How to Spray Paint Aluminum Car Rims

Written by nathaniel miller
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If your car came equipped with brushed aluminium rims and you are now ready to spray paint them black or a different colour, you may be wondering how difficult the process is. Luckily, it is quite easy to spray paint your aluminium car rims, and all that is needed to make them look professional is a bit of preparation.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Paint stripper
  • Old rags
  • Power drill
  • Wire brush drill attachment
  • Primer paint
  • Paint
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Clearcoat

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  1. 1

    Have the tires removed from all of the rims as this process will not work with the tires still mounted to the rims. Once the tires are removed, pour the paint stripper onto a rag and wipe all of the rims down thoroughly.

  2. 2

    Attach the wire brush bit to the drill, and then run the wire brush attachment along the entire surface of the aluminium wheels. Use the brush to remove any burrs or any clear coating on the rims themselves. Pay careful attention to this step, as this is critical to proper adhesion of the paint to the wheels.

  3. 3

    Use the primer spray paint to paint four thin coats on each wheel, completely covering the wheel surface. Allow at least 15 minutes between coats to allow the paint to dry to tacky.

  4. 4

    Follow up the primer with four thin coats of the colour of paint you have chosen. Allow at least 30 minutes between coats, and use the sandpaper to lightly sand each coat except for the final coat. This aids in the adhesion of the paint.

  5. 5

    Paint four thin coats of clear coat over the paint and allow to dry at least an hour between coats. Allow at least 24 hours after the final coat of clear coat before driving the wheels.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure to perform this work with proper safety equipment like a respirator, goggles and gloves. Also perform the painting in a well-ventilated area--outdoors or in an open garage, for instance--to guard against paint-fume exposure.

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