How to renovate an old bicycle

How to renovate an old bicycle
A huge welcome back to Cassie Fairy, who we've been working with for the last few months.  She's been upcycling loads of items that you may find in a storage unit.  She worked her magic on an old vintage telephone table,  created a magical monster toy storage box, an 80s inspired storage unit for vinyl and our all time favourite is the Lego storage cabinet and play table.  Just wait till you see what she's done with this rusty old bike.........

We’ve all got a neglected bicycle in the shed, garage or storage unit, haven’t we? You start off with good intentions to get on your bike and exercise in the fresh air but then a drizzly day hits and it gets left out in the rain. Before you know it, the bike is looking tatty with rusty handlebars and you don’t really fancy getting back on it. But all that is about to change!
Before-(2).jpgIf you’ve fall out of love with your bicycle, why not give it a refresh with a new coat of paint and a quick scrub with wire wool? There’s a rainbow of spray paint colours you can choose from and, if you’re upcycling your kids’ bikes, youngsters will love picking their own colour. They could even add new vinyl stickers and reflectors to personalise their bicycle further.

Once you’re happy with the renovated frame, be sure to take your bicycle for a service to check that the brakes, gears and lights are functioning perfectly before you head out for a ride.

You will need:

  • Old bicycle
  • Window scraper
  • Sand paper
  • Wire wool
  • Masking tape
  • Primer spray paint
  • Exterior spray paint
  • Flexible vinyl spray paint – we used Rust-Oleum’s Direct To Vinyl in black
  • Brush-on tyre black

Step 1

If your old bike has decals or stickers, peel these off or carefully use a window scraper to remove them from the frame. Use the sandpaper to give the entire frame a quick sanding over.

Step 2

Use wire wool to scrub away any rust spots on the chrome parts of the bicycle frame. Remove the wheels and seat, and mask off all the areas that you don’t want to spray paint, such as the brakes, handlebars, chain, gears and pedals.

Step 3

Give the bike frame a coat of primer. Using a spray paint primer in white will give you an even finish and provides a neutral base for the colour. Apply the spray primer in fine coats to avoid drips and allow to dry thoroughly.

Step 4

Next is the fun part – choosing a colour for your bike. If you’ve always wanted a bright yellow frame or even a rose gold bicycle, go for it! Just make sure that the spray paint you choose is suitable for outdoor use. Give the frame a couple of fine coats of paint until you are satisfied that all angles are covered. You could use the same spray paint to create a matching bell!

Step 5

Use a flexible spray paint to freshen up a scuffed vinyl seal. Mask off the stand and give the seat a couple of coats of Direct To Vinyl paint by Rust-Oluem to refresh it in no time.

Step 6

Finally, tidy up the tyres by brushing on a coat of glossy tyre black. This will also cover up any areas where the spray paint has over-sprayed onto the wheels. Reattach the seat, wheels, brakes, bell and lights before taking the bike for a service to check all is well.
paint-tyres-Step-6.jpglikenew-after.jpgWe hope this project has inspired you to get your old bike out of storage and give it a quick refresh. No matter how tatty an old bicycle looks give it a once-over with some wire wool and, if you can make the chrome sparkle, you’re on the right track to creating a customised bicycle.

Discover more upcycling articles on Safestore’s blog where you may find inspiration.  Or, if you’re looking to store some items which you may want to upcycle in future we have a range of self storage options in nearly 120 locations – find your nearest store for a quote today.

Get a Self Storage Quote

Find a store by entering a postcode, city or town below.
Find a store & Get a quote

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
 Security code
There are no comments yet
Complete your quote

You’re almost done!

Complete your quote at