Wanting to paint my bike looking for advice

Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum

Help Support Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum:

Nov 5, 2021
Reaction score
McMinnville, TN
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
The biggest 'difficulty' i can see is, well, I don't want to strip everything off. I like the color and finish that's already on there. I just want to black out the dropouts and the wheel facing sides of the front fork and rear triangle. that two tone approach, in my mind's eye, would add a bit of personality.

Thing is the current finish is matte. So, gloss? Matte? Should I try stripping the handlebars and stem down and repaint those? The handlebar has some chips in the paint from where i've had the bike upside down.

Anyone know where I can get stickers printed out? Never fails to make me scratch my head they painted the frame, clearcoated, then put stickers on top of the clearcoat. I always figured the whole point of clearcoat was to seal everything in. Maybe they wanted to give people the option of de-stickering?

part of me wants to think the paint is baked on, but.... to me that always felt like an upscale 'you won't get that on a walmart bike' option.

I know you have to do thin coats in short sprays rather than single heavy coats to prevent runs. I also know that pending weather it takes a few days for the paint to fully cure. Anything else i should know? Can I get away with going straight to black after washing the parts, or should I put a primer on anyway?
Aug 6, 2021
Reaction score
The Whose Ear State
Rating - 0%
0   0   0

If you want to to paint it and have it look half way decent, you really need to take it apart, degrease it, and at least give it a good scuffing before you paint it.
I always prime it, especially bare metal, but you can get away with scuffing factory paint if it's in good condition.

The current trend seems to be matte finishes, but it's really your personal taste.
Several light coats is usually better than layering it on with a trowel.
Patience is key. Take your time, pay attention to detail, and you can get good results with rattle cans.
Jul 25, 2016
Reaction score
Chicago - far west burbs
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
1) Tear it down all the way.
2) Degrease everything before starting prep.
3) If there's rust, wire wheel it to shiny.
Here's where you decide if you can use old paint as a base.
4) any chips or wire wheeled areas need to be feathered out, a long way, if you just do the little area area a chip it will show thru as wavy on your final paint.
5) sand the current paint with 150-220
6) prime over it to fill any chips and give a consistent finish
7) sand the primer
8) paint away.

Old bikes were painted. New bikes usually powder coat. The powder coat will often not sand out to a feather edge. Youll have to build up primer coats to cover enough to be sanded flat and fill the divot or edge created.

Stripping the paint is a lot of work, finding good paint stripper is a challenge, methylene chloride is the active ingredient and it's been removed from most of the paint strippers at big box stores.

Sanding out all the chips, priming, and sanding out the primer is a lot of work.

If the bike is fairly new, in good shape, and doesn't have much rust the original paint can be a great finish to sand an paint on top of. If it's all dinged up, it ends up being just as much work as stripping.

If youre using rattle can, get good stuff. Engine paint is a good option.
Stick with one tyoe of paint - use enamel. I also look at the ingredient list and see if I can identify the solvent used, if you can keep the same solvent base between primer and topcoat you'll have less chance of issues

Even the same brand of paint isn't always compatible and may lift: rustoleum has enamel and lacquer spray cans. Do a test batch anytime youre using rattle can clear coat, make sure it's not going to lift, doing all your prep twice is a bummer.

Don't rush the coats, it may be dry to touch but still hasn't cured completely, if its still outgassing solvents, the chances of having paint lift increase a lot.
Last edited:
Jan 21, 2015
Reaction score
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
After sand blasting rust off, I recently did some rattle can painting with Rust-oleum "Ultracover", also using their primer. It came out OK but it helps if you don't inspect to too carefully. Last time, I think I used Krylon brand. I think the top coat gave me better smoothness and gloss. Does that match up with the general experience here?

Latest posts