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Wheel Refinish

submitted by: gdawga4 ( ID)


Since I already did a write up for when I refinished my Sport 17s, I'll post that write up as the steps I followed were mostly the same. The only thing I did differently this time was the painters/masking tape and clear coat. Previously, I used index cards to stick under the wheel lip which protected the tire from getting paint on it, the underside of the lip didn't come out great. With the tape method, you're able to get the lip and underside painted more thoroughly. So you can ignore the index cards in the pictures :)

Materials needed:

Simple Green
Masking/Painters tape (wider the better)
Bondo Tack Cloth
320 Grit Sandpaper
Dupli-Color Prep Wipe
Dupli-Color Filler Primer (FP102) x 2
Dupli-Color Wheel Coating (I used Graphite WP102) x 2
Dupli-Color Wheel Clear Coat (WP103) X 2

Total cost of materials is about $40. I already had simple green so that was not factored into the cost.

Step 1: Use simple green or your favorite wheel cleaner to thoroughly clean your wheels. I used simple green and a sponge. Wipe dry with clean cloth.

Step 2: Use the 320 grit sandpaper to scuff the surface. There will be a lot of white sanding dust as you scuff off the finish. No need to go overly aggressive with sanding, just enough to scuff the finish and something for the primer and paint to bite into. This step will remove light scratches, chips, etc. In these pictures, I did not paint the insides of the wheel but with my RS4s, I did. Same process to follow if you're going to do the insides.

Should look like this:


Step 3: Rinse wheels off to get rid of the sanding dust and wipe dry.

Step 4: Use the Bondo Tack Cloth to wipe down the wheel. This will remove any remaining sanding dust and other contaminants from the surface. You may want to wear gloves as the tack cloth is sticky.

Step 5: Use the Dupli-Color Prep Wipe to clean the surface of any grease, etc. This preps the surface for primer/painting.

Step 6: Use the masking/painters tape and tape up the sidewall of the tire. Use small pieces to stick under the lip of the wheel then use large pieces around the outside to tape down the remaining exposed tire area.

Step 7: Get the Dupli-Color Filler Primer and shake it up according to the directions on the can. Use LIGHT coats. Too heavy will cause running of the primer. This stuff comes out thick so easy on the trigger finger! This will fill in any imperfections like scratches, chips, etc.

I used only one coat of primer for the whole wheel. I hit deeper scratches, gouges twice to fill it in, spot treatments. Again, LIGHT coats. Give it about 10 minutes between coats (if you're doing multiple primer layers). If you have really deep gouges or curbing, use Bondo (comes in a tube). Fill in the area, wait 20 min then sand it down so that it's even with the surface of the wheel.

Should look like this after a coat of primer:


Step 8: Get the Dupli-Color Wheel Coating and shake it up according to the directions on the can. Again, I can't stress enough of using LIGHT coats. I put two coats on. The first coat may not coat the wheel like you want, that's OK. The second coat will take care of the rest and complete it. 10 minutes between coats.

Make sure to use a sweeping motion to get nice even coats!

After 2 coats, give it about 10 minutes and take care of spots that need attention. Again, LIGHT sprays. Don't hold it over that spot and spray at it. You run the risk of spraying too much and causing it to run.

Step 9: Give it a an hour after your last coat to dry. Feel the surface, it'll be a gritty feeling. Use the tack cloth and wipe down the surface again. This will remove the grittiness.

Step 10: Now, putting on a clear coat is optional. It'll give the wheel more of a gloss and shine. Take the Clear Coat can and shake it up. Again, LIGHT coats. It's almost hard to see what you're spraying onto the wheel, well, cuz it's clear =P Do it under good lighting and you'll see where you're spraying. I did 2 coats of clear and then touch up. 10 minutes in between coats.

Step 11: Stand back and take a look at your refinished wheels!



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