Monday, May 03, 2010


One of the steps in the Flat Top Cruiser build is to repaint it. However, my time and budget being very limited, I have to be fast but I still wanted something that looked decent. Hence the quick and easy method using rattle cans. One thing though, this only works good with flat or semi-gloss paints. You can try with a gloss finish, but I don't feel it would look that good. Remember, this is a rattle can paint job and it won't be as tough as a factory finish. Oh yes, there will be scratches!

First step, take the thing apart. Want to know how? Just go on my other blog here:http://bikeoverhaul.blogspot.com/

Second, whatever you don't want to take off but don't want to paint, mask it. Use some tape and an X-acto knife to trim.

Third, wash the entire bike. I use Simple Green which is a great degreaser. The removal of grease or oils is the key to avoiding weird looking reactions when applying the paint, so any good degreaser/cleaner should do. Use a clean rag or paper towels to dry the frame.

Fourth, sand, wet sand or steel wool it. Whatever you do make sure you dull that original finish(Keep the original finish if you can. It can't be beat to protect your frame.). It will give some grip to the primer and even out the surface for a better looking finish.

Fifth, primer that thing. You can use regular primer on painted surfaces but if like me you want to paint on chrome, you must use a self etching primer. This stuff runs about $15 a can and can be found at automotive supply stores. After you prime it, go for multiple light coats, give it some time to dry. 24 hours should do or until the primer feels untacky to the touch.

Sixth and lastly shoot the main color coat. I used Krylon flat black here but it comes out in a semi gloss finish, which works out great for me. I apply a few light coats with about 20 minutes between each. Leave in the Sun to dry. Don't start putting it back together right away. Give the paint a chance to dry for at least a day before you start messing with it. Don't do like I did. :)

So it's not a factory finish, but the bike is one nice even color and looks a lot better. Anyways, paint is only temporary.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed!

Gerry :)


Mary C. said...

thanks! good to know!

Anonymous said...

Any tips on spraying wheels/spokes?

Gerry Lauzon said...

Same thing as the bike. Clean, steel wool it and use self etching primer before laying the final color.

Gerry :)

Dodgers323 said...

Self-etching eh? That's what i was supposed to use when i painted my computer case but couldn't find it.
I bought a cruiser, but now i want to build another one from scratch and can't find white frames so i will have to paint it :)

Gerry Lauzon said...

Good Luck Dodger. The primer held on the chrome fenders for a little over a year.

Gerry :)

Sc said...

Gerry, have you tried using a clear coat finish to give prolonged longevity to the bikes you paint? If so, did it succeed in doing so? I'm currently repainting an old Sekine ten speed and stripped it all the way down to the steel in hopes that it might make the primer and paint adhere more solidly. Any recommendations on this front?

Gerry Lauzon said...

Spray can paint is not the most durable of finish in any form. Lots of coats and time to dry between primer, color and clear is the best you can do.

Gerry :)

Anonymous said...

i wanted to paint just my rims so i took tires and tubes off, scuffed where i planned to paint with gray colored scotch-brite. i was about to tape spokes nipples and hubs . I figured cheap masking tape would suffice so i ran to a $ tree that was close. I instead came back with a box of drinking straws. It would have taken 2-3 rolls of tape plus time to wrap and urwrap tape around each spoke/nipple. 1 box of straws and pair of sharp scissors(obviously to slice straw from top to bottom) got it done.

Teresa Halminton said...

If you ever heard about Gmail, one of the most popular email service on the internet? All you need about this email service are on www.Gmail.com