Barbells see a lot of heavy use, and their condition can degrade quickly. You probably paid a lot of money for your barbells, and you don’t want them to look old and worn.
A fresh coat of paint can rejuvenate gym equipment, but how do you paint Olympic barbells? We'll answer that question in this guide and show you how to paint your barbells properly.
Table of Contents
- What You’ll Need (Tools, Supplies & Safety Gear)
- Preparing Olympic Barbells For Painting
- How To Paint Olympic Barbells For Home Gyms DIY
- What Are The Benefits Of Painting Barbells?
- Frequently Asked Barbell Painting Questions
What You’ll Need (Tools, Supplies & Safety Gear)
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Preparing Olympic Barbells For Painting
Related Article - Complete Barbell Cleaning Guide
How To Paint Olympic Barbells For Home Gyms DIY
Barbells are one of the most important pieces of gym equipment because they allow you to do a wide number of lifts to train your entire body. Olympic barbells are large and tough barbells that are 7 feet long and weigh 45 pounds.
They have very exact specifications compared to regular barbells because they are used in competitions. Your Olympic barbell will usually have smooth collars on each side for loading weights and knurling in the middle so you can grip them properly.
There is some debate in the fitness community about whether you should paint your barbells. The paint can make your weight plates more difficult to load and unload, and if it's too thick, it could stop them from spinning.
If the paint gets into the knurling, it could fill the gaps and impact the grip on the bar. This could make it harder to hold and use the barbell, particularly if you have a heavy load.
Many lifters also prefer the rusted look and don't want to repaint the barbell because they worry it will crack and peel.
It is possible to repaint your Olympic barbell, but you need to do it properly and with the right equipment. You should use spray paint because it will give a light and even coat of paint, but you also need to choose the right spray paint.
Here are the steps you should follow:
1. Follow Our Preparation Steps Above
This will include moving outside, removing any rust that is present, cleaning the barbell, and applying primer.
2. Cover The Knurling
Once the primer is dry, take some rags and cover the knurling on your barbell because you’ll need to paint this separately.
Take your acrylic spray paint and hold it about 8 inches from the barbell. Apply a single layer across the whole barbell. Leave it for a few minutes, and then apply a second coat.
Learn More - What Is Barbell Knurling?
3. Paint The Knurling
Remove the rags covering the knurling. Painting the knurling can impact the grip you’ll get on the bar, so you may decide to leave them unpainted.
If you do decide to paint them, apply a single coat of spray paint, making sure that you go slow so that the aerosol paint has the opportunity to land all over.
4. Leave To Dry
Once you’ve finished painting, you’ll need to leave the barbell to dry. This should take 2-3 hours.
5. Oil The Barbell
A fresh layer of paint on the outside can make it more challenging to slide weights onto the collars. Take some WD-40 or special barbell lubricant, and apply a light layer all over the bar.
This will help the weights glide on and off and limit the friction to prevent the paint from cracking when you use the barbell.
6. Leave For 24 Hours
Leave your repainted Olympic barbell for 24 hours and make sure it's fully dry before using it again.
Other Barbell Painting Tips:
Read Also - Olympic Vs Standard Barbells
What Are The Benefits Of Painting Barbells?
Olympic barbells and weight plates are often color-coded, so you can tell exactly what you're lifting really easily. If you have a lot of equipment in your gym, then repainting your barbells can help you identify the one you’re looking for and make your workouts more efficient.
Rust occurs naturally, but you don’t necessarily want to see it all the time. It can also be pretty rough on your hands, and you could injure yourself while you’re lifting. You can’t reverse the rusting process, but a fresh coat of paint is a great way to cover it up and protect your hands.
Barbells aren't cheap, so it's a good idea to take steps to protect your investment. A tough coat of paint gives your barbell an extra layer of protection that can stop visible damage or rust.
Many weightlifters are proud of their battered bars and gym equipment because it shows how hard they've worked. This is definitely true, but unfortunately, it doesn't help your barbells retain their value.
If you're looking to resell old equipment, people are less likely to choose an old, rusted metal, so repainting it is a simple way to protect your investment.
Also Check Out - Where & How To Sell Used Gym Equipment
Frequently Asked Barbell Painting Questions
How do you get rust off a barbell?
Unfortunately, you can’t reverse the rusting process, but you can remove the layer of visible rust by using a wire brush or some sandpaper to file it down.
Why is the paint on my barbell flaking off?
Barbells see a lot of heavy use, and sliding weights on and off the bar can cause it to flake off. The easiest way to prevent it is to regularly oil your bar to reduce the friction, and this will have the added benefit of making it easier to load and unload the bar.
You should also use a tough acrylic paint, but even with a very durable spray paint, it will only last for 1-2 years.
Can you paint over an already painted barbell?
Yes, you can repaint a painted barbell, but you should remove any loose or flaky paint on the outside. Use sandpaper or your wire brush to remove any flaking paint, and use a paint stripper on the metal if you need to.
How long does it take for paint to dry on a barbell?
Spray paint can dry quite quickly, depending on the brand, and it should only take a few hours to dry. However, you should always wait 24 hours before using the barbell again to avoid damaging the fresh paint.
It’s not always recommended to repaint your barbell because the paint can make it harder to grip and can crack easily. In fact, many people even like the authentic, rusty look and prefer their barbells to look worn.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t paint them if you want to; you just need to follow the correct process. Hopefully, this guide has helped explain how to paint your Olympic barbell, and you now feel comfortable doing it yourself at home.
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Last Updated on August 16, 2022