Introduction: Rainbow Bike Makeover W. Acrylics

Tired of the old boring bike? And you love colours? Well, why not rainbows?
The great thing about this makeover, it can be done without having to buy a ton of different spray cans, which can be really expensive if you have to buy 6+ cans.

However, you will need at least two kinds of metal spray paint:

  • White and transparent. Both for metal and outdoor use.
    You will also need:
  • Sand paper

  • Plastic bags/cover

  • Tape.

  • Acrylic paint

  • WaterSpray bottle (maybe paint brush gun, if you have it)

    I was also lucky enough to have a bit of red spray, which is why half
    the bike is red. This also means I had to use less acrylic paint, and that can be a bit of a pain in the long run when you put it on a spray bottle as I did. There might be easier ways to do it, and if you got any ideas, please don't hesitate to share :)

Step 1: Preparing

Look at that boring bike... Yikes.. No personality at all! I had to do
something about it, and my attempt to cover it with feathers was a bit of a failure.

Start by sanding as much paint of the bike as possible. It would be most
effectively if you got some kind of tool to help you do this, but I'm a poor woman and I only had some sandpaper and my arms. I didn't get as much off as I should, and now (half a year later) the paint has been damaged a few places and crackle.

You should at least remove the outer lacquer so the new paint has something to bind on.
Wrap your bike like a nice christmas gift. Or at least the wheels, handle, saddle, pedals and chain (unless the make over should include them as well). Or remove them completely, thats also an option ;)

Prepare your work place with some plastic, unless you don't mind the mess.

Step 2: Coat It

Give it a while coat with your white metal spray paint. This will make
all the coulors stand out equally and also cover things like letters/brand and whatever was written on the bike before.

As mentioned in the intro, I also had some red spray paint, and that was
to my advantage. Of course, how you wish to make your design is up to you, but painting half of it with a spray made things a lot easier, because that meant I had to use less acrylic paint, and that can be a bit of a hassle.

Step 3: Make a Spray

I used an empty spray bottle for this, but since acrylic paint is fairly
quick drying (even diluted in water) my experience is that the paint eventually clog up in the spray after a period of time. Alternatively you can use paint brush, or a bigger spray with a big 'straw' (You just need to make sure you can adjust the spray so it doesn't mist, bit has a somewhat controlled spraying)

The mixture of paint and water can be a bit tricky. Too much paint, and
it won't spray. Too much water, and its too thin and will drip. I can't give precise measures because I really just mixed with some feel, and added more paint or water depending on how the spray worked. You might want to test it a bit, before starting to spray the bike so you know how the spray radius is.

Shake it well before you spray, so you don't have any pure paint lumps that can get clogged.

Step 4: Paint!

Add your colours!
If you're making a rainbow, in the right rainbow order (red, orange, yellow, green, (turquoise), blue and purple) you don't need to wash the spray each time you change colour. Just discard the excess paint and mix the new colour in the bottle. There will be a bit of paint from the precious colour in the straw, but it will nicely blend in with the new colour when its the right order.

You might want to give it several layers, since it has to be very thin
in order to work in a spray bottle. Let it dry, and add a new layer until you are satisfied.

However, the waiting period can be critical for your spray, because it
increases the risk of drying paint in the spray straw. It might be a good idea to screw off the top (w. straw) and submerge it in water each time you are taking a break for a layer to dry.

Step 5: Finish and Detail

Let the paint dry completely, and coat it all with the transparent lacquer spray to protect it from the weather.

Its been half a year since I made this make over on my bike, and I have
to admit that I was a bit nervous if acrylic paint would really work and hold in the weather. But surprisingly it has! The colours haven't faded at all, but it has gotten a few crackle damages, probably because something has scratched the finish and broken all the layers of colours, revealing a bit of the original blue underneath. I'm pretty sure this is because I didn't sand it probably, making the colours a bit hard to stick to the surface, so its a bit (but not much) sensitive to some impacts.

Add a bit of detail as well if you like! I made a little bead "necklace"
for mine, and for the dark winter nights, some colour changing LED tire lights. And of course you need to make yourself heard (the 'make yourself seen' part as already been taken care of now), so why not a nice rainbow bell? But you're a creative person, you can probably just give the old bell a makeover as well :)

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