Stumpjumper 2.0

Once I built up my new Bandersnatch frame (otherwise known as Big Red), my 2010 Stumpjumper HT 29er was left to sit all by its lonesome.  The Stumptress has treated me well for the past three years, and I just couldn’t let it rest without giving it some new life.  So, I decided a new paint job was in order.

Not willing to spend $200 or so on a professional powder-coated finish (though I really wish I could), I took matters into my own hands and began the process of stripping, painting, and sealing.  The first thing I did was remove the bottom bracket, headset, seatpost, and seatpost collar.  Then I got out my palm sander and began power sanding off the existing seal coat and paint with 60-grit sandpaper.  Even with the powered sander, it still took several hours to get it down to bare aluminum.  I had to work some of the tight spots by hand, which resulted mostly in just roughing up the existing paint enough to allow the new primer to adhere.

Once sanded, I painted the entire frame with two coats of grey primer.  Actually three coats in some locations that needed more touching up.  This gave me a nice flat, tacky surface on which the finish paint layers would stick.  Once the primer dried for a couple of days, I hit it with some 120-grit sandpaper just to give me a smooth surface to build upon.

Next up was the long, arduous process of applying the finish paint.  If I could do it all over again, I would probably do a few things differently but all in all the finish turned out pretty good.  I applied the bone white base color over the entire frame first.  I probably could have stopped after two good coats, but ended up probably putting on three solid coats plus a few touch-up sprays here and there as needed.  Then I masked off the majority of the frame and painted the three large brown bands….once again at least two coats.  After the brown bands were completed and dried for at least 24 hours, I followed similar steps for the blue and pink stripes (I painted three pink stripes to represent my three daughters).

Some of the masking lines weren’t quite razor straight, so I ended up doing a lot of retaping and touching up during the following few days until I finally just decided it was as good as it would get.  After everything dried for at least another 24 hours, I began wet sanding the entire frame.  This basically just involved using a 300-grit sanding sponge and water that I would spray onto the frame while sanding it.  This technique took off primarily just the uppermost dimples in the paint, while leaving a nice base layer intact and smooth.

Next up was the sealer finish, which I generously applied during each coat.  Not having the benefit of being able to see a different color (since the sealer is clear), I probably overdid it at times in an effort to make sure that no part of the frame was without adequate coverage.  All told, I probably applied 5 or so coats to some areas of the frame, particularly those most subject to abuse such as the underside of the down tube.

Now that the frame has been repainted and sealed, it is back to sitting on one of the garage shelves until I someday resurrect it as either a singlespeed or a cyclocross bike, or perhaps a singlespeed cyclocross bike.  Due to my penchant for replacing bike parts during the past 6 or 7 years, I have most of what I need to build it up….lacking mostly just the cranks and brakes.

Photos of the original frame and the finished product are below.  For the paint and sealer, I used Valspar products purchased from Lowe’s.  I probably could have mixed different brands, but I wanted to stay safe and use products by one company in case there are chemical differences from one paint company to the next that might have produced less than desirable results.

From here on, the Stumptress shall be renamed The Great White Hope.

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