Can You Spray Paint Alloy Wheels – An In-depth Exploration

Kerb rash and scratches on the wheel are something that cannot be restricted. And they accommodate degraded appearances. So, what is the solution? Spray paint is a lucrative solution to this issue.

But can you spray paint alloy wheels? The answer is definitely “yes.” You can spray paint your alloy wheels by yourself or at an auto body repair shop. However, a workshop will cost you a handsome amount of money.

This brief answer is not enough in regard to the spray painting of the alloys. There is a lot more that you should know before heading to paint the alloy wheels.

Can You Spray Paint Alloy Wheels – Pros And Cons

As we already stated, you can spray paint your alloy wheels. Moreover, there are certain benefits of it too! But to give you a broader idea, we listed and will go deeper into the benefits and drawbacks of spray paint.

The table below will assist you in making a decision about whether or not you should go for it.


  • Enhance the look
  • Can accomplish at home
  • Costs less than powder coating
  • A wide variety of colors


  • Less durable
  • Inner part of the rim is tough to cover fully
  • Usually receive premature corrosion
  • Not eco-friendly

The Fundamentals of Painting Alloy Wheels

Surely, before getting some spray paint treatments for your alloy wheels, you should understand the fundamentals of them. It will help you enormously with paint selection in terms of brand, chemical, color, price, etc.

Check out the following facts.

  • Color selection matters. It should match the overall exterior
  • Alloy wheels are made of aluminum or magnesium. So, select the right product that is suitable for these metals
  • Make sure you know how many coats you have to generate. Overly doing will result in orienting runs, etc. It will degrade the look
  • If you are doing it yourself, ensure you have ample time in hand. Here, a significant amount of time is required between making two coats. You can go for the next coat only after the previous coat is fully dried
  • A professional job can cost you around $100 to $200 per wheel. Please be aware that with this much money, you can get new wheels
  • In the case of the spray paint job on the alloy wheels, you will struggle to paint the inner side of the spokes and other parts

Step-by-Step Guidelines to Spray Paint Alloy Wheels

There are two options for getting spray paintwork on your road rollers. One is doing it by yourself, and the other is giving the job to an automotive workshop.

Here, we provide two simple methods (step-by-step guidelines) to spray paintwork on the wheels at home.

Preparing the Alloy Wheels

In this first step, you must conduct some “before” painting tasks.

  • Take a lug wrench and loosen the nuts
  • Lift up the vehicle with a jack’s help
  • Stabilize your vehicle in that position with jack stands
  • Remove the nuts and pull the wheels away from the wheelbase

Here, with the four jack stands, you can take out all the wheels. If you have only one jack stand, take out only one, which will increase the time and effort requirements.

After pulling out the wheels, do the followings.

  • Separate the tiers, and it is also effective if you remove the valves
  • Now, wash the rims with soap (use foam or a spongy object)
  • Again, clean the wheels with an automotive soap (grease remover) and wax
  • Rub every corner and fold the wheels with 300-grit sandpaper
  • Repeat the process with 500-grit sandpaper to remove the stuck-on dirt, rust, etc.
  • Wash the wheels with clean water. Use a hosepipe; if you have a general one, just apply pressure to narrow the discharge end. It will produce sufficient force (for a rapid discharge of water)
  • Nicely wipe all the folds and corners of the wheels with a dry cloth
  • Mask the parts of the wheel that are not required to be painted (the rounded portion used to have contact with the tire)
  • Now, your wheels are ready for a spray paint job

Spray Painting of the Alloy Wheels

As your alloys are ready to get painted, follow the below steps.

  • Step 1: Cover your face, eyes, and any open space of the body to restrict contact with the paints
  • Step 2: It is better to use the grease remover one more time
  • Step 3: Now, prime the wheels (it is not essential, but to get a perfect finish, we recommend this). However, three coats of primer are good enough
  • Step 4: It is time to recheck the wheels for any rust or dirt left
  • Step 5: If you find any, reapply the sandpapers only to the infected areas and use prime
  • Step 6: Now, start using spray paints. You must reach the insides of the rims as well

A recommendation: use a clear coat over the spray paint. It will give protection to the paint and also add shine

Finishing Touches to the Alloy Wheels

This is the final step of the spray paint job on your vehicle’s alloy wheels. You will notice some dirt-like components on the paint.

  • Step 1: Use 2000–3000 grit sandpaper to rub those spots. Remember to use figure tips to limit the damage to the good areas around you
  • Step 2: Buff the sand-worked areas to remove sand scratches
  • Step 3: Take off the wheels’ mask
  • Step 4: Check for any sort of overspray scenario. If there are any, use lubricant and clay bars to get rid of them
  • Step 5: Finally, use a soft microfiber cloth to polish the paintwork
  • Step 6: Examine it again from a distance
  • Step 7: Fix the tires and install them on the wheelbase

It’s nice and shiny!!

We should mention that you can use sealant even if you have painted and clear-coated the wheels. It will add value in terms of the durability of the paint.

Common Mistakes You Should Avoid

According to our expert observation, many people mess up their spray paint job on wheels due to a few mistakes. This scenario is also highly familiar in case of rims painting.

With dissatisfying outcome (by own mistake), people provide negative feedback to the queries of is spray painting rims a good idea. To get a perfect outcome, you must avoid the following mistakes.

  • Not allowing enough time to dry for coatings of primer, spray paint, and clear coat
  • Not taking care of dimpling just after the first coat of primer
  • It’s been well said, “The more sugar, the sweeter.” A high-priced can of spray paint is far superior to a low-priced can. You should not expect products of the same brand and price range to perform the same way
  • Using an inappropriate cleaning solution
  • Not repairing major surface flaws before spray painting
  • People with no experience with wheel paint (spray) jobs have the misconception that the more they spray, the less it will fade. It is not true; spray paint on wheels will fade with time regardless of more coatings
  • Doing a spray paint job in very hot or cold environments (room temperature is needed for a nice outcome)

Final Thoughts

We hope this has answered all of your questions about whether can you spray paint alloy wheels. The summation is, you can do it, but you have to go through an extensive and careful working process. Also, getting a professional service would be the best if don’t have any budget issues.

We’d like to add one more important point here. If you are new to spray paint work, you should spend some time in a nearby workshop, watching how they do it.  There are also numerous videos on YouTube where you can get some practical observations about spray paintwork on alloy wheels.

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