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Old 02-18-2019, 12:12 PM   #1
Orange Crate
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Steel Wheel Paint

I had my steel wheels powder coated and that didn't work out too well (1st pic notice the bubbles in the gap) then I took the wheels to a body shop to get painted. They told me to have the center (inside when the tire is on) painted first, then put the tires on but don't set the bead, then they would paint the outside. I guess this is to avoid having the paint scratched off when installing the tires (if you don't do it this way). What has everybody else done? Can painted wheels stand up to having a tire installed after paint? 2nd pic is the wheels as is from the bone yard.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:23 PM   #2
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

First off, I would have put those powder coated wheels on the truck and drove it with a smile on my face, done deal!

But if you are now going to paint the wheels, putting the tires on and not beading them, is the trick of tricks when painting wheels. I did a LOT of them years ago doing restoration work on early Ford V8's. You cover the tire, tucking the paper down inside, you can paint around the edge nice, then unmask and fill the tire beading it and wham, looks like the tire was removed when you painted it, works like a charm.

But really just put those powder coated wheels on and enjoy the truck. I know I did that with my daily driver 59 Rambler. I saw that down there in the crack too, put them on, I drive it every day and enjoy it. Just as I typed that last sentence I leaned back in my chair to see it parked out in front of my house. LOL Yep, it puts a smile on my face even with the less than Grand National Car Show center arena rims on it.

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Old 02-18-2019, 03:34 PM   #3
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

Nope, not going on my truck. That picture is probably the best one but others were bubbled up worse than that. I had the powder shop re-sand blast that crap right back off. I'm not into making up excuses for someone else's work.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

Any wheel type shows evidence that they have been to a typical tire shop and had tires put on. With that said, a good tire man (with concern for the classics and enough patience) can avoid the typical marring by taking his time and really lubing up the rim and tire prior to tire install (amomg other tricks of a picky tire service tech).

Of couse, paint type can be a factor to resisting any marks too, how well cured it is, how thick it was put on, and how well prepped the wheel was for adhesion are also factors.

With all that said..to avoid any possible marks...install the wheels off-bead for exterior painting as suggested and you have one tire install under your belt without concern.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:02 PM   #5
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

What are they putting tires on with?..tire irons?....I can see you run the risk of scratching a painted wheel but most any modern tire store can put tires on without scratching them...the machine my tire man uses doesn't touch the rim except in the center
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:25 PM   #6
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

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What are they putting tires on with?..tire irons?....I can see you run the risk of scratching a painted wheel but most any modern tire store can put tires on without scratching them...the machine my tire man uses doesn't touch the rim except in the center
Thank you for the comment. This is why I am a member here, because I can get answers. I don't put tires on, I drop off my rims (or the vehicle) and I go get coffee, and when I come back the new tires are on magically. I think my next stop is to my local tire shop to see what the process is, thanks again, very helpful.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:41 PM   #7
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

Yes, a newer tire machine is pretty magical for sure.

Brian
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:20 AM   #8
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

I've painted my share of wheels....this area in the red circle is always hard to get paint into...hard to sandblast in there as well......
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:08 PM   #9
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

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I've painted my share of wheels....this area in the red circle is always hard to get paint into...hard to sandblast in there as well......
Could a person run a little bit of color coordinated caulk in there?

I just had some trailer wheels powder coated in silver and noticed the same thing. I might try the caulk idea on them.

In any case I think the powder coat will be more durable than any kind of spray paint.

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Old 02-19-2019, 04:51 PM   #10
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

I've used caulk before on things I've painted...it looks ok for a while but after it ages not so much...
Powder coat is far better than any paint...
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:37 PM   #11
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

Yep, taped on each side, seam sealer applied with some pressure then un-tape, whamo. http://www.autobodystore.com/seamsealer.shtml

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Old 02-19-2019, 09:49 PM   #12
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

Iíve see where they preheat the wheels before hitting that area or something(guy told me there was a trick)... and mine look fine in that area.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:03 PM   #13
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

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Iíve see where they preheat the wheels before hitting that area or something(guy told me there was a trick)... and mine look fine in that area.
Did you powder coat or paint?
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:57 PM   #14
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

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Did you powder coat or paint?
I had some wheels powder coated.
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:36 PM   #15
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

The powder shop I used tried a couple things, they actually coated them two times but it didn't seem to work either time. I talked to others and some powder coats work and some don't. I want the wheels to be as close to perfect as I can get them.
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:14 PM   #16
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

That's an annoying area to get right even when you're painting wheels. If you blast them sand gets trapped there and you have to dig it out with a razor blade. High build primer can fill in the gap, usually only in spots so that looks like garbage. I usually scrape and use folded sandpaper to get everything out so the gap is open and clean, then use a light epoxy to prime and seal the metal without bridging the gap. I like to use single stage urethane on wheels; it holds up well and won't scratch off if care is taken when mounting tires.

***Note for powdercoated wheels*** Always remove the coating under the lug nuts! Powdercoat is thicker than paint and if/when it chips out your wheels can come loose!
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:02 PM   #17
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

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***Note for powdercoated wheels*** Always remove the coating under the lug nuts! Powdercoat is thicker than paint and if/when it chips out your wheels can come loose!
Thank you for pointing that out. That is something I had wondered about.

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Old 02-24-2019, 08:47 PM   #18
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

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That's an annoying area to get right even when you're painting wheels. If you blast them sand gets trapped there and you have to dig it out with a razor blade. High build primer can fill in the gap, usually only in spots so that looks like garbage. I usually scrape and use folded sandpaper to get everything out so the gap is open and clean, then use a light epoxy to prime and seal the metal without bridging the gap. I like to use single stage urethane on wheels; it holds up well and won't scratch off if care is taken when mounting tires.

***Note for powdercoated wheels*** Always remove the coating under the lug nuts! Powdercoat is thicker than paint and if/when it chips out your wheels can come loose!
You are so right it looks like sand was left in there to me I use Reduced epoxy and syringe to get it in the crack before painting if I make a mess Iíll clean it up this way I get protection down in that seemWithout bridging the gap I also believe in single stage I also hate powder coating if you get a chip rust will creep under it and then it will come off in sheets it is used in industry because there are no solvents and not regulated by the epa it is applied to bare metal you might as well put your paint directly to bare metal there is no difference itís a joke if you live in a wet climate I know someoneís going to disagree lol
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:54 PM   #19
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

No one is going to notice the bubbles once the wheels are on the ground. After spending $250 for PC I'd drive it. I also had PC on wheels and in hindsight should have rattle canned them. I also told the tire dealer to not mar the finish and they did no damage.
They're on a Camaro and look so nice I can't put trim rings or centers on them so I'm a fool...
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:25 AM   #20
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

IMO I'd keep the powder on those.

For painted wheels, painted hardware, and the like, I've found too much paint build is as much a recipe for failure as anything. So for wheels I prefer epoxy, then acrylic enamel (if you're digging through old stuff in paint cabinet) or catalyzed urethane instead of a base-clear any day ..


Painted these Ranger wheels up for my car trailer. Paint was Centari Acrylic enamel, probably 35-40 years old in the can..













As far as the painters wanting to spray with tires mounted but not seated, they have likely had to touch up too many times and then have someone call their paint into question because the tire changer dropped something on the edge. Yes, it happens. When your painter can't control who does what at the next phase and he has an anal retentive nature bordering on OCD, he paints with tires mounted but not seated so someone doesn't hose up his work in 2 days time..
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Old 02-25-2019, 12:33 PM   #21
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

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You are so right it looks like sand was left in there to me I use Reduced epoxy and syringe to get it in the crack before painting if I make a mess Iíll clean it up this way I get protection down in that seemWithout bridging the gap I also believe in single stage I also hate powder coating if you get a chip rust will creep under it and then it will come off in sheets it is used in industry because there are no solvents and not regulated by the epa it is applied to bare metal you might as well put your paint directly to bare metal there is no difference itís a joke if you live in a wet climate I know someoneís going to disagree lol
That isn't sand, it is bubbled up from the heat. The other wheels were worse than that one. I can definitely pass along all the tips here to whoever I choose to paint the rims. Keeping the PC isn't an option as I had them re-blast them clean after two attempts.
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Old 02-25-2019, 01:10 PM   #22
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

In my pictures above, during each coat the first thing sprayed was straight down into the crack.
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Old 02-25-2019, 03:56 PM   #23
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

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In my pictures above, during each coat the first thing sprayed was straight down into the crack.
Thatís the trickiest part get the paint in there but donít run it
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Old 02-25-2019, 04:06 PM   #24
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

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In my pictures above, during each coat the first thing sprayed was straight down into the crack.
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That isn't sand, it is bubbled up from the heat. The other wheels were worse than that one. I can definitely pass along all the tips here to whoever I choose to paint the rims. Keeping the PC isn't an option as I had them re-blast them clean after two attempts.
Well I believe something was in that crack that caused your problem if not sand moisture solvents something Iím not a fan of powder coating but I have seen a lot wheels that have been powder coated that were just fine if youíre thinking that it got too hot there when you say it was the heat where those wheels are put together is the thickest part would seem as though it would be the coolest part good idea go to a good painter Too many suggestions though my T him off
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Old 02-26-2019, 02:30 PM   #25
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Re: Steel Wheel Paint

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Well I believe something was in that crack that caused your problem if not sand moisture solvents something Iím not a fan of powder coating but I have seen a lot wheels that have been powder coated that were just fine if youíre thinking that it got too hot there when you say it was the heat where those wheels are put together is the thickest part would seem as though it would be the coolest part good idea go to a good painter Too many suggestions though my T him off

Yes there was something in there they couldn't get out after two attempts. I meant the heat used for curing the powder coat. They sand blasted first, cleaned, air blasted whatever to get that area clean, then they powder coated. I went to look at them and said they were definitely not going on my truck the way they looked. They started over by blasting them clean again, re-coated them and they turned out looking the same, so I had them blasted clean and paid them for that work only (sand blasting). I really wasn't aware that steel rims were so much work.
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