I’ve been asked a few times how I paint the edges of my carbon frames. Everyone has their own methods but this is mine…
Edge painting carbon frames
So in theory it really is very simple! I use Pentel Paint Pens that I get from Officeworks here in Australia. They cost around $6 and will do quite a few frames.
My tips then for edge painting carbon frames using this method:
- Make sure your edges are nice and smooth before you start. A light rub with fine grit sandpaper will do it but be careful around carbon dust. If in doubt, do it under running water.
- Paint your edges BEFORE you assemble the frame. It will be a lot easier this way!
- For the first few coats at least, apply the paint across the grain of the plate in short strokes. You will get better coverage this way.
- Good color will take around 4-5 coats. Don’t be afraid to keep going but make sure you wait for each coat to dry before applying the next one.
- Don’t saturate your paper towel with acetone. If it drips it will remove the paint from the edges.
- Place the painted plate flat and wipe from the center out over the edge to remove the messy bits.
- Change your towel regularly to avoid smearing paint on the surface of the plate.
Some colors work better than other. I’ve found bold, high saturation colors like red and orange work best. Dark colors sometimes don’t show up too well on carbon but are okay for a subtle effect. White looks awesome but it can take a LOT of coats to get a good result as the black of the carbon keeps bleeding through.
White can also be useful when using “weaker” colors such as yellow or pale blue. A base coat of white helps the top color to coat more effectively and gives a bolder result.
Edge painting carbon frames can take a little bit of time but for very little effort and cost you can create some really nice effects. Practice makes perfect so try it out first on a few old arms to get the feel for how the paint flows. You can always clean it off with acetone and start again if you make a mistake (or don’t like the color!).
Give it a go and see what you can create!