How to Paint Really Beat Up Aluminum Rims




My 1997 Jeep Cherokee has these really beat up aluminum rims that look dreadful!
After driving around for a year I finally decided to do something about it.
I don't have money to waste on new rims and after seeing what others have done with theirs, I figured I'd give it a try.

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Step 1: Step 1

I bought a rust / paint removing scrub brush for my drill. Costs only $3. Make sure to wear safety glasses when cleaning your rims.
I decided to clean / paint them on the vehicle but you can remove yours if you like.

Step 2: Step 2

Start cleaning the clear coat off the rims. They use salt on our city streets where I live which is hard on aluminum rims. These are 17 year old rims and really show their age. Take your time and remove all the clear coat. I had to use my dremel to reach the tight spots.

Step 3: Step 3

Cover your tire with newspaper and tape to help protect from over spray. My tires are really worn out so I wasn't too concerned about a little paint.

Step 4: Step 4

Apply thin coats of your chosen paint. I used flat black for mine.
They look 1000% better if I do say so myself.

Any questions, feel free to ask.

Step 5: Step 5

After the paint has dried I decided to paint a blue stripe around the outer edge of the rims. I used a small crafts paint brush and the paint is called safety blue. It really pops when you look at them now.

Will be adding a clear coat soon for added protection.

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    6 Discussions

    Nicky OvidiuB

    1 year ago

    have you applied any primer before the paint and some clear gloss afterwards? I wonder if that would help to maintain the colour..Nice work!


    4 years ago

    a wire wheel would be safer and easier to use to clean but yeah they where to far gone for chem cleaners unless you dipped them in clr lol i miss my jeep now lol also now you can use plastidip on them people think its just a paint but its actually a removable bedliner we use it on jeeps so when so many scraps and scatches happen we just peel it off and its like new


    4 years ago

    Sweet looks great. Did the same on my 01 sierra but I used some bed liner on my wheels.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    I never thought to try a spray on chemical. I figured my rims were too far gone.