DIY: Painting Wheels
Whether you have a set of skanky old wheels you want to refinish, or you just want to change up your look a bit, giving your wheels a coat of paint is the way to do it. Itís easy, relatively cheap, and if you follow these steps it will last a long time.
Youíre going to need to pick a color. Dupli-Color makes wheel paint in cans in the following colors:
WP105 Racing Satin Black
I donít remember how much each can is, but theyíre around $4 each. I would buy two cans just to be safe, and make sure you pick up one or two cans of WP103 Clear (which should be located right next to the paint). Youíre also going to need some primer; I used Rust-Oleum metal primer in gray.
Youíre also going to need sandpaper, if I remember correctly I used 80 grit sandpaper. I also picked up some 3m blue painterís tape, and if you donít have access to newspaper or something similar pick up some large sheets of paper for masking.
Remove the wheels from the car. Proceed to rough them up with the sandpaper. Be careful to sand so that you take off most of the protective coating, and the luster should also be gone. The purpose of this step is to give the primer and paint a surface to stick to. Also, if your wheels have any blemishes, built up road grime, etc. worn into the surface, now is the time to sand them out. Once you have sufficiently roughed up all four wheels, make sure you remove all of the small metal flakes you have sanded off. You can do this with an air hose, or a damp cloth. It is important that there are no shavings on the wheels for the next steps.
If the wheels are still on tires, youíre going to need to mask off the tires so you donít end up looking ghetto and painting all over them. This is very time consuming, but it is important that you do it right or else youíre going to have overspray. What I did was put a layer of tape around the rim on the tire, and then I proceeded to tape the newspaper around that so I ensured that everything was properly masked. It isnít important how you do it, as long as it is sealed well and you canít see any tire through the masking.
4. Wheel Weights:
If your car is equipped with wheel weights, you need to remove them before you paint. Carefully mark on the tire (with permanent marker, or grease pen) where the weights were and how many there were. I popped mine off with a screwdriver, it wasnít very hard. Put them somewhere safe and stash them until you are done. If you forget to put them back on, your wheels will be all out of balance. You can paint them the same color as the wheels if you like.
Double check to make sure that the surface of the rim is clean from debris, and everything that you wanted to sand down is sanded. Once you start to lay down primer, you canít go back to fix things. Spray the primer from about 1í away and move in even, slow strokes. Take care not to lay it on too thick or youíll have drips. I used about 2 coats of primer waiting 10 minutes in between coats.
Once you have given the primer an hour or so to dry (check the back of the can for recommended drying time), you can start to paint. Paint the same way that you laid down the primer. Make sure you cover every area of the rim evenly, and lay down nice light coats. You can control how dark the rims come out by laying down more coats. I think I used three or four coats of paint on mine, waiting around 20 minutes between coats. Look at the recommended drying time on the back of the paint can and let them dry accordingly.
You should be getting pretty good at your painting techniques by now. Lay down the clear just like you laid down primer and paint, I used two coats on mine. Give the rims a few hours to dry (overnight if possible), so you donít chip/scrape them putting them back on. Carefully remove the masking, put your wheel weights back on, and you should be all set!