How to paint an aluminum bicycle frame

Written by john heller
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How to paint an aluminum bicycle frame
An adverage bike (bike image by Dubravko Grakalic from

Although bikes are constructed from different materials depending on how they will be used, many street bikes are made out of aluminium. Street bikes are available second-hand for reasonable prices and are easy and fun to customise. Painting an aluminium bike can be easy with a little prep work and some determination.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paint brush
  • Aircraft paint stripper
  • 180-grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • Adhesive tape
  • Utility knife
  • 600-grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • Spray paint
  • Primer paint
  • Clear gloss paint

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  1. 1

    Strip the frame completely of old paint. Use a brush and apply aircraft paint stripper, which is commonly available. Let it dry for an hour and it will take off almost all the paint.

  2. 2

    Sand down the frame with 180-grit wet/dry sandpaper to get off any of the leftover paint. Tape off all the holes in the frame and cut around them with a utility knife so the paint does not get inside or clog up the screw and bolt holes.

  3. 3

    Apply a clear primer coat to the entire frame. It can be purchased in spray cans for easy application and even coating. Let the primer coat dry overnight.

  4. 4

    Lightly sand primer with 600-grit wet/dry paper. Apply a colour coat of paint using spray canisters for even coating. Let dry, sand again and apply a second coating of colour. You can apply final gloss coating for shine and style. Then remove the tape around holes.

Tips and warnings

  • Paint stripper is extremely toxic and should be handled with rubber gloves. Keep it away from pets and children and dispose of it safely after use.

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