How to Paint on Vinyl Tire Covers

by Jerry Garner
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inajeep, Creative Commons License

If your spare tire is mounted on the exterior of your vehicle, chances are that it is covered with a vinyl tire cover. These tire covers are important in terms of protecting your tire from the elements, but they often look very plain and unattractive. Because of this, many people like to enhance their tire cover by painting a design or logo on the surface. This can be a fun project to do as a family activity, or as something you do over the weekend to dress up your vehicle a little.

Step 1

Decide on the design you want to paint on the vinyl tire cover. This can be a logo, words or any image you want to draw free hand. The main thing is to simply decide in advance what you want to be on your tire cover so that you will know what to paint.

Step 2

Hold a sheet of poster board against the tire and use a pencil to trace around the tire. Use a pair of scissors to cut out the circle. This will give you an actual size surface to use when planning the layout of the design you selected in the previous step.

Step 3

Use a pencil to draw the design onto your poster board cutout. Erase and reposition the design if needed. Continue working on it until you have finalized a design that fits in the available space and looks good to you. If you have a set of colored pencils, you can use them to shade in the drawing so that you have a better idea of what it will look like on the tire cover.

Step 4

Buy an assortment of acrylic paints. These can be purchased at either a paint store or a hobby shop. Many discount retailers, such as Wal-Mart or Sears, also carry a variety of acrylic paints. You will get better results from the paint that comes in a tube to be squeezed out. This allows you to buy an assortment of colors without having a lot of left over paint. Also buy a few different sizes of paint brushes, with one of them having a very fine tip.

Step 5

Using the drawing on your poster board as a guide, lightly sketch your design onto the vinyl tire cover with a pencil. This will only be visible if you are up close, but is only meant to serve as a guide when you are painting. Some people find it easier to take the tire off of the vehicle when drawing and painting. However, the tire cover should remain on the tire so that it will be stretched tight and in the same position it will be when on the vehicle.

Step 6

Paint your design onto the tire cover with your paints and brushes. If you are painting a drawing or logo then you can paint freehand, using your pencil sketches as a guide. If you are painting words, such as a website address, then you may wish to buy a set of stencils to help you paint perfect letters.

Step 7

Allow the acrylic paint time to dry. You should wait at least an hour. After it has dried you can spray a clear coat across the entire tire cover. Clear coat can be found anywhere that spray paint is sold. This will protect your design from being degraded by the elements, such as heavy rain or snow. Place the tire back on your vehicle after the clear coat dries.

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