As my wheels have been accumulating grime and brake dust since 2007, I’ve been meaning to get around to touching them up. Eventually I’d like to have them mediablasted and powdercoated for a real nice long-lasting color that is easy to clean (scrubby scrubby with no chippy chippy), but for now I figured a quick and dirty repaint would be in order.
The rear wheels are fine, and have never gather much grime. But the front wheels are more (IMO) black than red these days. My first step was to nail all my wheels with Purple Power Wheel Cleaner.
This stuff is pretty brutal for an off-the-shelf cleaner. Spray on, leave on for 30-60 seconds, then rinse off. I hit my wheels with this and then scrubbed the hell out of them (against directions, but since I’m not worried about damaging the existing paint, whatevs). I hit them a few more times, let them dry and I was good to go.
(please excuse the phone pictures)
I slid painters tape into the gap between the wheel and the tire, then used 3×4 notecards to shield the rest of the tire. I honestly thought I’d need more than this to protect the tire, but it worked great. Then, against better judgement, I painted my wheels without sanding them. I used Rustoleum Gloss Cherry, hoping to be a little brighter than the stripes so that when it darkened a little it would match better. I stuffed toilet paper between the spokes to prevent paint from getting on my brakes or any of the bits behind the wheel.
Imagine my surprise at how well it worked out!
So yeah, great poppin-red wheels in about an hour or so. The tires are untouched, too.