Painting Bicycle Brakes




Introduction: Painting Bicycle Brakes


This tutorial will show you how to paint v brakes of a bicycle. As you see I'm using a hybrid bike (half city/ half touring bike) and as most of touring bikers I don't care about the brand stickers on my bike or the scars on the frame. I like colors pretty lot and I like to put different colors everywhere also on my bike too. As you see I installed some colorful brake cables too and I thought why not the brakes too. So here we go!

Step 1: Materials

I chose cheapest of the cheapest of stuff. I'm not too crazy about the best quality. You'll need:

  • Any kind of spray paint that you can use on metal
  • Allen keys
  • Transparent nail polish
  • Some old newspaper
  • Plastic gloves and mask (up to you)

Step 2: Removing the Brakes

Remove the brakes and brake pads using allen keys. Don't lose the screws, keep them safe.

Step 3: Washing and Drying

Wash the brakes carefully. I used an old toothbrush to wash better. If the brakes are covered with oil, you can use some detergent too. After washing, dry them. You shouldn't leave any dust on the brakes.

Step 4: Covering the Moving Parts (Important)

This part is very important. You should cover the moving parts carefully; If the moving parts will get painted, it can get stuck which will be very hard to recover afterwards and can cause you to lose the brakes. So, I didn't want to risk the brakes and covered not just the moving parts but also the area around.

Step 5: Starting Painting

It's highly recommended that painting in outdoors or in a big and ventilated room.

Put the brakes on some newspaper and spray them from 30cm distance from 360degrees so all areas on this side will be covered with paint. Wait couple of minutes for the paint to dry to go for the second layer of paint.

Step 6: Other Side

When the paint will dries, flip the other side and paint with same way, two layers.

Step 7: Take Off the Tapes

Step 8: Polishing (Important)

Now covering the brakes with nail polish. First important thing is again being careful about the moving parts. When you are applying the polish; you shouldn't brush the same point two times. This nail polish thing can remove the paint so you need to be careful about your brushing. When it's dry, you can go for a second layer but again: You Need to Wait for It to be Dry! After polishing, you'll see the paint will be like skin on the metal, but do not get upset; just let it dry completely for a night or so and it'll be perfect.

Step 9: Finished

Now put on the brake pads and install the brakes to your bike. Your colorful brakes are ready!

PS: If anybody have any advises about a better or easier polishing agent, please let me know too.

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    2 Discussions



    what about electroplating with copper coins etc

    these paints wear away too early, a transparent coating might be helpful


    Reply 5 years ago

    it's been a year now and I'm using my bike everyday and it's still in a perfect shape.

    but that's a good idea too. just, i think it will be too hard to cover such a small and detailed shaped object.