Any tips on painting my uni??

Hi everyone.

As the weather’s getting better, i’ve started doing more unicycling, and i’ve decided it’s time for a paintjob!!

I don’t have enough money for powdercoating or anything like that, so was wondering if anyone had any advice on painting…

how to clean down ?

brush / spray ?

metallic / not metallic ?

gloss / matt ?


Also my frame currently is chrome with a clear coating on it.

Thanks in advance.

hmm…Im not sure if you have too, but it would definiatly be better if you could sand blast or wire/brush off the chrome paint that’s on it now. I think if you scratch it with a wire brush is should be fine. It lets the paint stick to it,enstead of scrape of easily.

Use spray Paint if you cant powdercoat it. Put a solid layer of primer on the frame, then you choice of color. It can be Matte finish or glossy. After your done, if you choose a shiny or glossy finish, you can put a clear coat layer on over the paint, just to protect, and brighten it up.

The spray paint wont hold up nearly as well as powdercoating it, but it looks good when finished.:wink:

oh, and before you start make sure you frame is as clean as you can get it. You dont want loose dirt or anything when spraying it, or the paint will come off with the dirt.


  1. Clean the frame

  2. sand blast or wire brush it

  3. re-clean to get brush shavings/dust off

  4. coat of primer on the frame

  5. your choice of paint(put as many layers as you want, usually 2-3 is good. Watch around the bearing holders though, it can build up and be tight to fit the bearings in if you put to much)

  6. Clearcoat if you want a shiny protective layer.

  7. wait and let dry…doo……de…do…de…do…do…de…do…de…doot…de.doo…de…do…de…

Powder coating isn’t all that expensive I rang a local car garage who do it for cars, bikes etc and they were only going to charge £30.
if you do it yourself it’ll still cost up to £15 in materials and ages in time and effort spent doing it.

Ok, thanks for the help guys!

Has anyone ever tried using a brush on paint instead of spraypaint, because it works out alot cheaper!!

I’m just trying to save cash.

If you want your unicycle to look like the one in your avatar, go ahead an use a brush. Actually, your avatar image is great, but the question is do you want your unicycle to look worse than it does now? Paint looks great when it’s first applied, but it’s likely you will have scratches in it by the time the unicycle is assembled again, and before you actually ride it.

If you plan to use a brush, I’d go for a flat finish, like camo or something that won’t show the brush strokes.

The big difference between spray paint and brush on paint is the smoothens of the finish. If you use a brush it may look streaky and will not have a nice smooth finish like spray paint.

edit: John Foss has a good point. if you use a matt/flat finish a brush may not be a bad idea.

ok… so if i paint it using spraypaint, built up in layers, with a few clear layers on top of that, will it still look tatty?

Also i’m painting my freestyle uni, which is only used indoors on a smooth wooden floor. Do you still think it will get wrecked?

I’m not sure what tatty means but many people have spray-painted unis and bikes with very good results. When using a uni indoors the frame never actually hits the ground so really the only ware on the paint would be from having your foot on the top of the crown. If you use a good quality paint, have multiple layers and everything that was already said in this thread it should stand up fine.

Ok, thanks for everyone’s help, i think i’m gonna go with spraypainting.

I’ll hopefully post some pics when it’s finished.

By the way, tatty means:

  • Shabby
  • Worn
  • Scruffy
  • rough
  • uncared for
  • etc...

Yes but not as quickly. On my Freestyle the paint is worn on the fork crowns, where feet go, and along the sides where legs and pants rub. Also along the seat post where things bang into it, and where “helpful” people lean the paint against stone steps & such instead of laying it down.

Also the major factor in paint wear & tear on my unicycles is not riding, but transport. Loading into and out of the car is where most of it happens.

Expect a home-painted frame to wear a lot quicker than the original paint (or chrome), and you won’t be disappointed.

yeah, it’s nothing like the original paint or powdercoating. You could probably scrape this paint off with your fingernail.

Not if done properly… if the painting surface is prepped and primed, the paint will adhere quite well. The spray job I did on a friend’s muni was quite durable… although a rough encounter with a rock bed did uncover the topcoat in some places.

Include a topcoat of sealant (clear gloss or flat) and the finish will be much more durable.

This instructible is probably all you need to know. It also teaches you how to add little special details!

If you ride Muni a lot, especially if you’re on the rocks, your rig gets beat up and no matter the paint job, it will generally be dinged, scrateched and gouged - as well it should be.

I came up with a fun and totally simple solution/alternative to running a straight blue KH 24. It’s fun to fiddle with the look of your Muni. It’s part of the esoterica of the sport.

My caveman techinque works like this:

I got the original paint off and brushed on some tangerine (orange with white mixed in) laquer. Two coats. Let dry for three days. Wet sanded for five minutes with super fine-grade sand paper. Sprayed on some mat finish. Done. You want the glossy finish, spray hi gloss over the brush job. It will shine like a diamond (till your first Muni ride, which is why I went with the mat).

Every few months, once the frame gets some big dings, with no prep whatsoever I brush on more paint straight over the dings (literally takes one minute), let dry, wet sand (three minutes), spray on instant-drying mat finish, and I’m good for another few months.

This is an industrial strength paint job, nothing fancy or slick, but it looks pretty suave and is simple to maintain (just brush on more, sand and mat over).

Problem with spray paint is that it never goes on thick, like you can accomplish with a brush. And spray jobs run - or they do on me.

With the brush job, we’re not talking art, but it works amazingly well and is dead simple if you have the right stuff. Here’s a look at mine.


Yeah, i’ve been told this by other people, so i think i’ll try brushing the undercoat and a few layers of the colour, then spray a few coats of clear paint over the top to make it nice and shiny.

I hope this will work.

Any comments?

Yeah, i’ve been told this by other people, so i think i’ll try brushing the undercoat and a few layers of the colour, then spray a few coats of clear paint over the top to make it nice and shiny.

I hope this will work.

Any comments?

The problem with brushing on the paint is that it won’t be totally smooth. You’ll have brush marks and so forth. The quick wet sanding takes minutes (use a hose) and makes everything smooth. Not perfect, but no frame stays perfect if you’re riding all the time.


That’s what i meant, brush on undercoat and colour, then wet sand it to remove the brush marks, then spray the clear coat to make it shiny, will this work?