Repainting is a great way to restore aging kettlebells or protect brand new ones from rust.
In this article, we take a closer look at whether it’s possible to repaint kettlebells and if so, what is the best way of doing it.
Here’s whether you can paint kettlebells:
Yes! You can paint kettlebells and you can do so with little painting experience and on a low budget. The process involves first stripping the kettlebell of its existing paint, sanding it to create a smooth surface and then applying the new paint.
How to repaint kettlebells
As mentioned above, repainting kettlebells involves a three-step process:
For stripping, use a premium paint stripper to remove the existing paint from the kettlebell. We do this because paint sticks better on bare metal than it does on an existing coat of paint.
Always use gloves when handling the paint stripper because the stripper will hurt if it comes in contact with your skin.
Use mineral spirits to clean the kettlebell and prepare it for the next step: sanding.
A Dremel tool is one of the best tools to sand the blemishes and create a smooth finish. This should be done on the weight.
For the handle, use an emery cloth to sand instead of attempting to do so with the Dremel tool. Then wipe off the sanding residue from the kettlebell to prepare it for the final step.
This is the fun part. To give yourself the best chances of success, you should hang the handle on a bar or raised platform so that you can have both hands free.
Remember to tape the areas of the kettlebell you don’t want to paint or want to paint a different color.
You can use spray paint or a tin with a brush, but spray painting is much quicker and allows you to have more even layers of paint.
When painting, first apply a primer which can be a white paint coat. Let this dry for around 30 minutes then apply an outer coat which can be any color of your choice. Let this coat dry and you would have finished repainting a kettlebell.
When should you repaint kettlebells?
Deciding the best time to repaint kettlebells isn’t difficult as most of the visual cues are easy to notice.
When they get rusty
If you notice rust on your kettlebells, it’s probably time for a new paint job. But in some cases, all you need is a “rust reformer” — a solution that reacts with the rust and makes it easy to wipe off — to fix your rust problem.
But if the problem persists, then repainting your kettlebells is best. When doing this, don’t paint directly over the rust.
First, remove as much rust as you can using a rust reformer, and then begin the process discussed earlier in the article.
When the original paint starts to crack
Paint cracks are usually the first sign of wear and tear on kettlebells, which is why it’s best to address this problem before it gets worse.
With paint cracks, it’s easier to paint over affected areas instead of repainting the entire kettlebell.
You can carry out the stripping, sanding and painting process on specific target areas and use tape to cover non-target areas.
What type of kettlebells should you repaint?
The two most popular types of kettlebells are vinyl and cast iron kettlebells.
The difference between the two is that vinyl kettlebells have a protective coating made from vinyl that reduces the likelihood of rust and makes them very durable.
This also means that there’s little chance of cracked paint, which means you’ll have no reason to repaint vinyl kettlebells.
In addition to this, the process of stripping and sanding, discussed earlier, can only take place on metal, and vinyl is a plastic.
So, the only kettlebells you should repaint are cast iron ones.
How often should you repaint kettlebells?
There is no definite answer to this. As suggested before, you should paint your kettlebells when they rust or when you notice cracked paint.
How soon these signs of wear and tear appear depends mainly on the quality of your kettlebells and how often you use them.
Better quality kettlebells won’t show rust or cracked paint as quickly as lower quality ones will. While kettlebells in frequent use are more likely to have cracked paint or rust than those not in regular use.
This is why repainting your kettlebells should be at your discretion.
When they stop looking perfect and a simple cloth wipe can’t fix them, then it’s time to strip, sand and repaint.
I’ve been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I’ve gained 30 pounds of muscle, written hundreds of articles, and reviewed dozens of fitness supplements. As for my educational background, I’m a currently studying for my Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training.