How To: Paint wheels on the cheap

j44nty

RMS Regular
View attachment 194040 View attachment 194041 View attachment 194040View attachment 194041

My effort at painting wheels. Left them to my cousin to sandblast them. Learnt my lesson on the last set of wheels I painted that sanding them is a balls.
Epoxy primer in the first pic and base and lacquer in the second. Alloy wheel silver from @Woodcutter in paints and components.
Ive done a set of black mv1 maybe even in this thread somewhere and they are very hard to get all the corners. Well done they look great
 

Antoin

RMS Regular
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7,338
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Portstewart
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E60 535d
Ive done a set of black mv1 maybe even in this thread somewhere and they are very hard to get all the corners. Well done they look great

To be honest up close there are a few blemishes. But they are a spare set of wheels so they will do fine.

This is the second set I've done, the first I sanded and it was hateful. Even cleaning an MV1 is horrible.
I am hoping the MV2s I now have will be easier to paint.
 

mx5 turbo

RMS Regular
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2,432
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Bangor
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it hard
Need some advice guys. I'm tidying up some 27 year old speedlines. I have then lightly sanded and a bit heavier around the rim as there was a few light kerb marks. A couple of bits are down to the bare metal.

Question is should I use an etch primer on the whole wheel first then filler primer or can I go straight to filler primer, paint then clear coat? I have an etch primer but did read it was only if the whole lot is sanded down to the bone. Cheers
 

vtr_sean

RMS Regular
Messages
63
Location
Armagh/maiden city
Drives
Civic 1.7derv
Need some advice guys. I'm tidying up some 27 year old speedlines. I have then lightly sanded and a bit heavier around the rim as there was a few light kerb marks. A couple of bits are down to the bare metal.

Question is should I use an etch primer on the whole wheel first then filler primer or can I go straight to filler primer, paint then clear coat? I have an etch primer but did read it was only if the whole lot is sanded down to the bone. Cheers
Etch is used on bare metal anywhere u sand through the original paint/primer. Espically on alloys as aluminum gets an oxide layer that prevents anything bonding correctly without the use of etch
 

vtr_sean

RMS Regular
Messages
63
Location
Armagh/maiden city
Drives
Civic 1.7derv
Old refurb i did a while back. Before massive damage on lips and corrosion around centres.
WP_20140121_003.jpg

WP_20140121_002.jpg

And after with polished lip
WP_20140313_002.jpg

20181020_011056.jpg
 

j44nty

RMS Regular
My honda accord wheels
I rubbed them down with 400/800.
Stuck with the norm and lashed on filler primer.
F25A02D9-0C2C-4253-8357-CFF5A687C991.jpeg


I knew before I started that this set was gonna get 2k lacquer through the chinese special gun lol.
Gloss black applied from a tin and no runs which is always a bonus.
A27A51E9-9611-4E7F-8712-C7A4B3A1B099.jpeg

I drained the water from my compressor then fitted a moisture trap at the compressor. I ran out a full extension reel
(Compressed air is hot and cools in the line condensing creating moisture) before connecting to my gun filter and pressure regulator. Surprising even with a diy setup the amount of moisture captured at the gun you can see it in the clear filter. I mixed up my lacquer 2parts clear 1 part hardner and 10% thinners. I think it was a little thin. I set the pressure regulator to 27psi and had a nice 8” spray pattern out of a 1.4mm tip. I was ready to roll.
09F0ED3C-F2D8-4C0F-8F3B-88BB05207CB2.jpeg

556F0AF0-55A4-4810-8BDF-EF06D4BB5536.jpeg
9C976782-80EC-42BC-B32B-8AB66DE1B37B.jpeg
5BA685A1-54F9-40C4-8F09-2D1267DFF144.jpeg

Flash off time from paint to clear was about 20mims I didnt want my base to dry fully as I wanted a tacky bond with the clear. The clear went down well BUT my impatience got the better of me and I went for my glossy 3rd lap too early thankfully I do not have any surface runs but of the side of a couple of spokes gravity has gathered some clear. Its only the side of 2 or 3 spokes.

Center caps got silver decals and acrylic lacquer out of a tin to seal
310BFCA4-8B45-4604-A82B-ED532B3CD5A6.jpeg

EAA35CCC-F062-4593-A61B-384061F9B73A.jpeg

I like doing things myself and teaching myself new things I enjoyed putting down the 2k clear and will certainly be doing more of it. The gloss level is a world away from an acrylic lacquer out of a tin. I also wanted the surface a little tougher to survive stone chips.

To follow up I have driven these quite literally all around the uk and many hard farm work miles at home and not one stone chip or mark yet. More than happy with the 2k but i kinda wish I had painted them silver
650ACFA6-BE6C-4A13-AE34-BCFFCF8FF17A.jpeg
 

payam.khodad

New Member
Messages
1
Drives
sandero
wirebrush any crap off them, I usually douse with alloy cleaner first and give them a good wash. wire brush then sandpaper.

80grit on the rough rash bits, any rash might just be in the paint and not through to the metal. If the metal is damaged you have two choices. 1 sand away and get it looking alright ish, 2 fill with a little isopon.

then sand the whole wheel with 400grit. I usually dont bother with the inside of the wheel bar maybe an inch or so back just to get a bit of paint across.

once the wheels are sanded nice and smooth (but with a little roughness for the paint to adhere to) then make sure they are thouroughly dry! Very important. I use a heatgun to both blow the water out of any nooks and crannies and also to remove any moisture from the surface.

If removing tyres get it done at the start, if not then mask up the tyre. I usually wash with thinners first so the tape will actually stick to the tyre.

Remove any centre badges you dont want painted and mask over the tyre valve.

Now for painting. There are two methods I use depending on how much I want to spend and what colour I want the wheels. Having a heatgun at this point is invaluable.

Silver and cheap: Get 2 cans of autoglym silver wheel paint. Doesnt require primer or laquer and the stuff will pretty much stick to anything. Definately not as fussy as regular paint re reactions etc. Cost is about £10 for the whole job. Usual story, nice smooth coats, do any nooks and crannies first to avoid runs on the main bits. Take your time and go around the wheel giving the paint youve just applied time to dry a little. Use the heatgun to help the paint along after each coat. Leave for a few hours to dry before refitting.

Any other colour or better job: You will need 2 big cans of primer. The yellow filler primer isnt bad as it will leave a smoother finish. A nice light dusting of paint first helps avoid reactions, let this dry for 10 mins or give it a blast with a heatgun. The build up the layers. As before do the crannies first then do the main face last. Heatgun after every coat. Cost is a lot higher around £40-£50 for paint cans depending what kind of effect you go for.

05-03-05_1245.jpg


Leave the primer to dry for a couple of hours, makes it a lot easier to sand it without clogging up the sandpaper. Once its dry then sand it with 400-800 grit paper. I use 400 which is maybe a little course but see how you go. I also dry sand as its a pain to dry the wheel every time when wet sanding.

Once the primer is complete give the wheel a wipe down with a cloth to remove any dust still lingering. Now its colour time. Estimate 2 halfords style cans for the 4 wheels.

If doing the wheel 2 colours, ie silver outer and black centre you need to figure out what way is best to mask it off. You apply the first colour then mask off the area you done first and apply the second colour.

05-03-06_1705.jpg
05-03-06_1953.jpg


If just doing the same colour its a lot easier. As with the primer start with a nice dusting first, give it time to dry then you can go at it properly. Again do the hard bits first. Once happy with the nooks and crannies then give a nice coat over the face of the wheel. The colour should end up looking nice and smooth and as its still wet should look like you want the wheel to end up looking like, nice and shiny and giving a nice reflection of lights. Heatgun again between coats.

05-03-05_1134.jpg


Once happy then leave overnight to dry. Very important to reduce reactions in the basecoat and laquer. Usually use around 3 cans of laquer on the set of rims.

Laquer is where DIY refurbs fall down, its not as strong as proper 2pack laquer bodyshops use so you need to get plenty on. Unfortunately the more you put on the greater the chance of a run.

Again start of with a dusting. Let this dry for about an hour. When you come back do the same as before, hard bits first, nice easy coats a few mins apart. You dont want the laquer to dry too much between coats as each coat needs to gel together. Ideally you want a nice smooth reflective finish with the laquer then let it dry for a few days before putting them back on the car. Once touchdry sticking them out in the sun if its bright really helps them dry :grinning:

You can rub down the laquer later if you want and try to buff it up but I generally tend not to bother.

06-03-05_1007-1.jpg

i use this method and i can paint wheels. thanks
 

KJS

RMS Regular
Messages
1,891
Drives
VW Tiguan
Hi Guys have a set of 18inch which I bought few months ago and its in dire need of refurbishing :worried:
So have decided to do them myself as a DIY lesson :laughing:

However the wheels are a nightmare to sand them due to design as shown :worried:

Questions to ask:
1. What's best way to sand them? i.e. get a sander?
2. Looking at the pictures what grade should I start off with 600,800?
3. Better to do it with tyres off? specially since I want to go with a different colour.
4. What primer to use?

20190415-225019.jpg


20190415-225151.jpg


20190415-225054.jpg
 

thomas_lad

RMS Regular
Messages
5,747
Location
Carrickfergus
Drives
F31 M Sport
Hi Guys have a set of 18inch which I bought few months ago and its in dire need of refurbishing :worried:
So have decided to do them myself as a DIY lesson :laughing:

However the wheels are a nightmare to sand them due to design as shown :worried:

Questions to ask:
1. What's best way to sand them? i.e. get a sander?
2. Looking at the pictures what grade should I start off with 600,800?
3. Better to do it with tyres off? specially since I want to go with a different colour.
4. What primer to use?

20190415-225019.jpg


20190415-225151.jpg


20190415-225054.jpg

Do this 👇 no sander needed, just paper, and a lot of patience given the design of your wheel

wirebrush any crap off them, I usually douse with alloy cleaner first and give them a good wash. wire brush then sandpaper.

80grit on the rough rash bits, any rash might just be in the paint and not through to the metal. If the metal is damaged you have two choices. 1 sand away and get it looking alright ish, 2 fill with a little isopon.

then sand the whole wheel with 400grit. I usually dont bother with the inside of the wheel bar maybe an inch or so back just to get a bit of paint across.

once the wheels are sanded nice and smooth (but with a little roughness for the paint to adhere to) then make sure they are thouroughly dry! Very important. I use a heatgun to both blow the water out of any nooks and crannies and also to remove any moisture from the surface.

If removing tyres get it done at the start, if not then mask up the tyre. I usually wash with thinners first so the tape will actually stick to the tyre.

Remove any centre badges you dont want painted and mask over the tyre valve.

Now for painting. There are two methods I use depending on how much I want to spend and what colour I want the wheels. Having a heatgun at this point is invaluable.

Silver and cheap: Get 2 cans of autoglym silver wheel paint. Doesnt require primer or laquer and the stuff will pretty much stick to anything. Definately not as fussy as regular paint re reactions etc. Cost is about £10 for the whole job. Usual story, nice smooth coats, do any nooks and crannies first to avoid runs on the main bits. Take your time and go around the wheel giving the paint youve just applied time to dry a little. Use the heatgun to help the paint along after each coat. Leave for a few hours to dry before refitting.

Any other colour or better job: You will need 2 big cans of primer. The yellow filler primer isnt bad as it will leave a smoother finish. A nice light dusting of paint first helps avoid reactions, let this dry for 10 mins or give it a blast with a heatgun. The build up the layers. As before do the crannies first then do the main face last. Heatgun after every coat. Cost is a lot higher around £40-£50 for paint cans depending what kind of effect you go for.

05-03-05_1245.jpg


Leave the primer to dry for a couple of hours, makes it a lot easier to sand it without clogging up the sandpaper. Once its dry then sand it with 400-800 grit paper. I use 400 which is maybe a little course but see how you go. I also dry sand as its a pain to dry the wheel every time when wet sanding.

Once the primer is complete give the wheel a wipe down with a cloth to remove any dust still lingering. Now its colour time. Estimate 2 halfords style cans for the 4 wheels.

If doing the wheel 2 colours, ie silver outer and black centre you need to figure out what way is best to mask it off. You apply the first colour then mask off the area you done first and apply the second colour.

05-03-06_1705.jpg
05-03-06_1953.jpg


If just doing the same colour its a lot easier. As with the primer start with a nice dusting first, give it time to dry then you can go at it properly. Again do the hard bits first. Once happy with the nooks and crannies then give a nice coat over the face of the wheel. The colour should end up looking nice and smooth and as its still wet should look like you want the wheel to end up looking like, nice and shiny and giving a nice reflection of lights. Heatgun again between coats.

05-03-05_1134.jpg


Once happy then leave overnight to dry. Very important to reduce reactions in the basecoat and laquer. Usually use around 3 cans of laquer on the set of rims.

Laquer is where DIY refurbs fall down, its not as strong as proper 2pack laquer bodyshops use so you need to get plenty on. Unfortunately the more you put on the greater the chance of a run.

Again start of with a dusting. Let this dry for about an hour. When you come back do the same as before, hard bits first, nice easy coats a few mins apart. You dont want the laquer to dry too much between coats as each coat needs to gel together. Ideally you want a nice smooth reflective finish with the laquer then let it dry for a few days before putting them back on the car. Once touchdry sticking them out in the sun if its bright really helps them dry :grinning:

You can rub down the laquer later if you want and try to buff it up but I generally tend not to bother.

06-03-05_1007-1.jpg
 
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KJS

RMS Regular
Messages
1,891
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VW Tiguan
i would say so yes, if you can get them off go for it but thats just my opinion. its not necessary though

Thanks, also painting the inside which will be same as outside do each side need masking etc to prevent over spray's?
 

pablo

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OP
pablo
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67,076
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Glengrimley
should have left the tyre on to be fair, much less faffing as the chances of damage when refitting are much higher
 

bill

Banned
Messages
1,045
should have left the tyre on to be fair, much less faffing as the chances of damage when refitting are much higher
Oh so right i have already marked it with just picking it up.
Lucky its only going to be the spare wheel.
 

pablo

RMS Moderator
OP
pablo
Messages
67,076
Location
Glengrimley
can you get some heat onto it for a while? set it in front of a radiator or something?
 

bill

Banned
Messages
1,045
@pablo It was outside because or smell yeah i could used a heat gun or put it in with the hot water tank for a bit
 

Statler

RMS Regular
Messages
334
Location
Newtownards
Drives
E400d, MGB
Thanks, also painting the inside which will be same as outside do each side need masking etc to prevent over spray's?

Last set of wheels I did, I got the tyres off and had them professionally sandblasted, then painted them myself.
Inside/Outside is only important on the base colour coat. I did the inside first then carefully flatted the overspray on the face before colour coat it.
Same with the lacquer coats

Key to a good finish is the preparation of the primer coats.
 

barachello

RMS Regular
Messages
1,671
Location
Bangor
Drives
CX5 & A3 8P
I am doing a cheap refurb of mv2's and wanted to go for a darker silver, say something like the ferric II colour.

Is there a rattle can colour that would be a close match to it, or is it more a case of getting it made up? If so, is there anywhere you would recommend in Bangor?

Thanks.
 
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