Spray painting your own bicycle frame is a serious undertaking, normally confined to paint-job experts and professional cycle shops. Though daunting, you can achieve your own homemade customization that will make your bike individual and flair. The cost of assembling the requisite equipment and the amount of time required to spray paint your frame often mean that spray painting your own bike is more expensive than having it done professionally.
Items you will need
- Overall (optional)
- Masking tape
- Sandblaster, medium-fine sandpaper or paint stripper, brush and safety goggles.
- Bike body filler
- Paper towels
- Thin wire or indutrial-strength string
- Somewhere to hang the frame that you don't mind getting covered in paint
- Paint gun
Strip the bike apart and sideline everything but the frame. Make sure you look after all the nuts and bolts, as you will need these to put your bike back together once your paint-job has dried. Apply masking tape to the seattube, headtube and bottom bracket, ensuring they are covered over so they do not get paint on them. Clean grease off the frame comprehensively using a turpentine and a cloth and leave to dry.
Put on your overall or some old clothes that you don't mind getting grubby and safety goggles. Use the sandblaster, a medium coarseness sand paper or a paint stripping product to remove the old paint from the frame. Make sure you're in a well-ventilated area if using a paint stripper, as it might be very toxic. Scrape away paint from any hard-to-reach areas using sand paper to ensure you have uncovered the steel all over the frame.
Repair any dints or marks in the frame using bike body filler and paper towels to mop up any excess and leave a smooth, unnoticeable finish.
Hang the bike frame using thin metal wires or industrial-strength string. Hang your frame so that you can reach it from all angles while walking around it, which is crucial to getting an even paint-job. Make sure you don't mind the area where you hang your frame getting a bit of primer or paint on, as this is inevitable.
Apply a primer spray with a base color, such as white paint -- you may also be able to find specialist primer paint. Maintain a consistent angle when spraying primer to get a good, even covering. Leave hanging for 24 hours to dry before spraying on the main color that you wish to spray your frame. Leave for 24 hours to dry once more before adding a clear coat of paint and leaving it hanging for another day.
Make sure your bike is completely dry and has a consistent covering of paint before you remove it from your hanging device. Remove the bike and reassemble it before showing off your brand new, customized bike frame.
Tips & Warnings
- Always exercise caution when using paint strippers, primers and spray paints. Read the warning label on each product and be sure to carry out your work in well-ventilated area.
- Be careful not to over spray primer or paint, as this can ruin your paint work.
- Spray paint and primer onto the frame from the same angle for all parts of the frame, as this ensures an even covering of paint.
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