How to Remove Paint From a BMX Bike

Updated March 23, 2017

Whether you want to completely repaint your BMX bike to give it a new look or simply need to touch up the paint to repair damage, removing the paint is an important first step. Stripping the paint from your BMX is no different than removing paint from any other bike frame once you have removed all the parts and accessories. Removing paint takes some time, but it is worth the effort. There are several types of inexpensive paint removers on the market that require no professional knowledge to use.

Free the frame by removing the wheels and all removable parts from the bicycle frame. Remove the seat with an Allen key. Remove the brakes using a spanner to loosen the nuts until you can unscrew them by hand.

Take the chain off the sprockets with a screw driver. Remove the wheels with a wrench or a spanner. Remove the pedals with a socket wrench. Remove the pedal hub with a crank puller tool. Take the handlebar off with a spanner or wrench.

Place the bike frame over newspapers or a cloth so the paint and dirt dripping off the frame won't make the ground dirty.

Clean the frame with warm soapy water. Get some benzene or diluting agent and wash off the oil and dirt that did not come off with the soapy water.

Scratch the frame's surface with sand paper. Make sure you apply a lot of pressure so that you break up the coating, allowing the paint removing agent to penetrate as deep as it can. Once you have finished sanding, wipe off the dust with a dry cloth.

Put a face mask on and wear protective glasses and gloves as the paint remover is a chemical agent that can damage your skin and eyes. Lean the bike upright against a chair or a wall. Apply the paint removing agent with a brush over the parts from where you want to remove the paint. Use a gel or a spray-on foam paint remover rather than liquid to reduce mess. Follow the instructions on the packaging of the paint remover and leave it on for the time that is stated by the manufacturer.

Start scraping off the paint with a paint scraper when you hear it fizzing or cracking on the frame. Carry on scraping until you see only the clean metal frame.

Go over the frame once again with steel wool to remove any remaining flecks of old paint. Wash any of the remaining paint removing agent off the frame. If you don't, the agent you left on will damage the new paint.

Paint the surface as soon as you can to avoid rusting.


Dispose safely of the excess paint remover and the newspapers used underneath the bike to protect the environment.

Things You'll Need

  • Face mask, Gloves, Protective goggles, 100 Grit sand paper, Steel wool, Paint remover for metal surfaces, Sponge, 2 Paint brushes, Wiping cloth, Newspaper or undersheet, Wrench or Spanner, Allen key set, Socket wrench, Crank puller tool, Screwdriver, Chair, Paint scraper
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About the Author

Janos Gal has been writing since 2008. He wrote for the "Global Journalist" magazine in 2008 and for the "Estrella de Arica" daily in 2009. Gal has traveled extensively in Europe, South America and the United States. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, honors, in journalism from Edinburgh Napier University.