How to Paint a Bike without Spray Paint? – Expert Biker

Spray paint comes with a lot of hassles.

First of all, it’s messy. Secondly, it can get blotchy, and thirdly, it’s toxic.

If you’re looking for a clean painting experience and then smooth results, then we recommend you move away from spray-painting your bike and explore some other possibilities. Your bike will look fresh as new, and you will have a surprisingly good experience with it.

If you want to know how to paint a bike without spray paint, then keep reading on. And remember to mention us to anyone who compliments the squeaky clean paint job on your bike but without making it sound like we told you to do so. Words of praise go a long way!

Types of Paint for Bikes

We live in a great world of options! But not all options are worth taking. So in the case of bike paint, you get two options. Let’s look at them below:

Enamel Paint

This is a painting that contains a lot of resins. Resins are known as binders – this is the element that will make sure that the paint sticks on your bike.

The job of resin is to enhance the adhesion between the metal of your bike and the pigment in the paint in a way that doesn’t decrease the luster but increases it.

Now the great thing about resin is that it operates without affecting the pigment at all. If you want your bike shiny after the paint job, then enamel paint is sure to provide it with a lot of it.

To summarize, these paints bind to the metal very firmly, giving a satin finish to the paint that stays fresh and glossy for a long time because of the resin’s incompetency to bind with the moisture that is present in the air.

They dry up pretty quickly.

One caveat with them is that they are toxic – but then again, all kinds of paint are toxic. So you just have to make sure that you paint your bike in a place that has good ventilation.

Epoxy Paint

Epoxy is another kind of paint that you can use to give color, shine, and life to your bike. This paint has a more common name as floor paint, but it works well on the metal frame and plastic components of bikes too.

It works well because it is a mixture of resin and a hardener. The combination of these two chemicals really makes the paint stick strong to your bike’s frame. It has this strong, durable, and weather-resistant bond that ensures it will not break down by regular handling.

However, we are going to warn you about the fact that epoxy requires a bit of time to cure. We’re not talking a regular amount of time – we’re talking 72 hours! 3 whole days is a long time to wait for your paint to dry, but you can help this situation by using heat.

Epoxy hardens doubly fast with every 10 degrees Celsius in temperature. So, apply heat to it and just wait patiently.

The end result with epoxy paint will be satisfactory in the long term.

How to Paint a Bike without Spray Paint

Choose any type of paint you want, but the process for painting is the same. Now let’s begin with the painting steps then!

Step 1: Disassemble the Bike

Take the bike apart so that you can have access to all the parts individually. If you try to paint the bike without disassembling it, you will not be able to do a thorough paint job, and the final result will be patchy.

Step 2: Smoothen Up The Bike

Get sandpaper and start to scrub the surface of each part. Choose sandpaper of 60-80 grit if your bike had a thick coat of paint on it from before. If the previous coat of paint is thin, then use sandpaper of 200-220 grit.

Step 3: Apply Primer

Primer is always a good idea. Use the primer right after you have rubbed down the frame of your bike inch by inch. The primer will help to hold down the grittiness of the frame so that it has a very smooth surface that is not prone to irregularities in texture.

Your primer also keeps your frame matte by sealing out moisture and creating a smooth surface for the paint to sit on without being soaked through. If there are any seams or weirdly welded joints, then the primer will help to bring that down a notch as well.

This is an important step in preparing your bike for painting.

Step 4: Apply A Coat of Pigment Paint

Now is the time to put pigment on that primed frame. After the primer has dried up and mattified the frame, go in and start brushing the paint on the frame. Use a paintbrush that is fluffy and thin so that you don’t struggle with putting that paint into the nooks and crannies of the frame.

Step 5: Apply A Coat of Transparent Paint to the Top

This is the final step of the process, and the role of this step is to ensure that you don’t let everything you did just go to waste.

Although we are working with a clear coat here, it is vital that you don’t miss out on this step because otherwise, your pigment will start to chip off in no time! It will be a waste of time, money, and effort. So make sure that you use a clear coat.

If you are using epoxy paint, then you have to wait 72 hours before you apply this final coat of transparent sealant. In case you are using enamel paint, wait at least 24 hours before going in with the clear coat.

Precautions To Ensure A Satisfactory Paint Job

Don’t just go in one morning and start smacking paint onto your bike. Painting is an intricate and time-consuming process that requires a lot of patience.

But as long as you keep these guidelines in mind, you’ll be good to go.

Put on protective wear

You will need a mask to cover your mouth and nose. For your eyes, you will need big goggles. Then finally, you will need gloves. All bike paint is toxic to some extent, so try your best to keep the fumes out of your breath by keeping your protection on.

Use rubbing alcohol

Before you start painting, take a cotton cloth, put rubbing alcohol on it, and then wipe it down. Rubbing alcohol makes sure that all the dirt and greasiness of your bike is cut through and washed away.

Leave the bike for a few seconds to dry

Don’t let paint touch wet surfaces because it won’t sit.

Make use of tapes

Use tape to protect the areas on the bike that you don’t want the paint to touch.

Clean the frame after sanding

When you are done sanding, use a clean cotton cloth to rub the frame clean off of all residual sanded metal powder.

Put the bike on an elevated platform

Place the bike on an elevated platform, lay down newspapers all around it, and then move in with the paint.

Wait for a certain amount of time after painting

Lastly, this is something that needs to happen after you’re done painting the frame. After you’re done with the paint, wait an adequate amount of time before you touch the bike.

Remember that epoxy takes 72 hours to dry, and enamel takes about 24 hours. In both cases, touching the freshly painted bike before it has cured will cause irreversible damage to the paint.


It’s exciting to do something that’s as cool as painting your own bike, right? Well, if spray paint ain’t the way you want to go, then we hope this article has brought some options on how to paint a bike without spray paint.

There’s a lot of prep involved, so make sure that you know exactly what to do now. Go ahead now; you know what to do! Don’t keep your bike waiting for so long because it has a crusty-painted body.

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