How To Paint Car Rims In Easy Steps? Quick Guide

Authored By Automobile Engineer

Painting your car rims will not only improve the look of your vehicle, but it can also increase its value and make it more noticeable on the road.

Many people are under the impression that how to paint car rims because they think painting car rims requires lots of time and expertise, and this isn’t entirely wrong.

How to paint car rims?
You will need to gather materials such as painter’s tape, a drop cloth, sandpaper, primer, paint, and clear coat. Once you have all of your materials, start by taping off the area you will be painting.
Remove The Rims From Your Car
You will need a few things to remove your car’s rims. Start with a jack and some jack stands. For loosening the bolts on the rims, you’ll need a wrench. Place the jack stands after you have everything in place. Next, loosen the rim bolts with the wrench. Take care not to drop the rims when removing them.
Clean The Rims Thoroughly With Soap And Water
You’ll need a few supplies for rim cleaning. Warm water and mild soap are your first steps. Next, scrub the rims with a sponge or soft brush. To remove any soap residue, use a clean, dry towel.

Wet the sponge or brush with soap and water in the bucket. Make sure to scrub all the nooks and crannies of your wheels. Avoid re-depositing dirt on the rims by rinsing frequently. Use the towel to dry the rims once they’re clean.
Apply A Primer To The Rims
Primers prepare objects for other processes by applying them to their surfaces. Primers act as a barrier between metal and paint when applied to the rims of a car. As a result, the paint will not peel or chip off. 

Using a degreaser or mild soap and water solution, clean the rims of a car before applying primer. With a lint-free cloth, dry the surface completely. Use a paintbrush or roller to apply primer to the rim. Cover the entire surface of the rim starting at one corner. Prior to proceeding to the next step, allow the primer to dry as specified on the product label.
Paint The Rims With Your Desired Color
First, you need to sand the rims down. You will want to use a coarse sandpaper for this. Once the rims are sanded, you need to apply a primer.

This will help the paint to adhere to the rims. Once the primer is dry, you can start painting the rims. You will want to use a paint that is made for metal.

Once the paint is dry, you can put the rims back on the car. Make sure to tighten the lug nuts so that the rims are secure.

Painting car rims requires some skill, but the key to successfully painting car rims lies in careful preparation, the right equipment, and the right techniques.

Painting your rims is relatively simple and straightforward, but there are steps that you must take in order to ensure that your paint job lasts as long as possible and doesn’t chip or rust.

Source: YouTube

If you are worried about time then it’s clear that bigger rims of vehicles will take some extra time for painting.

Why You Should Paint Your Rims?

You may have seen colorful rims on cars driving around and wondered why someone would do that. There are a few reasons why painting your rims can be beneficial.

It can add a personal touch to your car. You can choose any color or design you want, which allows you to make your car unique.

Painted rims can protect your rims from damage. The paint acts as a barrier and can help prevent nicks and scratches.

Painted rims can improve the look of your car. A fresh coat of paint can make your car look brand new again.

How to prepare your car Wheel rim painting?

The step is to remove any dirt, grease, or brake dust from the smooth surface of the rims. You can do this with a degreaser and a stiff brush.

Once you’ve cleaned the surface, rinse the rims with water and let them dry completely.

Use sandpaper to rough up the surface of the rims. This will help the paint adhere better. Sand evenly so that your paint job will look smooth.

Which Primer is best for your car wheels?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right type of primer for your project. The most important factor is the type of paint you will be using.

If you are using water-based paint, you will need to use a water-based primer. If you are using an oil-based paint, you will need to use an oil-based primer.


Another important factor to consider is the surface you will be painting. If you are painting a metal surface, you will need to use a different type of primer than if you were painting a wooden surface.

Once you have considered all of these factors, it is time to decide which type of spray primer is best for your magnesium wheels or for another project.

There are many different types of primers on the market, so it is important to do your research before making a purchase.

If you are still unsure which type of primer is best for your project, consult with a professional painter or hardware store employee for guidance.

Tools needed to paint a car rims

  • paintbrush
  • roller
  • paint tray
  • painters tape
  • sandpaper
  • primer (optional)

Role of Paint Brush in Painting rims


The paintbrush is one of the most important tools while painting. It is responsible for creating the strokes and lines that make up the painting.

Without a paintbrush, it would be difficult to create a painting. There are many different types of paintbrushes, each with its own unique purpose.

Choosing the right paintbrush is essential to creating a successful painting.

Types of Paint Brush For Car Rims Painting

Paintbrushes come in different shapes and sizes. The type of paintbrush you’ll need will depend on the size of your rims and the amount of paint you’ll be doing.

For your automobile rim painting project, here are a few multiple kinds of paint brushes to consider:

  • Small, round paintbrush: This type of brush is good for painting small areas or for getting into tight spaces.
  • Large, flat paintbrush: This type of brush is good for painting large areas quickly.
  • Detail paintbrush: This type of brush is good for painting small details or for getting into tight spaces.
  • Sponge brush: This type of brush is good for applying a smooth, even coat of paint.

Tips to Choose Best Brush for paint car rims

When it comes to selecting the best brush for painting car rims, there may be a few aspects to consider. The type of paint you are using; the size of the brush, and the shape of the brush.

The type of paint you are using is important to consider because different types of paint will require different types of brushes.

For example, if you are using enamel paint, you will need a natural bristle brush. If you are using latex paint, you will need a synthetic bristle brush.


The size of the brush is also important to consider. You want the brush to be small enough to fit into all the nooks and crannies on your car rims.

But you also don’t want the brush to be so small that it takes forever to paint your rims.

The shape of the brush is also important. You want to choose a brush that has a pointy tip so that you can get into all the tight spaces on your car rims. But you also don’t want the brush to be too pointy or else it will be difficult to control.

So those are a few things to consider when choosing the best brush for painting car rims.

Take your time and experiment with different brushes until you find the one that works best for you. And have fun!

The importance of the roller in painting car rims  


Roller plays an important role in painting car rims. It is a tool that can help spread the paint evenly on the surface of the rim.

The roller can also help create a smooth and consistent finish.

Therefore, it is essential to use a roller when painting car rims. Otherwise, the results will not be satisfactory. Select the right type of roller for the job.

There are different types of rollers available on the market, so choose one that is specifically designed for painting car rims.

With the right tools and techniques, you can easily achieve great results when painting your car rims.

Types of Rollers For Painting Car Rims

There are two main types of rollers for painting car rims: foam, microfiber, and paint.

Foam rollers are the cheapest and easiest to find, but they don’t provide as smooth of a finish as microfiber or paint rollers.

Microfiber rollers are more expensive but worth the investment if you want a professional-looking finish.

Tips to Find the best roller for your car body

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right roller for painting a car rim. The following tips will help you choose the best roller for the job.

  • Consider the type of paint you will be using. Water-based paint is easier to work with and will not damage the rim.
  • Choose a soft roller with a small diameter. This will allow you to get into all the nooks and crannies of the rim without leaving any brush strokes.
  • The roller has good coverage. You don’t want to have to go over the same area multiple times because the paint isn’t covering it evenly.
  • Test out the roller on a piece of scrap metal before painting your car rim. This will help you get a feel for how the roller works and you are happy with the results.

Following these tips will help ensure that you choose the best roller for painting your car rim. With the right tools, the job will be much easier and produce better results.

What Makes a Paint Tray Important when Painting Rims  

A paint tray is important while painting your car rims because it helps to keep the paint from running off the edge of the rim.

It also helps to evenly distribute the paint on the rim so that you don’t have any streaks or uneven areas.

Without a paint tray, it would be very difficult to get a professional-looking finish on your car rims.

So if you’re planning on painting your car rims, try to pick up a paint tray! Trust us, it’ll make your life a lot easier.

benefits of using painter’s tape for rim painting  

While painting the rims of your car, painter’s tape can be used in order to achieve clean and sharp lines.

By taping off the area around the rim that you do not want to paint, you can avoid making a mess and ensure that your paint job looks professional.


Painter’s tape can also be used to protect the rest of your car from paint drips or overspray.

Using painter’s tape is an important part of painting the rims of your car and should not be overlooked!

If you’re looking for an easy way to upgrade the look of your car, painting the rims is an option.

And with the help of painter’s tape, it’s easy to achieve clean, sharp lines. So if you’re planning on painting your car’s rims, Use painter’s tape to get the best results!

What is the best method for removing old paint from rims?  

There are a few ways to go about removing old paint from your rims. You can sand them down, use a chemical stripper, or heat the paint with a blow torch.

Sanding is the most common way to remove old paint from your rims. You’ll need to use high-grit sandpaper and sand the paint off in small circular motions.

This will take some time and elbow grease, but it’s worth it if you don’t want to damage your rims.

Source: YouTube

If you want to remove the paint quickly, you can use a chemical stripper. Follow the instructions on the stripper carefully, as you don’t want to damage your rims.

Heating the paint with a blow torch is another option, but it’s not recommended unless you’re experienced with this method.

It’s easy to damage your rims if you heat them for too long or get the temperature too high. But if you’re careful, this can be a quick way to remove old paint from your rims.

Whichever method you choose, take your time and be careful not to damage your rims.

With a little patience and elbow grease, you can remove old paint from your rims and have them look like new again.

How is sandpapering done in the process of painting car rims?  

The sandpaper process is when you use a piece of sandpaper to remove the paint from your car rims. This is usually done to prepare the surface for painting or to make it easier to remove the paint later on.

Sandpaper can be bought at any hardware store and comes in a variety of grits (coarseness). The higher the number, the finer the grit. For this project, you’ll want to use medium-grit sandpaper.

Sanding your car rims is a fairly simple process, you will, require a few items.

if you’re working in a ventilated area. Wear gloves and a dust mask to protect yourself from the particles.

And, work slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the surface.

Once you’ve sanded your car rims, you’re ready to paint! Just choose a paint that is compatible with the type of surface you’re working with.

How to choose the right paint for your car rims    

Do you want to paint your rims or do you wish to replace your entire set of rims? If so, you should know how to choose the best rims for your vehicle?  

When it comes to selecting the right paint for your car rims, there are also some points to consider.

This is the type of metal that your rims are made out of. If they’re made out of aluminum, then you’ll want to use a paint that’s specifically designed for that metal.

Source: YouTube

The thing you need to consider is the color of your car. You’ll want to choose a paint color that compliments the overall look of your vehicle.

And, you need to decide if you want a glossy or matte finish. A glossy finish will make your car’s rims really stand out, but it can be difficult to keep clean.

A matte finish is much more low-maintenance, but it won’t give your car the same “wow” factor.

Once you’ve taken all of these things into consideration, you’ll be able to choose the best paint for your car rims.

How to mask your wheel while paint rims  

When you are choosing paint rims on your car, it is important to mask the wheel. This will help you avoid getting paint on the tire or on the brake caliper. You can use painter’s tape or duct tape to mask the wheel.

Try to clean the surface of the wheel before you apply the tape. Otherwise, the paint may not adhere properly.

Once you have applied the tape, you can then begin painting your rims. When you are finished, simply remove the tape and enjoy your new paint job!

Steps on How to paint car rims

how to paint car rims

Remove your wheels and tires from your car. This will make painting much easier and will prevent you from getting paint on your tires.

Suppose you wish to paint your vehicle’s rims after the wheels have been removed. Would you then need to know how to change the rims on the vehicle?  

Clean your rims with rubbing alcohol and a rag. This will remove any dirt or oil that could prevent the paint from adhering properly.

If your rims are particularly dirty, you may want to sand them lightly before cleaning.

Now that your rims are clean and prepped, it’s time to start painting. Begin by taping off the area around each rim.

You don’t want paint getting on your car’s finish, so tape carefully. Once the area is taped off, cover it with newspaper or a drop cloth.

Now you’re ready to start spraying. Use even, sweeping motions and hold the can about six inches away from the surface of the rim.

If you are not satisfied with spray paint your car wheels then you can use a wire brush process for painted rims on a clear coat finish.

Apply several light coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry for about 20 minutes before applying.

After you’ve applied several coats, allow the paint to dry completely (overnight if possible) before reinstalling your wheels and tires.

Tips to Paint Rims On Car body

One of the easiest ways to change the look of your car is to paint the rims. You can go for a different color or even chrome if you want to really stand out.

Here are some suggestions for painting your car’s rims:

  • Start by sanding down the existing paint on the rim. This will help the new paint adhere better.
  • Apply a layer of primer. This will also help the new paint stick better and last longer.
  • Once the primer is dry, you can start painting! For best results, use multiple thin coats.

If you follow these steps, you’ll have great-looking painted car rims in no time!


These are just some suggestions on how to choose and paint your car rims. With a little time and effort, you can really change the look of your car.

So, you might be surprised at how easy it is, and how great your car looks when you’re finished.

Frequently Asked Queries

What type of paint is used on car rims?

Spray paint designed specifically for automobile wheels is required. You will need a clear coat finish. It is important to consider the material of the wheel. For steel, aluminum, and magnesium wheels, pick the appropriate paint.

Do you have to sand wheels before painting?

Sand it all down with a strong abrasive in order to remove rust, old paint, and stuck-on metal. Your starter does not require any special material. After sand-sanding the wheel with 300 grit sandpaper, it must be sanded with 500 grit sandpaper.

What should I clean rims with before painting?

We prefer AutoSmart Red 7 or TW 39 Degreaser over the many wheel cleaners available on the market. The grease and brake dust will be effectively removed if you use either of these products to clean your wheels.  

Can you paint rims yourself?

It’s simple and inexpensive to modify your rims as often as you like with peelable spray paint. In a few easy steps, here’s how we painted our rims.
Before you begin, thoroughly clean your rims with soap and water, then rinse and dry fully. This guarantees that your paint is uniformly applied and removed.

What kind of paint do you use to paint rims?

RUST-OLEUM Auto Elevated Wheel Spray Paint is the best overall. The the wheel paint from Rust-Oleum is one of those brands that has been around since the invention of paint.

Do you have to sand rims before painting them?

Sanding rims before painting them is not a mandatory thing to do, but it can help. Lots of people think that a ‘sanded rim’ will help them get a deeper paint color, but this is not true.
Sanding after the primer is applied will help the base coat or color to adhere better to the wheel. The same thing applies when painting the wheel. The texture of the wheel will be smoother and glossier. The effect is more noticeable on a darker color wheel.

How well do painted wheels hold up?

Painted rims don’t last nearly as long as powder-coated rims. if you want to save money, take them, sand them, mask them, and spray them with a spray bomb. They’ll look wonderful but won’t last as long, but who cares? You can spray them again in a year or so easily (and cheaply).

Can you spray paint rims while on a car?

It is vital to remove your rims from your vehicle and prepare them for fresh use before painting them. If you spray them as they are, the results will be terrible, and you’ll almost certainly rd, but the result will be dreadful, and you’ll almost certainly get overspray on your car’s paint.

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!