How To Paint Car Rims

If you ever want to give your car a brand new kind of look and feel, you might want to consider painting the rims. It is very inexpensive, fairly easy and is not terribly time consuming. Below, we take a look at how to paint your rims right at home to give your vehicle a new flare.

Step #1: Preparation

The first step to painting your vehicle’s rims is to remove the wheels from the vehicle and remove any center caps that are on the wheels. Once that is done, make sure you gather all of the materials necessary for painting the rims. For this job, you will need: several clean rags, a drop cloth, masking tape, newspaper, degreaser, mineral spirits, car wash soap, 1000 grit sandpaper, 2 aerosol cans of automotive spray paint (400 ml each in whatever color you want to use), 2 aerosol cans of spray primer, and 1 aerosol can of spray clear coat.

Once you have your materials, lay out the canvas drop cloth on a floor, giving yourself a wide range of space to work in. Place one of the wheels away from your drop cloth (as to not get the cloth wet), and wash it with a rag and some car wash soap to get rid of any dirt or grime that might have accumulated on the rim. Now, use a separate rag to apply your degreaser to the rims, both inside and out. This will help remove any additional brake dust or dirt that might still be caked on. Now rinse the entire wheel with water to remove excess soap and degreaser residue. Now dry the wheel with another clean rag before setting it out somewhere to dry. Once the whole wheel has completely dried, you are ready to start the application process.

Step #2: Application

Before applying any coats, use your 1000 grit sandpaper to sand the wheel down in order to create a more adhesive surface for the paint to stick to. Using a clean rag and some mineral spirits, wipe down the the wheel to remove any dust or oil that may have developed during sanding. Now, use your masking tape to attach sections of newspaper to the outside of the wheel, surrounding the rim. You may do this for the inside of the wheel as well. This should result in the tire being covered in newspaper and the rim being exposed for painting.

Now, place the wheel on your laid-out drop cloth, and shake your cans of primer to get them ready for the first coat. Apply at least two coats of primer to the entire inside of the rim, three to four light coats on the outside, and then let it dry for 30 minutes. Once the primer coats have dried, take your paint can, shake it up, and apply two thin coats to the inside of the wheel. Be sure to let 10 to 15 minutes go by between each coat. Flip the wheel over and paint the outside, spraying a light coat to get good coverage, then applying at least three good coats over the entire front. Let the wheel dry for about 30 to 45 minutes, then get ready for your clear coats by shaking the clear coat aerosol can for about a minute. Once the paint has dried, follow the same steps as the paint for applying the clear coat to both the inside and outside of the wheel. Wait 30 minutes for the clear coats to dry, then remove the tape and the newspaper from the wheel. Dry the entire wheel for about 24 hours before putting it back on your car to ensure that everything is completely dry. Apply all of the above steps to each of the wheels, and you will have yourself some new, great looking rims!

To learn more about auto body painting and for more DIY car tutorials, be sure to visit

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