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View Full Version : DIY- Refinishing wheels the right way in your own garage



somebody5788
11-26-2009, 06:25 PM
So I've done this a few times now and I've finally really got the hang of it! It's not hard to take a bad looking rim and make it nice it just takes some time and elbow grease. And the best part is you can do it with stuff you get at Advanced Auto. I'm using the Dupli-color rim paint. It takes about 1-3 hours per rim if you don't take breaks every 10 min like me haha not including drying times. If you are wet sanding make sure you COMPLETELY dry the rim before painting.

So what you will need:

2 cans Dupli-color automotive primer
2 cans Dupli-color wheel paint
2 cans Dupli-color rim clear coat
low grit sand paper for getting through the tough spots
320 grit for a before paint finish sand
1500 grit for between paint coats

Optional:
2000 grit wet sand paper
Buffing compound
Microfiber

Here's the rim we are going to start with.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p223/somebody5788/My%20cars/A4/Refinishing%20Swings/IMG_1236.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p223/somebody5788/My%20cars/A4/Refinishing%20Swings/IMG_1237.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p223/somebody5788/My%20cars/A4/Refinishing%20Swings/IMG_1238.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p223/somebody5788/My%20cars/A4/Refinishing%20Swings/IMG_1239.jpg

Step 1: Sanding
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP! If you do this right the rest of it is a breeze! You want to probably start off with like 150-200 grit sand paper to get through any curb rash. You can use a power sander but beware of it leaving grooves. It will usually save you time and work to just do it by hand. You do not have to go through all of the paint. In spots that the paint has chipped off just make sure you sand it nice and smooth. Curbed areas will need sanded smooth. Smooth is the key! Even if you took out a little area of the rim pretty bad on a curb if you sand it till its all fairly even it will almost disappear. If you have deep knicks or gashes you can purchase a filler material.

Once you have taken care of the bad areas you want to sand down all the paint with 320 grit to rough up the paint and let the primer stick well. Also area's you worked at will need to be smoothed out and get rid of some of the obvious sanding scratches.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p223/somebody5788/My%20cars/A4/Refinishing%20Swings/IMG_1247.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p223/somebody5788/My%20cars/A4/Refinishing%20Swings/IMG_1244.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p223/somebody5788/My%20cars/A4/Refinishing%20Swings/IMG_1245.jpg

Step 2: Priming
This step is easy. Before you start priming wipe down the rim with a rag covered in some sort of cleaning solution. You want all the dust off of it and any oils off too. You don't want to put the coats on very thick just make a light even coverage. The primer dries in about 20-30 min till you can sand the rough spots out and put your 2nd coat on. I personally use the 1500 grit and just take the obvious rough spots out if you wet sand each primer coat you could get a perfect automotive finish when your done if you make sure its perfectly smooth even where you repaired the rim. I personally don't put that much work into it.

Still a little wet in the corners but not much to see
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p223/somebody5788/My%20cars/A4/Refinishing%20Swings/IMG_1248.jpg

Step 3: Paint
This step is easy too. Just take it easy and don't put it on too thick. Make sure you shake the cans well and do it about every 20 seconds of painting. A thin coat of this paint actually goes a long way. I was able to get enough down in 1 coat even with sanding and it was a very very thin coat. I still recommend 2 coats. Sand between coats with the 1500 grit because you will feel some obvious rough patches. You can also do wet sanding on this if you want an automotive quality finish.

Step 4: Clear coat
Final step your almost there! Again light coats is the important part. If you didn't get enough down you can add extra coats but its much more difficult to take it back off. I recommend 2-3 coats. Depending on how nice you want them you can wet sand with 1500 grit between each coat and on the final coat wet sand to 2000 grit and polish with rubbing compound and some micro fibers. This is not necessary as I thought it looked pretty good but this would take out any orange peel and have a perfect finish.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p223/somebody5788/My%20cars/A4/Refinishing%20Swings/IMG_1228.jpg

Congratulations your done!

viceprp
11-26-2009, 06:38 PM
Very nice. Why keep it stock color?

somebody5788
11-26-2009, 06:40 PM
Very nice. Why keep it stock color?

I thought of doing a few other colors and just decided these rims look better in silver.

I'll be adding some primer pix as well as paint pix as soon as those dry hehe.

pearlescent
11-26-2009, 06:40 PM
Very nice. Why keep it stock color?

Because silver and OEM ftw

BlkdoutS4
11-26-2009, 06:44 PM
i just refinished a set of swing wheels too... looks good!

Coopa
11-26-2009, 06:52 PM
Good right up bro
Keepin it classy I see [up]

Sandeman
11-26-2009, 07:10 PM
i agree i love the hyper silver look!

somebody5788
11-26-2009, 07:12 PM
Good right up bro
Keepin it classy I see [up]

I think it will be a very clean and good looking winter setup!

somebody5788
11-26-2009, 07:21 PM
Before and after

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p223/somebody5788/My%20cars/A4/Refinishing%20Swings/IMG_1249.jpg

NeedingAnAudi
11-26-2009, 07:24 PM
This is great, I ask somebody5788 some details about how he refinished his rims.....

And he up and writes me a whole DIY!! hahaha

somebody5788
11-26-2009, 07:27 PM
This is great, I ask somebody5788 some details about how he refinished his rims.....

And he up and writes me a whole DIY!! hahaha

Hey now don't get all full of yourself! I was already writing it haha.

biketsai
11-26-2009, 07:30 PM
One thing I right recommend is using a tac-rag to remove any extra junk or oil before you spray

somebody5788
11-26-2009, 07:33 PM
One thing I right recommend is using a tac-rag to remove any extra junk or oil before you spray

This is a good point I forgot to mention.

And added it

NeedingAnAudi
11-26-2009, 07:38 PM
Hey now don't get all full of yourself! I was already writing it haha.

haha yea I know, just thought it would be funny

viceprp
11-26-2009, 08:41 PM
I thought of doing a few other colors and just decided these rims look better in silver.

I'll be adding some primer pix as well as paint pix as soon as those dry hehe.

these your summer wheels or winter setup?

somebody5788
11-26-2009, 08:54 PM
these your summer wheels or winter setup?

My summers are these

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p223/somebody5788/My%20cars/A4/18%20Flik%20Artic/rim.jpg

I refinished them as well

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p223/somebody5788/My%20cars/A4/18%20Flik%20Artic/primed.jpg

They will most likely be for sale soon. I want to get VMR 710's

viceprp
11-26-2009, 09:28 PM
very clean, if they were still black then you might have had a buyer.

ThatA4T
11-26-2009, 09:40 PM
i think they are black... that is just with the primer on it before the black with the silver lip

ThatA4T
11-26-2009, 09:43 PM
but quick question... i have the non sport wheels and i have some major curb rash from the previous teenage girl driver [headbang] (not to judge or anything) haha but how do i go abut fixing that? i plan on sanding a shit ton but can im worried i will do too much sanding on the edge of the wheel... is there such thing as sanding too much and taking down the edge of the wheel too much? if that makes sense i can take some pictures if u would like

somebody5788
11-27-2009, 05:20 AM
but quick question... i have the non sport wheels and i have some major curb rash from the previous teenage girl driver [headbang] (not to judge or anything) haha but how do i go abut fixing that? i plan on sanding a shit ton but can im worried i will do too much sanding on the edge of the wheel... is there such thing as sanding too much and taking down the edge of the wheel too much? if that makes sense i can take some pictures if u would like

The black Flik's had some SERIOUS rash in certain spots and I believe the one in the picture was the worst one. It's usually not as bad as it looks. If it looks like your going too far though just stop. For bad road rash a power tool will make it easier but you will have to be sure you get all the tool marks out of the finish.

somebody5788
11-27-2009, 05:24 AM
very clean, if they were still black then you might have had a buyer.

I'll paint them ANY color the buyer wants! As long as he pays a decent amount for them lol. I'll make sure they are worth it. Those pictures are from the spring though they are currently black but I need to do it again I didn't do quite as well on them as the Swings. I'm not quite ready to sell them yet but I may be soon. I've got all winter to save up the difference on some VMR's and tires. Lets see 125 a piece for the VMR's and 85 a tire = 840... yikes this might be harder then I thought... I want Bilsteins, H&R race as well... that comes out to $1500 plus tax over all lol.

Lazer Viking
11-27-2009, 08:01 AM
i just wanted to throw in a few more tips

when ever you sand to bare metal use an etching primer then use high build primer if you are going to take the time and sand before color coat.

when spraying color coat on difficult wheels, spray the inside if the spokes/pattern first then the rest of the face.. if you try to get it into the tight spaces for full coverage you will probably get runs in the rest of the paint.

if you are not going to paint the inside of the barrels as well, cut a piece of card board that fits right against the back side of the face to keep over spray out of the barrel.

and as was mentioned clean everything with a wax and grease remover, or tack cloth before any kind of paint touches it.

and if you are painting with tires on
index cards are your friend
http://i984.photobucket.com/albums/ae330/topless_stang/Painted%20Rims/IMG_0045.jpg

somebody5788
11-27-2009, 08:32 AM
i think they are black... that is just with the primer on it before the black with the silver lip

I should of went primer grey and nogorro lip! LOL

ThatA4T
11-27-2009, 01:30 PM
The black Flik's had some SERIOUS rash in certain spots and I believe the one in the picture was the worst one. It's usually not as bad as it looks. If it looks like your going too far though just stop. For bad road rash a power tool will make it easier but you will have to be sure you get all the tool marks out of the finish.

Thanks man im about to attempt this soon... was thinking about getting some swings instead and then painting them but i dont wanna spend the money [headbang]

NeedingAnAudi
11-27-2009, 05:01 PM
Thanks man im about to attempt this soon... was thinking about getting some swings instead and then painting them but i dont wanna spend the money [headbang]

Ill trade you swings for your seats! haha just kidding

somebody5788
11-27-2009, 05:58 PM
I'll make piano black trim like in the RS4 and trade it for someones real CF trim hehehe

viceprp
11-27-2009, 09:12 PM
I was thinking about doing Black lip and center cap with gun metal spokes. I have a a black car so I think that would look sick.

ThatA4T
11-27-2009, 09:14 PM
imo the center cap a diff color from the spokes never looks right

witwer4444
11-28-2009, 12:33 PM
Nic we need pics of them on the car!!

EDIT: Apparently you are mounting them as I write this haha!!

somebody5788
11-28-2009, 03:25 PM
Nic we need pics of them on the car!!

EDIT: Apparently you are mounting them as I write this haha!!

Hehe meant mounting the tires onto the rims. Finished 3. Got primer done on the last one just needs paint and clear coat.

BlkdoutS4
11-28-2009, 05:07 PM
here is my set of swing wheels all refinished..

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b137/brianXtdc/007-2.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b137/brianXtdc/003-4.jpg

these are for sale if anyone is interested.

ThatA4T
11-28-2009, 05:25 PM
pm me a price i may be interested

BlkdoutS4
11-28-2009, 07:36 PM
pm me a price i may be interested

pm'd

protocol_droid
02-13-2010, 10:52 PM
bumping for an added question/detail.

so in between each coat of paint when you sand with 1000grit, do you wash off the residue with water and then let it dry or do you just blow it off or wipe with a solvent?

A4Rob
02-14-2010, 05:41 PM
bumping for an added question/detail.

so in between each coat of paint when you sand with 1000grit, do you wash off the residue with water and then let it dry or do you just blow it off or wipe with a solvent?

When I have done this, I just blew it off and wiped with solvent. Solvent is always a better cleaner than water.

protocol_droid
02-14-2010, 06:56 PM
When I have done this, I just blew it off and wiped with solvent. Solvent is always a better cleaner than water.

okay, anything in particular that people like to use. I just want to be careful with the right stuff so I don't pull off the paint with the wrong stuff on accident.

SykoraA4
02-14-2010, 07:22 PM
haha i might buy those fliks back from you, i kinda miss them! although i do love the v710s so much, ... you did a great job refinishing those swings.

CleanA4
02-14-2010, 11:37 PM
Nice write up. I could be refinishing bbs rc next month in white or gold , this will come in handy

Insomniac
02-14-2010, 11:44 PM
I wonder what the other colors look like..
Assumed you used dupli-color wheel coating.
http://www.duplicolor.com/products/colors/wheel.html

Wish they had a gold color though.

EuroDriven
02-15-2010, 05:51 AM
When I have done this, I just blew it off and wiped with solvent. Solvent is always a better cleaner than water.

Solvent works well, but a handy thing to do since it is more common is windex. Works quite well and totally eliminates skin grease as well. But if you use solvent, don't worry about doing anything to the paint/primer as you are only going over with a quick wipe.

protocol_droid
02-15-2010, 08:18 AM
Solvent works well, but a handy thing to do since it is more common is windex. Works quite well and totally eliminates skin grease as well. But if you use solvent, don't worry about doing anything to the paint/primer as you are only going over with a quick wipe.

xcellent idea. inhalation safe too.

Sandeman
02-22-2010, 07:43 AM
So what you will need:

2 cans Dupli-color automotive primer
2 cans Dupli-color wheel paint
2 cans Dupli-color rim clear coat
low grit sand paper for getting through the tough spots
320 grit for a before paint finish sand
1500 grit for between paint coats

Optional:
2000 grit wet sand paper
Buffing compound
Microfiber



quick question... is this for the whole set of just for one wheel??

BlackLock_A4
02-22-2010, 07:59 AM
Lookin Great! I'm going to have to use this DIY myself soon...

Eric

Sandeman
02-22-2010, 10:48 AM
one more question... any difference btw the Dupli-Color & Rustoleum paints by any chance??
Just figured i ask

Tifun
02-22-2010, 11:04 AM
The difference will most likely be hardeners in the paints for curing and longevity. Every can of paint will be different. One thing I want to add is cleaning the final prep before spraying Really a non film leaving solvent should be used to wipe off debris and then a tack cloth ran across to pick up dust and other fragments.

protocol_droid
02-22-2010, 11:09 AM
Just wanted everyone to know that all I did was wipe wtih some burlap in between with some windex instead of using the 1500 grit and even by the end with the wet coats, the finished product is fantastic and smooth. I did this on some s4 avus 17"ers. Pretty stoked. I did one a week ago to make sure my technique would work and then finished the other 3 this past weekend. I tried to take some hard plastic to the first one and try to scrape it after a week and it is rock solid. The duplicolor silver matched perfect the color of the center caps.

Tifun
02-22-2010, 11:20 AM
Here's a set I recently did. Barrels are satin black, Audi rings and trim ring satin black, faces and cap creme. All rattle can, which can look wonderful if properly prepped.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4007/4379221361_3dab6e2fd8.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4022/4307950124_9618751c4f.jpg

somebody5788
02-22-2010, 11:30 AM
Keith that looks fantastic! I'm going to be powder coating my other set of rims myself soon hehe.

Tifun
02-22-2010, 11:35 AM
Thanks Nic. I think those wheels are somewhere in your area now. They have already been sold. Going on a cactus green b5.

Insomniac
02-22-2010, 12:12 PM
Tifun, do you have a suggestion for deeper curbage? I can only sand so much, then what product should I consider?

Tifun
02-22-2010, 12:58 PM
I've been using Permatex Cold weld. It has been working really well for me. Haven't had any issues thus far.

I lay it on like I would filler or glaze. 3 coats usually. 1st coat to fill in big holes. 2nd coat fanned out farther to get missed spots. 3rd coat is finishing coat fanned out farther and smoothed to match wheel surface.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4061/4380236302_3c4f6a8de3.jpg

protocol_droid
02-22-2010, 01:45 PM
those looks saweeet

TH85
02-22-2010, 05:27 PM
how well do they hold up after driving on them for a bit?
looks like you did a good job.

Tifun
02-22-2010, 10:04 PM
They hold up pretty well. I like to let wheels sit for at least a week before mounting, tires or driving on them. I consider it a curing process to allow the paint to fully harden. As for the cold weld, I've yet had any come off. It's worked wonderful and even when on the tire machine it doesn't get all gummed up. Back to the paint though. Proper prep and proper curing will make all the difference in the world to not only the quality but how long it will last.
-Keith