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deni's avatar

What goes into re-painting a bicycle?

Asked by deni (22092 points ) February 10th, 2013

Good day. I have an amazing bike that I really like but I do not like the way it looks. It is an aluminum frame and has a carbon fiber fork and seat post. I want to paint it. Obviously it would need to be disassembled and, I assume, sanded down….but is it realistic? Is that all there is to it? I really want to do this before the weather gets nice but I don’t want to get in over my head. Any helpful information or if anyone has ever repainted their bike before, would be great. Thanks!!

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11 Answers

gondwanalon's avatar

If you plan to paint your bike by yourself then you will likely be disappointed. You want your bike to look good so get a professional to paint the frame and save a few bucks by disassembling and assembling your bike yourself.

When I was a kid I thought that it would be cool to spray paint my bike candy apple red. That was a big mistake. I did a very sloppy job and I ran out of paint after two cans and my bike looked hideous.

deni's avatar

@gondwanalon Really? I guess it seems like an obvious option but it never even crossed my mind, guess cause I’m assuming it will be an expensive thing to have done at a shop. I should probably make some calls and see how much it would cost though. Thankz!!!!!

wundayatta's avatar

I painted my son’s bike by hand, not spray paint. I just got a couple of colors of rustoleum. I painted blue and yellow stripes freehand, and they looked pretty cool, actually.

I’d say that if you want to go for unique, and don’t need things to be perfect, then you could make it look pretty cool and artsy. But if you want it clean jean like professional, take it to a professional.

But why do you need that? Make it look cool!

deni's avatar

@wundayatta Hmmm well I hadn’t really decided what I was going to do, just a solid color or something more artistic. I have a real thing for rainbows, so I was thinking something like maybe a solid color with a stripe of rainbow on some part of the frame. Idk, the possibilities are endless! So I guess if I just wanted it a solid color maybe I could take it to someone…

What is rustoleum?

wundayatta's avatar

Rustoleum is a brand of paint for metal. It comes in several colors. Mostly bright ones. I suppose you could mix if you wanted.

deni's avatar

@wundayatta Would I use sandpaper to get the old paint off?

Crumpet's avatar

Take your bike apart
Clean it
Dry it
Apply a generous coat of nitromors
Leave for about 4 hours
Use a wire brush and sandpaper and scrub scrub scrubbbbb
Apply more nitromors as needed
Scrub some more
Apply a primer coat
Leave for about 4 hours
Apply a coat of paint
Leave for about 4 hours
Apply another coat of paint
Leave for about 4 hours
Apply a clear coat of lacquer
Leave for about 4 hours
Put your bike back together
Bobs your uncle

wundayatta's avatar

@deni It depends on how hard core you want to be. I didn’t bother to sand. But then, it was a kids bike and it wasn’t going to be needed for more than a few years. As it happened, it was more years than I expected, since my son loved the bike. Who knew?

But I think @Crumpet probably knows what he’s talking about. Not sure what notromors is, but it is probably a paint remover. If so, you’ll want to use goggles and a mask and plastic gloves when you work with it. That kind of stuff is vicious. You’ll remove as much of the paint as you can with the wire brush and the sandpaper.

Is this worth it to you? Depends on how good a job you want and how long you’ll keep the bike and how much you are interested in doing yourself. I wouldn’t do that myself, but you might. Are you into that kind of work? Are you into being a craftsman? Are you anal about doing a very fine job? If so, then go for it. For me, it wouldn’t have been worth it. Too much time. Too much labor. Too much difficulty. I subcontract that out to someone who knows what they are doing.

deni's avatar

@wundayatta I am leaning towards having someone else do it as well. By the time I buy all the primer and paint and lacquer and brushes and goggles….I don’t know, seems like that stuff might add up to a decent amount of moolah, then I have to worry about not fucking up a really nice bike. So I think I’ll call some bike shops and see what they’d charge!

@Crumpet Thank you!

Crumpet's avatar

Nitromors is a kind of paint stripper yes, i should have specified really.
And you dont want to get in on your hands.
An old pair of gloves and a cheap facemask is preferable to use, or wrap a scarf over your face.
Its not really expensive or as difficult as you’d think.
Its a nice rewarding way to spend a rainy sunday.
I used to paint my old bmx’s every other month!

deni's avatar

@Crumpet Really? Do you have any type of estimate on how much the whole thing might cost? Many people I’ve mentioned it to seem to think that if i do it myself it will look terrible….

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