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Failboat Captian
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just had my commuter bike powder coated (just picked it up a couple hours ago). I did some searching through here and through Google and found something I think I like. But here's my question... Does anyone have any experience putting vinyl stickers on powder coat? Powder coat is not glossy, and I'm wondering if vinyl decals will stick well enough for a commuter bike.

I'm also wondering if I can simply clear coat the frame/fork, and it will come out nice and glossy or will it look like orange peel? Or, do I have to sand the paint slightly with 600 grit paper to first get a smoother finish? I don't think I want to do that. Too risky and too much work. But I don't want a plain frame with nothing on it. I guess my other option would be to get reverse decals and paint the lettering I want.
 

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duh...
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9,749 Posts
your powdercoat is not glossy? was it done special that way? I've have 5 bikes that came with a powdercoated finish and all were glossy (1 was repowdercoated and, yup, glossy)... I have one that was ordered with a matte finish and is not glossy. maybe rubbing compound/polish/wax will shine it out, but then the decals might not stick well
 

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Failboat Captian
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6,559 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No. The paint is a flat paint. All of the samples the guy had were flat. Maybe that's a rookie mistake on my part, by going to a guy that doesn't work almost exclusively with bikes. He does some, but not a lot. And for $100, it was cheap. I probably could have gotten a better glossy job from another shop, but that would have cost me an extra $50-$100.

That said, I just did a clear coat test on the bottom of the BB shell. I lightly sanded half of it with 600 wet sandpaper, and left the other half as-is. It looks like the part that I didn't sand is going to come out pretty good. It's only been drying for a few minutes so far, but clear tends to dry looking the same as it does when it's wet. So this might be a good solution to both the decal and the flat finish problems. I can put on a coat of clear, then the decals (to make them stick better, then a 2nd coat of clear over everything. The decals will be painted in place and I'll have a glossy finish with a little added protection over the paint.

The big draw back is that I can't build the bike back up right away, unless I want to ride it as-is, then tear it all down again and clean it up before I put on decals and clear coat. I don't want to do that because it's perfectly clean and free of grease and dirt.
 
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