Bored with the color of your wheels? Paint them up!
Not sure which paint to use? We have all the answers here at Pro Paint Corner!
Looking for a new look?
Read further to learn about the best spray paint for wheels and rims.
In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you will learn:
- Which spray paint products are the best options for painting wheels and rims
- Which types of paint to use for which types of wheel
- How to paint rims like a boss
And much more!
Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use the best wheel paint for your next painting project!
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Performix Plasti Dip
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DupliColor High-Performance Wheel Coating Gloss Black
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Updated On May 6, 2022
Our favorite pick is Plastikote because it provides a heavy-duty, permanent, and attractive matte-black solution for your wheels/rims.
Basically any truck bed liner would look cool on not only your rims, but also on body panels and anything metal that will take the paint.
Plastikote may not give your wheels a super glossy look, so if you are looking for shine then you are going to want to go with something like Duplicolor, VHP, Rust-Oleum.
Heck, there are other truck bed liner products that would also work awesome for your wheels; if it has good Amazon ratings, then go for it!
Top 6 Best Spray Paints For Wheels & Rims
In a hurry? Check out our top six paint brush cleaners! Keep reading to discover more about our top picks.
What Is Spray Paint For Wheels And Rims?
Some car owners decide to paint the wheels, either to change the color or to protect the wheel from scratching.
Painting your wheels is a project that you can do yourself, but you'll want to remove them from the vehicle before doing so to avoid overspray onto your expensive car.
Safety Note: When removing the wheels, you'll want to park your vehicle on a flat surface, chock the wheels, and remove and paint each wheel one by one.
A jack stand is always the best bet to avoid serious injury. Eye protection and nitrile gloves are also a wise idea when painting.
Read The Label
The products listed below all have their differences; be sure to read the label for recommendations on how to properly apply and care for each specific product.
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What Are The Different Types of Spray Paint For Wheels And Rims?
Oil-based/Enamel Metal-Specific Paint
There are spray paints that are made especially for applying to metal that works great for painting wheels. Rust-Oleum is a great example of a metal-specific paint that will work great for your wheel painting needs.
It's important to choose a paint that is specifically designed for metal when painting your rims.
Rubber coatings like this Plasti Dip wheel kit are another option for changing the color of your wheels and giving them an extra flare.
Plastidip can look good, but you must be careful not to strip off the rubber coating with the pressure washer when cleaning your car.
Epoxy/Textured Coatings/Truck Bed Coating
You might consider putting a textured coating like Rhino Liner on your wheels to give them a textured look. Rhino Liner is like a spray epoxy for your wheels, truck bed, or really any part of the vehicle to give it some added protection from the weather.
And hey, just because the product says that it is a truck bed coating shouldn't stop you from trying it on your wheels!
Products like VHT SP187 offer a strong polyurethane coating for your wheels.
Polyurethane is a good choice because it can have a higher gloss level, it looks beautiful and it also withstands the weather.
Sprayable Vinyl Wrap
Products like SuperWrap are a vinyl solution for painting the shoes on your whip.
The advantage to vinyl sprays is that you can peel them off easily after a period of time. No, they aren't technically a permanent/heavy-duty solution when painting.
There are various kits sold with virtually everything you will need to add a coating to your wheels/rims. Purchase kits like the Performix Plasti Dip Rim Kit for everything you need to get going.
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How Does Spray Paint For Wheels And Rims Work?
Painting rims is a definitely DIY-er and you are going to love the way your rims look after they have a fresh new coat of paint. Besides, the stock look is boring! Spice it up a bit with some paint.
Sure, you could use basically any type of automotive paint for your wheels.. why not? But there are paints that are made specifically for your wheels, and they usually come in a can gun, so you won't need to worry about chasing down an automotive paint sprayer and air compressor. It's easier than that!
We recommend that you just use a spray paint can. You can do it!
Want An Exact Match?
There are websites that will tell you the exact paint that was used previously on your wheels. All you have to do is enter in the vehicle's information, and--boom!-- there is your OEM paint.
Most cars also have a color code that is 3-6 digits long somewhere inside the door that might help you identify the OEM paint easier.
8 Steps For Painting Rims
*Click on the step below to jump ahead!*
- Clean The Wheel And Identify Metal Type
- Sand/Inspect The Wheel
- Mask The Tire
- First Coat (Prime Coat)
- Second Coat
- Third and Fourth Coats (Top Coat - If Necessary)
- All Done!
#1 - Clean The Wheel And Identify Metal Type
First? The base coat. you will want to get the wheels super clean before painting. The cleaning part is actually the most time-intensive part(prep work always is when painting).
First, apply a wheel cleaner or fallout remover and let it sit for a minute or two. Spray it off with a pressure washer. Rubbing alcohol is another alternative that could also work.
You also have to identify which metal type your wheels are. Wheels can be made from steel, aluminum alloy, and even chrome. After you know what your wheels are made out of you can more easily narrow down the choice of what kind of paint to use.
For Chrome: Plasti dip is a fast and easy solution for chrome. If we are being honest, chrome wheels aren't the best because they corrode relatively quickly causing the tires to lose their seal and deflate quicker.
For Steel: Heavy steel rims? Try a truckbed coating style like Plastikote to give it a military-type grade of quality.
For Alloys: Alloys are a great metal for wheels. If you want a good high-gloss/semi-gloss look for an alloy, we recommend something like Rustoleum, VHT, or Duplicolor.
#2 - Sand/Inspect The Wheel
Next, you will want to rough up the wheel with some sandpaper. Start with a 220 grit piece of sandpaper to get rid of all the large blemishes and then finish off with a 400 grit sandpaper square to help make the surface of the wheel.
Sanding is an essential step in the painting process, so don't forget!
You should also inspect the wheel for damage at this point; look for cracks, dents, the damage that you might need to take to a professional/replace before painting. If it just looks like scratches, just sand it sufficiently and proceed!
#3 - Rinse
Rinse off the wheel with water from the hose or pressure washer to be sure that you aren't painting over loose dust.
#4 - Mask The Tire
Ideally, you won't want to get paint on the tires. You can use masking tape inside where the tire meets the wheels.
You may want to use index cards, paper, or cardboard stuck to the tape to cover up the wheel in its entirety. A paint masker is also a very handy tool to use when prepping paint jobs.
If the tires haven't been mounted yet that is the perfect time to apply the paint to the wheels because you won't have to worry about covering them up! And don't forget to cover up the valve stem!
#5 - First Coat (Prime Coat)
After you have the wheels sanded and clean and the tires covered up you are ready to paint.
The first layer should be a light layer to bond the paint with the metal; you don't want to apply a lot of paint for the first layer.
You can start by spraying any large crevices first, and then paint the more exposed parts of the wheel.
Note: If the paint product you choose recommends a prime coat first, be sure to add primer.
#6 - Second Coat
After the first coat has dried, you will want to apply a second coat with a generous amount of paint to cover up all surfaces. Let the second coat dry, and then decide whether or not it is necessary to add another coat.
#7 - Third and Fourth Coats (Top Coat - If Necessary)
If you want to apply a third and fourth coat, feel free to do so! Just remember that if you apply too much paint it will be thicker and might flake off easier when you go to wash it with a pressure washer.
Avoid flaking by applying thin finish coats.
#8 - All Done!
Your wheels are now styling with a fresh paint job! Oh, and remember to keep the leftover spray paint just in case you need to do touch up in the future.
Be Safe. Torque down the wheels to spec when re-installing. This is also a great opportunity to rotate the tires and check the air pressure in the tires.
You might also want to take the wheels into the mechanic shop for a quick balancing before reinstalling - you might be surprised to feel the increased performance of perfectly spinning wheels at the same time as painting them to perfection!
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What To Look For In The Best Spray Paint For Wheels And Rims?
The best spray paint for your wheels and rims is going to be the one that has the hardest drying finish.
Think about it; your wheels are coming in contact with rocks, weather conditions, pressure washers, etc and you don't want to apply a paint that will easily come off.
You also must consider your color options; the most available wheel-specific paints will be in basic colors like black and white, but surely you can paint your wheels any color you like.
Do factors like wheel size matter?
Only when purchasing in quantity. If you are painting an industrial set of wheels you probably aren't going to want to purchase the most expensive product, and if you do you will want to purchase in bulk so that you totally cover the surface -because nothing is more annoying than having to order more paint!
How Many Cans Will You Need?
You will probably want at least two cans of paint when painting your wheels to make sure you don't run out. One or more products listed below come in multipacks just for this reason.
Our Reviews Of The Best Spray Paint For Wheels & Rims
Pick #1: Plastikote
Plastikote also makes a protective coating that is made especially for wheels, however, it isn't currently listed on Amazon at the moment.
Plastikote will give your wheels a matte finish that you aren't going to regret spraying onto even the best automobiles.
Pick #2: Rust-Oleum
Rust-Oleum is a good option for your wheel paint job, and you won't be overpaying for their product.
This is an oil-based paint that covers up to 8 square feet of area per can, and it only takes 10 minutes to dry.
We like Rust-Oleum because it can be found easily at your local hardware, auto parts, or home improvement store.
Rust-Oleum also works great for painting other parts like grilles, trim pieces, and more!
This brand also has a truck bed lining that wouldn't be a bad idea to try on your wheels also!
Pick #3: VHT SP187
Here is a high-performance wheel paint choice for a glossy wheel finish that won't let you down when the storms and dirt come.
Why is VHT SP187 so good? Maybe because it is a polyurethane paint that withstands the beating of high heat, chemicals, etc so that your vehicle's wheels are always looking flashy.
So, if you are looking for a gloss finish and a high-quality look that will last, spend a couple of extra bucks on VHT SP187 to get the job done right.
VHT also makes a red paint can that is made especially for painting brake calipers. Made specifically for steel and aluminum rims.
Pick #4: Performix Plasti Dip
Plasti Dip is a classic cover-up for ugly rims.
If you have cheap chrome rims and want to give them a flat black or even a different color without spending too much, then this is the right product for you.
We recommend this product for a quick cosmetic fix. It's cheap, it's effective, and it's low risk.
Just be careful not to pressure wash this product with excessive force, as it is easily removable. Purchase Performix Plasti Dip, and try it on objects other than just your rims.
Purchase a can, multiple cans, or even the Performix Plasti Dip Rim Kit.
DupliColor is another solid option that is similar to Rust-Oleum but with a higher price and also a higher quality.
If you are looking for a durable finish that is specifically designed to for resisting the elements when applied to your wheels, then this DupliColor paint is a great choice for your next project.
DupliColor will add a professional look to your wheels that products like Plasti Dip can't compare to.
Spend the extra cash for some added quality.
Try DupliColor Shadow Chrome Black for an excellent wheel finish.
Pick #6: SuperWrap
Here is another Amazon advertised product that will do the job when painting the wheels or other parts like mirrors, calipers, emblems, grilles - you name it - if it's metal you can paint it with SuperWrap.
And one of the cool parts about SuperWrap is that if you don't like it you can simply peel it off.
It's easy to use, and it's also easy to remove, so you don't have to worry about overspray.
Said to last for up to 2 years, here is a great solution for covering up ugly wheels with a coat of vinyl.
This is a great and probably even better alternative to Plasti Dip, but it's also more expensive.
Be careful when washing your car with a power washer!
Our Top Pick: Plastikote
Plastikote is our favorite because it will stick to your wheels the hardest, and last the longest.
Sure, the listed product on our page isn't technically a rim paint specific.
Yes, Plastikote does make a wheel specific paint that isn't listed on Amazon, however, we highly recommend you try this truck bed coating on your wheels because it will turn out amazing and lasts for a long time if applied correctly.
Try out Plastikote truck bed liner on body/door panels, the truck bed itself, metal flooring, and more for a strong finish that will serve you for the years to come.
Check out the lowest price now on Amazon!
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Final Thoughts On The Best Spray Paint For Wheels And Rims
So you've painted your wheels, and it looks great! Now you just have to take care of them.
This includes washing your vehicle regularly and reading the label of your product choice to avoid applying wheel cleaners that could damage the paint job.
Want To Remove The Paint?
Automotive shops generally use acetone for removing paint from wheels as it is super effective, but you could also use paint thinner for oil-based paints.
For heavy-duty steel wheels, you might consider an electric sander to help you get a smooth finish fast.
FAQS: Hit Us With All Of Your Paint Problems!
We have all the answers to your questions here at Pro Paint Corner! We've given you some great recommendations and advice on how to paint your wheels, so get out there and have at it! Enjoy!