Petra’s Bike: Tutorial (sort of)

We wanted Petra to have her own bike, especially as a friend lent Silas a kick bike. He’s completely outgrown the Skuut he got when he was two, and we just wanted Petra to use it. Problem: She totally didn’t want to use HIS bike. And we didn’t want to purchase ANOTHER bike. As is so often the case, paint came to the rescue. I more or less followed this tutorial, with some additional adjustments of our own.

Step 1: Take the bike apart (step 1a: try not to lose the pieces). It takes two Allen wrenches and about 80% of your daily allotment of patience. TAKE A PICTURE before you take apart the rear axle. Just trust me, we thought we were going to have to buy some parts, but it turns out we just had them in all wrong. All the right parts, just turned the wrong way. Be better at this than me.

Oh, I have the bike all taken apart, I might as well take a picture now that I’ve removed all the useful information.

Step 2: Scrub them, do some light sanding with some steel wool, and spray paint. 

Pro tip: Put something down under the bike when you spray paint. You’re not an animal [I have blue grass and flecks of grass were embedded in the bike paint because I’m dumb and was in a hurry].

Pro tip 2: Spray paint goes all over the place, much more than you remember from your days tagging underpasses. Get friendly with some blue painter’s tape. You won’t regret it.

After it dried, I gave it a bit more paint, for good measure.

Step 3: Draft the person in your family who doesn’t suck at art. Flatter him (in our family, it’s a him) and supply him with ample acrylic paint and some paint brushes.

Happy little rainbows.

Make some pathetic rainbow stripes on the wheels in solidarity.

Rainbow stripes, if the rainbow was failing a sobriety test.
Guess who did which pieces...
Guess who did which pieces…

Step 4: Spray the heck out of that with some clear coat protectant stuff. We used Krylon Crystal Clear Indoor/Outdoor Protective Finish. Between the first two coats, I applied liberal glitter.

I was going to recover the seat, but I ran out of time. Instead, I just used some red acrylic paint to touch up the seat. It looked perfect!

Step 5: Reassemble. Do not attempt this alone. It requires at least one and a half brains.

Step 6: Present to birthday girl!


She totally loves it, although she’s STILL a little short for it. Petra has absolutely no idea that it was once Silas’ bike. We suspect that he suspects, but he has been good enough not to say anything…


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