We get lots of questions about why all these combinations cost so much, people rightly do not understand the work involved. The way we paint a frame is very different to how a factory doing 500 frames of the same style is done. The factory mainly use water slide, screen printed decals. We cannot buy these or create one set of them. We must custom make decals for each job. Rule of thumb is if you want to keep the cost down stay away from candys and matte and gloss combinations.
Below we have tried to give an explanation of how the job is done to try and show how these jobs quickly add up to quite a lot of money because they are so labour intensive.
Pic 1 is stage one of a candy job, in this case the frame is painted white, it is usually silver or shadow chrome. The base colour is what gives a candy it depth and “pop” value. The final colour is fully dependent on this first layer.
Pic 2 next the candy coat is applied. This is a translucent coat applied as multiple coats until the desired effect has been achieved. This coat is usually not metallic and is very difficult to get even, Matt is the grand master of this step and usually does them; note this has also been clear-coated so it can be worked on without damage. So already this has had 2 resprays!
Pic 3 decals come next, we do not buy these or make them in bulk, each set is made for each job. We find that even the same model bike will have different sized decals for each different frame size. We often get asked just to cut some decals for people to put over the existing decals, this is why it is nearly impossible to do. Heath makes all of these, we cut them as stencils or masks. They are then painted on as demonstrated below.
Pic 4 so here we have the frame with the areas that are to stay gold masked off, the decals have been applied, then the candy red was applied, those areas masked off ready for the next colour.
Pic 5 here the final colour, Black has been applied, then all masking has been removed, once this is done and some edges are cleaned up a coat of gloss ceramic clear is applied to the entire frame. This is like the 3rd time it has been cleared!
Pic 6 the finished article all the gloss areas were masked off and a coat of matte clear applied to the parts that are to be matte. Not that is was done to this frame but if this was a matte frame with gloss decals, before the final matte clear was applied all of the stencils for the decals would have to be reapplied on the gloss clear before the matte clear went on. This is why that combination is so expensive.
It is an interesting observation that the only difference for us with matte, semi gloss, full gloss or ceramic clear is the final coat of clear. Another big factor in the cost of a respray is the material cost. Our PPG ceramic clear that we use costs, wait for it…. $540 per 5 liter tin.