I lived on campus in university and bought a cute cruiser bike to get around the sprawling grounds. I thought the bike looked pretty unremarkable, so I gave it a makeover by sanding it, priming it and painting it bright pink (of course!). I customized it further by swapping out the seat and adding a cute basket, and the finished product was absolutely adorable! I even started to be known on campus as “the girl with hot pink bike”. The only downside was that since the paint was only sprayed on (rather than professionally baked on), locking up the bike would cause chips despite the multiple clear coats I applied.
Fast-forward to now, a friend of mine bought a new bike and mentioned that we should go cruising around town. After dusting off and fully cleaning my bike, I decided it was time for another makeover. Not willing to go through the trouble of repainting it just to have it chip off again, I wanted to try wrapping it with the patterned duct tape I’ve seen everywhere.
Here’s how I did it…
- Clean your bike thoroughly with soap and water– spray paint and adhesive will not stick to a dirty surface
- If it’s an older bike, use CLR to remove any rust
- Wipe down with a microfiber cloth and let dry completely
PRE-TAPE AND SPRAY PAINT:
- If you don’t want to disassemble your bike, determine which corners, crevices and small areas may be difficult to wrap in duct tape and spray paint them with 2 coats of neutral colored spray paint (or one matching your patterned duct tape)
- Make sure to carefully cover any of the parts around these areas that you don’t want to get spray paint onto. I used masking tape for small areas and screws, shielded the wheel spokes with paper grocery bags and taped plastic around the pedals and kickstand.
- Let dry overnight
- To make the wrapping process as easy as possible, I recommend using a pattern that you won’t need to line up (e.g. leopard print rather than stripes or checkers). If it does need to line up, make sure to buy extra tape.
- Bikes with straight frames can be taped lengthwise along the frame, but if you have a cruiser or a one with a lot of curves, I recommend using many short strips and wrapping around the frame instead
- Tape over any screws and use a box cutter to cut around the protruding parts for a neater wrap
- Buy more duct tape than you think you’ll need (I used about 1.5 rolls) and keep any leftovers to touch up areas that get scuffed
After 2 quick afternoons, I now have a one-of-a-kind bike that’s pretty… and pretty unlikely to be stolen! Really, thief?! You’re telling me that you have leopard-print-duct-tape-wrapped-cruiser too? The wrap seems pretty durable and I’m happy to know that any parts that get scratched or scuffed can be rewrapped at the end of the season.
If I ever get bored with the pattern I can always peel it off, use some “Goo Gone” to remove the leftover residue and re-wrap it all over again. The peacock plume printed duct tape by “Duck Brand” seems promising!!
What duct tape would you wrap a bike in—neon, polka dots, glow in the dark? What are some other fun uses for patterned duct tape?