How to Professionally Paint a BMX Bike

Updated April 17, 2017

You have a great BMX bike. It needs a paint job, but bringing it in to a shop can cost you £97 or more. Here are steps to give your BMX bike a professional-looking paint job without emptying your bank account.

Strip your bike down completely. Make sure you have rags inside the interior tube (where the seat post goes in) and bottom bracket to ensure that paint does not seep in. Use masking tape to cover up any part still showing that you don’t want to get paint on or in. Then put the bike frame up on a ceiling rack or use wired clothes hangers to mould as hooks and hook the frame on a sturdy tree branch. Be sure to place newspaper underneath to avoid getting paint on the ground.

Ideally, you should sandblast all of the bike's parts to get it completely free of paint and finish. If you don't have the equipment to sandblast the parts, use steel wool over the entire bike and then sandpaper the frame really well. This makes for a porous surface so the paint better adheres to the metal. Use a rag to gently remove excess dust.

Add a light coat of primer. Be sure to follow the directions on the can to avoid blotches. Let everything dry for at least an hour and then spray on a second coat of primer.

When the primer is completely dry, spray a light first base of coat on the frame. Spray a total of three or four coats of paint. Allow each coat of paint to dry for an hour before spraying on the next coat.

If you plan to add decals to your bike, now's the time to do so--but be sure not to touch the paint.

Spray two to four cans of clear coat. Allow each coat to dry for a half hour before spraying on the next coat.

Put your bike back together remembering to grease the parts so they work like new. If the paint smells, it is still wet. Do not touch or ride your bike until you no longer can smell paint. This can take a few days.


If your bike is brand new, it most likely will have a matt finish and you’ll be able to skip a couple of beginning steps. Be sure to read all the directions on products. Giving your bike a professional look takes time and effort. Be patient or you’ll end up wishing you brought it in to the shop to begin with.

Things You'll Need

  • Rags
  • Masking Tape
  • Bike Rack
  • Newspaper
  • Pack of Silver Steel Wool
  • Mild- to Medium-Textured Sandpaper
  • One Can of Primer
  • Two Cans of Automotive Spray Paint
  • Two Cans of Clear Coat
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About the Author

Annette Rivlin-Gutman wrote and produced videos for 18 years. She has also contributed to various online publications, authored the children's book "Mommy Has to Stay in Bed" and contributed to teacher resource books by Gryphon Publishing. Rivlin-Gutman holds a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and is a yoga instructor in Northern California.