How to Paint Aluminum Rims

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Rims are an important part of a vehicle's appeal, but they can be expensive. An easy way to get a little more out of your car's factory rims is to learn how to paint aluminum rims. You can also buy a used set of rims and paint them to cover any scratches or dings. Learn how to paint aluminum rims and even make a little money by painting them for others.

Things You'll Need

  • 320-grit sandpaper
  • Spray can of etching primer for rims
  • Spray can of paint for rims
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Spray can of clear coat for rims
  • Remove the wheels from the car. It is possible to paint them while on the car, but you'll get much better coverage if you remove the rims.

  • Use the 320-grit sandpaper to smooth out any knick, scratches or dings in the rims. They may not completely disappear, but they will be much less noticeable after this step.

  • Wash the rims with soap and a sponge to remove any debris left behind from sanding. Remove all other material from the rim such as oil and grease. Allow them to dry completely.

  • Spray etching primer on the wheel, covering the entire rim. This is what the paint will adhere to, so any missed areas will cause the paint to be very thin in that spot.

  • Paint the aluminum rims with the paint by spraying it evenly and smooth. Spraying too much paint causes it to run, so spray lightly and add another coat if there is not enough coverage.

  • Allow the paint to dry completely. Spray the clear coat on top of the paint using the same methods. Allow the clear coat to dry completely before mounting the rims on the car.

Tips & Warnings

  • Find etching primer, paint and clear for rims at almost any automotive parts store.

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