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DIY Alloy Wheel Refurb | 6 Steps You Must Follow

Alloy wheels are not just functional components of a vehicle but also crucial aesthetic elements that contribute significantly to its overall appearance and resale value. However, factors like high kerbs, careless driving, or potholes can often lead to damage, diminishing the wheels’ visual appeal.

To refurbish alloy wheels yourself, assess the wheel for damages. Gather sandpapers, primer, paint, and cleaners. Deep clean the surfaces thoroughly. Sand and fill any imperfections. Prime the wheel for paint adhesion. Paint evenly for a polished finish. These steps ensure a durable and good-looking refurbishment.

As part of this guide, we’ll explore a step-by-step DIY alloy wheel refurbishment process, empowering you to restore your wheels’ beauty and functionality from the comfort of your own garage. So continue reading.

Six Essential Steps for DIY Alloy Wheel Refurb

Six Essential Steps for DIY Alloy Wheel Refurb

To carefully refurb and recycle your Aluminum alloy wheel, follow these steps:

  • Assessment and preparation of the wheel
  • Deep cleaning and surface preparation
  • Sanding and filling the wheel
  • Priming the wheel before paint
  • Painting the wheel
  • Clear coating and final touches

Step 1: Assessment and Preparation of the Wheel

Evaluating the condition of your alloy wheel is the initial step in preparing for the refurbishment process. Check for curb damage, scratches, corrosion, or any other imperfections.

Identify areas needing attention before gathering materials like sandpapers (ranging from 80 to 1500 grit), alloy wheel filler paste, primer, paint, lacquer, cleaning agents, masking tape, and protective gear.

Inspect the wheel thoroughly to ensure a comprehensive assessment. Take note of the severity of each issue to plan your refurbishment approach effectively. You set the foundation for a successful refurbishment project by meticulously assessing the wheel’s condition.

Step 2: Deep Cleaning and Surface Preparation

Use a suitable car shampoo to thoroughly clean the alloy wheels to ensure optimal adhesion of subsequent paint layers and primers. Pay special attention to stubborn contaminants like overspray or old glue, which may require petrol or a specialized cleaner. This cleaning step is vital for the success of the refurbishment process.

You may want to consider partially removing the tires for better access to the wheel surfaces. Remember, the cleaner the surface, the better the paint and primer will adhere, leading to a more professional and long-lasting finish. Take time with this step to achieve the best alloy wheel refurbishment project results.

Step 3: Sanding and Filling the Wheel

Sand your alloy wheels using a series of sandpapers, starting at 80 grit and working up to 1500 grit, to remove corrosion, flaking paint, and deep scratches.

Focus on areas with curb damage or significant scratches. After sanding, apply alloy wheel filler paste to fill any remaining deep scratches or holes. Ensure that the filler is evenly spread and allow it to dry completely.

Once dried, use sandpaper to smooth out the filler, creating a uniform surface. This is crucial in preparing the wheel for the next stage of priming and painting. Remember to work meticulously to achieve a flawless finish.

Step 4: Priming the Wheel Before Paint

Prepare the alloy wheel for painting by applying a primer layer to establish a solid base for paint adhesion and ensure a smooth surface. The primer is a foundation for the paint, promoting better durability and finish. Apply the primer evenly on the sanded and filled wheel surfaces.

Applying multiple thin coats of primer rather than a single thick coat is crucial. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one to prevent drips or uneven coverage. It ensures the wheel surface is adequately prepared for painting, enhancing the overall look and longevity.

Step 5: Painting the Wheel

After priming the alloy wheel surface, apply the selected paint color using even coats to achieve a uniform finish and enhance the wheel’s appearance. Ensure the paint color matches the original or complements your vehicle’s aesthetic.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application and drying times, allowing each coat to dry totally before adding the next.

Consider applying a black finish after priming for metallic paints to maintain reflective properties. Apply several coats of paint evenly, building up the color gradually. This process helps to prevent drips and ensures a smooth, professional-looking finish.

Step 6: Clear Coating and Final Touches

Once the paint has completely dried, carefully spray the clear lacquer over the entire wheel surface, ensuring even coverage. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before adding the next one to build a strong protective layer.

The clear coating adds shine and depth to the color and protects against environmental damage, such as UV rays and road debris.

After applying the final coat of clear lacquer, polish and buff the wheels to a high-quality shine. This will complete the refurbishment process and leave your alloy wheels looking like new.

However, if your alloy wheels are not refurbishable, you can sell them to your local buyer. In this circumstance, you can check out Bright Star Scrap Metal at 29 Mickle Street in AU. You can make money right away by selling alloy wheels to us. Also, we ensure a safe buying process by doing the paperwork to avoid future hassles.

Is it worth refurbishing alloy wheels?

Is it worth refurbishing alloy wheels

When determining the worth of refurbishing alloy wheels, consider the overall condition of your alloys and your maintenance preferences. According to scrap metal buyers, refurbishing may be unnecessary if your alloys are in good shape and you’re diligent with regular cleaning and maintenance.

However, if you want your wheels to look their best but need more time for frequent polishing and waxing, refurbishing could be a great idea. Refurbishing can help restore the appearance of your alloys, removing signs of wear and tear such as scratches, scuffs, or corrosion.

It can also provide a protective layer that enhances durability and longevity, preventing further damage. Additionally, refurbishing allows you to customize the finish of your wheels, giving your vehicle a unique look.

How much does refurbing an alloy wheel cost?

Refurbishing an alloy wheel typically costs between $100 and $150 per wheel, depending on the size. Smaller wheels up to 20 inches generally cost $100 for refurbishment.

On the other hand, larger wheels that are 21 inches or more are priced at approximately $125 to $150 per wheel repair. The variation in cost is mainly due to the differences in materials needed for various wheel sizes and the extent of damage that needs to be repaired.

How long does it take to refurbish 1 alloy wheel?

The time required to refurbish one alloy wheel varies based on factors such as wheel size and the extent of damage needing repair, typically ranging between 12 hours to a full day. Larger wheels with more damage will naturally take longer to refurbish.

The process begins with thorough cleaning to remove dirt, grime, and old coatings. Next, any existing paint or coatings need to be stripped off completely.

This step alone can take a significant amount of time depending on the condition of the wheel. Once the wheel is stripped, any repairs such as straightening bends or fixing curb rash need to be addressed.

What is the life expectancy of refurbished alloy wheels?

A well-refurbished alloy wheel can generally be expected to have a lifespan of 3 to 10 years or more based on various influencing factors. The durability of a refurbished alloy wheel depends on factors such as the quality of the refurbishment process, the type of alloy used, and how well the wheels are maintained.

Properly refurbished wheels with a high-quality finish and protective coating can better withstand the elements, thus extending their lifespan. Regular cleaning and maintenance, including avoiding harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaning tools, can also prolong the life of refurbished alloy wheels.

Invest in Alloy Wheel Refurbishment for Long-Term Benefits

Refurbishing alloy wheels can be a cost-effective way to enhance your vehicle’s appearance and performance. By following the 6 steps outlined above in this article, you can achieve professional results at a fraction of the cost.

For example, John refurbished his alloy wheels using DIY methods, saving money and increasing the resale value of his car. Refurbished alloy wheels can last for years and require proper care and maintenance.

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