A bike is more than a form of transportation; it's a fashion accessory and a personal statement, formed by the color, design, patterns and other ways you find to decorate it. To put a homemade design on a bike, you'll have to paint or airbrush it as a custom bike shop would. With a little practice on some cheap bikes, you can become a skilled bike designer.
Items you will need
- Newspaper, tarp or plastic sheeting
- Masking tape
- Wet/dry sandpaper, 180- and 600-grit
- Medium paintbrushes
- Paint primer
- Paint color
- Permanent marker
- Frisket film
- Clamps or paper clips
- Fine-tip black pen
- Decal paper
- Fine-point craft knife
- Lint-free cloth
Prepping the BikeStep 1
Lay newspaper, tarp, plastic sheeting or another protective material over your workspace. The workspace should be well-ventilated.
Put masking tape over any area you want to leave untouched. This masking tape should stick firmly but not pull the paint off. Try on a small area of your bike before masking large areas.
Sand your bike's current paint job with 180-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Rub the sandpaper firmly over the bike's entire surface. This prepares the bike to receive new paint.
Hand PaintStep 1
Paint your first coat of primer. Paint a light but solid layer over the area where you intend to put your design. Let the first coat dry for 45 minutes. Paint a second coat and repeat.
Paint a base color over the newly primed area. Wait 45 minutes for it to dry. Sand the area gently with 600-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Paint a second base coat and wait for it to dry.
Hand paint your homemade design onto the newly painted area. If you're not feeling confident with free hand, trace the design with a permanent marker first. You can also resand, reprime and repaint the area if the design doesn't come out correctly the first time.
Draw your homemade design on a piece of paper in pencil. Trace the pencil in dark, black marker. Wrap the paper design around your bike to make sure it fits.
Lay a sheet of frisket film over the dark, black design tracing. Clamp these. the film and the paper together to a worktable, or paperclip the sheets together and hold them steady as you trace.
Trace the design onto the frisket film with a fine-tip black pen. Remove the paper tracing underneath and store in a safe place in case you need to use it again.
Cut the design out of the frisket film. Lay the design across your bike in the appropriate place.
Paint the design onto your bike using the stencil as a guide. Remove carefully and allow the design to dry overnight.
Draw your design in pencil, then trace it in dark, black marker. Color it in.
Scan the image onto your compute to fit on a single page.
Load a sheet of decal paper into your printer tray. Print the design onto the decal paper.
Lay the decal print on a solid work surface. Cut the decal out with a fine-point craft knife.
Remove the backing from the decal paper. Wipe your bike clean and dry with a lint-free cloth. Stick the decal onto your bike firmly, avoiding bubbles by laying it down smoothly.
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