DIY: Revamp an Old Beach Cruiser

I recently received this abandoned beach cruiser and when I saw it, I knew it had potential to be oh so lovely! I adored the style of the bicycle but I was not too keen on the colors… I did not want to look like a McDonald’s delivery girl after-all! I loved the Matchbook red color and the basket on the front but not the bright yellow fenders and the rusty metal. With a bit of sandpaper, spray paint and new gold screws, I turned this pumpkin of a bicycle into one fit for any lovely lady!

Here are the tools I used:

  • Rusty old beach cruiser
  • Sandpaper (I had a sander which made the job really easy!)
  • Spray paint primer
  • Spray paint color
  • Gold screws
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Razor to get off stickers
  • WD-40
  • Paint thinner
  • Scouring brush

1. First, I took the two, fenders off the the bicycle with a screwdriver. This proved to be fairly difficult because some of the screws had rusted on tightly.

2. I used the razor (be very careful!) to scrape off the stickers. Be careful of the sharpness of the razor and, take care not to scrape too far into the paint if you want to keep the color. I found that there were quite a few colors underneath the red I liked when I accidentally scraped the red off.

3. Use the sander to add some texture to the fenders or whatever part of the bicycle you want to repaint. If using sandpaper, try to sand in a circular motion and not just up and down or side to side because it will be easier for the paint to stick.

4. With the spray primer, lightly spray the fenders. Even though the spray paint I bought said that it had primer in it, the bright yellow was still showing through so I ended up having to go out and buy a cream-colored primer. When spraying, sweep the paint across the fender. Do not hold down the nozzle and spray all over. You want to lightly spray in a single sweep across the fender so that it does not drip. Make sure to do the underside of the fender too because it will show. Let dry completely.

5.  With the color that you want, spray onto the fenders just as you do the primer. I used a really pretty pearlized cream color. I thought that it went really well with the red and now it has a “strawberries and cream” feel to it. I ended up doing 3 coats of this color because I really wanted the pearl to show up.

6. While this is drying, polish the body of the bicycle. I used some WD-40 to get off the gunk from the stickers and leftover grease near the chain. To get the rust off, I used paint thinner and a scouring brush. Be very careful not to get paint thinner on the paint you want to keep.

7. I dried the spray paint overnight because I wanted to make sure it was completely dry. Once you are satisfied with everything, start putting the pieces back together. Since the spokes on my bicycle are gold, I used some shiny new gold screws to attach the fenders back on. Now my lovely beach cruiser is complete!

Since this is the first official day of autumn, what better way to enjoy the crisp autumn breeze and lovely new colors outside? I ride my lovely new cycle to the library to pick up new books to explore and to the market to pick up some last-minute dinner essentials. Not only does bicycling to do errands reduce my carbon footprint, it is a joy to be outdoors. How will you enjoy riding your bicycle this fall? The possibilities are truly endless!

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