AP Paints: Minneapolis Bike Painter

We were first introduced to the work of Anthony Peterson when we asked the Beez Kneez about her custom paint job.  Having seen her paint job in person it really does sparkle in the sun, so we asked a little bit more about the person who did the work.  It turns out that the paint job was done right here in the Twin Cities by Anthony Peterson (AP), so we followed up with him to find out a little bit more.

Anthony is hitting that sweet spot that is often hard to find with bike painters, his work is both affordable and high quality.  Anyone who has spray painted a bike in the past, knows that even with fifty layers of clear coat, the paint will being to chip with the first U-Lock strike.  Anthony has a variety of painting methods that will keep the bike looking nice for quite a while.

CTC: How did you get your start in painting bicycle frames?

AP: It basically started in high school. School had just got out and I was going to take a trip on bike with a few friends. I had made up my mind that fixing up a road bike from the local junkyard was what I needed to do. I went out there with my dad, and 2 days prior, the junkyard owner had cut all of his bikes in half! So my dad and I climbed up on this 15′-20′ pile of steel and pulled out two bikes, or 4 halves, 1 for me and 1 for a friend. My dad can weld so we reinforced the tubes with some pipe we found and welded them back together. I got busy stripping the frames down and when it came time to paint them, it was either pay a lot and bring it to a place that paints cars, or the good ol’ rattle can. I have nothing against rattle can paint jobs at all, but it isn’t durable, and that’s what I wanted. I ended up doing it that way though just because I couldn’t afford anything else. The bike turned out pretty good and it rode really well to my surprise. I just repainted it a few summers ago and gave it to friend.

A few years later I moved down to the cities after college and started working for Quality Bicycle Products and got much more into biking. The first spring I was there, I was building up a bike for a friend that I ended up painting with rattle can paint again, and I came to the conclusion that someone needed to offer a very affordable, and very durable paint job. I didn’t see anyone else doing it, and I had painted a few bikes, so the next spring I bought what I needed and started painting bikes.

CTC: How long have your been at it?

AP: I’ve been painting for not that long really. It will be 3 full years this spring. The first 2.5 years I was using wet paint, but now I’m able to do powdercoating as well, which is awesome!

CTC: Do you have a favorite paint job that you have done?

AP: It’s hard to say which is my favorite currently, it changes as I paint more bikes and I really get pumped up about a lot of the paint jobs I do. The one that I think of first though I don’t even have pictures of! It was one of my early bikes and the first real tricky 2-tone paint job. It was blue and green stripes, but they radiated out from the center of the front wheel. I was really pumped with how it turned out, I think mostly because it was really challenging and the friend that it was for was really pumped when I brought it over.

CTC: Where is your workshop located?

AP: My workshop is currently located in one of the sheds on my parent’s farm.

CTC: How long does it take you to paint a frame start to finish?

AP: I try to keep it at 1 week, as long as I can get it on a Sunday or Monday. I don’t have that many bikes lined up though, so it is easy to forecast what is going to happen.

CTC: What bike are you riding right now?

AP: I am currently riding a Salsa Casseroll.

CTC: Nice, do you have a favorite Twin Cities cycling event?

AP: I don’t really go to any, as bad as that sounds. It usually ends up that I am gone when they happen, and I’m really not much for going on big group rides.

CTC: No events?  Well we are going to have to change that! What about a local bike shop?  Who does your wrenching?

AP: Has to be The Alt on Lyndale and Lake. Those guys are the best!!


Rather than re-post a full gallery of Anthony’s work on our website, we thought it would be better to send you over to his to check it out.  Anthony’s website can be found here. He has posted full galleries of his work here and here.

Enjoy, and support your local artisans!

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