How to strip alloy frame to raw finish and preserve?

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • How to strip alloy frame to raw finish and preserve?
  • mr plow

    I’m sure some have done this. I have an old alloy full suspension frame with tired paintwork. What is the best DIY route to do this as its a cheap hobby project.

    I’m looking to strip the paintwork without killing bearing locations etc. Trying to achieve a raw finish, not polished and then a way of preserving the raw finish. The bike will get ridden offroad etc.

    I’m not a fan of home painting or aftermarket powder dipping as the finishes usually don’t last so going for something a little more organic that I can hopefully keep consistent (although imperfect as raw – if that makes sense).

    Many thanks for your help.

    I recently did this to my Mega, got it chemically stripped by a local company for about £35, much easier than DIY, then just left it as is, there are lots of blemishes etc. but I like that. You don’t have to coat it with anything, Aluminium oxidises but not corrosively like steel.

    Not my wall before anyone starts…


    Worth noting that aftermarket finishing can actually be pretty good and tough and stripping frame is part of the cost usually, but raw is nice and you can always lacquer it to inhibit blemishes/corrosion if you wanted.

    mr plow

    Steven – This is what I’m looking for. I expect blemishes as there is wear on the frame from cable rubs etc. I’ll see if I can find somewhere to do this in Glasgow.

    Many thanks


    I’ve had 3 frames ‘rawed’ so far. The first was done (spesh enduro) with nitromors and elbow grease, and the other two (On Ones) were done in the chemical tank at my local powder coaters. Cost was about £10 a frame in the chemical tank for a stripped down (3 part) frame.

    The chemically stripped ones did need a fair bit of graft to finish them as they came back dull and discoloured with green and black residue in places.

    Rawed enduro

    OO Fatty

    OO Codeine

    Premier Icon Andy R

    Once it’s stripped, just clean it up with some Scotchbrite and then leave it like it is – I wouldn’t laquer it or anything.
    Like a raw Liteville or Nicolai…….


    Didn’t strip it but recently bought a raw intense frame and it only took a little bit off effort and some polish to get it looking decent, seems the ideal finish for mountain bikes!

    Didnt want it looking super polished as obviously it would get ruined in 5 minutes but just evened it out a bit to get rid of the patchy oxidisation.




    Pure aluminium self-passivates and forms a protective oxide. Aluminium alloys commonly used for bikes, e.g. 6000 series, also oxidise but will corrode as well


    My approach is coat the frame in
    Leave it an hour
    Coat it again
    Leave it an hour
    Blast it with a pressure washer.

    Job done


    “Leave it an hour
    Coat it again
    Leave it an hour
    Blast it with a pressure washer.”

    And hopefully contain the contaminated water (quite likely hazardous waste) which you now have so it doesn’t go into a local watercourse and pollute it. But I am sure you did that.


    Just a word of caution, chemical dipping can cause blistering of the aluminium itself. I don’t know how common this is but I have had a high end frame ruined, a knowing friend told me it was something to do with weakness in the aluminium layering process. A costly lesson for me :0(

    Check whoever does it is insured and happy to cover any issue.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

The topic ‘How to strip alloy frame to raw finish and preserve?’ is closed to new replies.