How to paint a bike frame at home

bike painting

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The summer is coming and there’s no better way to get ready than giving your bike a brand-new, polished look. Would you like to give your bike back its original splendor? Depending on the kind of bike you have, as well as paint tools used to work, this can require different amount of time and efforts. But one thing is for sure, without relying to a professional you can hit the target and turn your ride in a new one. Let’s go through main steps to follow when is about painting a bike frame at yours.

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Early operations: disassembling the bike

Dismantle the bike by removing almost everything: wheels, cranks, bracket, front and back derailleurs, brakes, chain, handlebars, seat, water bottles holder. Here is important not to forget to store screws and tiny parts from the bike in a labelled plastic bag so that the re-assembling process will be fast and without a hitch.

Particular attention has to be paid to every element that is related to the frame even if it’s not a structural one. Labels and decals are in this regard crucial element to get rid of. Using a blow dryer to warm them up and complete the peel off operation is the quickest way to follow. Be meticulous, don’t forget any glue residuals.


Quality trademark: sanding before painting

Next you have to sand the frame in order to avoid new coat leaking. To carry out this operation you can use a sandpaper to remove the old paint. If you are in a rush or simply are looking for a better final result you can think to adopt an automated tool to sort out this heavy duty. A small air comrpessor is the best option available in terms of efficiency and reliability, making you available power enough to operate through an orbital sander.

Once the old coat is completely removed clean the frame with a cloth soapy water. Some parts of the frame are supposed to be paint-free so make sure any bearing surfaces, posts for the brakes and other threads later used when reassemble the bike are taped and covered.


Set the painting stage

As said before, you decided to paint the bike at yours because you prefer not to rely on a professional: this probably means you don’t have a spray booth. In this case you can easily put together a painting station in the garden, courtyard or inside the garage. The most important thing at this stage is to have a breezy area where to lay down a newspaper or a plastic tarp.

Then you have to find a spot where to hang the wire from, please consider a tree branch or a beam. For those of you already into bike maintenance relying on your bike stand is a ready-to-use solution, get sure clamps are sealed in plastic. Generally speaking, the aim is to have a configuration which allows you walking around the bike and paint every side.

Before beginning the painting session get yourself a pair of safety goggles and a dust mask on hand.


Spray can VS spray painting gun

Painting a is quite a simple process but an important rule of thumb is to carefully consider the best method to carry this operation out. Spray cans are the cheapest way used to make a frame looking brand-new but not everything which shines is gold. Indeed, uniformity of spray obtained as well as coat quality of these devices are elements that can affect negatively the final painting effect, over raising the mistake risk exponentially. In addition, their price is not even that low! A slightly higher investment would provide you a small air compressor and a panting gun. With this option you will be able to set the pressure of compressed air released through the gun and spread the coat evenly. 

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Painting tips

Either way, after having chosen your painting tool, begin with making your way around the entire frame until you’ve covered the whole surface with a thin layer of paint. Still seeing the first color? Don’t worry about that, the best technique is to affix several thin coat layers instead of a thick, single one. Wait 20 mins between each application averagely, you will hit the quality target only if respecting coat drying timings. There’s not a prefixed number of thin coat layers, here is about continuing until the old frame is fully covered. Be patient, you’ll be paid back. And most important when panting keep moving the source of spray all the way without, at the same time, being too close to the frame in order to avoid drips.

When the frame is fully colored and dry complete the job by applying a clear coat, is there a better way to protect the bike from rust and keep it shining? Again, wait between each application and repeat the operation at least three times.

Your bike is now ready to rest 24 hours and dry perfectly.

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Reassembling the bike

Begin with removing all the painter tapes previously applied, if you have done the taping operation you shouldn’t be able to see burrs. All the component you disassembled before can be put on back. Front forks, the seat, the handlebars, the brakes, left and right cranks, front and rear derailleurs, the bottom bracket and the wheels.

Jump on the bike and take a ride on your brand-new looking bike!