We get lots of questions on our tech line and a lot of the powder coating questions revolve around powder coating wheels or “rims”. It’s no surprise as powder coating is one of the most durable coatings and with inexpensive DIY powder coating kits almost anyone can powder coat their wheels at home.
But how far do you need to take your wheels apart to powder coat them? The best answer is to take them down as far as you can to avoid any issues when powder coating.
Can I powder coat wheels on the Car? The answer is “sort of”. Technically speaking if the wheels were clean, and bare and you have a big enough heat lamp you could possibly do it. But we wouldn’t suggest it. Mainly because powder will be tough to keep contained to only the wheels and also because it is difficult to clean the wheels properly before powder coating. You definitely don’t want a powder coated brake rotor!
Can I powder coat wheels with the tire installed? Again if we’re being technical you probably “could” but the results wouldn’t be ideal as you can’t clean or powder around the entire lip of the wheel and the area where the tire and rim meet there would be powder failure. Also the heat associate with powder coating isn’t good to expose the tire or valve stem and air pressure sensor to. It isn’t what many want to hear but you need to remove the tire and all accessories off the wheels to powder coat them.
Can I powder coat over old paint? Old paint doesn’t usually withstand the temperatures needed to cure powder so while the powder may stick to a surface with old powder the original paint might melt, blister, or contaminate the powder as it flows out and you will get a poor bond or an unsightly imperfection in the surface. We suggest blasting all parts and cleaning with PRE paint prep before powder coating them.
Hopefully this quick Q&A help you understand what is needed to powder coat your automotive wheels at home. To see all of the Eastwood Powder Coating Guns, Ovens, powders, and accessories click HERE.