Possible Peugeot Project

Le Peug has been well-loved. There are a few deep scratches on the top tube and down tube,  some of which have rusted over — not especially pretty.

Le Peug and friends at happy hour last week

Le Peug and friends at happy hour last week

I had been thinking since he arrived that a touch-up might not be a bad idea, so on Sunday morning I read a few posts on bike forum and decided I knew enough to give it a try. The process seemed simple: sand off rust, clean with alcohol, mask (if using spray can), apply primer, apply paint. One of the bike forum visitors even suggested a good match for white Peugeots: Duplicolor White Wheel Paint, which I thought I had a good chance of finding at the O’Reilly Auto Parts close to my house.

So we set out, into a blustery, windy day that was threatening rain. A quick ride, but the scenery from the O’Reilly parking lot was far from beautiful.

Railroad tracks -- first time riding across them

Railroad tracks -- first time riding across them. Don't worry, the train was parked!

Bike route?

Bike route?

It’s hard to see, but that green blob is a bike route sign  — though there’s nothing else to make the road more bike-friendly, unless they’re thinking that token sidewalk counts as a bike lane (for reference, the train tracks and scary underpass were to my back when I was taking this picture). It’s good to make drivers more aware that there could be bikes on the road, but identifying this stretch of road (or pike, as they say in Tennessee) as a bike route seems a bit much.

Back to my mission: the store had the etching primer but not the right white, unfortunately — and the rain in the air meant the humidity was probably too high to paint anyway. It was disappointing, but as I rode home, I realized it was a blessing in disguise, because it meant I had time to ask for reader expertise.

So readers. I know we’ve been asking a lot of you lately, but any tips? Is this something that an ambitious, somewhat handy person can accomplish on their own? I’ve painted a model, several pieces of furniture, and most of the interior of my house. Would I be better off just using some white nail polish instead of a spray can? (If I hadn’t read Dirtdrop’s comment in this thread, and seen the pictures of his partially repainted Peugeot, that’s what I would have leaned toward.) I’ll put up a couple of pics of the worst scratches tomorrow, when I can take a picture in daylight.

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10 thoughts on “Possible Peugeot Project

  1. c_c_rider says:

    cool blog.

    putting on touch up paint is not that hard really. for small spots you can apply paint with a small brush, and go to a hobby store for paint if you can’t find what you need at a hardware store. if you are repainting a whole section of tube, then yes, it’s more work. just follow the directions that you found on that thread and just take your time. if you don’t like the results, you can always do it again later. if the rust is really bad then just take your whole frame in to be powder coated.

  2. Erich says:

    I’ve painted the whole frame on my Fuji, and it looked great for the first week or so. It still looks good from about 5 feet, but the enamel spray is too soft to do an entire repaint. Before anyone asks, I did it correctly, in an enclosed space, with 3 coats of primer, 5 coats of color, and 2 coats of clear. I didn’t build up the bike for about 2 weeks to let the paint sit.

    Now I’m noticing paint chipping off in small chips around the frame. It doesn’t look terrible, but if I had to do it again, I’d strip it down and powder coat it for durability.

    Now for touch-up work, which I may be doing on my XO, I think a touch-up paint, like those made for auto applications, might be best. Primer, touch up, sand, then clear coat.

  3. Charlotte says:

    I think that strip and powdercoat looks the best for the longest period of time. I’ve tried the touch-up paint and it is tough to get looking good. It mostly looks gloppy.

    My ex-boyfriend’s father was into racing cars, owned two Shelby Cobras, etc. His method for touch ups was to put a small amount of paint in an aluminum pie plate, which warmed and thinned it as you held it in your hand. You then apply the paint with the tip of a photographic spotting brush, within the confines of the original scratch. A tiny scratch can take half an hour or more to fix.

    I tried this method, I’m not patient enough.

  4. matt says:

    There is a place near the fair grounds in Nashville that does powder coating. Frame and fork for $80- less for just the frame. I can’t think of the name. there is a guy on the Nashville urban bicycle league named Brooks that had it done. You could message him to get the name.

  5. Trisha says:

    I don’t want to repaint the whole frame because I like the decals, but thanks for the tip, Matt. Right now I’m thinking I’ll probably just do a touch up on the worst scratches and see how it goes. That’s good to know for the future though, esp since the fairgrounds are right by my house.

    Charlotte, my dad does a lot of bodywork too (but only has one Shelby Cobra) and I’m planning on asking his advice. I’m guessing he probably has a similar tedious-yet-effective method. Whether I will have the patience to try it remains to be seen.

    Erich, that stinks about your bike — paint can be so moody.

    CC, you’re so right about taking your time. To me that’s the most difficult thing about painting. I like to get things done fast.

  6. Erich says:

    Here is what the Fuji looked like right after getting built up, for reference.


    Like I said, looks good at first, but enamel is not durable enough, you’ll end up touching up every year or so.

    I’ve seen vintage/reproduction sticker packages on ebay for peugeot, so if you ever do a complete repaint, you can still have the pretty decals.

  7. Jon says:

    The replacement Peugeot decals from Yellow Jersey bike shop are the best, if you repaint. They are pricy, but are the correct water-slide type which can be clearcoated over.

    A precise color match is always difficult. That’s why we used to touch up our mountain bikes with random colors. this caught on and let to the factory “spatter” paint jobs of the early 90s. I don’t recommend it for a vintage Peugeot!

    That said, I have had good luck with enamel nail polish, using the small- brush/lotsa-time method described above.

  8. Trisha says:

    Thanks Jon! I was hoping you’d chime in with some advice. :)

    Erich, not sure what the bike looks like now but it looked great when you were done!

  9. Thom says:

    I’ve done entire frames (am doing one now) with rattle-can spray paint, and my results have varied depending on number of coats and drying time. For touchups, though, as long as the masking is done precisely, it shouldn’t be a problem. My best tips are to apply tape, then use a razor to cut very carefully around the area you want to paint so as not to scratch the good paint. Tedious, but it reduces the amount of paint that goes where you don’t want it. Then, to avoid post-painting gloppiness, remove the tape as soon as the paint is dry to the touch. Wherever there are ridges or glops caused by the tape line, lay a piece of waxpaper on them, and burnish with the back of a spoon. This will smooth down any glops without harming the paint.

  10. a says:


    […]Possible Peugeot Project « Let's Go Ride a Bike – life on two wheels: simple. stylish. fun.[…]…

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