Introduction: Refinishing Rims on a Vehicle
If you have old rims on your vehicle and they have rust on them, you can extend the life of your rims easily. I did this without removing the tires from the rims.
First you have to remove your tires and rims from your vehicle. Set them aside. It is not completely necessary to remove the tires from the rims, as I did not. But if you would like to you would need to deflate the tire by hand. But realize taking the tires off you will also need to get them back on, which is not easy by hand.
Second you will notice that the center caps on this rim is plastic. They can be removed after the wheels are off the vehicle. Once the wheels are separated from the center caps I began taping them. Use regular painters tape and tape the entire sidewall on both sides of all tires right down into the wheel. So the rubber is protected from the paint. Also the center caps have a logo on the center of it that says jeep. I wanted to protect it so I taped over it as well. Also you will have to put tape on the valve stems as well.
Third I used a grinder with a wire brush attachment and basically polished the rust off of both the inside and outside of the wheel. This did take a little while, and my back hurt for a bit after, but this step is key for a good clean paint coat. Next I used automotive primer and a rustolium sprayer attachment. Both sides taking my time light coats. As you get to the last wheel you can go back to the first for the next coat. I did 3 coats on both sides. Make sure that when you coat it you get it everywhere. This will help prevent any future rusting.
Fourth is my favorite part. Coating the rims with fusion paint. This stuff sticks to everything, and I mean everything. Do light coats. I did 4 coats waiting for it to dry in between coats. After the final coat I left them be for 24 hours to cure before the next step. The fusion paint is made by krylon and can be bought at Walmart for around $5 per can. 3 cans did 4 rims back and front.
Fifth is the center caps. Do NOT prime these if they are plastic. Use light coats and do 4 coats on them waiting for them to dry in between each coat. When all 4 coats are done just set them aside to cure before the protection coat. Same as the wheels. 24 hours.
Sixth you have to clear coat protect your wheels and caps. I used an automotive clear coat enamel. Gloss. Spray light coats and you have to keep your hand moving as it can run. If it runs in this step you can not stop it. Spray from left to right and right to left. Never get to close. About 6-8 inches away. At least. It took me 3 coats on all sides of each wheel and cap before they were good enough. Once they are done again the curing phase. Yet again another 24 hour cure time.
Now you can remove the painters tape. If you placed enough tape on to cover over spray then it should come off easily. Now assemble. Put caps back on, if you have them. They place them back on your vehicle. Your done. If your tires look like mine then buy some tire shine for them. I'm headed to Walmart now to get it.