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  • Painting a rim

    Hello

    I lost one of my rims this summer, and the replacement doesn't match the colour (I have not found anyone who sells black rims).

    Has anyone here any experience painting rims? The one I have might be painted. It looks almost like steel, but I think it's a colour on it.

    I've got a 5-stage HVLP turbine spray system. Is that overkill for this project? Also I don't want to put oil-based paint into it because of amount of time I'd need to spend cleaning with solvents.

    For the process I'm thinking something like:
    1. Leave the tire on
    2. Wirebrush the whole thing
    3. Sand whatever I have the patience to reach
    4. Mask off the tire
    5. One layer of primer
    6. Sand
    7. Second layer of primer
    8. Steel wool
    9. First coat of paint
    10. Steel wool
    11. Second coat
    Am I going to have to repaint all the rims in a few years anyway no matter how hard I work on paiting this one? I've driven several cars with steel rims, and all of them looked like crap after 3-4 years. Plenty of salt on the road here. And the trailer wheels are not exempt from it, I take it out in the winter too.

    Thanks in advance.
    2021 Transcend 247BH

  • #2
    Andrew,

    I believe this is the same wheel pattern you use. 15"x6" with a 5 lug 4-1/2" bolt pattern.

    https://amazon.com/eCustomRim-Traile...s%2C136&sr=8-3

    Jim
    GDRV Forum Moderator
    GDRV SW USA Rally Support Coordinator

    Jim and Ginnie
    2017 Reflection 297RSTS

    Comment


    • #3
      Andrew, I'm not a painter but have worked around a few. I suggest you at least break the bead on the side you are painting as this will make the job much easier (plus you can pull the valve stem). If you can find a local tire shop, they should be able to pull the tire for you (nominal fee of 15 or less usually), then find a local blaster or bead blast it yourself (https://www.amazon.com/Selkie-Pressu...957278230&th=1) then paint away. If the rims are AL, be certain to use etching primer or primer specifically designed for AL work.
      Joseph
      Tow
      Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
      Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
      South of Houston Texas

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jlawles2 View Post
        Andrew, I'm not a painter but have worked around a few. I suggest you at least break the bead on the side you are painting as this will make the job much easier (plus you can pull the valve stem). If you can find a local tire shop, they should be able to pull the tire for you (nominal fee of 15 or less usually), then find a local blaster or bead blast it yourself (https://www.amazon.com/Selkie-Pressu...957278230&th=1) then paint away. If the rims are AL, be certain to use etching primer or primer specifically designed for AL work.
        I'm not a painter either, but years ago I bought a used trailer and did exactly what Joseph mentions. It's a lot of work, and I bet by the time you pay for sand blasting and good quality paint, not counting you labor, you are about in the price range of buying some nice new aluminum wheels. On the other hand, you may not want aluminum wheels, but just thought I'd mention.

        And I also agree, dismounting the tires will sure make it a lot easier.
        2020 Reflection 273MK
        2005 Dodge Ram 2500 CTD

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        • #5
          Background in painting industrial and structural steel.

          Surface preparation is of primary importance. Recommendations to sandblast rim are right on target. Any spec of rust or other contaminants left on the rim will prevent bonding and can result in a pinhole in the coating system. Light sandblast between coats will also help insure a good bond.

          Not sure what type of paint you're planning on using, if not oil based. Recommend a good epoxy or enamel. If you want to go all out on this, think about powder coating.

          Four coat system is good idea. Use different colors for the coats to make it easier to keep track of coverage.

          Since the coating on the other rims have had a chance to weather, don't expect to get a perfect color match. The new paint will likely look darker, glossier than the existing paint.
          John
          2018 Momentum 395M
          2018 Ram 3500 Dually
          Every day is a Saturday, but with no lawn to mow.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would personally avoid powder coating. The electric transfer process leaves holes in the coating. Plus powder needs heating to cure. A good painting system will work very well especially on rims. I would avoid water based systems and stick with traditional painting for the base coats. If you want the ultimate, look for a zinc rich primer (basically liquid galvanizing). Follow proper coating times and sanding between primer and top coat are not required.
            Joseph
            Tow
            Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
            Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
            South of Houston Texas

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks guys, sounds like great advice.

              Unfortunately I think you scared me

              I don't care nearly enough about this rim to be taking it to places to get stuff done to it. I'd just like for it to not look so out of place.

              Though I always wondered about getting a sandblaster to give my compressor some serious work to do for a change Can I do that in my garage while wearing a good respirator? Or is the mess going to take me forever to clean up?
              2021 Transcend 247BH

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AndrewSmith View Post
                Or is the mess going to take me forever to clean up?
                Ya, it would. I've done a bit of home blasting but did it outside.
                If you have a rim with decent paint and just want to put a different colour on it, I wouldn't strip away the original paint. Just need to scuff it, then prime, then paint. Removing the tire and stem is obviously better, but up to you if you want to. This is my opinion as a licensed electrician....lol

                2018 Dodge 3500 6.7 Cummins w Aisin and 9 cup holders
                2021 Reflection 303RLS, Haloview RD7, Strong-arms, Micro-Air364

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                • #9
                  An option to sandblasting in the garage or in the open with a respirator (depending on the medium uses, a forced fresh air respirator may be required) would be a blasting box that the rim goes inside and you stand outside of to do the blasting. Fairly common for small parts.

                  For me, the cost of setting up to sandblast at home compared to the cost of taking the rim to a paint shop would be prohibitive. Only if I was planning on doing more sandblasting and etching (might take up making gravestones) would I pursue doing this at home.

                  John
                  2018 Momentum 395M
                  2018 Ram 3500 Dually
                  Every day is a Saturday, but with no lawn to mow.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Detroit Wheel and Tire specializes in wheel refurbishing including refinishing, painting and even straightening. For those close enough to drive there it would save on shipping.

                    https://www.detroitwheelandtire.com/

                    Jim
                    2017 Imagine 2600RB
                    2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For me, the cost of setting up to sandblast at home compared to the cost of taking the rim to a paint shop would be prohibitive.
                      Hm. I own a lot of tools. While I've never actually did a proper accounting - I firmly belive that I saved tens of thousands of dollars over the years doing various work myself instead of paying professionals to do it.

                      Of course I'm not paying myself, and I rather enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when I get something challenging done. Plus noone cares about my things anywhere near as much as I do. So almost always I do a better job than I could pay someone else to do.

                      But I've been on the fence with the sandblasting: a good size cabinet would take a lot of space, I'd probably cheap out on the media, it would give me an excuse to upgrade my compressor again, and I don't know whether I'd use it more than once every few years.

                      I'm tempted though because in my experience nearly 100% of the tools I own were worth buying. Getting the means to get stuff done opens possibilities previously not considered.
                      2021 Transcend 247BH

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        you might get away with just building a quick cabinet from a few pieces of plywood, then when done, pull it apart. Guy at work built his own cabinet like that. bought the gloves that mounted into the cabinet, and then a siphon feed gun and had at it. Biggest thing he did was to get a 500 gallon or larger air tank that he could build up pressure in (had a 150 psi compressor) then the blaster would have a larger volume to draw from. i think he could run for an hour non stop and not run out of air. Most blasters work good at 60 psi or so.

                        Hardest thing to do is have the window and the air filter exhaust (simple home AC filter works well) in an enclosure. Again, if you have the tools and some spare plywood, not hard to fab up a quick cabinet. They don't even have to seal real good. If you have some spare door hinges, you could even build it so that it breaks down and stores as several flat pieces (pull door hinge pins to disassemble) so it does not take up so much room.
                        Joseph
                        Tow
                        Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                        Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
                        South of Houston Texas

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for that suggestion, I never considered it! I'm adding it to my list of things to do!
                          2021 Transcend 247BH

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AndrewSmith View Post

                            Hm. I own a lot of tools. While I've never actually did a proper accounting - I firmly belive that I saved tens of thousands of dollars over the years doing various work myself instead of paying professionals to do it.

                            Of course I'm not paying myself, and I rather enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when I get something challenging done. Plus noone cares about my things anywhere near as much as I do. So almost always I do a better job than I could pay someone else to do.

                            But I've been on the fence with the sandblasting: a good size cabinet would take a lot of space, I'd probably cheap out on the media, it would give me an excuse to upgrade my compressor again, and I don't know whether I'd use it more than once every few years.

                            I'm tempted though because in my experience nearly 100% of the tools I own were worth buying. Getting the means to get stuff done opens possibilities previously not considered.
                            A cabinet unless its sealed tightly and with a proper ventilation/reclaiming system will cloud and impair vision. I had a cheap media blasting cabinet years ago and gave it away in short order.

                            An air fed mask is ideal. At a minimum a respirator and proper clothing is needed to avoid lung damage if done outside.

                            Here is some reading on the risks of sandblasting which may be helpful.

                            https://proactivesafetyservices.com/...sand-blasting/

                            Jim
                            Last edited by MidwestCamper; 08-10-2022, 09:35 PM.
                            2017 Imagine 2600RB
                            2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

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