How To Powder Coat Rims?

The wheels can make or break your car. It contributes significantly to the overall look.

A newer vehicle with an awfully finished set of tires will only look half as good with a properly restored car with a nice set. The secret behind making your stock stand out is powder coating.

This page will teach you how to powder coat rims.

Powder coating is the perfect alternative to traditional painting while promoting a highly professional finish.

Related: How To Polish Aluminum Wheels

Preliminary Know-Hows

Preparation is a must! This operation needs a clean, dry wheel surface to attain the best possible results.

Powder coating is quite similar to conventional painting. For maximum powder adhesion, it is wise to blast the wheels to bare metal.

There are also other mechanical or chemical means to remove the finish. However, blasting is the most advisable. Blasting can leave some textures which the high-build powder coating (powder coating) will effectively fill.

There are DIY Media Blasting Kits you can buy but it is better to do it in a shop because there are more tools required apart from that.

It is impossible to powder coat your wheels if you don’t have access to the right equipment. Things will also get easier if you have tried sandblasting before.

You can actually do powder coating in your garage, only if you have the right requirement.

Here are the needed equipment and materials to do the job:

  • Powder Coating Oven
  • Powdering Coating Gun
  • Sandblasting Cabinet
  • Powder Coating
  • Your set of Wheels
  • Metal or Wire Hanger
  • Leather gloves
  • Safety Goggles
  • Respirator

Note: The wheels you will powder coat must be made of (any) metal. The wheels will undergo certain steps inside the oven. So make sure there are no plastic parts or any plastic attached to your wheels. And to avoid a major ‘catastrophe’ it is ideal to do the job one wheel at a time.

Further, you must wear safety equipment to prevent personal injuries and to be safe in all situations.

How To Powder Coat Rims

1. Wash

The first step to an effective powder coat is to wash your wheels. The ideal way to do that is by using a pressure washer.

Power washing your wheels will ensure maximum clean up – a major factor in proper powder coating. 

You also may be interested in: Best Pressure Washer

You should also sand out rim blemishes and curb-rash. It is important that you have a smooth surface to operate with.

After sanding out, power wash again for the last time. 

2. Sandblast

Auto experts would agree that sandblasting is the most vital step of the powder coating process.

The most essential part to sandblast is the face of the wheel. However it would be a big mistake if you neglect the outer edge of the rim. So basically, you should sandblast the entire wheel.

Not being able to sandblast the rim’s outer edge will leave the factory clear coat on the surface which will eventually become a noticeable imperfection.

You should also watch out for those wheels who have clear coated faces but have a silver paint for the spoke holes. A lot of people get tricked by the silver paint because it’s not easy to notice.

While you can relatively clean the clear coat quite easily, you should also take time to clear EVERY inch of the wheels and make sure no surface paint is skipped. Otherwise the powder coat will not attract to the wheel surface

You can expect better quality the more you spend time sandblasting.

3. Hang Your Rims Freely

It is smart to hang your wheel freely so you can cover the entire wheel in the process. Make sure the place is well ventilated to be more conducive.

Hanging your wheel is your chance to showcase your creativity. There are multiple ways for hanging a wheel free.

You can use a roll of steel ‘tie-down’ strap, some hardware from your local store, and a hook cut from any steel. The hook must be strong enough to support the wheel.

Regardless of how you hang your wheel, ensure you will have an easy time attaching the electrical lead to the hanger by making all parts conductive.

You can also make an attachment by sticking a bolt through the hole of the air stem.

4. Preheat

You are now one step away from finally powder coating your wheels. But before you proceed to the next step, this is the right time to preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is also advisable to ONLY use an ELECTRIC oven and refrain from using a gas oven. It is quite dangerous to cure coated objects (with a flammable powder) in a gas oven.

5. Powder Coat Rims

Now it’s time to powder coat your wheels. Once the wheel is hanging freely, utilize your powder coating gun and cover both the front and back surfaces of your wheel with the powder.

To avoid wasting the material, do not apply powder to those areas that will soon be covered with tires.

6. Curing

Once all surfaces are now covered with powder, it is now time to cure the wheel in the oven. Make sure you have preheated the oven beforehand to make this step more effective and efficient at the same time.

As for the duration of curing, you can refer to the label of your purchased powder. Usually, the powder will require you to cure the wheels for about 20 minutes more or less.

7. Cool

After the oven cured the wheel, you can now let the wheel cool in room temperature.

After cooling, you will see the best-looking state your wheels can ever be! If you have followed the instructions carefully, you will achieve a truly beautiful finish that is so satisfying to watch.

You can also disengage the hanging device and continue admiring your newly powder coated wheels!

8. Repeat

Now that you have ‘upgraded’ your first wheel in terms of looks, you can now repeat the whole process for the others.

Powder coating the rest of the wheels would be much easier because you now have an experience.

Caution:

  • The area must be well-ventilated, since the powder is flammable.
  • Clean up after operating with each wheel to get rid of excess powder.
  • There must be NO flames nearby or any flammable source that could ignite.
  • Do not use a vacuum cleaner in cleaning up the dust.

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Conclusion

A lot of car owners prefer powder coating because they believe it is way better than traditional paints.

Ultimately, you can share your knowledge on how to powder coat rims when someone asks you how you acquired such fine-looking set! 

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