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Thread: Refinishing/repainting carbon fiber

  1. #1
    Saab2000's Avatar
    Saab2000 is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Refinishing/repainting carbon fiber

    I will be in the market for a Serotta F3 fork in the not-so-distant future. I'd like to get one with clear coat and be done with it. Assuming I can't find one like that what's involved with repainting or refinishing with clear coat a carbon piece?

    Painters? Let's hear it.
    My name is James Edward Kile

  2. #2
    Jonathan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Refinishing/repainting carbon fiber

    Sending the fork and a check when it's done. Pretty easy, right?
    Jonathan Greene
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    thegunner is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Refinishing/repainting carbon fiber

    in all honesty -- super easy.

    220 -> 400 -> 800 -> 1200 -> 2000 grit wet sand paper to get the existing paint off. clean surface with rubbing alcohol, and paint as expected.

    some like to use 303 aerospace protectant prior to clear coating (which i do in thin coats, sanding with 2000 grit sandpaper in between coats x3), but i've never needed to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    Sending the fork and a check when it's done. Pretty easy, right?
    or this

  4. #4
    Saab2000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Refinishing/repainting carbon fiber

    Well, I'm not likely to do it myself but I know there are folks here who are professional painters. I suppose I could do the paint removal if need be but I'd be afraid of doing something wrong even there.

    If I can get a clearcoat one that's the route I'll take.
    My name is James Edward Kile

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    Mike Mcdermid is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Refinishing/repainting carbon fiber

    carbolift as its marketed by the folks to bikerists or 520 as its not commercially known round here

  6. #6
    teleguy57 is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Refinishing/repainting carbon fiber

    Jim, lots of discussion on Weight Weenies about using a razor blade to scrape paint off carbon. Here's one thread; here's another. if you search for razor blade you'll get a bunch more.

    You use the blade to scrape vs shave -- tilt in to about 45 degrees in the direction of travel, then pull while putting pressure on the blade. It works pretty well and goes faster than sanding without risk of damaging the carbon. I have a Bontrager fork from my LeMond that's about 3/4 done -- no motivation to finish since I have nothing on which to put it right now since I sold the frame with a different fork.

  7. #7
    Mark Kelly is offline VSalonista (docendo discimus)
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    Default Re: Refinishing/repainting carbon fiber

    I just did this in reverse - took the clear finish off a carbon fork so I could add disc mounts to it, then re-finished the thing*.

    I found it very easy to sand off the clear with a Makita powerfile (thin belt sander). The change of surface as you get though the clear coat into the epoxy is very obvious, as is the change if you go too far and start destroying fibres.

    I got one patch where I bit into the top carbon lamina but since it was next to where I was adding re-inforcement to cope with the disc stresses I just extended the bottom layer of carbon.

    *Actually a combination of paint on the inside of the fork and added laminae of wood on the outside.

  8. #8
    skouri1 is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Refinishing/repainting carbon fiber

    I redid an easton fork way back--sanded off the decals by hand. The key is to go slowly, I could have recleared it pretty easily as there was no need to go through all the clear to remove the decals in this case. Resprayed it in my basement with some matte black krylion fusion paint. after multiple coats/careful sanding the thing seriously looked like a factory match for my BBQ caad9.

    When the day comes when I'll need to freshen up my serotta HSGIT--they all end up having clear coat bubbling, it seems--im gonna do they old sand and rattle can, after masking off the polished ti. With patience, a set of basic decals, I'm pretty sure I'll have her good as new on the cheap. If I f' it up, can always send it to a competent pro--no harm no foul--Vicious Cycles is a 30 min bike ride from my home.

    Anyway, the key with carbon fiber is to not remove all the paint/clear coat, so the new paint's got something to adhere to...If you get thus thing painted up, I would sand and scuff by hand, paint 'er black or black and call it a day. Going through all the primer may take some effort and, although it should be obvious, you do risk getting into the epoxy, and if you're really overzealous, the fibers...not sure if Serotta puts on a commetic layer of 3k on forks destined to be painted or not...at that point it turns into a project/risk that's not worth the time. Might as well buy a used enve 2.0 and call it a day.

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