So you want a bike painted in NYC?

Here’s what worked for me.
Step 1. Get a bike
I had one, then lost it, then got it back. Hopefully you’ll get your own bike.
I decided to get a professional paint job because I shudder to think what would happen with me and a rattle can.

2. Get the bike stripped of its parts
Again, I shudder to think what would happen to me with some bike mechanics tools so I took it down to Brooklyn Bike and Board, or what ever bike shop you prefer with mechanics you trust.
Ok, I did the basic stuff like handlebars, seatpost, pedals…But because I tried to use more complicated bike mechanics tools…the crank was stripped out and had to be pounded out.3353809612_afa61dae67_b

But you are conscientious bike owners who routinely grease up the seat post so it doesn’t get frozen and checks the bearings in the headset, things like that.
This does make for an easier stripping of the bike which you want to get it down to just the frame and fork.

3. Sandblasting. (lemme back up a little)
Through a very popular bike forum dedicated to one type of bicycle, I heard rumor of place in Greenpoint which paints bikes.
That spot is:
Carter’s Powder Coating
Larry Carter, owner, is part of a small community of light industry manufacturing in Greenpoint Brooklyn.
As stated on the bottom of his low-tech website:
they paint bicycle frames and forks.
They do a process called Powder coating which is free flowing dry powder, often used on automobile parts.

So i emailed and asked about painting bikes. He responded right away and told me that it would have to be sandblasted first and that was done some where else.
But Larry has taken care of this and has a good relationship with ACME sandblasting in Manhattan. See the webpage.

I took the bike to this place:
41 Great Jones Street,
Now I know what your thinking…hmmm ACME?
Besides making anvils and rockets to catch the rascally roadrunner…ACME also does Sandblasting.
You go into a industrial storefront in the middle of NOHO, find Leon. He looks like he’s been around since the time they were painting the celluloid for Warner Brothers Cartoons. Leon explained they were installing some new equipment and it would take at least 10 days. Within a week the bike was done and in cost $81.00. I believe now it will only take 2 days.

Here are the results:

Step 4. Powdercoating. (the paint job)
So this is Carter’s:
65 Eckford Street-Brooklyn, close to McCarren Park and right down the street from B Bikes.
I talked with Larry about colors. Their website lists standard colors here.
I brought in my green aerospoke wheel and Larry was able to match it fairly accurately.
It was 130 dollars and took 2 days.
I know there are other painting methods out there, but I was very happy with the speed and quality of the powdercoating job at Carters.
Here is the final result:

Larry was is into painting bikes and has worked with the Worksman Tricycle Company. He seems like he can powdercoat just about anything. He was eager to show me his glow in the dark cruiser and I hear he is trying to come up with a reflective paint like what is used on street signs.

Step 5. Putting it all back together.
Depending on your wrench skills, I would suggest using a competent mechanic.
But for a free option and if you’d like to learn the process, check out the free bike mechanic workshops with Time’s Up.

11 comments to So you want a bike painted in NYC?

  • cr

    Nu? Where are the pictures of the completed final product? This is like getting a lapdance with the lights off…

  • andrew

    i have used carter on two bikes now and am happy with both of them. if you have time and elbow grease, i strip the paint off with zipp strip + wire brush. then use a dremel on the lugs

  • Q.

    This is an awesome post; I’ve always wondered about this! If I had the money, I’d do it right now – thanks for the advice.

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  • Mr. V

    I am about to move to NY from CA and am taking my bikes along with me. I had originally planned to have my bikes powder coated at Carter’s. Total cost seems to add up to close to $200.00 for sandblasting and powdercoating. I researched locally and a company in SoCal with experience powdercoating bmx and other light frames does the same job for $100.00. Mmmhhhh… Any reason why Carter does not sandblast as well? Does anyone in NY does both for less?

  • Is it about the design of a bike for the many “potential cyclists” out there?

  • Drew

    ONce you zip-strip sandblasting is not required? that turns an $80 blasting in $12 for supplies and time needed to do it yourself. there must be a larger pool of powder coating spots to choose from.

  • Nice method to make the painting, sure better than mine, I painted my bicycle the last time just in once peace and it was not good enough.

  • Yo

    I had a bike powdercoated in Brooklyn at a place called Patson Corp for

  • al

    Thanks for sharing. I tried the rattle can paint job once and even though I spent a lot of time on prep and followed the directions, it still came out lousy. It was a 10 foot pain job, ie looks ok from 10 feet away.

    Powdercoating is the way to go with a bike you will use regularly as it does not chip as easily as regular paint. That is why many car suspension parts get powerder coated instead of paint. Life under a car is tough and powerder coating provides great protection.

  • I would paint my trike all blue if I can. It will going to be awesome!