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Painted alloy wheels - painting tips.

"The ultimate colour wheel."

When it comes to wheels there are a large number of styling options available for the purpose of this article though we're going to consider coloured rims, one of the latest styling trends to take off.

There is a wide selection of different styles of wheel available.

After market manufacturers are starting to produce wheels with colour options.

One of the most popular designs currently is the black wheel with red highlighting along the inside faces.There is absolutely nothing stopping you from creating this effect yourself.

To paint an alloy wheel you will need to remove the tire and, obviously, take the wheel off the car. The wheel will need thoroughly cleaning.

Coloured wheels are a fantastic way to give your car some individuality.

Whilst TorqueCars do not normally recommend most alloy wheel cleaning solutions, which are little more than a concentrated acid, these do a good job of stripping the dirt and grime of the wheel in preparation for paint.

More radically getting the wheels blast cleaned or giving them a good scrubbing with a firm brush will help. If there is a layer of lacquer or polish this must also be removed, otherwise the paint will not adhere properly.

It is a good opportunity to repair any corrosion and impact damage that may have occurred to the rim. Minor damage and abrasions can be sanded out fairly easily, but deeper damage is usually best repaired by a specialist.

Use a good quality metal primer and build this up in a number of thin layers to aid adhesion of the paint. When the primer has dried, mask off any areas which will have a second colour applied to them then switch the mask to the newly applied colour allowing an underlap when you paint on the highlight colour.

Again build up the paint in a number of very thin layers. Please take care to avoid getting paint in the inside area of the wheel where contact with the tire is made.

(Some people will paint the entire wheel and leave it to the tire fitter to insure a good fit between the tire and the rim. Whereas other people insist that there should be no paint on this inner side of the wheel. You can join the debate in our chat forum and compare notes with others who have painted their alloy wheels.)

The photographs show a number of different colour schemes applied to alloy wheels. Chrome and black looks nice and can be achieved by partially painting a chrome wheel.

Wheels can also be colour coded to match or contrast the car, TorqueCars have seen some nice white cars with black wheels at the shows. Powder coated alloy wheels may also be painted but it is preferable to strip the wheel back to bare metal. Many people will hesitate to paint their wheels, because they fear getting damage from the kerb.

In reality, damage is more easily repaired requiring little more than a touch up pen. The layer of paint will also be easier to keep clean as the smooth finish will repel brake dust road grime and tar much more easily than many alloy wheels which can become corroded.

You can, as the photographs show, just paint the rim, the internal spokes or inner faces of the wheel. Some manufactures are producing rims with a detachable facing edge which makes painting a lot easier and reduces the job to removal, painting and refitting the edge.

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