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DIY-Painting Wheels and Brake Calipers!

Hey everyone! So I finally got time to do my first mod (other than the install of the led kickplates) this weekend. I got my hands on some rays wheels

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Old 08-07-2011, 08:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DIY-Painting Wheels and Brake Calipers!

Hey everyone!

So I finally got time to do my first mod (other than the install of the led kickplates) this weekend.

I got my hands on some rays wheels and decided to paint them black, and also I did the brake calipers, which was not in the plan initially put decided to do them when I saw a can of brake caliper paint at Autozone for like 7 bucks!

This mod isn't rocket science and Ive seen other DIY's similar to this one but I thought to put it up here since this this included the brake calipers as well.

Anyways here's a quick tutorial, I did the wheels first then the calipers!

Thanks for looking


After you get your wheels you will need the following:

STEP 1: Gather Materials


A) Engine Paint and Primer, I used Rust-Oleum, two cans of each.

B) Sandpaper, I used 400 grit

C) Steel Wool, and a Ruff Sponge

D) Masking Tape and Newspaper (or you can use the index card method)


E) Dishwashing Liquid (Along with that you need a dry cloth and water, not pictured lol)

F) Finally, I bought VHT Caliper Paint should be available at any Autozone and they had many different colors, I picked up the red one.

G) Also a couple garbage bags


STEP 2: Removing Your Wheels

Yes, you do have to remove your wheels of your car to paint them, some people do it with them on but I don't recommend it because of chances of over spray on your car. I had my base wheels on so I didn't really have to do this step but for those of you who have the sports package this is for you guys!

So yeah jack your car up, take the wheels off...I went ahead and took off my base wheels and put on the rays just to demonstrate.





STEP 3: Prepping Your Wheels


Okay, so after you get all 4 wheels off, or in my case; you dont need to take them off, it is time to prep! Many people forget that prepping the wheels for painting is the most important part! If its not clean and sanded down right** the paint wont stick, and you will have chipped wheels in a matter of days.

So first thing to do is clean of the wheels, first I rinsed them off, and then I used the steel wool on the inside part of the wheel to get all the gunk and residue off and then used the ruff sponge for the front side with the spokes and centers. Make sure to get all the particles of dust, mud, grease, and whatever else maybe on your wheels.Then, I used the dish-washing liquid, and water to thoroughly wash the wheels off, once again using the steel wool and ruff sponge to make sure that the wheels are squeaky clean.



Next, find a nice dry place to paint your wheels, I used the inside of my garage and luckily the weather held out too, it wasn't too hot or cold, and it wasn't windy either...the perfect painting condition. Once you find a place lay down your wheels on something, I used some garbage bags, that way my garage floor wont be black when im done.


STEP 4: Sanding

Before you start sanding you want to make sure the wheels are completely dry, use a cloth to dry them off and wait 10 to 15 mins to let all the moisture drain away. Now, you are ready to sand. Using the sandpaper scuff up the wheel enough so that u see rough scratches all along the face of the wheel. Make sure to get all corners, spokes, and crevices. (Repeat this for all 4 wheels)



STEP 5: Masking the Wheel

So once you sand down your wheels, make sure to get rid of extra debris from the sanding and now you are ready to prep for painting. Since I am not removing the wheels from the tires I have to mask off the tires. If you have wheels already off the tires then skip this step and go to step 6.
In order for there not to be over-spray on the tires I masked off the tires using newspaper and masking tape. Just cut up a bunch of pieces and stick them around the wheel, making sure to cover up the tire entirely, you don't want to have gaps where the paint can seep in. (Repeat for all 4 wheels)



STEP 6: Primer


In order to insure that the paint sticks to your wheel the best, you need to use primer. Primer sticks the best to the sanded wheel, and paint sticks best to primer. Hit each wheel with 3 coats of primer, waiting 10 minutes between each coat. I did two light coats and one heavy. Let the primer dry for 30 to 45 mins




STEP 7: Painting


Okay now we have finally reached the painting part! Once the primer has been given time to dry for a bit, you are ready to hit the wheel with your color. I used the engine paint black and followed the same procedure as the primer, two light coats and one heavy coat with 10 minute intervals. And make sure to spread the paint evenly, do a back and forth motion, that way you avoid runs and it sticks better.




STEP 8: Sanding and Painting the Calipers

Yeah I know I rushed and put this into one step, but It really should be two. Anyways while I was waiting for my wheels to dry, I had time to paint my calipers. You have to first clean of the calipers (this is assuming your wheels are already off your car, and you have access to them), then use the sand paper to roughen them up. Then mask of the rest of the disc brake, and other parts you don't want to spray. Sorry for the poor masking I had to use some old clothes of my sisters and moms (some long johns and some skirt thing ), but I tried making up for it by using some leftover garbage bags Anyways it did the job, here are a couple pics, I just masked it off and hit the caliper with 3 coats off the caliper paint waiting 10 minutes between each coat, no primer required.




STEP 9: Let Everything Dry!

Once I spray painted the calipers, I let them dry for an hour, and then put my wheels on. My wheels had already dried since I had done them the previous day, so this was actually a two day process. The caliper should be ready to use within 3 hours after spraying the last coat. I let the wheels dry for a full 24 before I put them back on. Make sure you give it enough time to dry many people are anxious to put their wheels on after they paint them, but patience is key, the results will be worth the wait.


And THATS IT! Pretty simple, after I finished and let it dry I took my car around for a Sunday afternoon ride, and man the heads were turning every which way. It really satisfies me to know that I did it myself!

Here are some pics of the finished product!



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Last edited by nmjaxx9; 08-07-2011 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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None of your pics are showing.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thanks i fixed it, should be working now!
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks great now just get rid off that moulding around wheel lips and it will be perfect.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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They look really good.

You didn't mention anything about clear coat.

Wouldn't the wheels be less prone to chipping with some clear protection?

Anywho, great job!

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Old 08-07-2011, 11:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks! but yeah the clear coat is nothing but the the black in my case, since I did 3 of them, they should hold up well, also priming and sanding them will help in making the paint stick/last longer as well.

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Old 08-07-2011, 11:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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looks good!
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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looks good!
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Great job!
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
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i want to do this too. any idea how to make it MATTE, not glossy?
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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i want to do this too. any idea how to make it MATTE, not glossy?
Yeah, there is this stuff called plasti-dip, it comes in a spray can just like paint, but it adheres to the surface of your rims, and shrinks, to make it like a wrap, it usually comes out less glossier then traditional engine paint. If you don't like that method you can always buy a couple cans of flat black or matte finish black engine paint, and follow the same procedure I did. Some companies that sell matte/flat black are VHT, Rustoleum, and Dupli-color. But keep in mind that flat or matte black is usually very dull, satin black on the other hand has a slight sheen look; between flat & semi gloss, and semi-gloss black is a partial medium glossy surface. Also make sure that if you do a clear coat, that it is a low clear, or you do few coats, because the more clear you use the more glossier the look.
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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oh wow you also painted your brake pads? why didnt you take the brake apart? you also left the barel of the wheel unpainted with the black spokes fading to the barrel. terrible job imo. i also noticed you have red paint all over the wheel wells
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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oh wow you also painted your brake pads? why didnt you take the brake apart? you also left the barel of the wheel unpainted with the black spokes fading to the barrel. terrible job imo. i also noticed you have red paint all over the wheel wells
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I personally didn't want to take the brakes apart some choose to when painting the calipers, and the reason I didn't paint the whole wheel (including the barrel) is because most road debris and gunk is gonna corrode the paint in there anyways. And the red paint over the wheel wells was just a lil bit of over-spray that I wiped off right after. Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Do you paint inside of the wheel where the weight for balancing tire is mounted?
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