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A bike is a cheaper form of transport than the fuel-based modes, and it’s a surprise that a good number of fulltime employees use it for commuting to, and from work. For some people, this two-wheeler is a great exercise companion during weekends.
Whatever your use for the bicycle, you want to ensure that it’s in great shape. One of the surefire ways to give your bike a glossy and a shiny new look is to give it a great paint job.
But painting a bike is easier said than done. While it is nowhere near the most difficult chore, everything can go wrong quickly if you skip certain steps. Luckily, we are here to ensure that everything proceeds like clockwork. Read this detailed how-to guide to learn how to correctly paint your bike and let it shine like a new one.
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Step 1: Prepare the Bike for Painting
There are many ways of doing this, of course, but one of the easiest methods to prep your bike is by using duct tape, coke, and aluminum foil. Yes, you heard right, Coca Cola. Pouring some Coca-Cola drink on a crumpled aluminum foil piece and then firmly rubbing uneven or rusty parts of the bike frame before you start spray-painting will work magic.
It makes rust simply disappear which is great for readying the bike for spraying. You just need a 500ml bottle of Coca-Cola for the job. For aluminum, you will need one roll of aluminum foil.
Step 2: Remove the Parts and Disassemble
Firstly, clear the place you want to work on by removing or covering any items of value in the vicinity. Some spray cans tend to be a bit messy, which is why you want to ensure that you have protected all your belongings.
Next, dismantle all the bike components to remain with the frame that you want to paint. If you are not sure how to put it back together, you can take the photo of the bike prior to starting disassembling it.
Another thing is to make a systematic guide about how you dismantled it. When the time comes for putting everything back together, you will just need to work backward.
Step 3: Clean It and Get Rid of Old Damages
Begin by wiping the bike using a damp piece of cloth. Your biggest concern at this stage shouldn’t be about making the bike to sparkle. You should just focus on getting rid of all the debris and flaking paint.
Take a piece of sandpaper and scrub the metal frame thoroughly. You should aim to remove as much rust and old paint as possible. You will realize that some parts are tougher to remove than others, so be prepared to use more force for these areas.
Next, wipe the frame again with a piece of damp cloth to give the frame another round of clean.
Step 4: Get Rid of Any Extra Rust
After you are through with sanding the frame of the bike, you should take your time and assess its condition. You may want to buy a chemical spray and apply it to the frame to remove any remaining rust. This ensures that the metal is not only smooth but also ready for the application of a new coating of paint.
Once you are done applying the chemical spray, wipe the frame of the bike clear by using a clean, damp cloth. If you correctly applied the chemical spray, the remaining corrosion and rust should easily come off as you clean it.
In case the rust hasn’t completely gone, apply the chemical spray again and leave the formula long enough to eat away the rusted particles. After that, clean once more.
Step 5: Prepare the Bike by Applying a Primer
Unfortunately, it’s still not the time to apply the paint onto the bike frame. You are advised to use a primer, which ensures that all the spray paint that you apply later will stick to the surface thoroughly. For maximum results, you want to apply a primer before the first color coating.
A primer simply readies the frame for the first painting. It gives the frame of the bike a protective layer. This helps the paint to last longer when it is exposed to adverse weather. If skip this step, you will notice that the surface of the bike frame has small bumps and lumps.
When applying the primer, make sure you do it using slow-moving motions, just as you would wave to someone. This ensures that the application is consistent. Also, it prevents the buildup of air bubbles.
Give the bike sufficient time to allow for the proper drying of the primer. Meanwhile, prepare your color spray-painting region and make sure you have removed anything that should not be there.
Step 6: Apply the Paint
Finally, you can now apply the paint. When using a RAL aerosol for painting, you must ensure to apply it correctly the same way you applied the primer. Stick to the same sweeping motion to apply the paint to the frame. Do not fall for the temptation to apply thick coats from the get-go. Don’t panic even if some sections appear not to be covered.
Apply extra coats later and this should improve the quality of the finish as well as cover the areas that were not treated before. On average, 2-3 coats containing high-quality aerosol should give you the best finish.
Step 7: Reassemble
Allow plenty of time for the bike to thoroughly dry. Make sure no one touches it and keep it where it won’t experience lots of action and also where it’s protected from harsh weather.
When the paint dries, start reassembling the bike components. You should be able to admire your work. Also, compare the frame you have reassembled with the image you took earlier. The assembly needs to look exactly similar. The only difference should be in the finish quality and color.
If you follow the above steps, you will find that painting a bike is a pretty straightforward job. Just make sure you prepare the bike thoroughly before applying the paint. You might occasionally have some problems here and there, especially when it comes to reassembling it, but it’s nothing major. Make sure you write down the steps of dismantling the bike. You can even take a photo to ensure that you get it right.