08 WRX Wheel Painting in MA - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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#1 Old 11-30-2010, 11:33 AM
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08 WRX Wheel Painting in MA

Im looking to paint my stock rims on my 08 wrx. anyone have any suggestions of people in MA that do powder coating and their prices? or any suggestions how to do it myself? Looking to paint em black
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#2 Old 11-30-2010, 02:49 PM
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I recently painted my stock wheels black and they turned out much better than I expected and that's saying a lot because I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my car. Here's what I did:

1. Take the wheels/tires off the car and clean them really well with soap and water and a scrub brush
2. Sand the wheels by hand with rough sandpaper
3. Sand them again by hand with less rough sandpaper
4. Remove excess dust with compressed air
5. Wipe them off with rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth
6. Mask off the tires with painter's tape
7. Hit them again with compressed air and wipe them one last time with a tack cloth
8. Spray 1-2 light coats of Duplicolor adhesion promoter
9. Spray 2-3 light coats of Duplicolor self-etching primer
10. Spray 3-4 light coats of Duplicolor wheel paint (I used black)
11. Spray 1-2 light coats of Duplicolor clear coat for wheels

I painted both the insides and outsides of the wheels and I bought 1 can of adhesion promoter, 2 cans of primer, 5 cans of color, and 2 cans of clear and I had plenty left over. Masking the tires was by far the worst part for me because it took so long and it was extremely tedious positioning the tape in the gap between the tire and wheel. My fingers also got pretty tired and sore from all the spray painting. I was a little worried when I went to have the wheels/tires balanced because I left the center caps on when I painted the wheels and the tech had to pop them off to put them on the machine, but luckily, the paint didn't chip or crack at all around the seams. I also got a little worried toward the end of the painting process when I applied the clear coat because it looked extremely milky and almost yellowish in spots, but luckily it dried completely crystal clear.

It's been over 6 months and 16,000 miles and they still look great. I noticed only a couple of small chips in the paint, but that's to be expected. I'll probably end up touching them up this spring by spraying a small puddle of paint in a dixie cup or something and dipping a Q-tip or small paint brush in it and dabbing the chipped spots to make them less noticeable up close. I'm curious to see how well the paint holds up this winter. Materials cost me around 50 bucks, if you're interested in a price range. Time wise, it took several days because I really took my time and allowed plenty of time for the paint to dry. It's definitely a learning experience, but if you take your time, they'll turn out great.

Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide to do.

John
07 WRX (Albins 5MT + Blouch 20G)
Jorge Carrillo Tuned (365 whp/340 wtq)
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#3 Old 12-01-2010, 01:06 PM
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id love to see pics of the wheels if u have any.
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#4 Old 12-02-2010, 10:12 AM
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If you can ignore my amateur photography skills and the glare everywhere, these pics should give you a pretty good idea of how Duplicolor black wheel paint looks with several coats of clear (I don't have any close-up shots at the moment, but imagine a smooth/even coat of paint with no drips or cracks anywhere). Although the Duplicolor wheel paint doesn't have any flecks of color or pearl in it like the Obsidian Black Pearl paint on the body of the car, I think the painted wheels look pretty good against the body. The paint dramatically changes the character of the wheels for a fraction of the cost of buying aftermarket wheels.
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John
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Jorge Carrillo Tuned (365 whp/340 wtq)
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#5 Old 12-02-2010, 07:43 PM
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those do look damn good. IM probably gonna go down the same road you did, i do like the look of my stock wheels and this will make them look even better, instead of paying $800 or so on new wheels. Thanks
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#6 Old 12-02-2010, 11:02 PM
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what grit did you use for the sandpaper?
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#7 Old 12-04-2010, 10:05 AM
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60 coarse and 150 fine. You really don't want to go much coarser or finer than that because you'll either end up with deep scratches that might be visible after you paint them or the surfaces will be too fine and the paint won't stick very well. I had some light curbage on the outer edge of two of the wheels and the 60 grit was enough to completely take care of that.

I also forgot, between steps 3 and 4, I hit them with a red (I think) Scotchbrite pad.

There were several clip-on wheel weights that I removed and those left some marks on the inner edges of the wheels which I was also able to sand to a smooth finish with the 60 grit. I know, nobody cares about the inner edges of the wheels, but I do I also removed all of the other stick-on wheel weights before I sanded the wheels, so I had them re-balanced with only stick-on weights after I painted them and so far, they haven't fallen off (read: stick-on wheel weights stick to painted wheels pretty well).

John
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#8 Old 12-04-2010, 10:50 AM
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one more question, step 7, this may be a dumb question but what is a tack cloth?
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