Introduction: Anti-Theft Bike Painting

About: I'm a mechanical engineering going to Caltech. My interest is mainly robotics. You can check out my website at

This is how to "uglify" your bicycle to prevent it from being stolen. I purchased a new bicycle and it was stolen 6 days after buying it! And I had to buy a second one. It was stolen because it "looked" like it was expensive with bright blue stripes and chrome even though it was pretty cheap. This instructable will show you how to paint your bike to give it an unique look as well as deter thief.

Step 1: Get Supplies

For this step you need:
1 bicycle
1 roll of masking tape
1 can of flat black spray paint
1 can of florescence orange paint

I used Krylon Flat Black Spray Paint, Valspar Orange Fluorescent Enamel and Scotch Masking Tape for a total of $13.63 with tax.

Step 2: Strip Down Bike

Before you can start painting to you need to remove the wheels and any other things on the bike. For my bike, I removed my bike lock mount and my water bottle holder. You will also need to lay down some newspaper as a shield for painting

Step 3: Paint the Bike Black

You will want to paint the whole bike flat black. Use large, even strokes and spray the A-frame, the front fork and the rear frame. Make sure to get the underside of frame as just spray painting from the side this spot will be missed. A handy tip is to place masking tape on the contact surface of the brake pads. This prevents any paint from interfering with your braking when you first re-assemble the bike.

Step 4: Apply Masking Tape

We are going to paint orange stripes so we need to place masking tape where we want black to remain. Take 6" stripes and wrap them around the tubular frame. Space them out about 3-4" apart. Add some on the front fork and rear frame. Additionally you can add a stripe to the petal cranks and to the kick stand.

Step 5: Paint the Bike Orange

Any bright fluorescent paint will work. I picked orange. Spray in between the masking tape to paint the stripes. It takes some work to not over spay and mess up the contrast. You can use the black paint a second time to do some repair work.

Step 6: Remove Masking Tape

Carefully remove all the masking tape that you applied earlier. Depending on how well you wrapped it there may be a bit of bleeding on the edges. You don't really need to worry about this as if it looks bad then it is less likely to be stolen.

Step 7: Re-Assemble Bike

Time to clean up and put back the on the wheels.

Step 8: Enjoy

Time to drive around and show off your new bike.