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    Thread: Best way to prep carbon fiber components for paint or powder coating?

    1. Member HI SPEED's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 3rd, 2004
      04-27-2012 06:18 PM #1
      So my tax return is going to turn into my first real build. It will still be a budget build, but is shaping up to have some tasty components. I am debating between tearing down my specialized Allez, or scooping up a slightly dinged up, but still sound carbon frame from a friend. Either way I will be stripping them down as much as possible and repainting them, plus doing my own custom graphics.

      Either bike will need to have the carbon stripped. I know the body of my Allez can be sandblasted but not sure how to handle the fork. Do people generally sand it down, or is there a chemical solution that will take off paint but not degrade the carbon?

      Any help will be appreciated.

      This is going to be the inspiration for my color scheme.

      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

    2. Member
      Join Date
      Nov 17th, 2009
      04-28-2012 05:22 PM #2
      from sheldon brown:

      Q: How can I paint over carbon fiber wheels (e.g. Specialized tri spoke, disc wheels and Zipp wheels)? How hard is it to do custom paint on carbon fiber? What materials do I need? Any recommended readings or URLs ???

      A: Yes, you can paint over carbon fiber. Call JB for a pro job, or do it yourself. In my experience this is how it's done:

      1. Remove stickers and their adhesives (I use DX-330 or acetone).
      2. Hand sand off some of the old clear coat or paint, if present. Decals under the clear coat can be sanded smooth this way. Stop sanding immediately at any spot if you touch carbon. It is incredibly easy to remove carbon by hand sanding. Watch especially near sharp edges (airfoil trailing edges on wheels, frames and forks) and parting lines on molded parts (often along the center line of frames and wheels, often along the sides of forks). Wet sanding helps keep the dust down.
      3. Clean the surface mechanically and chemically as follows:

      - Mechanically clean: remove stuff like paint flakes, old bits of dried substances, stickers and their adhesives, decals, flapping plies, scale, crud, etc.

      - Chemically clean: remove grease and oil: fingerprints, real grease from old bike parts, oil from the old bike chain, etc.

      - One last wash: rinse and scrub with acetone until white paper towels come clean.

      4. Prime using Fill'n'Sand or similar. Fill'n'sand is just a high-build primer intended to hide small imperfections, which, depending on your level of perfectionism, is optional ;-). Any similarly described product should do.
      5. Paint using regular paint (Imron, Deltron, PPG, spray can, etc.) as usual. Do not exceed 100 degrees F. Some pinholes may appear. I think this may be outgassing. Bake at lower temps or let the paint dry at room temp to avoid.

      See http://www.westsystem.com/webpages/u.../index.htm#2.6 for West System's recommendations for preparing a newly cured epoxy surface for paint.


      1. Do not media blast with any media! Not sand, not plastic, not glass beads, not walnut shells, not steel or ceramic shot. Nothing! Not at even the lightest pressure or for even the shortest time. It is incredibly easy to eat away the carbon and epoxy. Before you know it your part is ruined!
      2. Do not use chemical paint strippers! They will attack the epoxy resin that holds your part together. Acetone, alcohol and other solvents are okay, but they don't remove paint.
      3. Do not use heat! Some epoxies undergo glass transition as low as 150 degrees F or so. Keep it under 100 to be safe. If it is too hot to touch with your bare skin, it is too hot. That means no power tools (buffing wheels, sanding discs, etc.) and no heat gun paint strippers, etc.

    3. Member ironmule's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 11th, 2008
      here in w.mass
      e46, corrado
      04-28-2012 10:20 PM #3
      "this is the best bike i have- you can have it for free" "SHUT UP!!!" sorry that commercial bothers me.

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