“Whether you’d like to gain healthy-living points by taking up cycling or simply want to repurpose your bike into something decorative, it’s an easy project that anyone can do in a spare afternoon.
This project took me no longer than 5 hours, including drying time, so there’s no excuse for leaving your vintage bike to rust away! With a can of Rust-Oleum in your hand you can easily renovate your old bike and get it back on the road in no time.
Alternatively, you could upcycle it into a pretty planter to brighten up a corner of your garden. Fancy giving it a go? Here’s how I did it…”
The most important part of renovating your bicycle is preparation.
This will ensure that you only paint the parts of the bike that you want to paint, and that the working parts (the chain, brakes etc) won’t get stuck together as the paint dries. Remove the wheels from the frame and pull out the seat and handlebars. There will be nuts or bolts that hold these in place, so you may need to find the right size spanner to loosen them. If these have rusted on, try spraying with a little WD40 to lubricate the seal and make it easier to undo.
A little more preparation is needed before you can start painting.
Simply mask off any parts of the bike that you don’t want to paint. The chain and the mechanisms are the most important things to mask off (if you want to keep the bike moving!) and use masking tape to cover the pedals or any features that you’d like to keep.
Use Rust-Oleum Surface Primer to give the frame a good base for the colour to adhere to.
This quick-drying primer is suitable for metal, ceramics, wood and more. We used white primer to ensure that the cherry red paint would be as bright as possible. If you have chosen a darker colour for the bicycle, you could prime the frame with a darker grey primer instead. A couple of fine coats of primer is better than one thick coat, so cover the frame in a thin later and allow to dry before adding a second (or even third) layer.
Once the primer is dry, you can start to spray paint your bicycle in your chosen colour.
Give the can a good shake before you start to paint in order to mix the paint thoroughly. Rust-Oleum Painters Touch spray paint is available in 42 colours and three finishes; gloss, matt and satin, so you’ll be sure to find a colour you like in this collection. It’s suitable for both interior and exterior use so it’s ideal for painting your bicycle. Spray paint the frame with smooth, long strokes, making sure not to move the can too close to the surface. Again, it’s a good idea to add many fine coats of paint rather than a thick layer, as the paint may drip if you spray too close. Allow to dry between layers and continue adding more coats of paint until your bicycle is completely covered.
While the paint is drying, you can get on with spray painting your accessories.
We changed the colour of the black bicycle basket to white with a couple of coats of Rust-Oleum Painters Touch and we renovated the vinyl seat with a single coat of Rust-Oleum Direct To Vinyl spray paint in black. Use wire-wool or a metal scouring pad to scrub the rust off any chromed parts of the bike, such as the handlebars or pedal supports.
When all parts of the bicycle are dry, remove the masking tape and reassemble the wheels, seat and handle bars.
Of course, at this stage you could pump up your types, get your brakes and gears overhauled and hit the road for some serious cycling, or you could go on to the fun part of this project – decorating it with flowers!
Gather a selection of flowering plants together – bright colours and trailing plants work well, so we recommend using any plants that you would usually put in a hanging basket.
The open weave of the bicycle baskets are ideal for watering the plants as they will drain well, but you could also add some hanging-basket lining material to the inside of the baskets in order to hold in the moisture for longer. Plant up each basket with a range of different colours and flower sizes and give them a good drink of water. Attach your ‘planters’ to the bicycle at the basket mount-points on the front and back of your bike and position in the garden to brighten up a dark fence or make your entrance feel more welcoming.