Got chipped paint on your bike?
All you need is touch up paint and here's how to get it!
You can visit a bike shop, request paint from the brand manufacturer or you can USE NAIL POLISH!
For the nail polish option, you just need a few unpainted finger nails and a beauty supply store.
A little wear and tear on your bike is normal. The only problem is that if the bare metal is exposed to the elements it can start to rust. Rust spreads. It can easy spread under the paint and eventually rust will eat through the metal. (This is primarily a problem with steel frames.)
Painting over the chips (and making sure to sand away and rust before you do so) will keep your bike happy. Plus a nice looking paint job is a bonus, eh?
So, how do you get the right color and kind of paint?
Option 1: Visit the shop where you bought your bike.
Ask if they have touch-up paint for your specific bike.
Bike shops get small vials of touch-up paint with some new bikes. If you're lucky they might have the right paint for yours!
You will probably be asked for your bike's make, model and the year it was manufactured. If you don't know the year that it was manufactured, write down the bike's serial number. Your brand manufacturer or bike shop should be able to take this information and help you work out the year your bike was built.
If your bike shop doesn't have touch up paint...
Option 2: Call up the bike brand manufacturer and ask them to send you touch up paint.
(Ex. If you have a Fuji bike google Fuji USA and search for their phone number.)
If you've already tried at a bike shop, it'll probably be easier to convince the brand manufacturer to send you some paint. Again, you will need to know the bike model and the year it was built because sometimes the colors change slightly.
Option 3: Just use NAIL POLISH!
Touch-up paint is basically nail polish. If it's a hassle to get touch-up paint, just get matching nail polish.
I had to do this once for my Bianchi because neither the bike shops nor the manufacturer could find the correct color for my 1997 Bianchi Vento. So I went to a grocery store and painted each one of my finger nails a different shade of teal. I then returned to my locked bike and inspected the color palette on my hands. In retrospect, I should have just asked to bring the bike inside...
Eventually I found the matching color, bought the nail polish for $4 or so.
Now that you have your touch-up paint, you just need to apply it to the bike.
Click here for the steps to re-touch your chipped paint.
Stories from the road and bike shops en route.
Author: Sylvie Froncek
I've ridden thousands of miles, led group bike tours, taught maintenance classes and started bike collectives, all in an attempt to share what I love with great people. Read about my adventures and tell me about yours!