How to Refinish Aluminum Wheels? Step by Step Guide

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How to refinish the aluminum wheels? Can I do it at home, or should I bring my car to the garage? We have cheap and easy instruction for you, check it out now! 

Before coming to the main content of “how to refinish aluminum wheels,” we want to emphasize that your aluminum wheels are vulnerable. And it is a very tedious task to refinishing aluminum wheels. But you can do it by yourself and save your money.

How to Refinish Aluminum Wheels

You can refinish the aluminum wheels by yourself

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Why do You Need to Refinish the Aluminum Wheels of the Car?

So, some big reasons lead to pitted aluminum wheels, including:

Parking too close to the curb checking: if you park your car too close to the curb checking, it will lead to rubbing against the wheel.

Road debris: there are always durst, salt, debris, and other obstacles on the road that can hurt your aluminum wheel at high speed. In cold areas like northern states, people use salt to de-ice roads. And it is also the main reason that hurt the aluminum rims.

What Do You Need to Refinish the Aluminum Wheels?

To refinish the aluminum wheels, you need to prepare some helpful tools as following:

  • Sandpaper: you can use 500 grit or 200 grit, or even both of them
  • Sandblaster
  • Spraying gun
  • Wire brushes
  • Metal polish and wheel polish (your favorite color)
  • Clean rags
  • Tape and some paper (newspaper or waste paper that you don’t use anymore)
  • Gloves and masks
How to Refinish Aluminum Wheels

Always wear gloves when refinishing the aluminum wheels

How to Refinish Aluminum Wheels at Home?

So, let’s check out the explicit instruction if how to refinish the aluminum wheels.

1. Step 1: Clean the Old Rims

You should start the process by getting as much of the corruption of the side as you can. In this step, you should first use some wire brushes

You can use the wire brush to clean the whole edges by using a wire brush and steel brush, so it will make the stuff coming off. The brush will help you better when you need to clean in the corners.

2. Remove Remaining Pits and Burrs

Firstly, you should use sandpaper to remove the pits and burrs. It is essential to remove all the remaining holes and burrs. The better you do this job, the smoother your wheels will be after refinishing.

Secondly, use the sandblaster to remove every cap from the wheels.

Thirdly, you should clean the rims one more time with plain and soapy water to finish the task. You will see the real visible grime off of the wheel. And you can also use the spray-nine to get the heavy grease off.

3. Prepare for Painting

After finish cleaning, you should leave it for about three hours so it will dry. Then, you can start removing the tires from the rims so that the tires will not be dusty when applying the paint.

If you don’t want to remove the tires, you can use paper and tapes to cover it. Please remember to include the whole tires because your wheels will look horrible if the tire is not clean.

You should apply a layer of paper first, and then use the tape to position the paper. By doing this step, it will be easier for you to remove the paper after finishing it.

4. Start Refinishing

Before refinishing the wheels, you should spend time to check again to see if there is any dust on the car. It is your only chance because once you apply the pain, you can’t fix your mistake.

So, are you sure that everything is okay? If you are, you can start open the wheel polish or paint in your favorite colors, then put in in a spraying gun and start creating a new coat for your car wheel.

Don’t try to use a brush to paint the color because you can’t portion the paint equally over the whole wheel by your hands. Besides, the spraying gun can create a thin layer of paint that can cover every corner of the wheels.

5. Finishing

If you come to this step, you are finishing to refinish the aluminum wheel. What you should do next is to leave it in an airy space for at least five hours to make sure the paint is dry.

Then you can remove the tape and papers. And finally, you have new aluminum wheels!

How to Refinish Aluminum Wheels

Before and after

Notices When Refinish the Aluminum Wheels?

Always wear the gloves, masks, and goggles when refinishing the aluminum wheels. Do you know why? It is because the pits always tend to fly, the cleaning process is not easy, and the smell of paint is potent.

Don’t venture your life to wear a short-sleeve shirt or shorts. The durst will fly and stick to your skin, and it is very annoying because you will difficulty remove it.

The ideal method when refinishing the wheel is removing the tires from the rims. But if you don’t want to waste money and effort to reinstall it again, you can choose not to do this step.

It would help if you chose an open area to refinish the aluminum wheels because there will be so many durst and odors that can hurt you in the small and close garage.

When applying the paint, you should use at least three-layer of color, and give them some time to dry among each layer.

Please don’t put the wheel under the sun because although the sunlight can dry the paint faster, it also can hurt the tires.

Final Words

It is not cheap to have a car. When you take your vehicle to the garage, every small item can cost you dollars. So, when having a car, you must have some specific knowledge. Because there are always things that you can fix and repair by yourself. Just enjoy it as a weekend activity and save your money for other things.

We hope that the article on how to refinish aluminum wheels will be helpful for you. If you have any sharing and question of refinishing aluminum wheels, please leave a comment and share with us!

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