In this Instructable I will show you how to give your ride a facelift by painting your rusty or chipping rims. I've done this on 3 of my cars now and I've learned that it takes a good deal of patience and prep-work. I was sick of my Subaru looking like a grocery getter, so I picked a nice gloss black to replace the flaking silver.
In this Instructable you will need:
-various grits of sandpaper
-Self Etching Primer
-"Stops Rust" paint
Step 1: Prep the Wheels
Once you're done getting rid of the flakiness you reach for the sandpaper. You should use 150 grit sandpaper to really rough-up the surface. Your goal here should be removing anything shiny or rusty. If you used the drill, make sure you smooth out any deep grooves you cut in it. I didn't do this so well so now I have some nasty cuts in my finished wheel.
After the sandpaper, get out some steel wool. I used the finest stuff, I think it's 0000. But 000 should woork too. Make sure you hit every spot on the rim, getting a nice even dullness.
Finally get rid of all the dust and debris with a rag. Then hit each wheel with a rag of mineral spirits or paint thinner. Again, make sure you get all of the wheel. Wipe it up with clean paper towels and let it dry for 5 minutes.
Now you're ready to tape!
Step 2: Tape Off the Tire
Finally, tape the valve stem. This should only be one piece of tape if you do it right. If you are using black paint it's not too big of a deal, you just don't want it gummed up with the paint.
Step 3: Apply the Primer
After the first coat, wait 20 minutes and apply a second coat of primer. You can do a third coat if you would like, but I stuck with two. After your final coat of primer let the wheels sit for 2 hours. From what I read this lets the primer fully cure and dry and will help for a lasting result.
Step 4: Paint!
Once your last coat is done, let it sit overnight, or a few hours at least if it's warm. To top it all off, give your lug nuts a good scrubbing with a wire brush. I used a Vise-Grips to hold the lug nuts in place while I got the rust off.