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Re-painting wheelchairs..

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  • Re-painting wheelchairs..

    Hey all,

    Almost six years ago, I chose yellow as the primary colour for my chair. At the time, it made sense as i I didn't want a colour that was seen on most chairs etc.. Today, as much as I love yellow, its something that I'd like to change (until my shiny new wet black chair arrives). How do I do this? I'm sure that a couple of spray paint would do the trick (but not so sure that it would look that great). Have any of you tried something like this? A paint job that doesn't break the bank? I'd love some ideas, and along with them, include what colour your chair is and why. I think the odours we choose say something about us.

    Cheers,

    Brian

  • #2
    I did my research calling the local 'coating' companies I could find. Prices and techniques vary, a lot, it seemed to me. If you can strip and prep it yourself, all the better.

    I'm looking into commercial anodizing, myself. Been achieving nice results on small Ti and Al bits, using both heat and electricity, with hobbyist grade equipment. (A few hundred $).

    Wouldn't try heat on a chair without taking care of/redoing the heat treatment, after.

    Call some local coating companies! Not all alloys are created equal when it comes to refinishing options, also.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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    • #3
      I wandered into the local motorcyle customizing place and explained what I wanted. They said they did a few paint jobs on w/c each year. They removed or covered everything not to be painted, prepared tubing (I do not know how), painted my chair and reinstalled everything correctly. They insisted I inspect and try my chair out to make sure all was correctly adjusted/tightened.

      Looks great and cost was not bad. Had chair in three days (but they lost power for abour 4 hours one day). Used a backup chair while mine was getting a paintjob

      Most motorcycle/hotrod custom shops can also do all sorts of designs (flames, pinstripes, etc)

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      • #4
        Using cans of spray paint will work if you have skill painting this way, however…

        Painting like this will not give you a durable finish. Normal handling will soon mar the finish, and wear and chipping is unavoidable. Preparation is key to getting the best, most durable finish. Follow directions for temperature and humidity. And remember, all paint is not the same. There are many inferior brands of paint to be found at big box stores. They won’t last. It’s probably not worth the effort to paint this way.

        Most chairs are powder coated from the manufacturer. This is usually high quality paint applied electrostatically and then baked for cure and hardness. This is about as durable as a paint coating gets. There are shops that paint this way, but it’ll cost you. Better examples of wet refinish coatings can be found at automotive refinish suppliers. Many, like PPG’s Deltron, use a catalyst instead of heat to cure the paint. Most of these finishes will require you to apply a base coat/clear combination along with the correct primer. You’ll need proper spray equipment. This method is much more expensive than paint cans but your home remedy choices for a decent, lasting finish are limited.

        Small parts can sometimes be simply painted with spray cans. You can even bake them if you have the right paint and know how to do it safely. But a whole frame? I wouldn't waste my time.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Brian&Bear View Post
          Hey all,

          Almost six years ago, I chose yellow as the primary colour for my chair. At the time, it made sense as i I didn't want a colour that was seen on most chairs etc.. Today, as much as I love yellow, its something that I'd like to change (until my shiny new wet black chair arrives). How do I do this? I'm sure that a couple of spray paint would do the trick (but not so sure that it would look that great). Have any of you tried something like this? A paint job that doesn't break the bank? I'd love some ideas, and along with them, include what colour your chair is and why. I think the odours we choose say something about us.

          Cheers,

          Brian
          This is a job that's best left to the pros.

          Are there any independent bicycle builders nearby? There is only one bicycle shop in NYC that does custom frame building and paint finishing, Chelsea Bicycles. Perhaps there's a comparable store in your neck of the woods.

          You could also investigate auto shops that do frame repair work.
          stephen@bike-on.com

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          • #6
            have the chair powder coated instead. much more durable than painting. that's what I've done in the past with my colored chairs.

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            • #7
              The other option is to Duracoat. If this is a project you want to do on your own, Duracoating is better than spray painting and probably cheaper than powder coating. Unless you can find an oven big enough for your frame and do it yourself. Powder coating kits are about $100. I have one from Eastwood and it's easy as long as the item is small enough for the oven.

              Duracoat was intended originally for firearms but it's pretty tough stuff and can be used on anything and there are lots of colors.

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              • #8
                I paint my chair all the time. Take the wheels off. Spay it with rattle can stuff. It chips, scratches, etc. So what, I can spray it ten times for $5. Takes about an hour to sand it with some 320 paper, wipe it with lacquer thinner or even alcohol. Spray, let dry. Spray light coats- two or three instead of one heavy. You can even get fancy and put clear over it, to help it last longer. But that might double the price up to $10.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by baldfatdad View Post
                  I paint my chair all the time. Take the wheels off. Spay it with rattle can stuff. It chips, scratches, etc. So what, I can spray it ten times for $5. Takes about an hour to sand it with some 320 paper, wipe it with lacquer thinner or even alcohol. Spray, let dry. Spray light coats- two or three instead of one heavy. You can even get fancy and put clear over it, to help it last longer. But that might double the price up to $10.
                  I like this answer ....that is all

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by baldfatdad View Post
                    I paint my chair all the time. Take the wheels off. Spay it with rattle can stuff. It chips, scratches, etc. So what, I can spray it ten times for $5. Takes about an hour to sand it with some 320 paper, wipe it with lacquer thinner or even alcohol. Spray, let dry. Spray light coats- two or three instead of one heavy. You can even get fancy and put clear over it, to help it last longer. But that might double the price up to $10.
                    I'd like to see some pictures.

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                    • #11
                      The reason I would like to see some pictures is because I have used spray can paint on my wheelchair. It came out very nice initially. Then it looked faded and uneven pretty quickly. I figured I'd just add another coat. Again, it looked good initially. But the more coats I applied, the worse it looked over time. I certainly wasn't going to strip it down, prime, and paint every time, so I gave up on the spray can. Maybe you have better results.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Axle View Post
                        I'd like to see some pictures.
                        Ditto! = )

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                        • #13
                          I recently bought a backup chair, it is red. I was really wanting to repaint it, because the paint is almost all off the high wear front areas but looks fine elsewhere. I was hoping sandpapering and a good spray paint would do the trick, knowing that it would chip. I have the front end wrapped with vet wrapped, and planned on doing that again to keep the worst of chipping at bay. but if it's just going to fade out, and make it worse, then I don't want to make it look worse.

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                          • #14
                            I think professional auto repair paint would be fine for this and it may be what some of the bike shops use too. It is *not* inexpensive but is do it yourself for small projects with this sprayer which my auto paint store had on the shelf: http://shop.preval.com/collections/f...preval-val-pak. They also gave me step by step mixing and spraying instructions. Instructions are on the web googling centari acrylic enamel. I did it for a car mirror that did not match the rest of the car. Centari may be discontinued, but something should have taken it’s place.

                            Another thing you can do in order to narrow down your search if you want to farm it out is to still find the professional *auto* paint suppliers, (must be auto) and ask them for a recommendation of someone who could help you get the job done. They know the good guys if you can get them to open up to you. Just be patient because their regular commercial customers are their bread and butter.

                            Checked closer, here is Dupont's Centari:
                            http://www.dupontrefinish.eu/portal/...97114105194174
                            Last edited by nonoise; 04-24-2013, 07:36 PM.
                            I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

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                            • #15
                              If you go for anodizing, you can specify the depth of metal you want colored. Deep anodizing won't show as many scratches.
                              Played with bombs- No SCI, Brain Damage enough that I require a chair and a caregiver.

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