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I got a used mtb and want to repaint... how to go about it?
i bought a used mtb, and the frame is in OK condition paintwise. its not bad, but the previous owner threw on some extremely ugly touch up paint. its aluminum under it, and i was considering stripping it down and just rocking the bare aluminum, or possibly painting it pearl white. anyone have any suggestions on a hopefully easy way to strip the paint off of this? it's a specialized hardrock in case it makes any difference.
That's a nice bike you've got there, those frames are virtually indestructible and can happily compete with frames several times the price, especially when you give it some really shiny toys (I put Downhill brakes and 130mm forks on mine). I've used mine for dirt jumping, 4x and some pretty serious descents and it's spot on; heck I've even beaten a few people on proper downhill bikes with mine before! They are really underrated and awesome bikes

Get it sandblasted and powdercoated, that's the method of choice over here. You'd have to strip it down to the bare frame and mask off all the threads, headtube, seatube, etc. fairly well. It would cost about £80-100 to do so generally (though it has been done for less), but I have no idea about how much it would be in the states. Sandblasting makes the paint stick better as it roughs up the surface a bit.

Powdercoating lasts ages and is pretty resistant to stones and the like. Finish it off with some cool custom graphics and you're onto a winner!
There was a process KC-Steve mentioned about using walnut shell which they used in the military? Going I used the chemical process which comes in a can but is DANGEROUS if you do not know what you are doing. If you are not sure then go with sandblasting. some places would not charge you that much as the economy sucks across the world, except maybe one country I wont mention Wink. The chemical proces is very messy and patience taking. I did it on a bike I posted here took me the better half of a day to completely remove all the old paint. Again if you decide to use this method talk to a pro painter before using it on any frame material other then steel. GLASSES AND GLOVES ARE A REQUIREMENT TOO!
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
Do not know where you are or what products are available there. Hint.

The bike looks nice and first of all I would leave it alone, for value, and just clean up the bad touch up paint.

If you want to strip it and its aluminum so it wont rust. Personally I found striping metal with a gel chemical stripper is a breeze. If "Zip IT" or similar striper just melts the paint off metal. Make sure to follow manufacturers safety guidelines!!! Its messy and chemicals are strong. But you just apply and hose off paint.

Make sure to strip the bike to frame and completely seal bearing surfaces such as head and Bottom Bracket seat tube and any other openings and. Than polish the frame if needed.

Marine stores have brass steel wool that will not embed the frame with metal that rusts (with steel wool). Use the fine grade with a polish. I like Flitz, Semichrome, and Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish. If you have polish at home use that first. Keep clean with Never Dull wadding. Old product that comes in a blue can. Still one of the best. Try small area first.

There was a striped sample showed recently here perhaps someone has the link. Aluminum cleans up nicely and I would leave it unpainted.

I once striped a motorcycle tank that had large chrome panels visible. Turned out the whole tank was chromed and looked great without any more work. :-)))
Never Give Up!!!
i live in long island ny... thanks for the tip about the brass steel wool, i never would have thought of that. i may just leave it bare aluminum if i decide to do it. thanks for all the suggestions, i'll probably decide on a chemical later on in the season. right now i think i'm just going to ride it as is, and leave this as a winter project when its crappy out. on the other hand, i would like a shiny bike to ride around lol.... decisions decisions. i'm a graphic artist, and definitely want to do something fancy with the frame, even if i don't paint it. i have a few designs in my head that i'd like to use either way.
Ye I lived in Queens and Hamptons I am from Long Island, mostly.

Good idea ride now when the riding is good, fix latter.

As per graphics, I am partial to flames.:-)
Never Give Up!!!
i've been making custom longboards since the weather has been nice enough to spend the day outside, and i'm deciding on some graphics i may use on the bike once i'm done with it for the season, or if i feel ambitious one day. i'm contemplating something like this, maybe in reverse order.

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