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DIY wheel refinishing

7421 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Nobuyasu
:coolnana:If any of you folks have stock wheels that were bright silver when new, but now, after 4-5 seasons the silver is disappearing, you can try the Duplicolor refinish paints. Just did mine in Graphite today 3 coats paint, 3 coats clear coat and they came out awesome. Nice alternative between the black and silver wheels out there. Silvers look dirty in 50 miles, blacks are cool when shiny and clean, but I wanted a little different look without going to Lotus yellow etc. and graphite never loks dirty! Look up wheel refinishing on Google and watch the Duplicolor video.
I did as follows.
1. Strong dishwashing liquid scrub with 3M kitchen scrub sponge, then 3M tampon fine wet scrub all at same wash. 320wt sanding sponge to smooth out any defects
2. Thorough rinse, towel dry
3. Filler Primer (Duplicolor) amazing stuff made my curb trashed edge disappear after 5-6 coats (takes 15seconds/coat done in sun every 5-10 minutes) Start on your worst wheel first so you can do multiple rounds of prime.
4. 150wt fine emory sand paper to smooth out the rash till almost gone, then 320wt sponge to finish. You could rewash, but I used my compressor and air nozzle to blast everything clean. Hand inspect.
5. 3 coats wheel paint in your color choice
6. 3 coats clear coat
It was a crystal clear, calm sunny day so I worked at edge of garage out of sun, but put wheels out in sun to dry between coats. Supposed to keep 10minute intervals between coats so I did 2 wheels at a time.
Always wanted to do this, it was a lot of work, no its not a professional perfect job but I did it, it was fun, it looks great and including the mount/dismount (I have a Coates balancer) only cost $71. In other words, probably less for all 4 than 1 wheel at a refinishing shop. If one gets scraped or damaged, no biggie, easy to redo!! BTW went to tire shop ~9AM, starting cleaning wheels at 10AM, finish last wheels with a few breaks at 1:30 PM. Baked in sun all afternoon , remount at 4:30PM, balanced by 5:30, back on car by PM!!! Even found time to wash my X5 in that time frame while letting my fingers rest.
Will post pics once car is out tomorrow in sun
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I used this same paint on my DD wheels and applied a professional clear coat. They look good but are too dark IMO. Close to black, especially in less than direct light and when they get a bit dirty. I'm hoping to do my Elise wheels in something a bit lighter this winter.

What happened to the pictures?
I don't think he posted any, but I'd like to see some as well.
Weather has been HHH for past week and car hasn't been out 75degree dewpoint not exactly pleasant in Elise. Top down its glue outside. Top up, AC is nominal at best. Should be better this week. I'll take pics after a wash. Color is indeed dark and very strong metallic finish. I do agree about the clearcoat. Before winter I'm going to add 1-2 more coats to get tht final level of smoothness.
Finally got you some pics. Here we go!
Finally got you some pics. Won't let me upload them and I can't find a way to shrink the file size. PIA technology. You'd think by now you could auto reduce oversized files or the upload allowances would keep up. Its only a 5Mp camera,jeez. Think I got it .


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Her's afuller view


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1 Caution:

I used Griots Silver Metallic and put them in sun. Bad move, the metallic (in that paint) didn't have a chance to flow out evenly. Fixed it with clay bar, but could've really skipped that.

Maybe sun is OK after a few hrs?
Did you have a rim repaired at one time? The reason I ask is that I noticed you have quite the collection of balance weights on the one in the photo.
Those look much lighter than mine, maybe it's the lighting or the exposure. I'll post a pic of mine for comparison.
OK, here's why: I used Rustoleum wheel paint, definitely darker. Of course the picture exposure has a lot to do with it. I'll have to give the Duplicolor paint a try.

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Rattle cans like Duplicolor are ok and will look good for a while but just don't have the hardness and durablility or depth of finish of automotive paint. Here's one wheel of a set from an Esprit I just refinished using PPG automotive silver and 2 part clear coat. It will cost a few bucks more but the difference is well worth it in looks and longevity.

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Figured its so easy to do I can redo them after a few years. Yes that RF wheel is less than perfect but its actually quite smooth now. , courtesy of my balancer and being patient redoing it after a hundred miles till it is now always zeroed.
BGR they look good I like they way they turned out. Keep us posted on how they hold up.
I didn't get many bits on my touring wheels so I thought I'd give Duplicolor a shot. I must say it turned out pretty good. I also was able clean up the curb rash. I now plan to use these as my winter wheels for when it rains. See this link for the before pictures


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