If you want to stand out from the crowd, a good set of rims on your vehicle is what you need. Over time, rims can suffer dents, corrosion, peeling and flaking, but you can bring them back to life and re-establish that bold and shiny new look by having them repainted. Getting your rims repainted is a lot cheaper than buying new ones. If you are wondering how much does it cost to paint rims, then keep reading for everything you need to know.
Painting Your Rims – How Much Does it Cost to Paint Rims?
It will cost approximately $130 or more per wheel to have your rims painted. You should also take into consideration that some professionals will charge per square foot. Here is an idea of how the cost is calculated using this method:
- There are 1.3963 square feet in a 16 inch tire
- Four tires will have 5.5853 square feet
- At $107.43 per square foot, you can expect to pay $600 in total
If the wheels are damaged, you may be covered under your insurance or dealership warranty for it. Depending on the standard you are looking for, you will also need to factor in costs such as truck bed liner, which will add an extra $54 to the price. If you want to have your rims powder coated, that could take the total price up to $1000. The bottom line is that the price will depend on what you want done, and the company you use. Nevertheless, don’t go with the first quote you receive, shop around and see what other experts are offering.
DIY Tips For Painting Rims
If you’re on a tight budget and are tired of looking at scuffed rims, with a bit of effort, you can paint them yourself. But before you start the job, you’ll need to think about the pros and cons.
The Pros: There are two main reasons why you might want to consider painting your rims yourself. First, it will save you some money, because depending on the equipment you use, it can be a lot cheaper to do it yourself than to hire a professional. It will cost you between $30 to $100 to do it yourself. The price will depend on the quality of the materials you use. Second, you can ensure it’s done to the standard you want, no matter how long it takes.
The Cons: Even though it’s cheaper, painting your own rims is not an easy process, and the main problem people encounter is rebalancing the wheels after they’ve been removed. This is a major issue, because if the wheels are not balanced properly, you could have an accident. So you might need to factor in an extra $50 to get your wheels rebalanced after you’ve painted them. Another concern is the length of time it will take you; painting rims comes second nature to a professional, but the job is very labor intensive, and it will probably take you twice as long to do it yourself.
If you’ve got the time to spare, that’s fine. In general though, you can expect to spend no less than four hours painting your rims. Finally, an expert will get the perfect color match by using a SMART technique. Since you don’t have access to such tools, your only option will be to use color codes or your own visual judgement. In which case, you may end up with mismatched rims.
Step 1: Tools you will need
The three most common methods to paint your rims are by using: Primer coat, basecoat, and clear coat, rhinoliner spray, or plastidip. You will need between 4-6 cans of paint to get the job done. You will need several items to paint your rims, these include the following:
- Wheel cleaner, degreaser or soap
- Paint thinner, mineral spirits, or rubbing alcohol
- Clear coat
- Metal spray paint
- Self-etching primer
- Index cards, newspaper, or plastic to cover the tire
- Painters tape
- Steel wool
- Different grits of sandpaper
- A wire brush
Step 2: Painting location
This is important, the most convenient location to paint your rims is in a workshop or a garage with an open door that’s free from dust. The main reason why it’s best to paint your rims inside is to prevent things from sticking to them. The breeze can cause tiny items to attach to the paint, giving your rims an unkempt look. However, if you don’t have access to a garage or a workshop, paint your rims when the pollen count is low and there is very little breeze. Whether you do the job inside or outside, be sure to keep the area free from overspray.
Step 3: Take the rims off
The last thing you want is spray paint on your vehicle! You will also get runs, drips and bad coverage if you try to paint the rims while they’re still attached to the vehicle. So remove the rims before you get started.
Step 4: Clean the wheels
To get the best finish, you’ll need to prep your rims before painting them, and the first step is cleaning them. Spray the rims with the cleaning product you intend on using, making sure to get in between the spokes. Wash the rims with rags, rinse them with water, and then wipe them dry.
Step 5: Remove rust and paint chips
To get a smooth surface when you prime, you’ll need to remove the rust and any paint chips. You can do this with a wire brush, and you should make sure it’s done properly. You will then need to sand the wheels, start with the 300 grit, and go over it again with the 500 grit. Finally, go over them with the steel wool until it’s completely smooth. Wash the wheels again and dry them, and then wipe them down with alcohol or one of the other products mentioned in the list. Check the rims over properly, they should be smooth to touch. If there are any blemishes, start again, and keep going over the rims until they are completely smooth.
Step 6: Over spray protection
Before priming your rims, you’ll need to protect your stem and valve from overspray. You can do this with a stack of index cards, plastic, or newspaper, and painters tape. The easiest method is with index cards, position them between the rim and the tire, making sure they’re under the rim. Cover the entire wheel by overlapping the cards. Although this is the easiest method, it’s not the best; using newspaper or plastic is most effective.
You can do this by sticking the paint to the edge of the tire, get it between the rim and the tire. Stick the plastic or the newspaper over the tire. Prevent the paint from clogging the stem by covering the valve stem with the painters tape. Place the wheel on a bed of newspapers, drop cloth, or a tarp to protect the area underneath and around the wheel from overspray.
Step 7: Prime
Now that you’ve prepped the rims properly, the next step is to prime the rims. Priming makes sure the paint bonds to the rims. Self-etching primer works best, it prevents rust as well as provides a smooth finish. Leave each coat to dry before applying the next.
Step 8: Paint
Apply the paint to the rims by holding the can away from the rims, spraying in a back and forth motion. Let each coat dry properly before applying the next.
Step 9: Layer with the top coat
Spray a top coat over the paint, one or two layers will do. If you are spraying two layers, make sure the first one dries before applying the next.
Step 10:Take off the overspray protection and reattach the wheels
It’s best to leave the wheels to dry overnight. Then, take off everything used as overspray protection, and reattach the wheels to your vehicle.
How to Find the Best Company to Paint Your Rims
Unfortunately, we live in a world full of dishonest people who are willing to do anything to make a quick buck except work. There are a lot of charlatans out there who claim to be professionals, but are far from it. So, you’ll need to do some research before handing over your hard earned cash. Here are some tips to find the best company to paint your rims:
Don’t Use Mobile Painters: A mobile painter is someone who will come to you and do the work on your premises. While it may seem convenient, it can also end up costing you more money than you’d planned on spending, and here’s why. Sometimes, they are either not qualified, or they’ve just become qualified and the standard of work is not the best. In such instances where you are not happy with the job, the mobile mechanic may not have a business location and they are self-employed. So unless they are willing to own up to their blunder, there is a limited chance of you getting a refund.
Get a Referral: One of the safest ways to find a company to paint your rims is by getting a referral from a friend or a family member. If you know anyone who has had their rims painted, and you were happy with the result, go through them instead of searching for a company yourself.
Compare Prices and Reviews: It will cost around $130 per wheel to get your rims painted. However, to find out the answer to how much does it cost to paint rims, compare prices with other companies to make sure you are getting the best deal. Obviously, you want to pay the least amount of money possible, but you also want to make sure the job gets done to a high standard, which is why you need to check out their reviews.
Ignore reviews on a company website, because those are easy to fake. Instead, go to independent review sites such as Trust Pilot to see what other people are saying about their services. You should also bear in mind that when it comes to reviews, the majority rules. In other words, if the majority of reviews are good, put the company on the short list. But if the majority of reviews are bad, eliminate them.
Tips to Preserve Your Rims
Here are a few tips to keep your rims looking shiny and new for as long as possible after you’ve had them repainted:
- Regular Cleaning: This sounds like a no brainer, but some people can go weeks without washing their car. Road grime and brake dust are the main culprits for rim breakdown. Wash your car once a week, and use a specialised cleaning solution for your wheels.
- Protective Solution: A protective solution will give your wheels that shiny new look.
- Wheel Coating/Metal Sealant: This will protect the metal against grime and dirt.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about painting your rims:
Is it expensive to paint rims?
To get rims professionally painted will cost you approximately $130 per wheel. However, the price will depend on several factors, such as the company chosen, the size of the rims, and the amount of work required.
Should I paint my rims or buy new ones?
Buying new rims will cost you more than getting them painted, but new rims will last longer. Therefore, the answer to this question depends on your budget.
How much does it cost to get rims dipped?
It costs between $100 to $200 per wheel.
Why is Plasti Dip illegal?
Because it contains ingredients such as volatile organic compounds that experts have proven to be toxic.
Do painted rims last?
Whether your painted rims last will depend on who paints them. If the person is an expert, and the right paint is used, depending on how you treat your vehicle, you won’t need to get them repainted.
To conclude, how much does it cost to paint rims will depend on whether you do it yourself, or you hire a professional. Unless you have expertise in this area, it’s advised that you seek out a specialist to do the job for you. But remember, before handing over any money, make sure you’ve done your research to find the best trustworthy company for your budget and requirements.