Re: [CR] paint advice needed

Subject: Re: [CR] paint advice needed
Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2005 18:58:33 +0000

My favorite example of why one should be cautious about refinishing comes from the Antiques Roadshow. One of the Keno twins was reviewing a rather large armoire that must have been a real pain to bring to the show. The owner, a quite snooty fellow, was describing how it had been in his family for well over a century, came from "Grandmamah" and had needed a bit of "cleaning up," so of course he picked a professional to carefully refinish it, paying about seven thousand dollars to have the work completed. Leigh valued the piece at $50,000. Then he said "however, had you not done the refinish, it would be worth $350,000." I realize vintage lightweights aren't 200-year old rare antique furniture, but there are similarities at some level. Food for thought. My opinion? Well, it's worth what you pay for it (zip!), but if it's a production machine that was produced in (relatively) large numbers, and it's beat up and/or rusty, paint away. If it's broken, repair and then paint away. If not, and it's uncommon, think a lot before refinishing. Not saying don't do it, just saying don't rush into it. If it's been refinished previously, then likely none of this logic really applies.... If you then do decide to refinish it, and you feel it's special, get it to a maestro like Brian, etc. so the results will be amazing.... Greg Parker Dexter, Michigan

Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2005 10:12:20 -0600 From: "Edward Brooks" <> To: "'C. Andrews'" <>, <> Subject: RE: [CR]re: paint advice needed

Charles, I absolutely agree. A salient fact is that no matter how nice the refinish (this applies to all collectibles, not just fine bicycles) an item can be refinished many times but is only original once. Moreover, there is (or should be!) an appreciation for all aspects of what the builder originally chose to work with and what went into creating a frame, the paint work as well as the tube choices, frame angles, lug treatment and quality of brazing, etc. Granted in a lot of instances a refinish can be superior to the quality of the original, and in some cases a refinish will go a long way to preserving a frame that otherwise is in jeopardy. The determination at the end of the day is a personal one. Some place value on originality while other have a love of the restoration process or deem it prudent to do so.

Edward Robert Brooks Managing Director Edward Roberts International Auctioneers of the Fine and Rare 1262 West Winwood Drive Lake Forest, Illinois 60045 Phone- 847.295.8696 Facsimile- 847.295.8697 Email- Website-

-----Original Message----- From: [] On Behalf Of C. Andrews Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 10:37 AM To: Subject: [CR]re: paint advice needed

Tom Adams wrote:

I tend to feeel that any frame that is starting to show rust should be repainted as a matter of proper maintenance (if the ride is nice enough to warrant the money).


I can see Tom's point in some circumstances. But in most circumstances, removing an original finish because of a little corrosion is a bad idea, and not necessarily because of any concern over market value (although that's certainly a consideration at times).

We've been over this numerous times, but in light of Tom's--and other--posts, I wanted to stick my oar in one more time: original finishes have a spirit to them. And once it's gone, it's gone. Original finishes give a bike its personality. Removing a bike's original finish and repainting because of rust, would be like taking a 5000 year-old egyptian statue (like one I saw recently at a museum), and painting it to match what it looked like originally. All that impressive history would be gone, and what would be left would a fake, modern (if period-correct), sterile (or worse) finish. An unspeakable thought actually.

I've taken away exactly that impression from innumerable repainted frames. Even nice ones. Original is always best...except when it has to be sacrificed for repairs, or when it just looks so crappy you can't stand it...and that line is different for all of us.

Of course, when the original finish is long gone, in a previous repaint or from extreme deterioration, then the fun begins...

Charles Andrews