Bikes are meant to be ridden. It’s built to battle through the elements. It will take and give back what you throw at it. Barring a crash, most frames won’t let you down. All that wear and tear is expected, but we still dread…That.First.Chip. The first chip is always the worst. You tried your hardest to baby it, avoided the debris in the road, guided your clumsy friend around it, and stored it in its own room, but somehow a slip of a tool, bounce of a rock of a buddies’ wheel, or momentary careless action brought forth that fateful day. However, after the mourning period, it’s time to act. In this post, we going to briefly discuss three ways to touch up the paint on your bicycle frame.
Good ‘Ole Fashion Nail Polish
This is the classic route. Bring the frame to a store’s cosmetics section and find the two colors closest to the colors you want to fix. Note, it can be tricky if the paint has a pearl or metallic finish.
Once you have the colors you need, the fun begins. If edges of the chip are raised you’ll want to lightly sand them. This will reduce the chance of the paint peeling and impurities being trapped in the paint. Then, clean the damaged areas of any impurities (grease, sweat, gel remains). Then, begin applying coats. If the color isn’t close, mix the two together to find the right blend. Then, apply a clear enamel finish. After you’ve applied your finish a few times, you can lightly sand with at least 2000 grit to smooth the surface.
There are two types of nail polish within this route: 1) Nail color with enamel already mixed in and 2) Nail color and then a separate enamel glossy finish application. I bring this up because not all colors are offered in both combinations.
A Couple of Quick Tips:
- Realize that paints look different when wet compared to when they dry, so it may take a couple tries to match.
- For basic colors, you can use paint pens like Testor’s. They are great because they are enamel paints.
- If you have a matte finish, our first tip — have patience. Matte finishes have varying levels of flatness, so you may have to create your own blend of glossy and matte finish to find the right look. This isn’t easy.
- If it’s a deep chip or scratch, you’ll want to use some body filler (or a lot of nail polish applications) to reduce the depth of the chip.
Nail Salon — Yes, You Read That Right
Unorthodox? Yes. Crazy? No. Have you seen the work on women’s finger and toenails lately? It’s insane. It’s fascinating the work salon professionals can do with such little space. We recommend customers try this… if they have the courage. I’ll be the first to tell you, this will be a first for most salons, so you may be rejected a couple times, but keep trying. There’s a salon artist out there that will help you.
Professional Bicycle Paint and Chip Repair
Sometimes hobby paint and nail polish won’t cut it when it’s your favorite bike that has been scratched or chipped. That’s why you come to us — we’re going to fix your bike and make it look new. It’s not as easy as it seems though, even for professionals. Unless you have the paint that the manufacturer used, you’re on your own. When we can, we scan the paint and have a computer do its best to match it. Even after that, we have to slightly tweak it. This is the more expensive route. The other option is to have us do the timeless traditional process of mixing our paints to find the match. Both have their pros and cons.
In addition to the touch up and repair work, we spray your entire bike frame and fork with a new clear or matte finish. This allows us to revive your bike’s youthful finish by looking thousands of miles younger. We’ve had riders say it looks better than new once they receive their bike back.