If your two-wheeled ride needs a makeover, look no further! Repainting a bike can restore its former look or give it a new look altogether. Is it better to hire someone to paint your bike or should you do it yourself? Keep reading to find out how much it costs to get your bicycle professionally painted or to paint it yourself.
Having a bike professionally repainted usually involves stripping the old paint, repairing the frame, then applying multiple coats of new paint plus clear coat. A bike paint job costs between $200-$300. Customization, specialty paint, powder coat, or extensive repairs will cause the price to increase to $500 or more.
Table of Contents
- Reasons to Repaint a Bike
- Cost Considerations for Bike Painting
- Cost of a Professional Paint Job for a Bike
- Cost of a Do-It-Yourself Paint Job for a Bike
- How to Paint a Bike Yourself
Reasons to Repaint a Bike
Whether you want to give an old bike new life, or just change the color, repainting is a great way to give a bike a whole new look. The new paint should last at least 3-3 ½ years on a heavily used bike or even longer if you don’t ride every day.
Over time, bicycle paint can become chipped, scratched, or damaged. Mountain or gravel bikes especially can show signs of paint wear and tear. Road salt, moisture, and sun exposure can also wreak havoc on bike paint. Repainting the bike will make it look new again.
Color or Design Change
If you don’t like the color of the bike, repaint it! Some bike owners want custom designs or artwork on their bikes as well.
Cost Considerations for Bike Painting
There are a number of factors that can affect the final cost to hire a professional to repaint a bike.
If the bike frame needs repairs before painting, the cost will go up. Even minor repairs, such as fixing a dent will take extra time and tools at a bike shop.
Two-tone paint jobs, metallic paint, or other specialized paint often costs more, both for the materials and the time that it takes to apply.
Airbrushing or custom artwork can make a bike look really special! However, these artists charge more for their services than they would for just a standard paint job.
Most professional shops will quote a standard amount for bike painting. This usually includes materials and labor. Keep in mind that you are also paying for their overhead. Overhead covers things like the cost of the shop, taxes, employee’s insurance, utilities, and more. Usually, labor charges are the majority of the cost.
Non-Standard Bike Painting
Non-standard bikes, such as tandem bikes or recumbent bikes may cost more to paint. Carbon frame bikes also require specialized paint and will cost more to paint than a standard bike.
Cost of a Professional Paint Job for a Bike
How much does it cost to get a bike professionally painted? What are the differences between standard paint and powder coat?
Standard Paint Job
A standard bike paint job includes stripping the existing paint, minor repairs, multiple coats of paint, and at least one to two coats of a clear top coat. For a standard bike with minor repairs and no custom artwork, it costs around $200-$300 to get a bicycle professionally painted.
If you add specialized paint, custom touches, or custom artwork, expect to pay at least $300 to get your bike painted.
Vehicle powder coat is a dry powder made from polymers that are electrostatically applied to the bike, then cured with heat or ultraviolet light. The result is a finish that is much harder and more durable than regular paint. This tough exterior is ideal for mountain or gravel bikes.
Powder coating a bicycle costs between $340-$1,040, depending on the bicycle, materials, and the technician. The average cost to get a bike powder coated is $680.
Cost of a Do-It-Yourself Paint Job for a Bike
Most of the cost to hire a professional to paint your bike is labor fees. Painting your bike yourself will allow for significant savings! The materials to paint a bike only cost $40-$150, depending on your paint choices.
Granted, you are probably not a professional painter, so the final product may not look quite the same. It will also take some of your valuable time to complete this project. However, if you have the time and patience, you can paint your bike yourself!
How to Paint a Bike Yourself
Painting a bike yourself doesn’t have to be difficult! Here’s how to save some money and give your bike a professional-looking paint job at home. If you aren’t an experienced painter, practice spraying the paint on a target, like a piece of cardboard or wood, until you can get an even coat.
- Krylon All-in-One Fusion Spray Paint, or Rust-Oleum Advanced Spray Paint
- Primer Spray Paint
- Clear Coat Spray Paint
- Steel Wool
- Sandpaper in assorted grits
- Allen Wrenches
- Hose, soap, and sponge
- Masking Tape
- Safety gear, like a mask and safety glasses
- Twine or rope to hang up the bike
Here is how to paint your bike yourself in a few simple steps! Make sure to choose a warm day with low humidity to paint. Ideally, the temperature should be above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity should be below 50 percent for the best painting results.
1. Disassemble the Bike
It may seem easier to paint the bike while it is assembled, but it is best to take it apart. Use the Allen wrenches and screwdrivers to remove all the screws. Store the pieces in marked bags to make reassembly easy.
If there is rust on the bike, some of the screws may not be easy to remove. Use a product like WD-40 to loosen the screws and bolts.
2. Wash the Bike
Use the hose, soap, and sponge to give all of the parts a thorough washing. If there is stubborn grease, remove it with the degreaser. Make sure all of the parts are completely dry.
3. Sand the Bike
Start with 100-150 grit sandpaper and rub it over all the areas to be painted with a circular motion. The goal isn’t to remove all the old paint but create a better surface to grab onto the primer and new coat of paint.
Finish with 150-200 grit sandpaper and repeat the process until the bike frame is evenly sanded. Wipe off the dust with a clean, dry cloth.
4. Tape off Areas that You Don’t Want to Paint
Use the masking tape and plastic bags to cover any area you want to keep free of paint.
5. Gear up for Safety
Paint fumes can be dangerous to inhale. Make sure to follow the package instructions on the bottles of paint. Always paint in a ventilated area. Wear a mask and safety glasses to protect your lungs and your eyes. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting ruined by paint.
6. Hang up the Bike
Use the twine or rope to suspend the bike pieces from a tree, or ceiling joist. This will make it easier to apply the paint on all sides without touching or smudging the bike.
7. Apply the Primer
Shake the can of primer. Hold it 6-9 inches from the bike and apply the primer in an even coat over the entire frame. Allow it to dry for at least 3-5 hours.
8. Paint the Bike
Shake the paint can. Hold it 6-9 inches from the bike frame. Carefully sweep the paint over the frame in a back and forth motion until the entire frame is evenly coated. Wait 5-10 minutes, then apply another coat.
Depending on how much of a color change you are undertaking, you will probably need at least 2-3 coats of paint. Allow the final coat of paint to dry overnight before applying the clear coat.
9. Apply the Clear Coat
Shake the clear coat, then use the same method to apply it on top of the dry paint. If you want to add a second coat of clear coat, wait another 3-5 hours. After applying the final coat, allow it to dry for another 3-5 hours.
10. Remove the Tape
Once the clear coat is completely dry, carefully remove all the tape and plastic bags from the bike.
11. Reassemble the Bike
Put the bike back together the same way you took it apart. Hopefully, you remembered to bag and label all the small pieces. When in doubt, do an internet search to help you remember how to put the pieces together again. Make sure all the screws and bolts are thoroughly tightened before you ride the bike.
Don’t let a shabby bike stop you from enjoying the ride! Pay a professional to paint your bike, especially if you want a specialty paint job, custom artwork, or powder coat. Be prepared to pay hundreds of dollars, though! Or, if you have the time and patience, save money, purchase the materials yourself and paint the bike at home.