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How to Give Alloy Car Rims the Chrome Look

by Jenny Carver

Alloy rims are used by many car manufacturers, but alloy isn't as shiny or as eye-catching as chrome. You can get the chrome look without having to get new wheels or paying to get your alloy wheels chrome-plated. There are spray paints made specifically for wheels in a few different shades of chrome. You can get the chrome look in your own driveway, in just one day, using materials from a local auto parts store.

1

Scuff the surface of the alloy wheels with a gray scuff pad to create a surface for the paint to adhere to; the scuff pad will leave the surface looking dull, but it will change once you are finished. Sand all areas of the wheels that will be painted.

2

Cover the air valve stem with masking tape to prevent it from being painted shut. Place masking tape and paper around the outside edges of the wheels so that the tires aren't covered in paint.

3

Wipe the wheels with wax and grease remover and a microfiber cloth. This removes all grease from fingerprints or old cleaners, and creates a clean surface for the paint. The remover will evaporate after a few minutes, so you don't need to wash it off.

4

Spray the wheels with chrome paint made especially for wheels. Hold the can 10 inches from the surface of the wheels and move across the wheels left and right, not around. Let the first coat dry for 15 minutes.

5

Spray a total of three or four thin coats of paint on the wheels, letting each coat dry for 15 minutes. Let the final coat dry for one hour.

6

Add two coats of clear coat paint to each wheel. Use the same spray techniques as with the paint. Let the first coat dry for 15 minutes. Let the final coat dry for a full day before handling the wheels.

Tip

  • Spray the wheels in an open area or in an area with good ventilation to prevent breathing the toxic fumes from the paint.

Items you will need

About the Author

Since 1997 Jenny Carver has served as editor and freelance writer for many offline and online publications including lovetoknow.com, autotropolis.com, "Hoof Beat News," "Import Tuner" and others. Carver owns a custom automotive shop where she has been doing paint and body work, custom interior work and engine building for over 11 years.

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