Introduction: How to Paint a Bike

Whether you are a bike fanatic, a daily rider or just a bike owner, you want your bike to not only preform great but look great as well. Over time your paint will wear down, peel, chip and rust, and at some point you will need to repaint it. Repainting your bike doesn't have to be a expensive process, it can cost as little as 4$ and consume as little as an hour of your life.  

 The bike I will be painting is a BMX cruiser I bought off craigslist for one hundred dollars. The parts were in extraordinary condition, but the paint job just wasn't up to par. I decided I would paint it and document my process, make an instructable and hopefully some of you out there with poorly painted bikes can give them a "makeover".

Step 1: Tools

Before you start you should have all the tools needed to disassemble your bike. That includes

For disassembly:

- Hex Keys (Allen Keys)
- Wrench
- Screw Driver
- Chain removal tool

For Painting:

- Sand Paper 
- Spray Paint
- Tape

Step 2: Disassembly - Wheel Removal

This instructable assumes you have a general knowledge of disassembling and reassembling your bicycle, if you don't then click on the links in each step and follow the instructions there to take off each part. Removal of parts is not optional but it is highly recommended, an alternative is to just cover everything you don't want painted in tin foil.

In this step we begin the disassembly process. Start by removing the front wheel and put it somewhere safe. If you don't know how to do this then click here

Step 3: Disassembly - Chain Removal

Remove the chain using the chain tool, if you are utterly clueless on how to do that click here.

Step 4: Disassembly - Rear Wheel Removal

Take off your rear wheel, once again if you have no idea how to do that then good job on getting this far, click here (only the first part).

Step 5: Disassembly - Removal of Other Parts

Remove the crank, brakes, seat and handlebars. Don't forget to place all important parts somewhere safe. 

Step 6: Disassembly - Fork Removal

Remove the forks and put them somewhere, you will be painting those later. Now you have your frame stripped and ready to be sanded.

Step 7: Sanding - Sticker Removal

Prior to painting the bike it is a good idea to sand the parts, of course its not mandatory but it will help the paint adhere to the bike. Removing the stickers is also optional, but extremely recommended, you will see the outline of the sticker after the bike is painted if you don't remove it. This may be hard for some stickers so use a knife to peel them off, or use your fingers on the less sticky ones.

Step 8: Sanding - Sanding Paint

This is probably the hardest step, sanding. Sanding the bike is not for the weak and impatient, it will require a lot of time, effort and patiences. If you want a nice paint job sand evenly around the whole frame. You want to get the old paint off and have a nice rough surface for the paint to adhere to. Sand for about 30 seconds then wipe the sanded part with a damp rug. It will take a good 45 minutes of work to sand the entire frame and forks.

Step 9: Painting

Now this is the fun part. Before you paint wash the entire bike removing all grease. Then dry completely. Tape over any parts of the bike you do not want paint on.

Next hang the frame on a cloth line like in the photo.

When painting you will want to hold the paint can about 15-25 CM from the bike and spray in quick even sprays from top to bottom. Coat the entire bike in paint then go get something to eat.

Come back in 30 Minutes and do another Coat.

Then leave the bike to dry for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Do the same with the forks of the bike.

Step 10: Reassembling the Bike

Reassemble the bike, be careful not to scratch your new paint job! Check out the before and after below.