How to paint alloy wheels at home

How and what to paint car rims with their own hands

The question of how to paint the discs on the car yourself, often ask themselves as a beginner in automotive affairs, and car owners with experience.

Time passes and even in the new car wheels are covered with corrosion, scratches, which do not cause the former admiration for their well-groomed appearance.

Disks need to be re-prepared and painted. Let’s learn how to do it in this article.

How to paint the disks of the car by yourself.

Car wheel rims are made in two variants:

  • steel stamped;
  • light alloys, which, in turn, are subdivided into cast and forged.

The first variant is the most prone to scratches, chipping and sliding of the paint layer. Steel stamped disks are initially installed on cars by all manufacturers.

They are cheap and complete with hubcaps create the appearance of beautiful wheels. As time passes, the hubcaps are either lost or broken, and the wheels lose their original appearance.

How and what to paint your own car wheels

Alloy wheels are usually made in a beautiful silver or silver-black finish.

They are non-scratch, long-lasting, so they rarely require additional painting during operation. Consequently, only steel stamped wheel rims have to be painted.

The most common ways to paint the wheels of Russian motorists are:

Three types of treatment are best: acrylic, aerosol, liquid rubber. Acrylic comes in the most varied range of colors, is easy to apply to the surface, you can paint even a very small area.

However, with all its advantages, acrylic paint is less resistant to scratches, abrasions and other damage to the applied layer.

Careless driving, especially by inexperienced drivers, over bushes, bumps, and bumps will rip off the paint layer. The metal of the disks gets covered with corrosion, dust and dirt again.

Powder paint, unlike acrylic paint, is able to last on wheel discs for a long period without losing its original gloss.

It is stable, wear-resistant and the coating on stamped and cast surfaces is not scratched or deformed. The substance is intended for production purposes, that is, it is used to cover newly cast and stamped discs.

However, there are certain difficulties with its independent application. Powder paint is applied using a complex technology that requires special equipment.

This paint cannot be applied to a scratched or warped part of the disc, only to the whole surface.

Deciding what to paint the disks of the car by yourself it is better to choose powder paint. It will last on your car much longer, without causing any problems during the operation.

But if the car owner wants variety, shine, brightness and is ready for daily meticulous care of the wheels – you can use acrylic paint. In this case, the car will become the original vehicle in the neighborhood.

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Liquid rubber has proven itself very well in the renewal of wheel rims. In recent years, Russian motorists are increasingly using it for painting.

The matte, glossy black coating penetrates well into the metal, protecting the surface from stone chips, corrosion processes, scuffs, scratches.

How to paint car rims with your own hands

In view of the high cost of paint work at service stations, Russian motorists prefer to carry out such work in their own garages or in the backyards of private estates.

Any method of painting is preceded by thorough washing and preparation of the objects for treatment. The easiest, least expensive way – painting with spray cans.

Spray can painting discs

Advantages of such method:

  • the paint is applied to any unprepared, unpolished, unprimed surface;
  • The spray layer reliably protects from all road impacts, dust and dirt;
  • prevents the development of corrosion centers;
  • The substance from the spray can be sprayed on the fragments of any configuration.


To carry out the work, you will need:

  • Rag or microfiber rags, car shampoo;
  • masking tape;
  • sandpaper of varying grits – № 120 – № 800;
  • Paint, degreaser and solvent;
  • 1 – 2 cans of primer;
  • Special spray paint, which, unlike conventional automotive paint, better protects the metal at high temperatures and impact damage.

When buying spray paint, varnish, primer, it is necessary to choose carefully the materials that belong to the same brand or are compatible with each other. The paint should be as durable as possible.

Acrylic and polyurethane based compounds have proven to be excellent. The paint mixtures with powder base, containing polyester pigments have the best qualities.

To ensure durability, their application requires the use of sophisticated professional equipment, which is not available in the conditions of a garage or a private yard.

    The wheels of the vehicle are removed from their regular seats.

The primer is applied to the prepared surface of the steel disc. The temperature in the room for the work must be at least +10ºC.

Shake the can before starting to spray the primer. It is necessary to apply from a distance of approximately 25 cm.

How and what to paint your own car wheels

When applying the primer, in order to spread it evenly, you should cover the metal with the thinnest layer. After finishing the operation, carefully inspect the surface of the coating. Roughnesses, irregularities should be cleaned with a fine emery cloth.

To ensure the safety of people, you must use protective equipment when painting:

When painting products with highly toxic acrylic substances, personal protective equipment should be used.

Work on self-painting car wheels with aerosols is carried out in several layers, which are applied after 15 minutes. When the final coat is applied – the composition must be completely dry. Aerosol paint dries in maximum 4 hours.

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Finally, the surface is coated with varnish, after which the protective coating is removed. The mirror shine on the products is achieved by treatment with special polishes on professional equipment.

Acrylic painting

This procedure is the most popular among Russian car enthusiasts. Working with the material, specific knowledge is not necessary. Equipment can be found in every garage cooperative or borrowed from neighbors.

  • Compressor, spray gun;
  • priming mixes, paint and varnish;
  • sanding sandpaper #200 and #400;
  • Electric drill with a device “Ersh”;
  • hair dryer for construction, if it is not available, it is possible to use a domestic one;
  • solvent;
  • Protective equipment for hands and respiratory tract.

The technology of applying acrylic involves partial restoration of the surface. After the work is done: washing, cleaning from dirt, old paint, first clean the metal with a coarse sandpaper, then sand all the significant irregularities, dents, scratches, chips with a fine sandpaper. Defects of the metal surface that can not be cleaned up are filled with putty.

The final stage of preparation is cleaning of abrasive particles and washing under a strong pressure. When painting wheels without removing them from the car, it is necessary to protect the rubber parts of the wheels with painter’s tape, newspapers, leaving only the metal surface open.


Important: Before you apply primer, you need to dry the metal very carefully with a hair dryer. A serious defect can appear from a single drop of water, reducing the service life of the wheels, ruining their appearance.

Suspended on a wire, the disc is degreased. Uniform spraying of layers is achieved by heating from a construction hair dryer.

Spray with a spray gun from a distance of 25 cm is applied liquid primer. It is important to observe the correct consistency of the composition. The liquid primer causes defects.

It is strictly forbidden to form a large layer at once. Professionals do it in three passes.

The next layer is applied only after the previous one has dried completely. This occurs after 30 minutes. To accelerate the drying of the primer, use a hair dryer.

Determined how to paint discs on the car with their own hands, after the complete drying of the primer proceed directly to the painting.

Acrylic paint is applied in several layers. It should not be in a hurry, act slowly, letting each layer dry. Paint that is too liquid can leave runners. To avoid this, apply a test coat on a prepared sheet of metal.

Maximum paint quality is achieved with a minimum of three coats. Hard-to-reach areas are difficult to treat with conventional methods.

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Creative approach and non-standard solutions are required to such fragments. The painted discs must dry well.

Liquid rubber – we paint the disks ourselves

This new material has many advantages:

  • An abundance of creative colors and shades other than chrome;
  • High durability, equal to powder coating;
  • full blocking of all scratches, chips, scuffs;
  • ease of application, availability of materials, tools and equipment.

The only disadvantage is the high cost, but it is more than compensated by the good quality, reliability and durability of the coating.

  • Shoes, gloves, respirator;
  • acetone;
  • raw rubber in a can, it is better and more reliable than paint.

When applying the material, without removing the wheels from the car, prepare newspapers and masking tape.

Before applying the liquid rubber, you can prepare the surface not so carefully as for acrylic painting. You can leave a layer of previous paint, scratches, chips.

The main thing is to thoroughly wash and degrease the metal for the rubber. When the wheels are dry the initial layer of the substance is applied.

While working on the disks directly on the car it is necessary to protect all the elements from rubber and brake pads.

In order to ensure a better adhesion of liquid rubber layers, introduction into hard-to-reach places, it is recommended to dismantle all the wheels from the car.

The liquid rubber is sprayed evenly over the entire metal surface. The first basic layer is made transparent, and the old paint is visible under it. The second layer is applied more saturated with the preservation of transparency.

Layer follows layer after layer, the amount depending on the color. Usually masters apply 3 – 7 layers. Liquid rubber is faster drying than paint, so the next layer is sprayed every 10 minutes.

The distance from the tool to the material affects whether the discs will be matte or glossy after treatment. The close proximity of the spray can to the surface provides a greater degree of gloss of the coating.

The distance can be checked by testing. Once you set this size, you should not change it until the job is done.

How to paint rims at home

Bought a car in 2014. After driving for half a year, I began to wonder about the external beauty of my iron horse. First I naturally painted a worn bumper and various small parts. And now it was time to paint the rims. Probably every owner of used (and not only) cars wants to improve the appearance of his car. There is a big difference between a car on nice rims and cars on stripped or ordinary iron disks. How I started: Since I am not a professional, I painted a normal spray paint. What you need for painting: 1) Protective equipment (I think it is very important): a mask respiratory, gloves and goggles for repairs (may need);

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2) Tools: sandpaper (I used 150, 320, 800, 1500), file or file, pliers; 3) Material: acrylic paint (took a color grenadier), one-component primer, solvent 646, putty and mounting tape.

Where to start? To begin with, I washed the drive, as he was in the mud and sandpaper on dirt how that not fontsan.Then removed weights with pliers (as if not removed in the future when you change the rubber on the winter you can remove them and will not be very nice).

Well and proceed to skinning the surface of the disk. I had this was not so hard, since before me the owner of the car has done the same. For this I took sanding 150 grit.In my opinion this is perfect for sanding discs.After the initial sanding there are small scratches. They are sanded with 320 grit.

You can also use sanders. In my case it was an ordinary drill with adjustable speed and Velcro attachment, which you can buy at any construction store.

I then used a file to smooth out the profile of the wheel, as it was just useless to smooth out these chips with putty. At the first installation of tires putty, together with the paint will fly away at impact.Moreover, I do not paint the border, as it is more practical and looks better (just I know how our tire fitting shop and they kill the border at once).But at the same time do not overdo it.

After everything is sanded, I once again washed (water) the disk, then waited until it dried. Then I took the solvent (no difference what company, I took regular 646) and degreased the surface.

I had relatively flat rims. Where there were minor scratches I just sanded them down. If you have chips or dents on the drive itself do not dare to work with a file (they can only edging and then small chips). Apply conveniently with a rubber spatula. Do not try to putty perfectly flat. In any case, then you will have to work with a sandpaper.

As the putty dries completely (you can read how long it dries on the package) you need to sand it down. I took a sandpaper with a grain size of 800. Sanded to a perfectly flat surface. How to check this: it is better to touch the sanded area with your fingers (you should feel perfectly smooth). If there are bumps then sand more. But do not overdo it, or you will have to putty again.

After puttying chips degrease everything with a solvent, but better before that rinse with water (to remove small particles of dust).

I did not remove the rubber from the rims and therefore, before priming and painting it is necessary to cover all parts (which do not need to paint) with mounting, namely paper tape. I.e. this is the inside of the disc, the rubber itself and the tire valve (or nipple)).

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And now the most creative and interesting part begins. After taping all the parts, we start priming. Apply it evenly in 2-3 layers. If disk is new enough and one layer. Time between coats 10-20 minutes (depending on the quality of the primer). All information is on the cartridge.

Apply the first layer carefully and with a thin layer, as later you will have to sand and degrease (make yourself more work). If still went a leak, it’s not too bad. Take your sandpaper and go ahead and sand them. Use either 800 or 1500 (depending on the leak). After sanding carefully degrease the surface (from the dust and dirt from sanding).

Complete drying of all coats of primer occurs 4-6 hours after application of the last one. But here too. The primer is not the same as the primer. It may take longer to dry. To the touch, it should in any case be dry. After drying again degrease the surface (because I think in the meantime may get dust and it can spoil the final result).

And here is the process of painting. Paint applied as well as the primer in 2-3 layers (range 15 – 20 minutes), but remember that paint is often more fluid than primer and fix much harder.

Paint same in contrast to the primer dries days (at best) after the last layer. And when painting and priming do not forget to respect the temperature. The temperature should be at best in the range of 20 – 25 degrees above zero.

After drying, remove the tape and enjoy the beautiful discs.

I did not write how to get rid of the sweat as I painted the second time. If there is a runoff to do this use a wet sandpaper fine grain.And then the surface is polished with a special sponge pad with the polishing paste. Also, the issue of varnish was not touched. Since the paint is acrylic, it already has a kind of varnish. If you put varnish on such paint, you will just tear your hair out. The paint will start to come off before your eyes and crack (I went through this the first time). And in the end of my opinion: first of all, before painting disks train on other metal surfaces, and secondly always buy a high quality primer, filler and of course the paint.This will depend on the longevity of the life of the paint.

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