How to repair chipped bicycle paint work

No matter how much care you take of your bike, you’ll inevitably put a chip in its shiny paintwork at some point. Don’t panic, with a small pot of model paint and our how-to guide, you can vanish away those unsightly scars.

How to repair a chipped bicycle frame

Condor does not retail touch up paint. Why? Our frames are made and painted in small batches. Each paint batch is mixed by hand and as such frames, even from the same year may have slightly different shades. Paint can change shade over time it is due exposure to the elements.

1. Check the material

Small chips won’t ruin aluminium or steel frames. They’re unlikely to compromise carbon either. Before starting squeeze the carbon, if it feels squishy contact your bike retailer.

2. Find the right colour

Get a RAL colour chart and try to closely match your frame colour with the chart. You can take this RAL number to a model shop or online store and purchase the paint that will suit.

3. Choose a paint

We recommend using an enamel paint rather than acrylic. Enamel paint takes longer to dry but is hard wearing and does not require a base primer. Paint is roughly £2.99-£4.99 for a 50ml tin.
Tip: If you are unable to find an enamel paint to match your frame use Humbrol Clear to improve the life span of Acrylic model paint on your frame.

4. Clean the area

On metal frames an alcohol such as nail varnish remover will clean away the grease and paint flakes. 
If you are repairing a carbon frame you must use Isopropyl Alcohol (available from Maplin) this alcohol won’t degrade plastics like carbon.

Slowly build up layers of the new paint


5. Be patient. Build up the paint layers gradually

Get a small paint brush and paint a thin layer on to the chip. Allow it to dry and build up the layers gradually. It must dry between applications. You will need to apply up to five layers.

6. Sand back the paint

Once the paint sits slightly proud of the surrounding area you are now finished with painting. Cut a piece of fine-grade sandpaper (1500 grit / 2000 grit) into a small square. Wet the paper and work slowly in small circular movements on the paint you have applied. Checking the area to ensure you are not sanding the surrounding area.

Lightly sand back the new paint

8. Polish

When you feel the new paint is flat or flush against the frame, apply a wax polish to the area to bring up the shine.
Tip: If you have a large chip, apply Humbrol Clear after applying and sanding back new paint. It will help improve the appearance of the paint is the damage is large.

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