How to paint bike rims

Written by christina sloane
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How to paint bike rims
Fresh paint can give new life to rusted bike rims. (stunt bike wheel image by askthegeek from

A fresh coat of chrome paint can make rusty old bike rims look shiny and new again. Unusual colours such as white can make your rims stand out from the rest. Due to high exposure to the elements and friction from brake pads, it is important to prepare and paint your bicycle rims carefully to ensure that the paint won't chip off prematurely.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wrench
  • Lubricant
  • Wire brush
  • Brass wool pads
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Airbrush
  • Primer
  • Rust-proof paint
  • Clear coat

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  1. 1

    Remove the wheels from your bike, and remove the tires and inner tubes from the wheels. This will allow you to paint the wheels freely without getting paint on your tires or other parts of the bike.

  2. 2

    Clean your rims with lubricant and a wire brush. Remove any rust on the rims by scraping it with brass wool. The wool will also rough up your rims and help paint stick better. If you are painting your spokes and/or hubs along with the rims, clean and scrape them, too.

  3. 3

    Cover your spokes and hubs with blue painter's tape so that you don't get paint on them. If you would like to paint your spokes and hubs the same colour as your rims, you can skip this step.

  4. 4

    Airbrush or spray paint a layer of primer on your rims and allow it to dry completely. When airbrushing or spray painting, go over your rims evenly.

  5. 5

    Airbrush or spray paint a layer of rust-free paint over the primer. Allow this coat to dry completely, then paint a second layer and allow it to dry.

  6. 6

    Airbrush or spray paint a layer of clear coat over your paint layers. Clear coat will offer added protection to your paint job.

Tips and warnings

  • Paint outside or in a well-ventilated area to minimise inhalation of paint fumes.

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