How to paint bicycle rims

With a little patience and persistence, you can paint your own bicycle rims and save yourself a significant amount of money. Remove the wheels from the bicycle and prepare the surface for painting. Clean the parts well prior to painting. Use a good primer and metal paint to achieve the best results.

Remove the nuts that hold the axle to the frame with the pliers. Some bicycles will not have nuts. If your bicycle has a quick-release, loosen this to remove the wheel.

Lift the chain up to clear the gear cluster. Slide the wheel off.

Deflate the tire by pressing down on the valve. Insert a tire lever or a flat object such as a flat knife handle under the rim, and carefully pry the tire off.

Sand any rusty areas or chipping paint until the area is smooth.

Clean the rims well and allow to dry.

Lay the rims on paper or plastic, away from other objects.

Spray one side of the rims with primer. Allow to dry according to the manufacturer's directions. Apply a second coat of primer. Allow to dry, turn rims over, and repeat.

Apply your first coat of paint using smooth, even strokes. Spray lightly and evenly. Allow to dry. Repeat until desired colour is attained. Turn the rims over and repeat.


Do not spray paint outside on a windy day. Do not spray heavily as it will cause the paint to run.


Be sure that you have adequate ventilation when painting.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleaner
  • Pliers
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Metal spray paint
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About the Author

Mona Culberson began working on the assembly line at a large manufacturing company in 1983, where she worked her way up into several positions of business responsibility. In 2005, she began a career in roofing, interior design and remodeling. She works daily as a professional painter/home remodeler/handywoman while lending her husband's roofing business a helping hand in her spare time.