How to refinish corroded alloy wheels

Written by cameron easey
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How to refinish corroded alloy wheels
Get your alloys sparkling again. (Man_With_No_Name/iStock/Getty Images)

Alloy wheels are constructed from a combination of aluminium and other types of metal. This produces a strong and lightweight wheel. However, alloy wheels may begin to show signs of corrosion, especially during a hard winter when salt and dirt accumulates on the wheels. Corroded alloy wheels can be refinished to restore them to their original shine.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cloth or rag
  • Paint stripper
  • Metal brush
  • 240-grit sandpaper
  • Filler putty
  • 400-grit sandpaper
  • Filler primer
  • Silver lacquer
  • Clear lacquer

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  1. 1

    Wash the wheels with soap and water using a cloth to remove dirt and grime.

  2. 2

    Apply paint stripper to a clean cloth or rag. Wipe each wheel to remove any clear coating that is on the alloy wheels. The clear coat gives alloy wheels their shine.

  3. 3

    Remove any flaking rust or corrosion, from each wheel, with the metal brush. Sand rusted and corroded areas on each wheel with 240-grit sandpaper.

  4. 4

    Apply filler putty to areas on the wheels that are uneven. Sand the putty smooth after it has dried with the 400-grit sandpaper.

  5. 5

    Apply the filler primer to the entire wheel and then wipe away any excess primer using a clean cloth or rag. Allow at least four hours for the primer to dry and then go over it once with the 400-grit sandpaper.

  6. 6

    Apply a base coat of silver coloured lacquer to the wheel. This will prevent any future corrosion on the wheels. Allow the lacquer to sit and dry overnight.

  7. 7

    Apply one to two coats of clear lacquer to refinish each wheel.

Tips and warnings

  • Use an electric sander instead of sand paper to speed up the job.
  • Remove the wheels and tyres for the best results.

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