in a burgundy metallic.

    [​IMG]
    So - never having been much good at painting stuff, I have a couple of questions:

    1 - Does anyone have recommendations for painting aluminum? Type of primer and paint? Should I sand the aluminum a little for better grip?

    2 - The REAL question: How about tips on masking a rim for this kind of job? (Assuming I'll use a spray can.) Would you try to mask the entire rim and then cut away the portion I want to paint? Should I be real anal about masking and try to get real clean lines, or should I mask it rough and then rely on cleaning paint off of the adjoining flats? (For example - if I paint the sidewall only, and get a little wobble in the line at the bevel, I could sand the edge of the bevel clean?)

    Is there an argument that for this kind of job I might be better off applying paint with a brush? I can see maybe hand brushing the bevels and then cleaning the edges with chemicals and/or real fine sandpaper.

    Is there maybe a somewhat transparent paint that would go on kinda like fingernail polish, without primer, giving the colored stripe a little depth?
     
  2. horsefarmer

    horsefarmer

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    IDK about the best paint or surface prep, but masking would be tricky especially between the bevels. I think if it was "off" much it would pretty bad.
    Maybe just paint the entire center area and leave the sidewalls natural? that way less masking and less chance that road debris or tire changing will scratch the paint.
     
  3. xray

    xray Gold Member Pro Member

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    So, I understand you to say you think I should paint all but the sidewalls? If so, how does one mask the spokes?

    If I was not clear - this wheel is already built.

    And, yeah... I am thinking that I have a pretty difficult task here, to get right, and I am definitely considering NOT doing it. :)
     
  4. Junk Man

    Junk Man

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    To get paint to last good on bare aluminum you should use an etching primer first, but what about having someone who does hand pinstriping lay some line down instead? That could be done with the wheels assembled
     
  5. xray

    xray Gold Member Pro Member

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    Junkman: Thanks for that suggestion. I had started thinking that way myself, a little bit, and a little encouragement is probably all I need. :)

    Afterall, the original rims were white with a black pinstripe, so pinstripes are true to that original look. I'm only looking to add a little color - highlights or accents rather than going with the entire rim being painted.

    I also was looking over new materials, at least new to me, and came across a couple of intriguing things:

    1 - Plasti Dip... interesting stuff for doing a kind of translucent finish over metal

    2 - hydrographic films! Wow - I never heard of the stuff until last night, but you can do some crazy stuff with it. Pre-printed designs that you float on top of a water bath, and then dip your pieces into so that it adheres. Then you clear coat it.

    I might leave the rims and film coat the fenders with flames or skulls. :)
     
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  6. Junk Man

    Junk Man

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    I've watched a bunch of YouTube videos on hydrographics.... That's some fascinating stuff!
     
  7. xray

    xray Gold Member Pro Member

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    Yeah, I am surprised we have not seen more bikes done with hydrographic films here on this forum. I'm sure it is trickier to get good results than it looks in some of these videos - takes some practice - but such cool results in some cases.
     
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  8. horsefarmer

    horsefarmer

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    Wow! Really something. :thumbsup:
     
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  9. Duchess

    Duchess

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    The rims are most likely coated with a clear anodize or clear coat. You'll have to get through that first, then acid etch primer. Masking shouldn't be too hard. I painted built V-rims and masked off the brake surface with 1" frog masking tapeā€”just take it slow and steady, guiding it around the curve. It stretches pretty well, though you might not be able to do it in one piece of tape. The added bonus I found was that the tape folded over the lip of the rim as I stretched it around the curvature of the sidewalls. To mask the spokes, cut and roll a piece of tape for each of them or use a combination of tape and plastic straws.
     
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  10. Bicycle808

    Bicycle808

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    I wouldn't even try. Painting rims presents some problems before the wheelbuild; painting the rims alone on a built wheel is a fool's errand. Why didn't you paint before you re-laced?


    Just a thought--if you end up have shifting problems with the Nexus 8, this would be the second thing i'd re-check, after cable tension.
     
  11. xray

    xray Gold Member Pro Member

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    Thanks - I decided not to paint or color the rims. The bike is nearly finished, and shown in the Builds forum as 62 Typhoon Nearly Complete.

    I apparently got the rear drop outs right - the hub shifts great.
     
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