Paint your car's white walls black for a new look by adding glossy, reflective spray paint. As long as you avoid painting the tread of the tire or the shiny inner segment, you will create a seamless finish with smooth, sharp edges and a thick, glossy luster. Consider matching the new style of your tires with the interior leather surfaces or dashboard. If they are white or cream, you could opt for a darker color to compliment the tires.
Things You'll Need
- Safety supports
- Soapy water
- 220-grit sandpaper
- Damp cloth
- Tape measure
- Marker pen
- Craft knife
- Masking tape
- 2 cans of black gloss spray paint
Take off your car's hubcaps. Jack up the car up. Support it carefully using safety supports. Remove your wheels from the car by unscrewing the wheel nuts using a wrench. Set loose components aside so they do not get lost. Hose off the wheels or scrub them with a sponge and some warm, soapy water.
Remove any rust and hardened debris from each tire. Concentrate on difficult rust spots using 220 or 4-grit sandpaper, which has an average particle size of 0.3838-inches, according to Sizes. Aim for a smooth surface without any bumps or corrosion. Wipe clean and remove residual dust using a damp cloth. Allow to dry for ten minutes.
Measure the diameter of the central portion of the wheel at its widest point, from one inner edge where it meets the tire rubber to the other. For example, a P165/75R13 series car has a 560-13 radial measurement and 4 to 5-inch rim width, as explained by Wide White Tires. Draw a cardboard template using the measurements and a marker pen. Cut the template out carefully and accurately using a craft knife. Place the circular cardboard disc over the central portion of the wheel.
Protect the outer edge of the tire using masking tape. Run the masking tape right around the outer edge so it forms a neat, narrow barrier. Repeat the process of protecting the inner portion of the wheel and the tire edge for each of your four wheels.
Lay a large tarpaulin beneath your tires to protect the road, driveway or public path. Wear a mask. Shake a can of spray paint for between 30 seconds and 2 minutes for best results, according to Wood Zone. Remove the lid. Kneel by the first tire. Maintain a 2-foot gap between the spray can and the tire's surface. Spray paint evenly over the tire covering as much of the white wall paint as possible.
Repeat the process with each tire. Add at least two coats of spray paint. Allow to dry for up to four hours. Keep in dry conditions throughout. Replace each tire once dry. Replace and tighten wheel nuts with a wrench. Replace hubcaps if you wish, or leave them unattached for a different look.
Tips & Warnings
- Remember, white walls make a car's tires seem wider and larger. Black tires make them look narrower and smaller.
- Spray paint can create toxic fumes. Ventilate the work area. Work outdoors if possible and wear a breathing mask. Never work downwind of spray painting or allow your children to inhale the fumes.
- Do not over inflate old tires. A tire with too much air inside it can blow out, leaving the inner wheel to disintegrate as it runs along the tarmac. Damage to inner tubes and inner wheels is more expensive than replacing an old tire.
- Photo Credit detail of classic british car quarter panel and ti image by Bo Widerberg from Fotolia.com
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