I was looking for a weekend project to do with my son, and itching to try out the Plasti-Dip Glow paint. I'd always wanted to custom paint a bike, or a car, or a flying ninja robot! I felt the bike was the best place to start...
It began as a plain white bike. The cheapest one you can buy at Walmart, and pretty much the same as ten thousand other bikes. I wanted my bike to glow in the dark, but still look pretty in the daytime, and show some personality. Specifically my personality. Which oddly enough is composed largely of monsters and glitter.
Glow in the dark paint usually has a very distinctive phosphorescent-green tinge. Sometimes I like that, but for this project I wanted to avoid the "radioactive" look and come up with something a little more feminine, with lace stencils and a custom plaque for the front. The fact that it glows in the dark is more of a bonus.
For this project you will need:
- Adhesive Remover
- Blue Ocean Breeze spray paint
- Plasti-Dip in Glow Blue
- Plasti-Dip in Gloss
- White spray paint
- Lace stencil (I used one from Martha Stewart's craft collection)
- Acrylic paint in Black and Glitter
- Paint brushes
- Painters tape
- Old newspapers
- Aluminium foil
- Plasti-Dip Gloss
- Rubber cement
Step 1: Step 1: Prep Your Bike for Painting
I used adhesive remover to remove the stickers, and rubbed the frame with sandpaper to give it a little "tooth" for the new paint to stick.
My bike was white to begin with, so I didn't need to put a white primer on it. If your bike is any other color, I recommend painting it white first, so the colors you add are as true as possible.
I considered taking the bike apart to paint the frame, but since I was only painting the front half, I felt it would be easier to use painters tape and old newspaper to tape off the front wheel, the handle bars, and the brake lines.
Step 2: Step 2: Painting
Spray the front half of the bike with the Blue Ocean Breeze spray paint. I used two layers, letting it dry 10 minutes between coats.
When the paint is dry (10 minutes) spray a layer of Plasti-Dip Blue Glow. You will want to use several thin layers, letting it dry for 30 minutes between coats.
Plasti-Dip is a rubber paint. Most imperfections will smooth out as it dries. It also goes on glossy, but dries with a matte finish.
If you don't get the result you want after a few layers, you can create a lip by rubbing your finger against an edge and pull the Plasti-Dip off, then try again.
When the Plasti-Dip had dried completely, I put a thin layer of Acrylic Glitter paint over the blue.
Step 3: Step 3: Stencil and Gloss
I added a stencil to the end of the blue so the paint transitioned into white smoothly.
The stencil I used was quite large, so I cut it down to the size I needed then used painters tape to tape it securely to the bike frame.
Paint 2-3 light layers of white over the stencil. When the paint is mostly dry, carefully remove the stencil.
When the white paint is completely dry, apply a few layers of Plasti-Dip Gloss over the blue and the stencil.
Step 4: Step 4: Detailing
Despite my best efforts taping, I did miss a few areas. Since these were black to begin with, I used a small amount of black acrylic paint to touch them up.
Step 5: Step 5: Making a Plaque
I've noticed that many of the nicest bikes have a plaque on the front. Mine had a sticker, which I removed to paint. Looking at the bike with absolutely nothing on the front, it seemed bare and needed some detail.
To make a plaque, I used Sculpey clay. Flatten it to about 1/4" thickness and use the lid from one of the spray paint cans to cut out a circle. You can use any shape you want. I chose a circle to keep it simple.
Press the cut-out shape onto the bike to give it the curve. Roll out some aluminium foil into the approximate size of the tube and gently place on the foil, so it holds it's shape while baking.
On a cookie sheet, bake the Sculpey for 10-15 minutes at 275 degrees F.
Remove it from the oven and let it cool. It will harden slightly as it cools.
Decorate the plaque any way you want. I painted a little cobra using acrylic paint. Spray a heavy coat of gloss sealant, or use the Plasti-Dip Gloss to give it a rubberized coating.
Step 6: Step 6: Attach the Plaque
The final touch in creating your custom glow bike is to attach the plaque.
Using rubber cement (or any heavy duty glue), hold the plaque firmly against the bike where you want it attached. Be careful to make sure it is centered before the glue dries!
The Plasti-Dip Glow paint needs to be charged in the light before it can glow. Though it was glowing brightly in real time, I could not get a picture of it with my cell phone. This photo of the bike glowing in the dark had to be taking with an older camera.