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Don’t scrap that old bike, upcycle it instead! A fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into that old hunk of junk . Learn the fundamental steps of redoing your old bike in this video how-to.

Materials Needed

  • Fine sandpaper, let's say 400 or finer
  • Nylon scouring pad are the primary abrasives
  • Tack rag
  • 1" tapered
  • Black and Decker Clamp bench or string to hold the bike while you paint

There’s nothing quite like a nice, shiny bike. And it’s actually not that difficult to restore an older bike to that new-paint glory. However, before we get to any painting, you need to do some disassembling. This might vary depending on the bike you’re working on, but a bicycle wrench and a 5/8” socket would probably be a good start.

If you’ve never taken a bike apart before, it may be helpful to take some pictures, a video or just some decent notes as you go – something that will show you how to put it back together again.

Easily the most annoying, time consuming and physically exhausting part of this job is going to be the sanding. But its gotta be done. Your sanding will do a few things that will help create a polished final product. It will remove the older paint and rough up the surface so your new paint can adhere better. And it will smooth out your rusty areas. Even though we’re using Tremclad Rust paint that, like stroking on the sunshine, will go right over the rust, we still want a smoother more uniform surface.

Obviously it will depend on the state of your bike, but this portion of the project will probably take you a good half-hour or so. Doing a good job here will make a big difference in the end. And as you sand, wipe off the sanded part with a damp cloth to remove any residue.

Once you’re satisfied with your sanding job, give it a really good wash down. To make sure the paint goes on evenly, we need to make sure all dirt and grease is gone. Then make sure its completely dry. Wipe it down with a clean towel and even take a break to let any damp areas dry off completely.

When it’s finished drying, grab some painters tape and tape off any areas that you don’t want painted.

And now for the fun part.

Ideally, to make your paint job as easy and even as possible, find a place to hang your bike frame that allows you to freely circle it while you paint. A clothesline, for example, is perfect.

And if you’re doing this job indoors, be sure it’s well ventilated and anything that you don’t want paint on has either been removed, or covered. Wearing a mask will keep you from inhaling any of the fumes.

Hold your spray can about 20 centimetres from the frame and spray in quick even sprays. Make sure you get everywhere – nice and evenly. Once you’re finished, take a good 30 minute break to let the first coat dry. Do one more coat and give that about an hour to dry.

Now, provided everything is as shiny and polished as you’d like it to be, you can work on reassembling a freshly painted bike.

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