Flawless painting of rims depends on their proper preparation.


Painting discs is a simple process that many motorists can do. Its quality directly depends on how the metal surface was prepared. In the restoration of wheels, this procedure takes the most time and effort. In order to properly prepare car rims for subsequent painting, you need to consider what defects they have, how to remove the old coating and how to level the surface.

Disc Defects

Car wheels operate in very difficult conditions, due to which many defects appear on their surface over time. To know what to deal with before painting, you must first consider these damages:

  • old peeling coating;
  • scratches;
  • chips;
  • broken geometry;
  • traces of corrosion.

All of these shortcomings can be eliminated at home. The only exception is the restoration of wheel geometry, since this operation requires special equipment. In order to restore the correct shape, it is advisable to take the discs to the nearest reputable tire fitting service before processing. Such enterprises always have a rolling machine, with the help of which specialists will return the ideal shape to the wheels. Only then can you proceed to the subsequent preparation procedures.

Disk damage

Paint removal methods

First you need to clean the discs from the old paint. You can do this in several ways:

  • the heating;
  • the use of a special liquid;
  • sandblasting;

One of the easiest ways to remove old paint is to heat it up. To do this, you can use a regular building hair dryer, which is already available in almost every garage. The discs must be individually preheated with a stream of hot air, and then cleaned with a metal spatula or brush.

The hair dryer must be handled with extreme care. Excessive overheating of the metal should not be allowed, as this will certainly lead to its deformation and violation of the correct geometry.

The same goes for cooling. Do not cool discs by immersing them in cold water. Such a procedure can even lead to cracking. In any case, the structure of the metal will be broken, which will adversely affect its strength characteristics. Discs should cool naturally.

The second popular way to remove the old coating before painting is to apply a stripping liquid. The market sells special chemical compounds that soften the enamel. After such processing, the old paint can be easily removed either with a spatula or with a metal brush.

Wheel cleaning

The most advanced way to prepare wheels for painting is sandblasting. If you don’t have one at your own disposal, then you can contact the service where professionals will do everything. Such treatment is considered the highest quality, as it will remove not only the old paint, but also clean the discs from corrosion.

Surface leveling

Next, you should level the surface of the discs, that is, remove all scratches and chips. This work is carried out in two stages:

  1. First, the metal is processed with sandpaper. To do this, you need to take an abrasive with a grain size of about 320, and periodically wetting it, wipe all visible defects on the discs. At the end, you should change the sandpaper to P 1000 and bring the surface to a perfectly smooth state.
  2. The second stage of leveling before painting is the work of putty. With this material, all defects that have not been eliminated by sandpaper and sandblasting are repaired.

Usually putty helps to get rid of deep scratches, chips and bumps that were made during grinding. After processing, the entire surface of the disc is rubbed with fine sandpaper to a smooth state.


final preparation

The next step in preparing the wheels for painting is degreasing and pasting with masking tape. If rubber has not been removed from the wheels, then it must be protected from ingress of primer and paint. To do this, it is most convenient to use masking tape, newspaper or plastic wrap. The entire tire is covered with the specified materials and fixed in a suspended state.

Degreasing plays an important role in preparing wheels for painting. If this step is skipped, then the applied primer will not fully perform its function. It will not provide the required adhesion, and the applied paint will not hold as firmly as it should.

Various solvents, alcohol or gasoline can be used for degreasing. The ideal option would be to use the composition that will be used to dilute the primer and paint. This is guaranteed to protect against a negative reaction of paint materials to a non-native solvent.


The last step in preparing the wheels for painting is applying a primer. This material serves as a link between metal and enamel, providing increased adhesion and residual leveling of the surface. It is best to prime with a composition that is made by the same manufacturer as the paint - this approach will give more guarantees for high-quality restoration of discs.

Wheel rim covered with soil

The primer is applied in several layers. The first of them is applied in a small uniform amount. Its main purpose is to reveal the remaining defects. After applying the first layer of primer, the errors that were made during the sanding and puttying stage are usually very clearly visible. If there are any, they are very easy to remove with fine sandpaper. If the errors are too noticeable, then it will not be superfluous to try again to correct them with a thin layer of putty.

Next, a thicker layer of primer is applied to the prepared surface. After drying, you need to once again inspect the discs for defects. If the last layer of soil lay perfectly even, and there are no errors, then the wheels can be sent for painting. Otherwise, the application of the primer is repeated.

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