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How to paint a bicycle tire

Updated April 17, 2017

Most bicycle tires come in a standard black colour, while others may have a whitewall colour to the sides of the tires. In any case, bike tires can be coloured any colour that is desired. The colours can match the bike or be painted to create a design. Krylon fusion spray paint for plastic works best on the rubber tires and can be found in craft or hardware stores. With a few simple steps, you can have painted bike tires to stand out amongst other riders.

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  1. Remove the wheels from the bike. Unscrew the metal lever that holds the wheels into place for the front and back wheel. Deflate the tires by removing the air cap and pressing on the air valve with your finger. Take the tires off of the wheels.

  2. Remove the inner tube from the bike tire. Pull the tube out gently and place it aside until the tire has been painted and dried.

  3. Mask the tire treads around each tire. This will prevent any paint from being sprayed onto this part. Paint that is coated on the treads might cause less traction, so it is best that only the sidewalls of the tires are painted.

  4. Paint the bike tire inside a garage away from direct sunlight. Spray the Krylon Fusion paint around the sidewalls of the tire by holding the spray can six inches from the tire. This type of paint should be used because it is resistant to cracking on rubber and plastic surfaces. Only one coat of paint is needed.

  5. Let the first paint coat dry for twenty-four hours. To add a design on the tires, use a paint stick, or paint pen. The paint stick will allow you to neatly draw designs on the tires. Let the designs dry for another twenty-four hours.

  6. Insert the rubber tubes back into each tire. Inflate the tires using an air compressor and place the tires back on the bike.

  7. Tip

    Painting tires a bright colour, such as white or yellow, will make the bike more visible for night time riding. Designs may be painted on the sides of the tires with paint sticks while the tires are on the bike. If you do this, don't ride the bike until after the paint has dried completely. Paint sticks (also called paint pens) specifically for use on tires are made and marketed by several manufacturers.


    Always wear protective gear when painting, such as safety glasses, gloves and breathing mask.

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Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Krylon Fusion paint
  • Paint sticks or paint pens
  • Air compressor

About the Author

Vincent Labbate has been writing online articles since 2010. He contributes to websites such as eHow and Answerbag on topics including hobbies, automobiles and business. Labbate has a Bachelor of Science in marketing from St. John's University.

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