Alternative to painting a bike frame?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Alternative to painting a bike frame?

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    • #256129

      I have a newer, serviceable full suspension MTB. But I am not a big fan of the color: green. Seems it’ll cost an arm and a leg to get it professionally painted. With that said, has anyone ever tried using a car wrap vinyl film, like this one? Thanks!

    • #256130

      I have painted bikes in the past and because there is not a large area of surface anywhere it is much easier to paint than a car.  witch some videos on painting with spray cans and I bet you will like how it turns out.


    • #256133

      Man, I like that car wrap idea. If you decide to go that route, let us know how it worked. One of my bikes has a paint scheme called Clown Puke, and I’d love to change it up.

    • #256134

      you could go to a powder coat shop and they would be happy to paint your frame

    • #256143

      I ordered the wrap on Amazon last night… then after looking at the small parts and tight areas of the bike, I said forget it and then canceled the order. I’m just too lazy to put in the effort.

      I watched some spray can videos on YouTube but I think you’d have to sand out the current paint job first. I’m afraid I might do a crappy job.

      I may look into the powder coat shop option.

      • #256254

        Have you priced powder coating?  I thought about powder coating an older bike some time ago.  The estimate was over $200, assuming, of course, I stripped all of the parts off.  Kinda pricey compared to paining.  Then I starting (over) thinking about post process stripping of surfaces where the thicker powder coating might mess with tolerances (head tube, BB, seat tube, derailleur hanger, etc.).  There also seems to be mixed opinions about durability.  Even the shop I went to questioned it.  The way they put it, powder coating is pretty tough against rubbing, buffing, weathering, but not so much against direct sharp impacts.  Although I personally always thought powder coating was tough (but I have managed to chip it plenty of times on non bike applications).  Unlike chips and scratches in paint, you can’t just touch up or buff out powder coating in the same way.  But, I do like the look you can get from powder coating.  Anyway, all this was enough for me to abandon the idea for the older bike I was thinking about coating.  If you go that route, I’d love to hear how it turns out.

      • #256335

        Yeah at this time, anything over $100 to either repaint of put powder coat on my bike costs too much for me. I may have to revisit the wrap vinyl film idea if I no longer can stand the green color.

      • #256339

        Is it just a solid green paint currently, without any other stripes, etc.?  If so, maybe consider partial painting?  Highlights, stripes, etc.  Maybe that’ll take away some of the emphasis of the green color.

      • #256522

        Mostly solid green. With your idea, there are some decals I can cover with the wrap.

    • #256148

      Have you considered Plasti-Dip? I haven’t heard of it being done on a bike, but it might be worth a try…

    • #256386

      Powder is the way to go. If you know anyone that is into hot rods I bet they could hook you up with a good local shop that wont drain your pocket of green stuff.

    • #257627

      Hi! It is clear that you love your bike) We don’t  ever tried using a car wrap vinyl film, but my husband painted his bicycle with an airbrush.

      You can try or airbrush or spray cans. ? car wrap vinyl film will not allow to embody all your fantasies)

    • #258118


      Aluminium frame?

      I suggest just strip it and leave it RAW, a bit of metal polish will keep it beautiful, or leave it and it’ll go dull and look like something from a “pro toolbox”

      check out this beauty: raw alloy with ano linkages


    • #258153

      I have had numerous frames powder coated over the years. Best pricing is around $100. It’s a nice way to go, but recently I went a different direction. Spray Bike is a terrific alternative. It’s inexpensive, will work on any frame material, requires minimal prep and is tough as nails. In fact, I repainted my hardtail with it last year and it has held up as well if not better than any powder coated frames I have done and for a fraction of the cost.

    • #258291

      When I was a kid, I would strip all the parts off my Stingray. Wash the frame. Sand it with wet fine-grit sandpaper just enough to get it very clean and rough up the old paint just enough so that the new paint would stick. You don’t have to sand all the way to bare metal but you could. Then spray on two coats of new paint using aerosol cans of spray paint. If I got runs or rough spots I would just sand some more and respray. I was into metallic colors. I always though it came out pretty good. If I could do it as a kid, I’m sure you could do it. It doesn’t cost much but your time. Removing and reinstalling all the components was the hardest part. If you don’t have the mechanic skills, hire your bike shop to do that part and then sand and spray the frame yourself.

    • #258337

      It can be powder coated.

      If it is aluminum it can be anodized.

      It can be left raw.

      It can be polished.

      When dealing with the powdercoater, painter, or anodizing company you can always wheel and deal. One way to do this, is to see if they are doing a batch of xxx color (that you want) and wait until they are doing that color and throw your frame in with that order. Saves them on prep time and can usually pass savings on to you. I did that on a project I did before.

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