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Put a colourful spin on a kids’ balance bike

06 May 2020

Update a kids’ balance bike with a bright new look in your favourite Resene paint colours so that it can continue to be enjoyed for years to come.

You will need:

  • Sandpaper or an electric sander
  • Testpot brushes
  • Artist’s brushes in a variety of sizes
  • Resene Quick Dry primer undercoat
  • Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in your choice of colour – Sarah used Resene Sante Fe
  • Resene testpots in your choice of colour – Sarah used Resene Cornflower, Resene Spring Wood and Resene Clover
  • Resene Aquaclear Natural waterborne urethane

Step 1 Take the bike apart, clean it and sand it down thoroughly. You can use sandpaper or an electric sander if you preferred. Remove sawdust by wiping down all surfaces with a clean, dry cloth.

Step 2 Apply one coat of Resene Quick Dry primer undercoat to all the timber surfaces using a testpot brush and allow it to dry completely.

Step 3 Apply two coats of your chosen base colour using a Resene testpot brush, allowing the first to dry completely before moving on to the second. Sarah used Resene Sante Fe.

Step 4 Once the second coat of base colour is dry, use your artist brushes to freehand paint shapes onto the frame of the bike using Resene testpots in your choice of colours. Sarah used Resene Cornflower, Resene Spring Wood and Resene Clover. Sarah took her inspiration from some patterns found online and painted imperfect shapes until she was happy with the coverage. Once dry, apply a second coat of each colour to the painted areas. 

Top tip: For a little extra pizazz, try using testpots of Resene FX Metallic paints for some of the feature painted areas.

Step 5 For a flatter finish and to help protect the paint, apply three coats of Resene Aquaclear Natural waterborne urethane to all the paintwork. Once dry, reassemble the bike (now in tricycle format) and touch up any imperfections in the paintwork with a small detail brush.  For a higher sheen and more durable clear finish, you can use Resene Aquaclear gloss or semi-gloss instead.

“It’s surprising how much better the balance bike looked after a fresh and modern paint job,” says Sarah. “It really proves that quality wooden kids’ toys can be enjoyed for many years to come with a bit of careful maintenance and the odd cosmetic makeover now and then. With a little bit of effort, this bike can now continue bringing joy to other children.”

Sarah’s son has enjoyed this convertible balance bike for years and it has survived some serious toddler wear and tear. Before finding a new owner, it desperately needed a makeover. Sarah used Resene Santa Fe, Resene Cornflower, Resene Spring Wood and Resene Clover to give it new life so that it can be enjoyed by another family for years to come.

project and images Sarah Herring