In just two days I transformed an old garage sale bicycle into a shiny new beach cruiser complete with sparkles and playful accessories.
We got this vintage cruiser from a neighbor for $15. It had all the personality and the rust to prove it’s age while retaining the gorgeous curves that are still celebrated today by cruiser riders world-wide.
1. Removing the Paint
Let’s face it, Army green is just not our style. Not to mention this bike had really lost it’s lustre. So I decided to sand it off. errr… well, read on.
Removing the paint off the old girl did not prove easy. Due to the fact that most bicycles are stove enamelled to hard coat the paint, we had to take advantage of the scratches that were already there.
Once we saw the silver shine through, we used a combination of heavy duty paint thinner, a roto stripper (which will attach to a common drill) and a lot of towels to wipe off the drippy mess that ensued.
2. The big clean
After a full day of rubbing and scrubbing the bike finally polished up in most of the key places.
Admittedly, I didn’t take the time and care to pull off the sprocket or the fenders. Everything was rusted and I wanted to really just get the paint on. Later, I discover it really would have been better to get everything off the frame correctly, before painting.
3. Primer Power
Once the last of the existing paint was removed with a very coarse sandpaper the entire bike was painted and sealed a rust-busting and fortifying primer.
Side note. See how the crank arm where the pedal meets the bike got painted? Yeah. Don’t do that either. Tape it off or remove the cranks – it will just last longer with a nice natural chrome.
3.Paint, Sparkle &
Using a trusty can of Rust-Oleum in purple, the bike shined right up using just a two coats of paint – which was roughly 4 cans in total.
It’s important to really let this paint dry before applying a final clear coat, or in our case purple sparkle. This will allow the layers to really coat the frame.
The coat of sparkle paint went a long way hiding any of the knicks or imperfections in the paint.
To finalize the look, the chrome fenders were shined up using nothing but coca-cola and aluminum foil (and it really works). The old seat was replaced, new handles, a little travel pack added to the back and of course, the iconic basket.