Dipping your own wheels is a very “do it yourself” friendly project to change the color of your wheels and/or give your vehicle a brand new look without breaking the bank.
Fortunately, if you’re like most and are not too sure exactly how to paint your wheels, Plasti Dip has made it extremely easy for you to do so.
Of course, if a month or two down the road, you realize that you no longer like the look, the paint is just as easily removable.
As we move through the guide, we’ll show you step by step how to get the job done the in the correct manner. If you have used a rubber coating to paint your wheels in the past then this may be a nice refresher guide for you to learn some new tips and tricks!
IDENTIFYING WHAT YOU NEED
If your car has stock aluminum wheels, then its best to go with a coating that is a little darker and stealthier, similar to a graphite color. Now, at a minimum you’ll need four cans of the desired color of Plasti Dip. The first coat of paint is a lighter one while the two-four are heavier thus the need for four cans. If you like the glossy look, Plasti Dip offers a specific paint for that as well, of which you’ll need two cans of.
Before you even begin let’s keep in mind that if you are not into removing the wheel completely from the vehicle then you have to be able to mask the inside of the wheel, covering the brake pads, calipers and rotors. 99% of users will simply mask the front facing side of the wheel while leaving the back wall of the wheel unpainted. Using a grocery store bag or any light plastic bag you may have, be sure to make into one big sheet of plastic. Then you want to bunch it together and feed it through the spokes, in an effort to cover the bag of the rim. We urge that through this simple process, to take your time and ensure the bag itself is not touching the spoke. This could cause issues later when removing the bag after painting.
Secondly, we want to protect and mask the side and outside wall of the tire itself. Obviously we do not want the rubber painting coating the tire. Now, we’ve seen a ton of different methods to mask the tire, most of which will get the job done but we use one simple technique. Simply use a tire shine of your choosing as it doesn’t allow the paint to dry or stabilize to the tire wall. Meaning, when we begin removing the PlastiDip later, is can be easily taken off. Take a smaller rag and apply a small amount to the tire with the shine, then simply saturate the tire wall. We urge that you take your time with this process while attempting not to get any on the rim itself.
On a separate microfiber towel, you want to go around the wheel and clean in. We use a simply water/soap solution to get the job done, but keep in mind there are actual wheel cleaning products available for purchase. What this is going to do is perfectly remove any debris, dirt or grime on the wheel that can later keep the paint from adhering to the wheel. We want to be sure that we clean every inch of the wheel as this is the most important part of the process. Sticking to small areas of the wheel instead of wipe large areas. Allow the rim to dry as this helps the spraying process.
Before be initiate the spraying process, we encourage that you go over the wheel one last time with a clean microfiber towel so that we know the edge of the rim isn’t covered in tire shine and is dry. Now that we have the tire is prepped, the wheel is clean and dry and the routers/brakes are masked, we’re ready to start spraying. Spaying indoors is recommended due to the wind and various nature debris floating, could potentially hit the wheel. If you choose to spray indoors, try to find some type of respirator of breathing mask for safety. Now, the first four coats are used as a base for the glossifiers or metallic colors if you have those and additions.
The first tact coat is a very light one that is simply used to get a layer onto the wheel. The next two-four coats are more of a wet coating, but try not to allow it to become runny in the process. Any each of the next three coasts, focus on one area at a time until the wheel is completely covered. Keep in mind that we will be applying one coat of the base paint to the sidewall of the tire at the end of each coat so that we are able to remove it later on. One thing most people like to do is between the third and fourth coat is more the vehicle either forward or backwards so that you’re able to get coverage of any missed areas of the inside of the spokes. Remember that between each coat you want to let the wheel dry for at least 20 minutes so that the paint has a chance to settle. Once that has been completed, you are now able to apply your two-three coats of a glossifier or metallic color. Between these coats, allow 25 minutes for drying.
The breakdown is simply but can become complicated if not done delicately. First remove the plastic bag from behind the rim. Gently give it a couple of tugs in a few areas to ensure that the plastic isn’t sticking to the back of the wheel. Next, pick one section where you’ll be able to thread the bag out of the spoke doing this cautiously. A lot of times we see where individuals will pull the bag without ensuring that it’s not rubbing against the back of the wheel and it ends of removing the paint. So let’s be sure to follow the process carefully. One the bag is out, we want to now remove the layer of spray we applied to the side wall of the tire. At any location of the tire gently rub the section and you’ll begin to see the paint lifting up. The tire shine that we applied earlier allows for us to remove the coating without issues so begin lifting the the coat in one piece almost like removing tape. Be sure to take your microfiber rag along the edge of the tire to remove an excess paint that may still be on there.
Before you begin driving your vehicle again, please allow the wheel to sit for at least an additional half hour so that the paint has had the chance to fully dry. Again, at least five-six coats should be applied regardless of the color choice. Referencing our earlier mention, if you’re unhappy with the look or color choice, simply remove the coating and start again, that easy! As you may already know, there are tons of color choices to choose from so pick one and get started!
As a side note, not only can your wheels be dipped but if you’re feeling adventurous, you’re able to apply the same coating to vehicle emblems, grills and mirrors as well. Just be sure to mask off any areas that you do not want to get paint on and take the steps provided in this guide into consideration. Always remember that it’s better to get the job done right the first time so please take your time when working with your paint.