Do you wish to paint your bike but are not sure about the cost? Are you asking, ‘how much does it cost to paint a bike?’ Well, here’s my finding:
Professional bike painters charge $200-$300 to paint bikes, but you pay more if you want some artistic touches and customization. But if you go DIY, you’ll spend less than $100 on the primer, topcoat, and main coat.
Overall, choosing between the DIY approach and the professional option depends on your budget and how handy you are.
If you are handy but budget-pressed, you can go DIY. But if you are not handy, you should spare some money to pay a professional painter or bike expert.
Let’s discuss the cost implications of the two options below.
Bike Repaint: How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Bike?
To answer this question, let’s compare the professional approach vs. the DIY option.
1. Professional Bike Painting – $200-$300 or More
Professional painters and bike repair experts charge about $200-$300, depending on your bike type.
While a standard single-type bike will cost you $200 or slightly more, you’ll pay up to $300 or more to paint a tandem bike professionally.
And if you want some artistic touches on the frame, you’ll pay more.
Though most professionals argue that the money goes to the paint and tools, it’s mostly labor, and that’s why going DIY makes sense.
2. DIY Bike Painting – Under $100
You don’t have to go professional if you are on a budget. Instead, consider doing the job yourself and get to save up.
$100 or less! That’s how much it cost to paint a bike DIY.
So, with $100 or less, you can get everything you need for the painting job. That includes these three:
a) Paint Primer
A primer, also known as the undercoat, is applied directly onto the frame after sanding.
Its primary role is to enable the paint (main coat) to adhere much better. But still, it protects the bike frame from adverse weather and chipping.
Overall, you can spend less than $20 on a high-quality paint primer.
And when speaking of a high-quality primer, ensure it has rust-prevention properties. A perfect example is the Rust-Oleum 249340 High-Heat Primer.
Thanks to its superior adhesion and rust-inhibition, this primer’s performance is unequaled.
b) Main Coat Paint
The main coat, what most people call ‘the paint,’ is what protects your bike frame from scratches and dents. You apply it after the undercoat.
While main coats come in different budgets, you can get one for under $30 on Amazon.
A perfect example is the Krylon 3106 Aerosol Paint.
This aerosol paint glows to give your bike frame a brighter appeal. Plus, it dries up in 2 hours, making it a great choice when you prefer a quick project.
c) Top Coat/Clear Coat
Your bike frame deserves an attractive finish, and that’s where a top coat comes in.
In addition to giving your frame a shiny appeal, it also protects the main coat from scratches and weather damage.
With a $30, you can get a quality topcoat that’ll give your bike frame the most protected and stunning look.
One such topcoat is the PRODUXA Premium Super Gloss Shine Spray.
This paint has a high-gloss finish to protect against harsh weather and minor scratches. And thanks to its streak-free property, it promises zero residues, thus a neat look.
In addition to the paint primer, the topcoat, and the main coat, you’ll need the following for your DIY paint project:
- High-grit sandpaper or steel wool for sanding the metal frame before applying the primer
- Paintbrush, in case you use regular metal paint instead of spray paint
- Painter’s tape or masking tape to cover the areas you won’t be spraying
Overall, the above requirements will cost you less than $20
Summary on DIY Bike Repaint Cost
Here’s the breakdown of the costs that I’ve discussed:
- Primer – $20
- Main coat – $30
- Topcoat – $30
- Miscellaneous supplies – $20
So, if you sum up all the above costs, you’ll be having a $100 budget. But remember, the estimates are on the higher side. So you are likely to spend less than $100.
I’ve done it for under $50, and I believe it is doable when you are on a budget.
NB: The Paint Sprayer Method Determines the Overall DIY Cost of Painting a Bike
If you decide to paint the bike frame yourself, it’s advisable to use the spray method.
It’s faster and cheaper, and you get to pick whatever finish you want. Note, however, that the cost may differ depending on the spray method you prefer.
Here are your two options:
1. Spray Paint Can
The spray can method is the cheaper of the two. It’s also reasonably quick, though not as fast as the HVLP sprayer method.
Most spray paint cans cost under $30, and you don’t have to buy a primer, main coat, and topcoat separately in some cases.
That’s the case with the Krylon KO2797007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint. It triples up as the main coat, primer, and topcoat.
Generally, this spray paint confirms that you can paint a bike with a $30 budget.
2. HVLP Paint Sprayer
If you’ve used a spray can before, you’ll find the HVLP (high-volume, low-pressure) sprayer equally fun.
Ordinarily, HVLP sprayers are costlier than can sprayers, but you can get one for under $50 on Amazon.
A perfect fit is the HomeRight 2412331 Quick Finish Paint Sprayer.
The advantage of the HomeRight 2412331 and all HVLP spray paints, in general, is that they are easy to control, faster, and more efficient than spray cans.
Also, they are adjustable to allow you to slowly or quickly paint your bike. Most importantly, you can apply various paints such as enamel paints, chalk, and latex.
1. If I Go DIY, How Much Does It Cost To Repaint A Bike?
If you are only applying a new coat over an existing one, it’ll cost you less than $30 to get spray paint. But if you’ve to peel off the old paint and apply a new one, it’ll cost you just under $100 to get the primer, main coat, and the topcoat.
2. How Much Does it Cost to Professionally Paint A Bike?
Professional bike painters charge about $200-$300 to paint standard single-type and tandem bikes. Note, however, that you are likely to pay more for tandem bikes than single options.
Also, if you plan to customize the bike with art, it’ll cost you more.
3. And How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Dirt Bike Frame?
Dirt bikes are more expensive to paint than regular bikes. So, expect to spend $300 or more to paint a dirt bike frame if you take it to a professional. But if you buy the paints and do it yourself, it’ll cost you under $100.
Essentially, you need a paint primer, which is your undercoat, and the paint (the main coat). And to protect the main coat and give the frame a glossy finish, you also need a top coat (clear coat).
5. Which Paint is Best for Bike?
Here are some fantastic paints for bikes:
- Rust-Oleum 249340 High-Heat Primer: Best budget primer paint
- Krylon 3106 Aerosol Paint: Best budget main coat paint
- PRODUXA Premium Super Gloss Shine Spray: Best budget top coat
6. Is It Easy to Repaint A Bike?
Even though bike frames scratch easily and becomes ugly as a result, it’s easier to repaint them with the right paint. You need to sand the frame and then apply 2-3 thin undercoats.
Once the undercoat cures, apply 3- layers of the main coat and then finish up with the topcoat.
7. On Average, How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Carbon Bike Frame?
Most professionals charge a little expensive to paint carbon frames, but you can expect to spend about $250-$300. But if you paint the carbon frame yourself, you can spend less than $100 on the spray paints.
Most guys prefer not to take the bike apart when painting it. So, it’s possible to do it.
Just cover the parts you won’t be spraying, and you can use masking paint, painter tape, or trash papers. Once you do that, you can go ahead and spray the frame with paint.
In Conclusion, How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Bike Frame?
If you go DIY, you’ll spend less than $100, but it’ll cost you $200 to paint a bike if you do it professionally. So, go DIY if you are handy and on a budget. But if you’ve no idea of what to do, take the bike to professionals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the process of repainting a bike an easy task?
From the perspective of expertise, the process of repainting a bike might seem not as an easy task. It demands a certain level of craftsmanship and an adaptation to the art of spray-painting. While you might come across several DIY projects that exhibit a visually appealing outcome, the crux of the matter remains – achieving a professional, evenly applied, and long-lasting finish is indeed a challenging affair. Regrettably, one often compromises on the grandeur of a valued frame when attempting it single-handedly as opposed to seeking professional assistance.
During my days as an amateur cyclist, I recall one of those summer vacations where I decided to give my rusty old bike a new lease of life. I managed to get my hands on some spray cans and brushes, and started right away. Although the final outcome had its fair share of flaws, I must admit, it was a learning curve. When compared to the factory finish and the professional paintjobs I've seen during my visits to the bike shop, I realized my bike's finish was a few notches below.
Can I simply apply fresh paint over the old paintwork on my bike?
In a significant number of cases, painting over the existing coat is an approach that is preferred over stripping the bike down to its bare metal before painting. The reasons being – it’s less labor-intensive and the newly applied paint is more durable.
Once during a community garage sale, I came across this beautiful vintage bike that had lost its luster over the years. Rather than having it stripped off its original paint, I decided to repaint it whilst retaining its old paint layers. Not only was the process less time-consuming and inexpensive, but it also offered an added layer of protection to the bike. The new coat of paint adhered perfectly to the old one and the end result was stunning!
Is bike repainting a feasible option?
Indeed, bike repainting is a viable option to consider, especially when the existing paint on your bike is old or has chipped off. Applying a few fresh coats of paint can undeniably transform the look of your bike, giving it a shiny and fresh-off-the-store feel. An added advantage – you can take up this task by yourself rather than paying a professional to do the job!
One of my friends’ totally transformed his weather-worn bike by simply repainting it. The endeavor was not only cost-effective but also a fun-filled weekend project. It seemed miraculous to see how a few fresh coats of paint brought the dead-looking bicycle back to life!
Does repainting affect the value of my bike?
Interestingly, the outcome of repainting can go either way when it comes to estimating the value of your bike. In most cases, however, it leads to a decrease in the bike’s worth. Even though you may not recoup the cost, if it’s meant to be your rider, and you desire a fresh look, then go ahead with the paint job! On the contrary, for bikes of historical significance, a repaint job might lead to a decrease in its value, owing to the fact that they lose their original condition. From my personal collection of vintage bikes, I’ve learned that maintaining the original paint is priceless as it retains the authenticity and historical value of the bike.