Monday, November 23, 2009


Well I have finally found the time to throw some paint about, if you have been following this blog you will know that these three frames have been the subject of a little informal look at frame preparation/painting.
After all the hard work of prep covered last time, we now move on to painting and masking.
As you can see below, I have already painted the Empire frames white bits, the lugs, seat tube and front, rear forks,and am in the middle of masking the lugs, ready for the main colour to go on.
When masking, I use a low tack masking tape, to help avoid the problem of pulling off paint when it comes time to remove tape.I have had this happen using normal masking tape, and it really sucks, so spend a little extra here and save yourself some heartache.
The top lug in the photo below has already been masked and trimmed, the lower lug ready for trimming.
I use an X actor scalpel, the blades are pretty cheap, so I always use a new one for every bike.
After masking, find an small, old blunt screw driver (or something similar), and press the tape into the lug edge, then carefully cut around lug with your blade, make sure you have cut through both layers, where there are any over laps in masking tape(avoid this where possible).
Then remove unwanted tape, repress tape into lug edge. This is important to help reduce paint bleed.

The Empire Superb, with its main colour now applied, and is nearly ready for clear coat. I use automotive base coat, and two pack, clear top coat. You can use spray cans just as well, if you do, I recommend getting your product from a professional auto paint shop, as lots of the spray cans from hardware shops are pretty dodgy I think, even some of the bigger brands don't work that well, and scratch off really easily.The best bet, is to use a lacquer spay paint, and a clear lacquer to finish, this way, the paint colour has at lest a bit of protection.
As you can see below, there is a little bleed, and an uneven line where the solder has pooled out at the top of the lug.
I will use a very fine modellers paint brush to fix this.
It is usually a good idea to thin the paint a little before doing this, and if you don't have a steady hand, leave for a few days, to allow paint to harden before attempting this, so you can wipe off mistakes, without rubbing off base paint, and making a real mess, done that to, and that sucks as well.

Lees tandem gets its first does the Bates.