Refinishing a Factory Wheel
Repair the Wheel
- Remove the wheel from the vehicle if possible. Place masking tape and paper under the edge of the wheel to cover the tires. Place pieces of tape over the valve stem and lug nuts to protect them from the repair process. Wipe the wheels thoroughly with rubbing alcohol to remove any clear protective coating. Sand any gouges, deep scratches or cuts in the wheels with 80-grit sandpaper. Sand the edges of the damaged areas until they are smooth. Use a small plastic applicator to wipe body filler into the gouges, dents or scratches and allow it to dry for 30 minutes. Use 120-grit sandpaper to sand the filler until it is smooth with the face of the wheel.
Prep the Wheel
- Sand the entire wheel with the 120-grit sandpaper until it is completely sanded and the surface is dull. Wipe the wheel with wax and grease remover to get rid of any oily fingerprints or dust particles. Spray two thin coats of primer on the repaired areas. Sand the primer with 300-grit sandpaper until it is smooth. Keep your hand and the sandpaper flat during sanding so that any dents or low areas can be felt. If the surface is not completely flat, sand the area with 80-grit sandpaper, apply more filler, allow it to dry and sand it again. Repeat this process until the wheel's surface is completely flat.
Spray the entire wheel with a thin coat of primer and allow it to dry for an hour.
Paint the Wheel
- Paint for wheels can be found at almost any automotive supply store. Paint can be found that matches almost every factory finish exactly. The paint is in spray cans, so there is no need to use a spray gun or air compressor.
Spray the wheel with three coats of paint, allowing each coat 30 minutes to dry. After the final coat of paint, allow the wheels to dry for at least an hour. Finally, spray two or three coats of clearcoat paint, allowing 30 minutes for each coat to dry. Allow the wheels to dry for at least 24 hours after the final coat of clearcoat paint before mounting them on the vehicle and driving.