How to Paint a Bicycle

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How to Paint a Bicycle
How to Paint a Bicycle

Bicycle painting products Online

Learning how to paint a bicycle is essential if like to paint your bicycle correctly and professionally. Painting a bicycle may sound simple enough but there are plenty of things you have to take into account before you get started, because there is a thin line between a work of art and a monstrosity.

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How to Paint a Bicycle

Did you know that paint bonds better in hot weather?

If you've been struggling with dripping paint or paint that refuses to mix properly on the bike frame, excess humidity or overly low temperatures might be your problem. You should wait for a hot day when the humidity is low. Alternatively, using a hairdryer sparingly might speed up the paint-drying process as well.


How to Paint a Bicycle - The Required Ingredients

The following is a list of the basic items that you will need to do a proper paint job. Before you assemble the required items, make sure you scout out a good spot to do your painting, which features good lighting and ventilation.

Now, when you have all the tools in hand, we can go to the practical stage of learning how to paint a bicycle.

How to Paint a Bicycle: Precautions

  • Always wear gloves, mask and other protective gear while painting or mixing chemicals.
  • Do not use tools like a heat-gun or paint scrapper without proper practice or prior experience. In addition, always make sure that the electrical cords are not damaged or obstructing your way.
  • Do not mix different paint developed by different manufactures unless you are positive that the variants are compatible with one another.
  • Wait for more than 24 hours for the paint to properly dry. Also, make sure that you do not store the frame in a dusty or dirty environment while the paint is drying.

How to Paint a Bicycle: Painting The Bicycle

  1. Completely dissemble the bicycle and remove all items that you do not want to be painted. It is very important to seal any areas in the frame with threads for bolts because paint could seep in and make it very difficult to re-ensemble the bicycle. For this purpose, you could use painters tape. Otherwise, you could simply but the bolts back in.

    * A word of caution, when dissembling the bicycle make sure that all the nuts, bolts, cables and other components are neatly kept aside. Furthermore, make sure you use the right kind of tools or you will end up damaging the components or even the frame.

  2. Degrease the bicycle: Use a car body wipe or a bicycle degreaser.
  3. Remove existing paint: To remove the paint, use the 80 grit sand paper or rough sponge. Keep going until you have a nice smooth surface. However, if you do have a carbon fiber frame, take care not to scrape too deep. In this case, it would be best to leave a slight amount of paint on the surface. Also, if you come across dents or stress marks, then fill it in with a bondo or knifing putty immediately.
  4. Positioning the bike: Before you start the painting process, make sure you hang the bicycle by the head tube. This will help prevent the paint from clogging the bottom bracket. A simple tool like a coat hanger would do.
  5. Apply a primer: Usually you should spray from about 20cm from the surface area. The best thing to do is apply multiple thin coats of paint. The best kind of primer is the one that also acts as a rust inhibitor. If you are painting on an aluminum frame, then make sure you have a special primer that will prevent the pores in the metal from affecting the paint job.
  6. Dry time: let the frame dry for more than 24 hours. Make sure you that you do not touch the painted area of the frame and that it is not exposed to any dirt or dust.
  7. Sandpaper: Once again, you will have to sandpaper the frame with a 220-grit sandpaper or rough sponge. Keep going until you have a smooth surface area.
  8. Apply main coat of paint: Clean the frame once more to ensure there is no dust or dirt. Then apply the main coat of color in the same manner that you applied the primer (about four coats of paint should be enough). If you want to apply multiple colors to the frame, apply the lighter color first until you have an even coat. Then use the masking tape to cover the area that you want to maintain with the lighter color. Once you are ready, start painting the darker color.
  9. Sand paper: Apply Windex on the paint and then use the wet-or-dry 1200-grit sand paper or rough sponge and give the frame a good wet-sand finish.
  10. Apply stickers or decals (if necessary): If you want to adorn your bike with stickers or decal, then this is the time. The subsequent lacquer coat will protect the stickers. However, make sure that you do not paste any thin stickers.
  11. Apply lacquer: Apply around two or three coats of lacquer.
  12. Repaint other parts of the bicycles if necessary: Once you are done with the frame, you can apply the same process for other components include the frame and forks. However, once the final coat of lacquer has been applied, make sure that you let it dry for about a week before resembling the bicycle.

Sample Bicycle Paint Supplies

Now, that you know how to paint a bicycle, you can go ahead and buy the required ingredients:

For more information on how to paint a bicycle, check out some of the helpful videos on YouTube:

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