This is my 1999 Trek before a $400 paint job ($305 for the paint job, $75 for the decals):
This is after:
Now, unfortunately when I took the “new” photo, the bike was a little dusty still – my excitement and exuberance at just how awesome the frame turned out got the best of me. It is what it is. Still, you can’t miss the stunning difference between the two photos.
Now, I could have sanded that frame down myself (you can’t use a chemical stripper on a carbon fiber frame for obvious reasons, they have to be hand-sanded). I could have tented off a corner of my garage with a few tarps for a make-shift “spray booth”. I could have gotten my hands on some high quality spray paint and painted the frame myself. Then I could have scuffed the paint up with a Scotch-Brite pad and applied the decals and hit it with two coats of clear coat. Add in the new bottle cage bosses…. If I had a different day job – and it wouldn’t have turned out that well. In other words, it was worth every penny.
To wrap this up, $300-$400 is not a lot of money for a professional paint job that takes a frame that looked like the one in the old photo and gave me the one in the new photo. If you’re in the market for a simple paint job and you’re being quoted ridiculous prices (I know guys who paid thousands for a bike paint job), the shop that did mine takes bikes that are shipped to them. Check out their price list any other pertinent information here – scroll down to see the paint prices.
I should add, watch the incidentals and add-ons. They add up in a HURRY. Definitely best to take the bike apart yourself and just ship the frame and fork…