How To Paint Alloy Wheels Black – 7 Simple Steps To Follow

Authored By Automobile Engineer

The look of black alloy wheels can instantly transform the appearance of any car.

They give your vehicle a sleek, sophisticated style that makes it stand out, and they also have the added benefit of making it a lot easier to keep your car clean and tidy.

However, painting your wheels is not as simple as buying some spray paint and getting to work.

Painting steel can be tricky because you need to make sure that you won’t end up with any orange peel texture or other visible marks when the job is finished.

Black alloy wheels are made from a variety of different metals, alloys, and other components.

Different combinations will react differently to different types of paint.

I’ll provide you with seven steps to get those wheels looking their best—and most importantly —keeping them that way!

7 Steps To Painting Alloy Wheels Black
Gather Necessary Items
Check The Condition Of The Wheels
Sanding And Cleaning
Mask Off The Areas You Don’t Want To Get Painted
Mundane And Aerospace Coating
Spray The Primer
Spray Again With Black Paint

How To Paint Alloy Wheels Black – Step By Step Process


Gather Required Items

Painting your alloy wheels black is a relatively simple process that anyone can do at home. Here’s what you’ll need:

Clean rags
Sandpaper (100 grit and 400 grit)
Paint (wheel-specific paint is best)
Clear coat (optional)
Painter’s tape
Newspaper or plastic sheeting

Make Sure Your Wheels Are In Good Condition

Before you start painting your wheels you should make sure that they are in excellent condition.

Make Sure Your Wheels Are In Good Condition

If there are any cracks, or chips in the surface, you will need to repair them so that you don’t end up with unsightly marks when you paint the wheel.

If you are using a wheel cleaner, make sure that you choose the right one for your wheels.

For example, chrome wheels should be cleaned with a different product from aluminum, as they require different acids to remove the dirt.

After cleaning the wheel, make sure that it is completely dry before you start to paint it.

If you have any wheel designs that are painted on the wheel, make sure that you don’t paint over them.

If this is unavoidable, you can protect the design by spraying it with a clear lacquer.

This will make sure that the paint doesn’t bleed through to the other side and ruin the design.


Sanding And Cleaning (Wax And Grease Remover)

Sanding And Cleaning (Wax And Grease Remover)

Start off by sanding the wheel with medium-grade sandpaper.

Start at the center of the wheel and move outwards, as this will help you avoid creating any scratches or marks that might be visible in the finished paint job.

Once the wheel is sanded, clean it thoroughly with a high-pressure water jet to make sure that you have removed all of the dust.

If your wheel already has a coat of paint, you’ll need to remove the top layer before you can start applying the new color.

Use a degreaser to remove the existing paint, followed by a thorough clean with water and a mild detergent to get rid of any traces of the degreaser.

Once the wheel is clean, leave it to dry completely.


Mask Off The Areas You Don’t Want To Paint

Mask Off The Areas You Don't Want To Paint

If there are any areas on the wheel that you don’t want to get painted, such as the wheel badge, you will need to cover them.

Masking tape is great for this, but make sure that you remove it carefully after you have finished painting, so as not to rip the paint.

If there are areas that you want to paint, but that you don’t want to cover with masking tape, such as the inside of the rim, you can use painter’s tape.

This is specially designed to be removed without damaging the surrounding area.

If you have any logos on the wheel that you don’t want to be covered, you will need to mask them off with a special paint-blocking tape.


Mundane And Aerospace Coating

An important step to ensure your wheels are ready for paint is to apply an undercoat.

Mundane And Aerospace Coating

This is an essential part of painting wheels and should be applied to all surfaces that will be painted.

It is applied directly to the surface before you start painting the wheel, and seals the surface, making sure that the paint will stick to the wheel without being absorbed.

The undercoat is applied with a spray gun, and you will need to choose the right product for the type of alloy that your wheels are made from.

If your wheels are made from an aerospace alloy, then you will need to apply an additional coating to make sure that the paint will adhere properly.

It is important that you select the right product for your wheel.


Spray The Primer On The Black Rims

Once the wheel is clean and dry, and the surface is primed, you can start to paint it.

If you are painting the entire wheel, apply thin coats of paint to the wheel and then leave it for a few hours for it to dry completely.

If you are only painting a section on the wheel, such as the center cap, you should leave the paint for only 30 minutes.

Make sure that you shake the can of paint before applying it to the wheel.

This will help to mix the paint and ensure that you get a consistent finish.


Spray Again With The Black Coating

Spray The Primer On The Black Rims

Once the wheel is completely dry, and you have applied a top coat of paint, you can start to tidy up the wheel and make sure that it is completely finished.

Use an orbital sander to remove any drips of paint and create a smooth finish.

Use a wire brush to clean the wheel badge, and remove any excess paint from the inside of the wheel.

You can also use the orbital sander to buff the wheel to give it a high-gloss finish.

This will make the wheel look shiny and new again and will protect the paint against wear and tear.


Black wheels can make any car look great, but they can be tricky to keep clean.

Painting your wheels will help to protect them, and keep them looking great even when they are covered in grime.

Painting your wheels is a time-consuming process, but it is worth it for the finished result.

Make sure that you follow these steps, and choose the right paint for your wheel, and your wheels will look great for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can alloy rims be painted black?

Yes, alloy rims can be painted black. It can be done by sanding the finish off and then priming and painting the rims with special high-temperature auto paint. However, this process is quite labor-intensive and may require professional expertise. Additionally, it should be noted that when painting alloy rims black, certain care must be taken to ensure that the paint does not flake or chip too easily in extreme temperatures as well as from wear and tear due to regular use of the vehicle. Depending on your DIY capabilities and preferences, it may be best to leave painting alloy rims to professionals who have access to specialized tools and materials.
It’s important to note that any modifications made to alloy rims, including painting and polishing, can void the warranty of the rims. Therefore, it is important to check with the manufacturer of the alloy rims before attempting any modifications. If you choose to undertake this project yourself, be sure to use appropriate safety gear while working on your vehicle and follow all instructions carefully. Doing so will help ensure that the process runs smoothly and safely.

Can you paint alloy wheels yourself?

Yes, if you have the necessary equipment and materials, you can paint alloy wheels yourself. However, it is crucial to know that painting alloy wheels is a time-consuming operation that may necessitate professional assistance for the finest results. It should also be noted that any alterations done to alloy rims, including painting and polishing, may void the rims’ guarantee. As a result, before trying any alterations, verify with the maker of the alloy rims. If you opt to do this project yourself, make sure you wear proper safety equipment and follow all directions carefully. This will assist in ensuring that the procedure works smoothly and safely.

What type of paint is best for alloy wheels?

The best paint for alloy wheels is specialty high-temperature auto paint. This type of paint is designed to withstand extreme temperatures and wear, ensuring that your alloy rims remain looking their best for longer. It should also be noted that certain paints may require a primer coat before application in order to ensure an even finish and maximum adhesion. Before painting your alloy wheels, it’s important to check with the manufacturer of the rims to make sure you’re using the correct kind of paint for optimal results.

Don Sutton
Don Sutton has had a long and varied career in engineering, spanning four different countries. He began his apprenticeship in New Zealand at Paeroa Motors in 1965 before moving to the United States where he studied at Paeroa College before accepting a job as an engineer with Bendix/Kirby/TRW/Tristar. His work involved designing components for the automotive industry for over thirty years, including brake pads, power steering pumps, and fuel injectors. In 2005 Don left automotive design to pursue other interests but maintains an interest in all things related to automobiles. He is currently retired from engineering but continues to consult on issues relating to vehicle testing and manufacture when needed!