Step 4: Tackling rusty rims
The rims on this project bike were in terrible shape. The front wheel was entirely coated in rust, including every spoke. Fortunately, however, this was just surface rust and pitting -- the integrity of the rims was still sound.
I started with 120 grit paper and worked my way down to 220 grit on the rims and the spokes. All-in-all I spent 7 hours sanding the front wheel and 3 hours sanding the rear wheel.
Before sanding the rims, I tried every rust-removing chemical I coudl find (including using cola!). Unfortunately, the rust was just too profound for chemical removal, so I had to do it the hard way.
Once all the rust was removed, I sprayed each wheel with primer, then the hammered finish enamel.