10 Steps to Paint Rims| Fast, Easy And Cheap Guide

Glistening under the sun, your vehicle’s rims have the power to turn heads and set your ride apart from the crowd. But what if you could take that allure a step further? Enter the world of rim painting, where the mundane becomes magnificent and ordinary wheels get a vibrant makeover. Whether aiming for sleek elegance or bold bursts of color, rim painting lets you express your personality on the road.

In this guide, we’ll unveil the secrets to achieving flawless rim transformations. From prepping to priming and wielding that can of paint, join us as we explore the creative journey that takes your wheels from ordinary to extraordinary. Get ready to spin heads with rims that move and inspire awe wherever you go.

Here are 10 Steps to Paint Rims:

Painting rims is a fantastic way to give your vehicle a fresh, customized look. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you achieve a successful rim painting project:

Materials You’ll Need:

Materials NeededDescription
Sandpaper (various grits)Different grits for sanding and smoothing the rim surface.
Degreaser or mild soapFor cleaning and removing dirt, grime, and grease from the rims.
WaterUsed in conjunction with degreaser or soap for cleaning the rims.
Painter’s tapeTo mask off areas you don’t want to paint, such as tires and lug nut holes.
Plastic sheeting or newspapersUsed to protect the ground from overspray and drips.
Primer spray paintProvides a base layer for the paint to adhere to and improves durability.
Base color spray paintThe main color you want for your rims.
Clear coat spray paintProtects the paint and adds shine to the finished rims.
Masking paper or garbage bagsUsed to cover tires and surrounding areas to prevent overspray.
Paint respirator (for safety)Protects your lungs from inhaling paint fumes and particles.

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace

  1. Find a well-ventilated area to work in. If possible, choose a space with controlled temperature and humidity.
  2. Place plastic sheeting or newspapers on the ground to protect it from overspray.

Step 2: Remove the Rims

  1. If feasible, remove the rims from the vehicle. This will make the painting process easier and more thorough.
  2. If removing the rims isn’t possible, use masking paper or garbage bags to cover the tires and surrounding areas.

Step 3: Clean the Rims

  1. Clean the rims thoroughly using a degreaser or mild soap and water. Remove dirt, grime, and brake dust. Rinse and let them dry completely.

Step 4: Sanding

  1. Use sandpaper to lightly sand the surface of the rims. This helps the paint adhere better.
  2. Start with a coarser grit (around 220) to remove any existing paint or imperfections, and then move to a finer grit (400-600) for a smoother finish.
  3. Wipe away any sanding residue with a clean cloth.

Step 5: Masking

  1. Use painter’s tape to mask off areas you don’t want to paint, such as the tire, valve stem, and lug nut holes.
  2. Cover the rest of the tire and surrounding areas with plastic sheeting to prevent overspray.

Step 6: Apply Primer

  1. Shake the primer spray can vigorously according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Hold the can about 8-12 inches away from the rim and apply thin, even coats. Allow each coat to dry before applying the next one.

Step 7: Apply Base Color

  1. Once the primer is dry, apply the base color spray paint in the same manner as the primer.
  2. Apply multiple thin coats until you achieve the desired color intensity. Allow each coat to dry before applying the next.

Step 8: Apply Clear Coat

  1. After the base color is dry, apply a clear coat spray paint to protect the finish and add shine.
  2. Apply 2-3 coats of clear coat, allowing each coat to dry before adding the next.

Step 9: Let the Paint Cure

  1. Allow the rims to dry and cure for at least 24-48 hours before mounting them back onto the vehicle or driving.

Step 10: Reinstall the Rims (if removed)

  1. Carefully remove the masking tape and plastic sheeting.
  2. Reinstall the rims onto the vehicle, if applicable.

Remember, rim painting requires patience and attention to detail. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the spray paint cans and use proper safety gear like a paint respirator and gloves. With some careful preparation and a steady hand, you can transform your rims into eye-catching works of art that perfectly complement your vehicle’s style.

Tips & Warnings


  1. Preparation Is Key: Spend time cleaning, sanding, and masking off areas properly for the best results. The quality of the prep work directly affects the final finish.
  2. Choose the Right Environment: Paint in a well-ventilated area to prevent inhalation of fumes. Ideally, work in a controlled environment to minimize dust and debris.
  3. Light Coats: Apply paint in light, even coats, to prevent runs or drips. Multiple thin coats provide better coverage and smoother results.
  4. Allow Drying Time: Follow the recommended drying times between coats and before handling or reassembling the rims. Rushing the process can lead to a less durable finish.
  5. Practice Spray Technique: If you’re new to spray painting, practice your technique on a scrap surface before applying paint to the rims.
  6. Paint Uniformly: Keep a consistent distance from the rim while spraying to avoid uneven paint application. Start and stop spraying off the rim to prevent paint buildup.
  7. Use Safety Gear: Wear a paint respirator, safety glasses, and gloves to protect yourself from fumes, particles, and chemicals.
  8. Clear Coat for Protection: A clear coat enhances the appearance and protects the base color. It’s a crucial step for long-lasting results.
  9. Monitor Weather Conditions: Avoid painting on humid or rainy days, as moisture can affect the paint’s drying process.


  1. Flammable Materials: Paints, primers, and solvents are flammable. Keep them away from open flames, sparks, and heat sources.
  2. Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation when painting to prevent inhaling harmful fumes. Paint in a well-ventilated area or wear a paint respirator.
  3. Safety Gear: Always use appropriate safety gear, including a paint respirator, safety glasses, and gloves, to protect yourself from fumes and chemicals.
  4. Fire Hazard: Be cautious of paint overspray or drips, which can create fire hazards if they come into contact with heat sources.
  5. Masking Tape Removal: Remove masking tape before the paint fully dries to avoid peeling off any paint along with the tape.
  6. Avoid Overspray: Cover adjacent surfaces or vehicles to prevent accidental overspray onto unintended areas.
  7. Professional Help: If you’re uncertain about the process or don’t have the necessary equipment, consider seeking professional assistance to avoid mistakes.

By following these tips and heeding the warnings, you can safely and successfully paint your rims, achieving a customized look that adds a unique touch to your vehicle.

Also Read: How to Troubleshoot Tow Dolly Surge Brakes?

Is it Possible to Paint the Rims’ Inner Side?

One of the easiest ways to improve the look of your car is to paint the inside of the rim. Nothing is difficult about this, and the important thing is to use high-quality paint and follow the instructions carefully.

Some believe this is unnecessary and can even damage your rims over time. Others believe that painting the inside of your rims can help keep them clean and look like new ones. Still, others feel it makes your car look sportier or more luxurious.

If you decide to paint the inside of your rims, use quality paint and follow the instructions carefully. Changing your tires will also mean you will probably need to repaint the inside of your rims inside.

The best type of paint for car rims

When it comes to choosing the best type of paint for car rims, you’ll want to opt for a paint that provides durability, adheres well to metal surfaces, and offers a smooth and appealing finish. Here are some paint options that are commonly used for painting car rims:

  1. Automotive Spray Paint:
    • Automotive spray paint designed for wheels is a popular choice. It offers good adhesion, durability, and a range of color options.
    • Look for high-quality enamel or acrylic spray paints formulated specifically on wheels.
  2. High-Temperature Paint:
    • High-temperature paint is ideal if you’re concerned about the heat generated by braking. Brake systems can produce a lot of heat, affecting paint adhesion and durability.
    • High-temperature paint is heat-resistant and offers long-lasting results, making it suitable for rims.
  3. Epoxy Paint:
    • Epoxy-based paints are known for their exceptional adhesion and durability. They form a strong bond with metal surfaces, making them a great choice for car rims.
  4. Powder Coating:
    • Powder coating is a durable and popular option for coating rims. It involves applying a dry powder to the rim and then curing it in an oven. It provides a thicker and more durable finish compared to regular paint.
    • Powder coating is usually done by professionals and offers excellent resistance to chips, scratches, and heat.
  5. Acrylic Urethane Paint:
    • Acrylic urethane paints are often used for automotive applications due to their durability, UV resistance, and color retention.
    • They provide a glossy finish and are suitable for rims that require long-lasting protection.
  6. Plasti Dip:
    • Plasti Dip is a removable rubber coating that can be sprayed onto rims. It provides a unique matte or glossy finish and can be peeled off if you want to revert to the original look.

When choosing a paint for your car rims, consider the following factors:

  • Durability: Rims are exposed to a lot of wear and tear, so choose a paint that can withstand road conditions, heat, and potential impacts.
  • Adhesion: Look for paint that adheres well to metal surfaces and provides good coverage.
  • Color and Finish: Decide on the color and finish (glossy, matte, etc.) that matches your vehicle’s style.
  • Ease of Application: Some paints, like spray paints, are relatively easy to apply, while others, like powder coating, require professional equipment.

Before applying any paint, ensure proper rim preparation, including cleaning, sanding, and masking. Proper prep work is essential for achieving a flawless and long-lasting finish. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the chosen paint and consider seeking professional assistance if you’re uncertain about the process.

In what ways are wheels and rims painted with spray paint?

Among the most common types of spray paint is automotive paint, which is used to paint the rims and wheels of a car. There are different types of spray paint for rims, including car paint and car lacquer.

Spray paint that dries the fastest is the best for your wheels and rims.

You need to consider your color options. Most available wheel paints come in basic colors like black and white, but of course, you can paint your wheels any color you want.

  • Our first choice is Plastikote because it provides a super hard protective coating.
  • Easy to apply with great results – readily available in stores.
  • Some paints are high gloss, while others are more matte.
  • It’s important to choose the right color depending on the results you want.
  • Oil-based/enamel metal specialty paint.
  • When painting your rims, choose a paint that is specifically for metal.
  • Rust-Oleum is a great example of metal-specific paint that is excellent for painting your rims.

Where can you find the best spray paint for rims and wheels?

The best spray paint for wheels and rims has high coverage, meaning it will likely cover more than just your wheels. Furthermore, it offers a variety of colors so that you can match them to your color scheme. You’ll also want paint with a high-quality finish to make it look as good as possible.

When selecting the best spray paint for wheels and rims, there are a number of factors to consider.

  1.  pay attention to the opacity of the paint. The best spray paint for wheels and rims will cover a lot more than just your wheels, so you can have a color scheme that matches your car.
  2.  You need paint with a high-quality finish to look as good as possible when you are done.
  3.  To avoid peeling or chipping, you must ensure the paint sticks to your rims.
  4.  Choosing a color that matches your car is the best way to make the work look nice.
  5.  You need paint that is easy to work with and can be applied without much effort.
  6.  You need paint that is easy to apply and covers your rims in a single coat so you do not have to repeat the job several times.
  7.  You should choose a paint that is easy to get, and that does not require excessive shipping costs so you can use it on your rims.
  8.  you should choose a paint that is easy to work with, so you can get the job done in no time and not have to worry about the paint being hard to work with.

Some Best Rim Paint:

When it comes to selecting the best kind of paint to use on car rims, several reputable brands offer high-quality paints specifically designed for wheels. Here are some popular rim paint options:

  1. Dupli-Color Wheel Paint:
    • Dupli-Color offers a range of wheel paints formulated to provide excellent adhesion and durability. They come in various colors and finishes to match your preferences.
  2. Rust-Oleum Automotive Enamel Spray Paint:
    • Rust-Oleum’s automotive enamel spray paint is known for its durability and weather-resistant finish. It’s available in a variety of colors and provides a glossy appearance.
  3. VHT Wheel Paint:
    • VHT (Very High Temperature) offers high-temperature wheel paints that can withstand the heat generated by braking systems. These paints are designed to resist chipping, cracking, and fading.
  4. Plasti Dip Rim Kit:
    • Plasti Dip offers rim kits that include a rubberized coating that can be applied to rims to change their color or finish. It’s removable and provides a unique look.
  5. Eastwood Wheel Paint:
    • Eastwood’s wheel paint products are designed to withstand the elements and provide a durable finish. They offer a variety of colors and finishes for customization.
  6. Duplicolor Hyper Silver Wheel Coating:
    • Duplicolor’s Hyper Silver Wheel Coating is designed to create a stylish and unique metallic appearance on rims.
  7. POR-15 High Temperature Paint:
    • POR-15’s high-temperature paint is specifically formulated to withstand extreme temperatures, making it suitable for rims subjected to heat from braking.
  8. Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint:
    • Krylon Fusion offers an all-in-one spray paint that bonds directly to plastic, metal, and more. It’s suitable for both rims and other automotive parts.
  9. Automotive Powder Coating:
    • For a professional and durable finish, consider getting your rims powder-coated by a professional. Powder coating offers a thick, long-lasting layer of paint that can withstand various conditions.

When selecting a rim paint, choose a product that matches your specific needs, including color preference, durability, and heat resistance. Before applying any paint, ensure you properly clean, sand, and prepare the rims for painting to achieve the best results. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the chosen paint and application process


  • show that about 80% of prepping is painting the wheels black. 
  • Approximately 20% of prepping is actually spraying the wheels. 
  • Here is an estimate of what it would cost you if you hired a professional: If each wheel costs $140, you would pay $560 $560 / 5.5852 
  • If you don’t have any tools and purchase your wheels new, powder coating your wheels yourself will cost around $150 to $250. 
  • Compared to DIY, it costs around $100 to $200 for a professional to complete a full set. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are your rims painted with any particular type of paint?

The type of paint you use for your rims depends on the look you want to achieve, the kind of car you have, and the type of paint you have. The color you use for your rims is very important because it is the first thing your customers see and perceive.

2. How much cost to paint rims

Depending on how large your car is, the type of paint used, and how long it takes to paint, the cost of rim painting varies. The average cost to paint rims is $300.

3.  How many cans will you need?

To get the best use out of your cans, make sure you have enough cans on hand for the number of users you expect to sign up for in the next month. It’s a good idea to plan on having at least a month’s supply, and this will ensure that you always have enough cans on hand and ship them quickly if you need to fulfill an order.

4. Why shouldn’t wheels and rims be painted with spray paint?

There are many disadvantages to using spray paint for wheels and rims. The first is that there is no guarantee that the paint will stick to the rims. The second is that it is very difficult to remove the paint from the rims. The third disadvantage is that the paint is difficult to apply to the rims. The fourth disadvantage is that the paint is very difficult to apply to the rims. The fifth disadvantage is that the paint is very difficult to apply.

5. In what ways do spray paints for wheels differ?

Chrome paint is the most commonly used type of spray paint for wheels and rims. Chrome spray paint comes in various finishes, such as apartment and gloss. Apartment paints are great for wheels with lots of curves and details, as they provide a smooth surface and do not reflect light as much. Glossy paints are ideal for wheels with lots of straight lines or details, as they reflect light very well and make them look shiny and new.


Many people want to know how to paint your rims. They are looking for ways to change up the look of their car, truck, or SUV. There are many options, but it can be difficult to find something that stands out.  The most important factor is the type of material your wheels and rims are made of. Additionally, you should think about what color you want, as well as how durable you want the paint to be.

John D. Archer

John D. Archer is a mechanical engineer and writer based on the area of automotive accessories at brakeshub.com, A resident expert and professional, John is passionate about all things automotive and loves to share his knowledge. He has good experience in all kind of automotive accessories. He has worked as a chief mechanical engineer in some reputed automotive garage firm.