Whether you use your bike as part of your commute, or simply like to get out and about on two wheels in your leisure time, cycling is a great way to stay fit and do your bit for the environment. But did you know that if your bike is looking a bit worse for wear, or if you simply want something that looks a bit more individual, then it’s actually fairly straightforward to update the look of your bike and achieve a fantastic new finish using spray paints?
The Montana Gold series is a high quality range of acrylic lacquer paints that has been developed to deliver a professional standard finish on a wide range of surfaces, including steel and aluminium. They leave a finish that is smooth, free from cracks and durable enough to withstand the worst of British weather while you’re out on your bike.
So if you’re thinking about updating your bike with a fresh new paint job, let's take a look at the steps involved.
The first step in the project is to identify the parts of the bike that you want to paint. This would usually be the frame, and we wouldn’t recommend painting components such as gears or brakes. Removing the wheels makes the frame much easier to access, and taking off the pedals, gears and handlebars can help to ensure your paint reaches all the little nooks and crannies for a professional finish, while protecting them from overspray or mist when it comes time to apply the paint.
Before applying a fresh new coat of paint to your bike, it’s advisable to remove the old paintwork, along with any rust that you can see on the frame. While this might not sound like the most enjoyable task, it’s worth putting in the effort by sanding down your bike’s frame to remove as much of the existing paint as you can. You may also be able to use a paint remover spray to help you with the task. Preparation is key to achieving a great finish, and the work you put in at this stage will pay off big time once the project is complete.
Once you have your bare bike frame to work with, it’s recommended to give everything a good clean. This will enable you to achieve the best finish possible and mean that the layers of paint will adhere to the surface as intended. Clean off any dust, grease, dirt and grime with an appropriate cleaning solution and then dry everything thoroughly. This is also a good opportunity to clean your bike’s other components so that everything is looking as good as new once you’ve finished the project.
Before applying your desired colour and paint finish, a good quality primer is recommended. This gets the surface ready to accept the spray paint and helps to ensure a tough and long lasting finish. The type of primer that you need will depend on the material that your bike is made from. The majority of bikes are made from either steel or aluminium, and it is recommended to use either Montana Metal Primer if your bike is made from steel, or the specialist Montana Aluminium Primer for aluminium surfaces. Once you have applied the primer, leave everything to dry for the time recommended on the can.
Now that you’ve got your bike frame ready, it’s time for the best part of the project - applying the spray paint. This is where things really start to come to life. There are a huge number of colours available in the Montana Gold range, along with metallics, neons and some cool matte finishes if you want a stealthy look. Whatever colour you have chosen, apply by spraying in smooth consistent sweeps across the frame, holding the can about 25cm from the surface. To get the best finish, it’s recommended to apply multiple thin layers to avoid any drips or patches. Leave to dry between coats for the recommended time, which will depend on factors such as the weather and the temperature of your environment.
You might want to paint your bike in a single colour, or you might have more ambitious plans in mind for a design that uses a number of colours. To achieve a dual or multi colour look, simply apply your first colour then either tape over that part of the frame or along the edge of the section before applying the next. With the number of colours and finishes available, you can really get your bike to look exactly how you want it.
Once the paint is completely dry, you may wish to protect your masterpiece by applying a varnish top coat. This will help to keep everything looking great for years to come, which is important particularly for bikes that spend a lot of time outdoors. Montana Varnish Sprays are available in gloss, semi-gloss or matte finishes so you can get the specific look that you need.
When the final coat of paint or varnish on your bike is completely dry and cured, it’s time to put everything back together. Reassemble your bike and give everything a quick check to make sure it’s working as it should, particularly the brakes and gears. Now you’re all set to head out on your one of a kind, custom painted bike. Just watch out for the jealous stares you might get from other cyclists!