Step 5: Prime and Paint

Once you have hung up all your bike parts you are ready to prime and paint your bike!  After you prime the bike, let it dry for 24 hours and then spray paint it white.

Ensure that you put enough coats of white paint on your bike to REALLY make it white.  The phosphorescent paint dries clear, and glows better on a very white background.  So basically, the whiter and neater the better, because that is what your bike will look like.


Primer isn't meant to cover extremely well.  It is merely a first layer, so don't get discouraged when you've run through two cans and still see that firetruck red peeking through -  this is what you want!  The white spray paint will then cover up everything.

Shake the cans really well before you begin.

Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation!

Don't put on too heavy of coats, and keep that can 6-12 inches away... read your paint instructions.  You don't want drip marks, so many lighter coats are preferred.  

Your patience will be rewarded!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------24 hours later-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After the white spray paint has had adequate time to dry you are ready for phosphorescent paint!

Using a paint brush, apply the phosphorescent paint in very EVEN coats.  Please, Please be patient, this will take many many coats to ensure an even, bright shine.  I didn't realize that uneven painting resulted in uneven glowing, so I had to put on more coats. 

After you let the phosphorescent paint dry for 72 hours after the last coat, apply your clear protecting coat.


Lay it on thickly for the spokes, imperfections won't be seen while riding.  The thickness on the spokes make the bike look even cooler while glowing.

If painting in the garage, it can be hard to see the phosphorescent paint on white, since it paints on clear.  So you can turn off the lights to double check to see if you missed any glaring sections. 

Allow plenty of time for the phosphorescent paint to dry between coats, this takes much longer then the normal coats.

my fixe bike is an obnoxious florescent highlighter green color and i was wondering weather i can keep the color without having it all white and still have it glow (obviously green) in the dark. is this possible ?
jreyes203 years ago
Did you ever try sanding the paint off the frame before painting, or do you know of anyone who has? I plan on painting my bike and I'm trying to decide whether to sand then paint or just prime then paint like you did. Also, my frame is already white, so would spray painting it white be redundant?
Do you think that sanding or possibly wet-sanding the parts (specifically the frame) before painting would help the paint job turn out better/ reduce the amount of paint needed?
jemaus3 years ago
How do you think all this paint will work on a carbon fiber bike frame? I noticed that there is something kind of like a sticker over the whole carbon frame that makes it smooth and shiny and has the trek logo. I'm thinking about taking that outer coating off before painting, but I wonder if the paint will damage the material.

great instructable
stumpster3 years ago
Many hardware or paint stores carry a product called "preval" spray equipment... basically just an aerosol that you add your own paint to, though you will have to thin it with the proper reducer (solvent) to be able to spray it with the preval sprayer.
killbox3 years ago
use a cheap blacklight to charge it up as you paint, you can see where you are thin/thick.
Adobi (author)  killbox3 years ago
good idea!
brycesommer3 years ago
What's the consistency of the glow paint? If it's thin enough, I think I may use my spray gun rather than a brush.