How-To: Paint / Restore rims - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old August 12th, 2006, 22:54 Thread Starter
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Thumbs up How-To: Paint / Restore rims

I recently got some used rims that had a little bit of curb rash and some dings, so I decided to refinish them and paint them a different color. I prefer to do it with the tire on, because I am worried that if you paint them, then get the tire put on without letting them have a long time to cure in the sun, it will possibly flake or chip. The Duplicolor wheel coating that I used is supposed to be resistant to chipping, brake dust, and chemicals. I will post on this thread if it doesn't live up to my expectations. Check out their wheel coating page for available colors as well as some tips and projects http://duplicolor.com/products/wheel.html .

Disclaimers: You should never use this method to repair/cover up major dents, ANY cracks, or other major imperfection. If your rim has any of these, please take it to a professional rim repair place to get it inspected and fixed. Always spraypaint in a well-ventilated area and follow all manufacturers instructions.

First off, you will need:

2 cans of Duplicolor high performance wheel coating in the color of your choice. You may need 3 if you go heavy on the coats or if your rims have a lot of surface area. I chose Bronze, # HWP105
1 can of Duplicolor high performance wheel coating in clear, #HWP103. I bought two, but only used about half of one can.
Red Scotch-brite pads
30ish 3x5" Index cards
Thin and thick blue painters masking tape


The below are optional, only if your rims are dinged/curb rashed:
Some 180 and 400 grit sandpaper
Bondo red spot putty
Primer (optional if you are going to paint a light color, such as white)

Ok, now you have all your stuff, lets begin!

1. Clean the rims with dish detergent and water to get rid of any oil or dirt, then let them dry.
2. Go over the entire rim with the red scotch-brite pad to scuff up the surface.
3. Once scuffed up, locate any areas that have dings and fill imperfections with the spot putty. You want it to be a little higher than the surrounding area so you can sand it down again to smooth. Let it dry, preferably overnight.
4. After it is dried, sand it down with the 180 grit sandpaper first, then finish it off with the 400 grit to get it really smooth and finished.
5. Use a damp paper towel to wipe up all sanding dust.
6. Cut each of the index cards in half, and start sticking them in between the lip of the rim and the bead of the tire. Overlap them so that it covers the tire well. Once you get completely around with the cards, take them together loosely with some of the thin blue tape. This allows you to really get the lip of the rim well-covered with paint, and saves a lot of time compared to masking tape.
7. Use the thick painters tape to cover up most of the sidewall of the tire. This is just to protect against any major overspray. Don't forget abou the valvestems. This would be the time to primer over what's left of the red spot putty if you are going with a very light color.

At this point, your rims should look like this:



8. Ok, now its time to paint. I followed the instructions on the back of the can that said to apply two light tack coats first, then one medium coat to cover. Wait 10 minutes between each coat. Duplicolor also reccommended that you apply all coats within a 1 hour timeframe. I did two wheels at a time because it would be very hard to do all four at once. If you only bought two cans of color paint, try to use just one can per set of two wheels. If you used more than 1 can for the first two, you are going to need to purchase a third can. I almost completely used up two cans, so it would just depend on your style of wheel whether or not you would need a third. Take your time with painting, and make sure to get all the nooks and crannies and get the paint even. This is the area to really spend a lot of effort into getting it looking good. I actually added a fourth medium coat of paint to make sure it was even and smooth.

After applying the colored wheel coating, your rims should look similar to this:


9. Paint the other two wheels using the same methods.

10. Let the first set dry 1-2 hours then spray on the clear wheel coating. Do the same with the second set, once they have dried 1-2 hours.

11. Let the paint dry for 4 or 5 hours, then carefully remove all of your masking tape. If possible, I would let them dry for longer before you mount them on the car, especially if you were going to drive it. It would be a shame to do all this work and then ruin it by being hasty at the end.

This is what my finished rims look like:




I did get a little bit of overspray on the tire, but the flash is really accentuating it. It is not noticeable to the naked eye, and will not be noticeable by flash once some tire shine has been added.

Overall, I am really happy with the wheel coating, and how well it went on. The rims look 100% better than how they did before, and look like new. This product is supposed to be extremely durable, so it should last very well. If anyone has any questions, feel free to PM me and I will do my best to answer them. Good luck, and I hope that if anyone tries this that it goes as well and smoothly as my project did!

Last edited by twocammer281; August 12th, 2006 at 22:57.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old August 13th, 2006, 09:31
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Very good job, very nice write up. You have earned your first sticky.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old August 13th, 2006, 18:44 Thread Starter
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Thanks!

The only thing I would add would be to let them cure for a month or two then polish and wax them.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old August 14th, 2006, 18:52
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What part of Charleston are you in. I grew up in the Summerville-Ladson area and went to high school at Stratford.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old August 14th, 2006, 22:11 Thread Starter
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I live on James Island, near the middle school. I was born in the area, grew up in the upstate, and I'm back here now attending school.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old August 14th, 2006, 22:16
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Me and the James Island police have "met"...I loved partying in that area.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old October 9th, 2006, 09:28
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great info
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2006, 12:30
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i am actually about to use this method, only thing is, instead of sanding, i used aircraft remover to remnove the old (i mean old!) JDM paint. now it's sorta down to the bare metal and somewhat smooth. is it ok to just paint on that or should i scratch up the surface as much as i can? all the old paint has either chipped off or been removed.

i'm sprucing up some old 2 piece WORK rims so i already polished and clear coated the lips, polished my rivets, and now all i gotta do is paint the center spke area.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old January 9th, 2007, 22:37
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good write up, its going to help me out soon
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old February 4th, 2007, 15:29
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Hey,

I have the stock 93+ 15" wheels in the OEM finish (no chrome or anything). I just have paint coming off of the center caps and wanted to paint the wheels.

What color do you think would be good in dupli-color, HWP101 Silver?

Please let me know.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old February 4th, 2007, 15:39
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The closest color I have been able to get to the oem silver is a GM silver called Galaxy or Sterling Silver. The factory code is WA-519F. You can get duplicolor automotive touch up in that color or go to www.paintscratch.com and order it. Just put in any GM mark from 93-up.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old February 4th, 2007, 16:04
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So will the silver from duplicolor make the 93+ rims look a little wierd and make them look totally different or will the paint be a nice refinish? Thanks.

I wanted to repaint all 4 rims, and the whole rim, not just the caps. Is it me or does it seem that touch-up paint for 4 rims will be very expensive. Thanks.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 2007, 22:53
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could i do this with the tire still installed on the car? if i mask off the stuff behind the wheel and mask off around the tire?
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2007, 17:09
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The best way i have seen to do this is a pack of index cards.Like done above. Insert them at an angle between the bead and the rim, tape them down then mask the rest with a trash bag or the like. This makes quick work of the masking process.

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Last edited by 8Legs; May 3rd, 2007 at 17:15.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2007, 17:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trdmk2
So will the silver from duplicolor make the 93+ rims look a little wierd and make them look totally different or will the paint be a nice refinish? Thanks.

I wanted to repaint all 4 rims, and the whole rim, not just the caps. Is it me or does it seem that touch-up paint for 4 rims will be very expensive. Thanks.
I would highly recommend if you do the whole rim go ahead and do all 4. If you are just refreshing the paint and not doing a complete color change a regular can of aerosol paint should be plenty. If you are changing the color drastically then 2 may be needed. I would recommend buying 2 any way just in case you need more.
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old October 17th, 2007, 21:58
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i actually going to paint my wheels soon and i was wondering should you lay a layer of primer for chrome? i want to do black wheels with a chrome lip so want to know if i need primer or not.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old October 18th, 2007, 18:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nando_25567
i actually going to paint my wheels soon and i was wondering should you lay a layer of primer for chrome? i want to do black wheels with a chrome lip so want to know if i need primer or not.

you are going to have serious problems with getting anything to stick to chrome.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old October 23rd, 2007, 11:12
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is it possible to take apart my 3 piece wheels. i have blitz technozpeed Z1 wheels, forged. and i wanna clear coat the lip, then i wanna paint the inner face a dark gun metal color.....much easier to do if i could take apart the wheels.....is this possible?
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old October 23rd, 2007, 18:21
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If they are true three piece wheels you can separate them. Two things you must remember. 1) Get the torque specs for the fasteners and use a good torque wrench to bolt it back.2) Make sure all of the mated surfaces are clean and free of debris.

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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old September 30th, 2009, 20:15
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I have a question about my rims. I really want to remove the original color on my volk gtc that are white. What is the best way to remove the paint and just have it at a polish look ?
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