How To Use Spray.Bike
Spray.Bike is a groundbreaking range of bicycle-specific colour coating designed for both amateur and professional use.
Spray.Bike paint is a dry matte powder-coating that doesn’t drip, dribble or misbehave in any way. It’s revolutionary in its ease of application and quality of finish, making it perfect for customising, repairing and restoring.
Solid colours tech spec
- Highly pigmented acrylic paint compound
- Dry-fall powder coating
- Non-drip, non-dribble formula
- No primer required
- Suitable for steel, aluminium and carbon surfaces
- Permanent and resilient: UV-resistant and weather-resistant
- Deep matte colours
- Easily-achieved fading, stenciling and blending effects (see below)
- Requires no post-application equipment or heat treatment
- For a satin or gloss top-coat, finish with Spray.Bike Frame Builder’s Transparent Finish
- 400ml and 200ml options
- 1 x 400ml can will cover a frame and fork in a single coat
- Minimum recommended coats: one
- Ensure surface is clean and dry
- Wear protective gloves, protective clothing, eye/face protection
- Always paint in an open space in the open air
- Shake can for at least 3 minutes before use
- Test spray for 2-3 seconds prior to application
- Always spray with the can in a vertical position, otherwise the paint might 'spit' unevenly
- Solid colours: spray surface from a distance of 5-12 cm
- Pocket Clears, Frame Builder’s Smoothing Putty, Frame Builder’s Transparent Finish, Frame Builder’s Cold-Zinc: spray surface from a distance of at least 20 cm
- Keirin Flake and Keirin Sunlight: spray surface from a distance of at least 30 cm
- Frame Builder’s Top Wax: Spray onto a paper towel or soft lint-free cloth and apply
- When spraying, keep hand moving at all times
- Allow to dry before adding 2nd coat (touch dry: 10 minutes, complete cure: 2 hours)
- At end, turn can upside down and spray for 2 seconds before storing
- Protect can from sunlight and temperatures exceeding 50°C/122°F
Spray.Bike paint will adhere to most raw metal and painted surfaces without any major pre-prep. However, if painting onto a fresh-from-the-factory painted bike with a high gloss finish, rub down the frame with a very fine sandpaper or an abrasive cloth, just to give the surface a little ‘bite’ for the paint to sit on.
It’s essential that you understand and follow the spray distances. These are the distances from the can in your hand to the metal being sprayed. They vary depending on the product:
Solid colours (BLB, Pop, Historic, Vintage, Fluorescent, Pocket Solids): 5-12 cm
As Spray.Bike cans are pressurised, there’s an optimum distance at which the paint is effective on leaving the nozzle: 5-12 centimetres. In this ‘window’ the paint is semi-wet and the pigment is perfectly primed to do its job properly. Under 5 centimetres, faults can occur. After 12 or 14 centimetres the paint will have turned into a dry powder dust with little adhesion at all.
Pocket Clears, Frame Builder’s Smoothing Putty, Frame Builder’s Transparent Finish, Frame Builder’s Cold-Zinc: at least 20 cm
Keirin Flake and Keirin Sunlight: at least 30 cm
Frame Builder’s Top Wax: Spray onto a paper towel or soft lint-free cloth and apply.
Spray.Bike cans must always be held vertically while spraying. When the can is horizontal, the gas propellant rather than the paint is driven into the nozzle, creating a high-pressure paint spit that will land unevenly as lumps.
Always move your hand continuously while spraying, as this ensures an even coating. Touch-ups can always be done later – don’t over-apply the paint in a single coat.
If re-using the paint after storage, test spray first. If the paint seems to splatter, replace the nozzle as the existing one is probably clogged.
For best results, always polish Spray.Bike solid colours with kitchen paper or a lint-free soft cloth. A gentle pressure and polish action will compact the paint’s surface for greater strength. This is best done before the paint has completely cured, so polish within two hours of spraying. Be more careful where colours meet in order to avoid physically forcing colours to bleed.
For best results, don’t be impatient! Although the coating does seem to dry rapidly (touch dry in a few seconds), it’s always best to let the paint completely dry over a 12 hour period before re-building the bike.
Dealing with problems
Getting areas where the paint has landed as a powder (and has a rougher surface) will happen – but this is easily solved. Leave the paint to completely dry, then using a soft cloth rub gently to smooth the surface.
If you do make a mistake (e.g. put colour in the wrong place or over-apply the product), wait for the spray to completely dry (max 2 hours). Then using a very fine sandpaper or other abrasive material, slowly rub away the paint. Don’t use a traditional solvent paint remover though as it will damage the acrylic compound in Spray.Bike and you’ll end up making more mess.
Remember that the spray distance for the solid colours is 5-12 cm, whereas the spray distance for the Pocket Clears, Frame Builder’s Transparent Finish and Frame Builder’s Smoothing Putty is at least 20 cm.
Using the Frame Builder’s Cold-Zinc
This 95% galvanised zinc spray provides unrivalled protection against corrosion on steel bike frames. Apply internally and externally to prime raw steel tubing before painting with a spray distance of at least 20 cm.
Using the Frame Builder’s Smoothing Putty
This thick cover-all putty is perfect for tatty frames. It can be used to cover minor blemishes including scratches, rust damage and stickers. Hold the can at least 20 cm away from the surface when you spray. The putty can be easily sanded down once dry. Recommended minimum coat: one.
Using the Fluros
Because of the reflective pearlescent particles, the fluro colours are slightly grainier than the other ranges. Rubbing down about an hour after painting with a soft cloth is highly recommended.
Using the Pocket Clears
These are perfect for creating a glaze on raw metal tubing, subtly changing a base colour, fades and shades (see blending below). Remember that although the spray distance for the solid colours is 5-12 cm, for these Pocket Clears, because they contain the Frame Builder’s Transparent Finish, the spray distance is at least 20 cm.
Using the Keirin Collection
The Flake range consists of 6 coloured metal flake options in our Frame Builder’s Transparent Finish. They can be used over Spray.Bike colours to provide an amazing glitter finish – or even used over factory paint to add a unique sparkle effect to the frame. The Sunlight range has 4 colours of crushed liquid glass in the Frame Builder’s Transparent Finish, creating a glitter effect only really viewable in direct sunlight. All colours can be overlaid to create specific colour flake mixes. 2 coats recommended. Remember that the spray distance is much further than all our other products: at least 30 cm.
Using the Frame Builder’s Transparent Finish
Make sure the paint is completely dry before applying the finish. Shake can well. Hold the can at least 20 cm away from the surface and waft gently, keeping your hand/arm moving at all times. Recommended minimum coat: one. Note: one coat gives a satin finish, two coats or more coats give a gloss finish.
Using the Frame Builder’s Top Wax
The Top Wax is suitable for all bikes. As a high performance water-based finishing wax, it creates an invisible micro-thin protective barrier for all painted metal, carbon or even wood frames. It doesn’t create shine on matte paintwork, so it’s perfect for all Spray.Bike colours. Don’t spray directly onto the frame. Instead, spray onto a paper towel or lint-free cloth and apply.
Masking and stenciling
If using masking techniques (with, say, masking tape) or stenciling after an initial coat, always wait 20 minutes before adding masking or a stencil to make sure the paint is dry enough not to be pulled away on removal. Masking can sometimes create lines where paint has built up against the edge of the mask: again wait 20 minutes so as not to pull that build-up away on removal of the stencil/mask. Leave for at least 2 hours to dry, and remove excess colour coat by rubbing down with a soft cloth.
Masking difficult areas
Sometimes masking small or intricate areas (such as head badges) can be tricky. When simple masking tape can’t be used, there are alternatives. Thick grease can work really well, as it acts as a barrier between the surface and the paint. We’ve also experimented with margarine and even toothpaste with great results.
Use the Pocket Clears for blending as they can produce rapid and unusual colour change when used in conjunction with (i.e. on top of) solid colours (especially Fluro Clears on top of solid Fluro colours). The Pocket Clears are a solid pigment with a transparent base layer, so the final colour is based on the combination of solid/clear used, e.g. Fluro Yellow Clear on top of a blue will become a green. Use on junctions where 2 dramatic colours meet to create a fade. Give it a bit of practice for great results.
Note: with the Pocket Clears, spray the surface from a distance of at least 20 cm.
Spray.Bike paint lasts in its can for up to 10 years. Store upright and below 50°C so it will always be there for scratches and touch-ups.