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Old 02-06-2010, 01:09 AM   #1
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Default Paint your OEM Wheels

I'm by no means an expert, but I thought I would share how I painted my wheels in case anyone else wanted to do the same. It is a good way to save some money and completely change the look of your truck. I'll post the way I did mine, although some of the steps are optional.


First you'll need your material:
-Duplicolor wheel paint
-Duplicolor clear coat
-Self-etching primer
-Spray can gun
-Degreaser
-Towel
-Brillo pads
-Spray bottle
-400 grit sandpaper
-Sanding block
-Masking tape
-Index cards
-Newspaper

Click the image to open in full size.









The first thing I did was wipe down the wheels with some simple green to clean them up.
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Then I used some brillo pads to scuff them up a bit and to completely remove all traces of dirt and grime. I kept my wheels really clean so this wasn't too bad, although it may be harder if your wheels are coated in crap.
Click the image to open in full size.








After brillo pads:
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Then take a sanding block and sandpaper and go to town. This was the most tedious step, as you want to make sure to scuff everything up so you have a good bonding surface for the paint. I ripped up some small pieces of sandpaper to get in the smaller grooves. Then use some more degreaser and make sure everything is cleaned up nicely.
Click the image to open in full size.








Now mask off your wheels. I used some index cards between the wheel and tire and then masked off the surrounding tire with newspaper. I also stuffed some newspaper between the spokes to avoid painting the rotors. Now use some self-etching primer. I put on two light coats with about ten minutes between coats. Working around the truck with all four tires gives enough time so you shouldn't have to wait any--just keep moving. I was diggin' the army green color, although my neighbors were looking at me like I was crazy.
Click the image to open in full size.








After letting the primer dry for 30 minutes or so it's time to paint. Grab some of the wheel paint and do light coats. This is always my problem as I like to lay on coats heavier to make sure it's covered evenly. Trust me, light coats and you'll be fine. The first and even second coats may not cover all parts of the wheel, but after a few more light coats it will look great. Same as with the primer, if you're working around all four wheels you shouldn't have to wait between coats.






After first coat (I still think I went too heavy here):
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After five coats:
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I let the paint dry for 45 minutes and started the clear coat. I did four light coats using the same light coat principle. You can vary this based on how glossy you want your wheels to be. Looking back I wish I'd have done less clear and gone with a more matte finish since my tires are so faded.



After first coat:
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After four coats:
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:10 AM   #2
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Now just let it dry overnight and you'll be set. After the first hour of drying I suggest removing all newspaper and index cards. If you leave them on and let it dry completely there is a chance it will try and tear off some of the paint when you remove it.



Letting it dry:
Click the image to open in full size.




Newspaper removed:
Click the image to open in full size.














Hopefully this helps if anyone wants to or has been thinking about painting their wheels. It was a very simple process and I'm very happy with the results.




Finished product:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:50 PM   #3
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how has the paint held up?
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by standard f150 View Post
how has the paint held up?
I have aftermarket wheels and tires now, but they were on the truck for several months without any issues at all. I know other people who have done this to their trucks and run them for several years without problems. The only big issue is whether or not to paint over the wheel weights---if you don't then you'll of course have to do a quick touch-up where they previously were.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:39 PM   #5
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did they fade at all over time. cuz i want to paint my rims but im just not conviced it will hold up well?
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:50 PM   #6
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Mine did not, and as far as I know the other people that did theirs (about 10 that I know of) have had no problem with fading, either. As long as you put a few coats of clear over it you should have no problems. Like I said the only issue would be the wheel balance.

The real key is prep---it should take the longest. If you skimp out on prep work it will show.



I actually had mine sitting out back in the elements for several months after I got aftermarket wheels and tires. I never attempted to sell them because I was too busy, so I ended up just taking them to the recycling center and leaving them out for anyone to pick up. They were dirty from sitting outside, but I cleaned a small section and it looked fine.

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Old 02-16-2010, 09:59 PM   #7
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alright i think im gonna go ahead and do it. thanks
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:49 PM   #8
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Good deal, man.

If you have any questions let me know. Can't remember if I mentioned this but don't try it if you have the chrome wheels.
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Old 02-17-2010, 04:45 PM   #9
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yea i got the chrome, but i was gonna take a wire wheel and remove it all. think it would work?
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Old 02-17-2010, 04:48 PM   #10
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i dont know if this helps but i got a 2001 not a 04+
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