How To Paint Your Rims
Items Needed: 60 Grit Sandpaper320 Grit SandpaperPainters/Masking Tape3-4 Cans of interior/exterior Quick-Dry Spray Paint1 Can of Clear Coat Spray PaintPaper TowelsOld newspaper
*Before beginning the steps to this project, please note that I am not liable for any damages and/or mishandled paint or equipment*
So be careful, take your time, and do it right!!!
1) Thoroughly clean rims with soap and water, and wipe them off with paper towels. Let dry. Original Finish/Color/Luster of Rim
2) Lay each rim flat on the floor with the face of the rim facing up. Sand each rim with 60 grit sandpaper. Make sure to get into every crevice. Rotate the rim on the ground so you’re always sanding the part that’s right in front you (you will be able to see what you missed or didn’t miss better when you rotate it as the light hits different angle of the rims). Brush away or blow away small particles and check to see if the original shine/finish of the rim has been stripped and dulled. If some parts are not dulled, you need to sand some more. If you question whether or not you should sand more, then that means you should! Use one piece of sandpaper for each rim to ensure you’re stripping each rim’s finish equally. Complete all 4 rims. Inspect thoroughly. And get comfortable, this can be tedious, tiring, and can be a pain!
After 60 Grit Sandpaper
After sanding with 60 Grit, example of places where I needed to sand more…look in the corners!
3) Now, follow Step 2 with 320 grit sandpaper. Complete all 4 rims. Take a closer look at the finish, making sure there are no parts of the original finish remains. Brush away or blow away particles and then stand the rims up and brush away or blow away particles again. The finish of the rims should be more dull than when you used 60 grit and should be smooth. Inspect thoroughly. Sand more if needed.
Example of what it should look like after 60, 320 Grit Sanding
Another example of what it should look like after sanding with 60, 320
4) Lay rims down on the floor, so the face of the rim is facing down. Dust off the reverse side of the rim and lightly clean with paper towel (chances are, the reverse side of your rims will be extremely dirty, looking almost black, so don’t expend all your energy trying to get the reverse side clean because it would take you forever).
5) Mask off each tire with newspaper and tape. You can mask off tires with just tape, but is quicker and easier with old newspaper. Masking the valve stem is optional, but masking the stems makes getting the caps off easier in the end. Masking the tires is optional, but highly recommended!
Reverse Side Masked, Unpainted
6) With your spray can, spray a “cloud cover” of paint over the entire reverse side of the rim. Don’t coat the rim completely, just a light “cloud” spray over the entire rim. Don’t waste the paint and put a heavy coat on, this step is done so when the rims are mounted on your car, you don’t see original rim color/finish through the spokes of your wheels. “Cloud cover” all 4 rims and let dry.
Reverse Side Masked and Painted
7) Once dried, check for complete cloud coverage and don’t remove masking. If all is well, flip rims over so the face of the rims is facing up and mask off all 4 tires.
8) Wipe down the face of the rims with a terry cloth to remove any particles from the sanding. Mask all 4 tires. Once all 4 tires are masked off, spray a “cloud cover” over each rim. Do not spray a heavy coat, “cloud cover” only. Let dry. Don’t be afraid if after you “cloud covered” the wheels, you can’t see much of the new paint. This “cloud cover” step will allow the actual coats of paint in the following steps to stick better and cover more evenly.
9) Once “cloud cover” is dry, spray evenly the first coat of paint. Let dry.
After First Coat
10) Continue to spray at least 2 more coats for 3 coats total (you be your own judge, if you think it needs another coat, spray away). Wait the amount of time between coats that the spray manufacturer recommends on the back of the can. Complete all 4 rims. Let dry.
Third Coat…notice how much deeper the black looks
11) If you are satisfied with the 3 (or more) coat coverage, then spray a light coat of clear on all 4 rims. Let dry and wait the amount of time between coats that the spray manufacturer recommends on the back of the can. Spray 2 more even medium coats on all 4 rims. Let dry for 24 hours for paint to cure, then add one more medium coat of clear if you think you need it.
After Clear Coat
24 hours after final Clear Coat, Finished Product!
12) Inspect all 4 rims. If all is well, mount them on your car and enjoy!
Finished and Mounted!
Finished and Mounted, different view!
-When sanding, either sit in a chair or stand with rims sitting on a table. You will want to be comfortable during sanding because it will become tiring and somewhat strenuous.
-Cover your nose/mouth with mask or something comparable when sanding, brushing/blowing away particles, and painting. Be safe!
-Lay newspapers or plastic sheets down on the floor where you’re working, so the particles from sanding aren’t scattered all over your floor and so paint overspray doesn’t stain your floor.
-Use quick-dry paint. It dries within 15 minutes and will not streak or run.
-Sanding with bare hands might cause nails and fingertips to become a little raw, so wear gloves if you want or just man up!
-Sand and spray in open or well-ventilated room.
-Inspect rims after every step…physically get up off your butt and check in between crevices and corners and check for problems!
-If you have a non-black car, and you want to paint your rims black, the choice of flat, matte, or gloss is up to you. However, if you have a black car, matte/flat black may not look “black black” up against a black car, it may have a carbon gray look to it. Flat/matte black looks great with non-black cars, though. It’s your choice, but I personally like the gloss finish on a black car and I highly recommend that to everyone!
-Give yourself some time to complete this process because it can easily turn into a 4+ hour job. Try spreading the process out over a couple days. It will be easier on you and you will have more energy to be meticulous.
-Read Instructions/Directions on the back of the spray cans because each spray paint manufacturer is different and their drying times, preps, and procedures are different as well. Follow those instructions/directions and modify the above steps accordingly.
-If any part of the rims doesn’t stick, you most likely didn’t sand enough in that one area. So go back with 60 grit sandpaper and sand down that area only and then sand again with the 320 grit sandpaper. Then blend in the area with the rest of the rim with 3 (or more) coats color, then 2 (or more) coats clear.
-Take your time when sanding, masking and spraying! -Be meticulous so it comes out great the 1st time!
-Good luck and have fun with it!
Modified by blackmax23 at 9:27 PM 11/19/2007
Modified by blackmax23 at 9:30 PM 11/19/2007