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Old 06-17-2010, 11:00 AM   #1
andrewsfm
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Paint or niteshade rims?

1 - Will niteshade (or similiar) work to give my rims a darker, gunmetal-ish type look?

2 - What is the easiest way to prep the surface for any painting or niteshade type stuff? Do I really need to take off all existing paint? Other than sanding, is there a liquid etcher I could use instead?

Whatever method is suggested, it must be doable with the tires still on the rims.


BACKGROUND:
So I thought about new rims... which would cost at least $500, but with the TPMS sensors and bands that would need to be replaced cause I'd want to keep the system intact, there's some more money and headache, and then paying to have the tires remounted and balanced, etc. I'm not crazy about that idea.

I also don't want rims I have to swap off the car in winter, cause I have nowhere to put an extra set of tires, and don't want to buy another set of rubber when the tires I have now are good all seasons.

The original rims I was interested in were the black painted ones, and I've got the factory painted rims, so I'm assuming painting rims isn't something out of the ordinary.

I don't have any problems with the design of my rims, just their bright silver color and the fact the fronts look dirty so quick from the rust coming off the rotors in rain.

Here's a shot of the rims I have...

Here's the look I originally wanted if I got new rims...


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Old 06-17-2010, 11:43 AM   #2
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Yes, you can paint wheels that are still mounted to tires. If the wheels have weights on the lips, take them off first. (If you don't you'll regret it later)

I'm not sure if Niteshades will work but it's an interesting idea.

Make sure you clean the wheels thoroughly and scuff up the finish so the paint has something to stick to. I would think 800-1000 grit should do the trick.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:43 AM   #3
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There's basically two options, powder coating or painting. Powder coating does require the complete removal of all paint. Having the wheels blasted (walnut shells and not sand) is the safest way of doing this without damaging the wheels. Powder coating is by far the most durable finish but there are higher costs involved.

You can paint wheels yourself and no you do not have to remove all the paint. Its preferable for the best results that the tires be removed from the wheels, but it's not required. Your current finish needs to be very clean. Wash the wheels and make sure all grease, dirt, and road tar are removed. Sand the wheels lightly if they're in good shape. You just want to scuff the finish to give the new paint something to hold on to. 200 to 220 grit should do it. Clean the wheels really well after sanding. Use a good quality paint. You can get paints made for wheel refinishing at most auto parts stores. Follow the instructions to the letter, especially the drying times and recoating instructions. Several light coats are better than one heavy one. Follow up with a clear coat from the same paint manufacturer if desired. As always, proper preparation, taking your time and not rushing things is the key to good results.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
There's basically two options, powder coating or painting. Powder coating does require the complete removal of all paint. Having the wheels blasted (walnut shells and not sand) is the safest way of doing this without damaging the wheels. Powder coating is by far the most durable finish but there are higher costs involved.
I also thought about the powder coating option which is pretty attractive durability wise, but on top of the sandblasting, more than likely the TPMS sensors will need to be removed before it can be baked in the oven to prevent them from melting, meaning that since the OEM bands aren't resusable, I'd have to buy new bands anyways, so it starts leading down the path of new rims again.
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:00 PM   #5
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This seems to be an interesting option... http://www.amazon.com/Dupli-Color-SH.../dp/B003E2AC0E
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:16 PM   #6
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painting rims, if you want to do it correctly, is not something that is either cheap, or easy, or fast.

My honest opinion, take the wheel off the rim.. The reason why i say that is because it will be MUCH easier to prep and paint, and it will take less time than trying to mask off the wheel from getting paint on it.


First off, it doesnt take much to get paint to stick. All you really need to do is use a green scotch brite pad, and rub that over the rim to get it scuffed up. The reason why i dont recommend using sandpaper, is because the chance of leaving sanding marks behind is a LOT more if you use sandpaper. You may notice that after the paint dries, there are light scratch marks from the sandpaper left on the rim. A scotch brite pad will not leave deep scratch marks, and will be just enough to scuff it for painting.




From there, you will want to clean EVERYTHING OFF. Get all that tire shine, armor all, grease from your hands, etc etc off. The BEST product by far is DuPont Prepsol. Now, that stuff is NOT cheap, about 45 bucks for a gallon, so if you dont want to spend the money for that, a bit of 100% rubbing alcohol will work fine.

Clean the rim your going to paint with the alcohol, using a lint free towel, rag, whatever.


The most important part, is going to be situating the rim so that it is sitting upright. When you are painting, you dont want the rim on the ground, and to be holding the spray can at an angle. So, work out how you want to get the rim supported, but make sure when you are spraying, the can is at the least amount of angle as possible.


If your not good with painting, then make sure so do some research... For painting rims, you dont want to CAKE paint on there. The thicker the paint thats on there, the crappier its going to look, the more chance you will have at putting runs in the paint, etc etc.

Your best bet, is to get some light layers in the small cracks and crevices of the rim first. That way, you have all of the hard to reach areas covered. Start off with some light coats, and make sure to follow the directions on the can, as some paints are different than others...

You really want to let the paint cure for a day or two, before you apply clearcoating to the rim. You can apply it a few hours after the paint is dried, but i would wait a few days, just to be sure. Clearcoat can be VERY picky...

Also, i dont think that nightshade will be a great idea for the rims as well, because nightshade typically is a thicker, heavier, and more coarse type of paint.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:57 PM   #7
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I've eliminated niteshade since it doesn't look like it'd be able to handle the wear and tear from road debris. I am still considering the Duplicolor blackout chrome stuff though, even though my rims aren't chrome, if it can stick to polished chrome, it should have no problem sticking to much else.

I'm going to try and find someone that lives in the area that I can possibly rent or borrow tires from, so I can work on the rims and still drive the car. Even if I can get one tire, I can do one at a time over a week or so. I don't want to use my donut though.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:28 PM   #8
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So I ended up buying the shadow chrome stuff, but I don't think I'll end up using that on the rims because of the risk of doing uneven coating on the rims, leaving one possibly looking darker than the other, etc.

I'm leaning towards graphite paint right now.

I got the green scotchbrite pad. I also got a set of 2 replacement wheels, so I can have either the front or back off together and do them together and give them plenty of time to dry.

Will brake cleaner work as a replacement for prepsol?
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:37 AM   #9
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Residue from Brake cleaner varies, so I wouldn't recommend it!

(I've used it as a "quick and dirty" cleaner for touch up painting in places that don"t matter with mixed results - some brands were perfect, others "fish eyed" from residue)

A quart of prep-sol may be enough to dampen cloth & wipe thoroughly, doing 2 at a time you can get more if needed - having to sand off paint that doesn't work right is a bigger problem than spending a bit more time & $ on prep.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:43 AM   #10
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ya do it right the first time. i actually stripped mine down and primed and then painted with sanding steps
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