How to repaint silver alloy rims

Written by james melzer
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How to repaint silver alloy rims
Repaint silver alloy rims to get them looking like new again. (sports car rim image by Lario Tus from

Silver alloy rims are a great addition to any vehicle. They can spruce up the vehicle's appearance, and add a bit of personality to it. Like all rims, though, silver alloy rims become scratched and dull through normal wear and tear on the road, taking away from their unique look. Repainting silver alloy rims is a straightforward procedure, but it will take some time and care. This process is best done in direct sunlight.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • 6 lint-free cloths
  • Paint thinner
  • Masking tape
  • 240-grit sandpaper
  • Spot putty
  • 400-grit sandpaper
  • Clear plastic sheeting
  • 1 can of spray primer
  • 1 can of silver wheel lacquer
  • 1 can of clear high-gloss lacquer
  • 1500-grit sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Fill a bucket with warm water and liquid dish detergent. Clean the damaged area of the rim thoroughly to remove any debris, wax, or polish that is present. Use a lint-free cloth. Dry the rims with a second clean lint-free cloth.

  2. 2

    Pour a small amount of paint thinner onto a third lint-free cloth and work it around the damaged area of the rim to further clean it of any debris or tire protectant that can damage the new paint job. Dry the rim with a fourth lint-free cloth.

  3. 3

    Apply masking tape to the tire to protect it from paint. Get as much masking tape under the rim as possible so it is separated from the tire.

  4. 4

    Sand the scratched area on the rim with 240-grit sandpaper. Sand down any sharp edges.

  5. 5

    Apply spot putty to the damaged area. Once it is dry, sand the putty down with 400-grit sandpaper until it is smooth.

  6. 6

    Apply masking tape to the undamaged areas of the rim. Cover the car with plastic sheeting to avoid getting paint on it.

  7. 7

    Spray the damaged area with primer in a sweeping motion. Clean the over-spray off the spokes with a fifth lint-free cloth and paint thinner. Wait for the primer to dry, and sand it so it is smooth with 400 to 600-grit sandpaper.

  8. 8

    Shake a can of silver wheel lacquer for a full minute. Spray the damaged area in a sweeping motion until it is covered. Clean off any over-spray on the spokes with a sixth lint-free cloth and paint thinner. Wait for the paint to dry as per the instructions on the can.

  9. 9

    Spray a thin coat of clear, high-gloss lacquer over the paint job. Let it dry, and apply a second thin coat of lacquer. Let it dry overnight.

  10. 10

    Remove the masking tape and plastic sheeting from the car. Blend the new paint job with the old. Use 1500 to 2000-grit wet and dry sandpaper.

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