How to Paint Bike Frames

Written by carmen laboy
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Painting a bike frame is a cheap way to improve the look of your bike and in some cases increase its value. However, this may not be the case for older bikes, so if you have a very valuable bike, find a professional to repaint or repair it for you.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Sand the old paint and any rust from your frame, or use a gel paint remover. Old paint dust can include lead, and gel paint remover is an acid, so wear appropriate safety gear for your method. Keep in mind that sanding may also scratch your frame if it is a "soft" metal.

  2. 2

    Wash your frame using degreasing soap. Pay close attention to areas that are exposed to oil or rubber, as there is often residue left over. You may need to reapply gel or re-sand these areas. Wash them again if you do and allow the frame to dry.

  3. 3

    Lay the frame on its side on old newspapers and prepare your paint. You can acquire paint online or through your local bike shop, although you are more likely to find special paints, such as glue in the dark paints, online. Your paint should be in an airbrush type paint sprayer. Alternatively you can use canned spray paint made for bikes, but this is not the ideal option.

  4. 4

    Spray your naked frame using smooth, even strokes going from side to side. Stand far enough away that the paint doesn't puddle or make round spots, but not so far that the paint is speckling. Get closer if that happens. Do one even coat and wait for it to dry completely before turning it over to do the other side. When that side is dry, turn it over again and do a second coat on both sides. Make sure that you also evenly coat the handlebars.

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