The Best Way to Paint Stock Rims

by Jenny Carver

Rims can add or take away from the look of your vehicle, depending on what condition they are in. Stock rims are often overlooked when cleaning and detailing a car. They become covered in brake dust, scratched up and dented from hitting curbs and potholes. You can paint your stock rims to make them look better while protecting them, too.

Tools Needed

The tools and materials needed for painting your stock rims can all be found at any automotive supply store. Along with these materials and tools, you need to work in a well-ventilated area and use safety equipment. Wear a respirator mask and goggles when sanding and spraying paint. Use latex gloves when handling any toxic material, like paint or filler. These products can make your hands extremely dry or even cause irritation. You will need masking tape, rubbing alcohol, rags, 80 grit sandpaper, 300 grit sandpaper, primer, paint and clear coat. The primer, paint and clear coat can be found in spray cans so you don't need an air system to paint your rims.

Preparing the Rim Surface

It is best to remove the wheels before painting them, but if you can't, they can still be painted. Use masking tape under the edge of the rim to cover the tire. Place tape over the holes in the rims so that paint doesn't get through to the back side, unless you want to paint the back side also. Use a small piece of tape over the valve stem to keep it from being painted. Sand the surface of the rims with 80 grit sandpaper. Use your hand to get into all small crevices and holes. Inspect the rim for any deep gouges that need repair. If repairs are needed, use body filler to fill the gouges, allow it to dry and then sand it flush with the rim with 80 grit sandpaper. Go over the entire rim again with 300 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface and prepare it for paint.

Painting the Stock Rims

Wipe the rims with rubbing alcohol to remove any dust or oils. Spray two thin coats of primer on the rims, allowing each coat to dry for 30 minutes. Spray two or three thin coats of paint on the rims, allowing 30 minutes between each coat. The rims should be allowed to dry for a few hours before applying the clear coat. Spray two or three thin coats of clear coat on top of the paint. Wait 30 minutes and then remove the masking tape from around the rims. Allow a day before mounting the rims on your car or driving the car.

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.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media