Painting bellows

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by will kirchoff, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. will kirchoff

    will kirchoff Member

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    Any suggestions on what is the best product of type of paint to use to repaint bellows. I have an 11X14 burke & james, and would like to over paint the bright red to black. Thanks for any techniques/ suggestions!

    Will
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Try the dyes they use for changing car upholstery, or for shoes.

    Ian
     
  3. Mark Sawyer

    Mark Sawyer Member

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    My recommendation is flexible aircraft dope, as is used to cover cloth wing fabric on older (and some modern) airplanes and sailplanes. If it can hold up to 100+ mph airspeeds, it can probably hold up to photographic uses...

    You can buy small aerosol cans at most hobby stores. I painted the bellows on an old Nu-View 4x5 maybe fifteen years ago, and it's held up very well to my high-school students' use!
     
  4. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    With any type of coating on bellows, it has to withstand extreme flexing in the folds and corners. I have used water soluable black dye intended for automobile upholstery, d(painted on with a brush) but still find this flakes off a bit in the corners., whereas this same dye on car vinyl upholstery is very durable. Perhaps the aerosol automobile upholstery dye would be even more flexible? Neither one of these would actually "seal" pinholes at the corners, and this has to be addressed with other products, widely discussed in other posts.
     
  5. Cliff

    Cliff Subscriber

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    RUST-OLEUM. GRIP & GUARD spray. Flexible textured coating. I used this on a bellows for pinholes. I would clean the bellows with denatured alcohol to remove wax, oil, dirt, etc. Whatever you use do a test area like the underbelly. Use in a well-ventilated area.
    ______________
    Cliff
     
  6. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    I would agree that dye would be the best way to restore the finish to bellows. As bellows are flexible, paint would have to be equally as flexible but I can't recommend anything that would last without cracking or peeling in the long term. A 'leather' dye' that is the correct colour might be the best answer to your question.