How to paint a bike without spray paint?

Spray paints are the most convenient way of painting your bike. They are quite effective when your bike is rusty and has a lot of dents. However, this process gets quite messy and the clean-up is extremely laborious. So if you are looking for other possible ways to paint your bike, you are at the right place. There are different alternatives to spray paint. They not only are easier to implement, but also give your bike a shiny look. In this article, we are going to discuss them and give you a step-by-step guide on how to paint a bike without spray paint.

How to paint an old bike without spray paint (Step)

You can paint your bike in a lot of different ways. However, there are some common ones that most people love to use. Let’s discuss them.

Step 1: Required Bike Paint

​• Enamel Paint: This is a very common type of bike painting. This paint contains a lot of resins and is used to coat surfaces and give the bike a longer lifespan. They are strong and provide a satin finish. Resins keep the paint adhered to your bike. It also prevents the corrosion of metal due to rust as they don’t bind with the moisture present in the air.

The paint dries quite quickly by air. If you want your bike to glow for a long time after painting, this painting is for you. However, be mindful to work with this paint in a well-ventilated area as enamel is toxic and oil-based enamel emits toxic fumes. Then again, all paints are toxic and this is not a big deal.

• Epoxy-based Paint: Epoxy paint is more difficult to apply on your bike as compared to the enamel paint. This paint requires three days to dry up. Heating the paint helps dry it faster. Every 10° increase in temperature makes the drying doubly faster.

It is a mixture of Enamel and hardener. So they are also wire resistant and extend the lifespan of your bike in addition to beautifying it. While using epoxy paint, keep chemical strippers away from your bike.

Aerosol paint: Aerosol paint can be painted with a self-etching primer. This paint is easy to use. But the optimum result from this painting requires extreme care and good technique.

Step 2: Precautions

To avoid the toxicity of paint fumes wear protective clothes like masks, hand gloves, and safety goggles.

• First, wipe your bike off with a cloth wet with rubbing alcohol so that the dirt and greasiness go away.

• Now leave the bike for a few seconds to dry.

• Use tapes to cover the areas that you won’t paint.

• Then rub the frame with a cotton cloth to get rid of the residual sanded metal powder.

• Put the bike on an elevated platform before moving to the paint. Finally, wait for adequate time(24-72 hours) before you touch the bike after painting.

Step 3: Disassemble the Bike

Since you will only paint the frame, it is important to take the other parts such as the wheels, and derailleur apart from the bike. Take the stickers out from the frame. You can also paint the bike just by covering those parts rather than disassembling them. But it may stop you from getting a thorough paint.

Step 4: Smoothen Up the Bike / Clean & Sand the bike frame

Now it’s time to clean up and sand the frame. Sanding helps the paint to reside on the surface. Use a degreaser and wipe the frame off to remove the oily dirt from the frame. Then take sandpaper preferably 220 grit or higher and sand down the frame. 60-80 grit sandpaper should work if your bike has a thick coat of paint. Wipe the sand granules. This time you don’t have to use any degreaser. Just use a wet cloth with soap and water and leave it in the air to dry.

Step 5: Cover Your Bike

After drying cover the parts you don’t want to paint. Use a newspaper or masking tape to cover them. However, it better is to remove those parts.

Step 6: Prepare Your Workstation and Set Up The Bike

Before you start painting prepare the workstation, prepare the workstation. It’s better to work outside where you’ll get enough flow of air. However, if you are to work indoors, make sure the space is well ventilated with doors and windows.

Don’t forget to cover the floor with a paper or cloth so that the spilled paint cannot make any damage to the floor. Then hang the bike on a repair stand. It will make the painting process easier. If you don’t have a repair stand for the bike, turn the bike upside down. And now you are all set to start painting!

Step 7: How to spray paint your bike?

Apply Primer

Primer is the undercoat you apply before painting so that the paint strictly adheres to the frame. It also gives protection to the metal by sealing it off and stopping the rusting process. You can get any primer available on the market. If you ask for suggestions we would recommend Rust-Oleum 7769502 Protective Enamel. Applying Primer is a very important step. So do it properly.

Apply a Coat of Pigment Paint

Once the primer is dried, it’s time to start applying the pigment paint. Use a thin and fluffy paintbrush so that you can paint into all the nuanced parts of the frame.

Apply a Coat of Transparent Paint to the Top

This final step ensures the longevity of your paint. Use a clear coat of paint to finish the painting process. Otherwise, your paint will end up chipping off soon. So never miss out on this step. Finally, leave the bike outside and let it dry for at least 24 hours.


What Are The Alternatives To Spray Paint?

There are a number of alternatives to spray paint. We have explained the common ones Always wear protective gloves while applying these paints.

Primer, Colored Coat And Clear Coat

Paint primer is a great consideration to apply especially on the metal part of your bike. It dries up quickly and sticks strongly.  Zinc chromate primer also prevents rust. A colored coat is a layer that gives the color to your bike.  Finally, a clear coat provides extra protection to the paint.

Carbon Touch-up Paint

Most of the bike bodies are made of Carbon fiber or aluminum or steel. Hence, carbon touch-up paint can be used to fill small dents and scratches. Make sure the dents are totally sealed off and apply gentle pressure. A good recommendation for this paint can be ACDelco Carbon Flash Metallic Touch-up Paint.

Direct To Metal Paint

This paint eliminates the necessity of primer and paint.  It is also water and U.V resistant.  So your bike not only gets protected from rust but also from the UV ray of the sun.  Various finishes such as gloss white or chassis black can be found in this paint. A good recommendation would be POR-15 Gloss White Top Coat Paint.

Final Verdict

Painting your own bike is a fun thing to do. But if you want another way other than the tedious spray print, this article has all your answers. Be mindful to follow the precautions to give your bike the best look. However, this is not a straightforward thing to do.

It requires skill and preparation. So make sure you know your work. Otherwise, you may end up making your bike worse. So, know the steps well and start the painting.

Leave a Comment