How to Paint Rims: Make Old Wheels Look Like New?


Would you like to change the look of your car’s old wheels? Painting rims can be the best option. In addition, it will add a new style to your favorite car. But you have to do it in the right way.

When it comes to painting rims, the maximum number of car owners find it complicated, so they prefer hiring professionals & spending a considerable amount of money.

The fact is, the entire process can be done on your own. You just need to follow some simple steps. In this write-up, we have demonstrated the complete procedure with simple words.

Hopefully, you won’t find painting rims difficult anymore. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

How To Paint Rims?

The paint rims cost is not much if it is done by yourself. In that case, you just need to accumulate some essential tools and follow some steps. So, before moving into the procedure, let’s see the list of tools you’ll need during painting rims.

The Necessary Supplies You Need to Gather

The list includes…

  • Rim Cleaner
  • Drying Towel
  • Wheel Brush or Sandpaper
  • Newspaper
  • Sandable Primer
  • Metal Spray Paint
  • Mask
  • Goggles
  • Gloves

Rubbing Alcohol, Pressure Washer, Painter’s Tape, and Clear Coat can be included as optional supplies. However, let’s move into the process.

Step-1: Choose a Designated Space For The Project

This is the initial step that should be done perfectly. Find a garage with plenty of space, and you can do the task comfortably. If the weather is nice, you can work in front of the yard or backyard as well. Moreover, ensure that the place you have selected has a proper ventilation system, as you will work with spray paint.

Step-2: Extract Wheels From Car

After getting a suitable place, you have to remove the wheels from the car. To extract the car wheel, you need to have jack stands. If you don’t have stands, purchase online or the nearest shops to you. After that, loosen the lug nuts and remove wheels from the wheelbase. Before removing wheels, it is better to read the manual to accomplish the task without difficulties.

Step-3: Clean & Sandpaper Rims

Now, it is time to prepare the rims for painting. In this step, you have to clean the rims correctly & you won’t be up to skip the step anyhow. This step is crucial for drawing out any imperfections like scratches, rust, and corrosion to ensure that the rim surface has been smooth and clean so that the paint can adhere to it perfectly.

To wash the rims, use rim cleaner like soap or sudsy water. You can use wax or grease remover as well if required. After that, use sandpaper to remove any imperfections stuck on the rims. A wheel brush can be used, but we recommend sandpaper for better control. If you are not familiar with how to use a wheel brush or sandpaper you can always go online to check for more information on how to do it on your own to make sure that you won’t do any unnecessary damage to your car.

Step-4:  Wash Rims Thoroughly With Water

After rubbing down rims, it is time to wash them thoroughly with water to ensure no dust or residue remains. In this step, you can use a scrubber that removes dust or other particles from the rims completely.  In short, before painting, you have to make sure the rims are extensively clean to get a better result.

Step-5: Dry Wheels Thoroughly

Ensure that there is not a single drop of water on the rims. Let them dry entirely. It is better to rub it out first with a drying towel after washing. Later, let them dry under the sun. You can use compressed air to dry all the cracks and crevices on the rims in rainy weather.

Step-6: Use Notecards Between Rim & Rubber

To avoid getting paint on the tire, place notecards between the rim and rubber. Ensure that the notecards are stuck robustly, which will help prevent overspray from getting on the rubber.  You can rub alcohol nearby that helps not to pierce the paint if accidentally get somewhere.

Step-7:  Use Spray Paint Primer

This is the most crucial step where you have to wear safety equipment like protective goggles, rubber gloves, and a mask that will cover your nose. It is a better idea to wear a full sleeve shirt to stay yourself away from the toxicity of the spray paint.

For the priming process, go for a Sandable Primer. This primer shields metal from rusting, which is highly crucial for rims. After priming the rim, if you get any trapped dirt or other bumps, use sandpaper to eliminate these imperfections. After that, you have to prime again. Make sure that you spray two or three coats of primer.

Step-8: Execute Main Coat

Make sure you spray each coat on an even keel in this step. Usually, it is better to spray at least three coats. That means you can do more than that. After applying three coats, inspect whether it has been smooth enough or not. Besides, look at the color that should be what you want. After finishing the main coat, you can apply the final coat. Though it is unnecessary, it helps you get better results and add intense and smooth color to your car’s rims. Another good option is to powder coat rims.  Powder coating is a method of coating that is applied as a free flowing dry powder. Unlike liquid paint which is delivered via an evaporating solvent, powder coating is usually applied electrostatically and then treated under heat or with ultraviolet lights.

Step-9: Put Rims Back on The Car

So, we are in the final step now. In this step, allow the rims to dry entirely after painting. Once the rims are dried, put the rims back on the car. Follow the same method you followed while removing the wheels from the car. But, remember that, never put the rims back on the car with the drippy condition.

Final Verdict

So, it was all about how to paint rims. Following those 9 simple steps, you can simply paint rims and give your car a distinctive new look. In short, accumulate all the necessary supplies first and find the best place to accomplish the project. Once you find the place, bring your car there, remove wheels following the car’s owner’s manual. Prepare the rims by cleaning and washing them. Wear safety equipment once it is prepared, use spray paint primer and then apply the main coat. Once the entire process is done, put the rims back on the car. That’s it.

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