How to paint your unicycle. (too broke for powdercoating)

56k Be Warned: Lots of pictures.
I’m sure there has been a write up on painting before, but hey, this is mine, and hopefully it will help someone else out there!

So, I was sick of that stupid blue look that everyone has on their unicycle. (Kris Holm uni’s)
I needed something custom, but I was on a budget!
Here we go:

Step One:
Take original unicycle, I took pictures of it to both compare and in case I needed a reference.

Step 2: Disassemble you unicycle. Be sure to keep the bolts, washers, nuts, and other small parts together so you don’t run into any issues at the end.

Step 3: Find some 220 grit sandpaper and begin the project. Start sanding everything you plan on painting. (Note: some people will tell you to remove all the paint down to the chrome, It’s kind of overkill. I’ve seen 80 grit take a frame down to chrome, and it’s very difficult to make it smooth from that point.) Once sanded with the 220 grit, go over it with a 400 grit, to smooth it out a bit.

Step 4: Primer time! That’s right folks, It’s time to go buy primer. I find lacquer paint is the way to go, as you can buff it without it dulling.(unlike enamel) So, if you’re going to buy lacquer paint, you might as well stay consistent. So I bought some lacquer primer. It’s about $3.00 a can from any wal-mart. Remember to wipe down the unicycle frame before applying the primer.
Step 4.5: I took a small bungee cord and just placed the hook in the hole on the bottom of the frame, then attached the other end to my basketball net. It’s better to use more light coats of primer, than fewer heavy coats. Read the can for instructions on how to actually primer.

Step 5: After primer has at least a few hours to dry. (again, read the can) Lightly sand the now primer coated unicycle. I would recommend a 1500 grit wet sand paper.
Side Note: Don’t forget the little pieces of the unicycle or you’ll fall behind!

Step 6: After the unicycle has had ample time to dry, make sure you clean it off, post sanding. I used an electrical cleaner and thick automotive paper towel for this. Make sure unicycle is completely dry and free off all foreign materials! You’re now able to paint!

Step 7: My kit came with a special black base coat, which I applied after completing steps 1-6. Most of you will simple take the color you want to paint your unicycle and spray paint it. (again, I recommend you use a lacquer based paint) The same way you applied the primer. (Please: read the can. Spray paints are mostly similar, but can in fact vary!) Do this step until your desired look is completed.

Side Note #1: Here is where preference kicks in: You can wet sand the unicycle with the 1500 grit again, and then apply another coat paint. This will basically give you a smoother feel and look.

Side Note #2: If you want a two-toned unicycle. For example, you want a black unicycle, with a red swirl around the whole frame… You’d spray the top color first. So, Spray the unicycle red. (follow painting instructions) Once dry, you can apply painters tape in the design you want to STAY red. Once this tape is applied, you can spray your base color, in this example: Black.

Step 8: Clear coating! Once you’ve reached your desired color(s), you are ready to apply clear coat. My personal unicycle, again, a special kit, came with it’s own clear coat. If you are just using regular spray paint, simply buy some clear coat will work with [in this case] lacquer paints. (About another $3.00 for a can)

Apply clear coat until you’ve reached desired look.
Side Note: You can indeed wet sand clear coat as well. This will lead to a more shiny look at the end of the day, but it can be a pain. Remember, the more steps you add, the more chance of something going wrong.

Finally: I gave my unicycle about 2 days before I handled it fully. It was probably not necessary, but you don’t want to screw up anything. Once you are prepared to handle completely, reassemble the unicycle.

My final results:
A Kh20 unicycle, with a special paint that changes from blue to red as the sun reflects off of it different. My collar is a silver hammered paint and my seat post is flat black. I DO NOT recommend you paint your seat post. It will get scratched when you adjust it.

That paint job is so hot!

Thank you <3 I learned enough lessons while doing it!

I’m going to have to get video soon to show you the color change.

that matte black shot of your frame looks hot. I want my KH longneck frame to be like that.

Good instructions and you did the three things that many rattle can painters neglect and then complain that spray can paint scratches easily.

A) Skipping base coat/primer
B) Not using a clear coat
C) Not waiting for the paint to fully cure - You were right to leave it for two days.

Doing these three things will leave somone with a pretty durable finish.

I leave my parts until they don’t smell like solvent any longer. Dry paint does not mean fully hardened.

1500 between coats seems a little excessive. Actually a lot excessive. 1500 is usually used wet as the last ‘sanding’ before buffing out a clear coat with polish. At 1500 you might as well just scotch brite the surface, which I sometimes do.

It seems like you are doing a lot of sanding between coats. Did you primer/paint call for that?

I bet you it looks nice since you did such a careful job. Too bad a picture can’t do color shift paint justice.

You did an awesome job! Very cool, I like it. I have to agree with you I want to get mine painted. Yours looks amazing, nice job!!!

Did a little excess sanding, mostly just to get the next coat to stick better to the previous. Plus, it gives it a much smoother look if ya ask me. (I rattle can everything. haha)

Thanks for the compliments.
I’m going to try to get a video of the color change, it’s not this awesomely amazing blatant change, but you can def. see when it’s red and when its blue. Hey, what do ya want? Magic paint costs more than 25 bucks.


Great instructions on painting. Funny thing, I just used the same paint and color on my springer frame and it is very cool to look at in the sun. I have to post some pictures of it. Good job.

It was such a pain to fine around here…I must have tried 10 different stores, and 6 different websites, because Duplicolor actually just replied to my email and linked me to a specific store site.

I was able to get it from a local NAPA Auto Parts store. I have had it a while and do not remember the price, but it was not very cheep, but does make for a good efect.

Nice! here’s some more home-done paint jobs to get inspired by:

On the muni, I just sanded the frame, like you did. That turned out to be a bad idea, as the paint nicks off from rocks/falls and shows blue. For my latest paint job I actually used some caustic stripper, which took it to bare aluminum in a short amount of time.


There are different kinds.
There is the Chrome Illusion, and you’re looking at about 65$ a pint.
There is Chameleon, which is about 4x that.
and there is Dupli Color Mirage. Which is about 25$ bucks, but all stores stopped carrying it about a year ago. Around here anyhow.

That is soooo cool… I might get mine done… =P

I’m Painting my b*ke! :sunglasses: Was tan and black Now it’s gonna be white blue and black.:D:D:D Will post pics when finished.

nice colour and nice work.

It’s done! Soooooo awesome. Not totally put back together, but pretty close.