The longer a car owner spends time on the road, the more likely their wheels will start to look dirtier and full of debris. Also known as alloy wheels, mag wheels—the “mag” being short for magnesium, which is what they largely consist of—are automotive wheels made from lightweight materials, and are particularly common in the world of motorsports. Using tools such as soap (and/or wheel cleaner), metal primer, alloy paint, masking tape, rags, and a wire brush, you can paint mag wheels to give them a brighter, shinier look.
Here’s a primer on how to paint mag wheels.
First Steps Before Painting: Remove the Tires, then Start Cleaning
In order to get any kind of paint job done on alloy wheels, you must first take the tires off the vehicle. Once you’ve done this, remove them from the rims to avoid possible runs and drips. You will then have to get rid of any grime, dirt, or grease on the wheels by scrubbing with soap and warm water, and using a wire brush. You must then rinse and dry the wheels, after which you spray primer paint onto them. Do this until the wheel is covered, and leave to dry. You can also wipe them dry by using rags.
After having done this and removing any rust preventing you from painting on a smooth surface, the painting job can begin. Be sure the space you paint the wheels in while working as an auto body repair technician is well-ventilated, and is free of dust or interference with elements like wind or rain.
What an Auto Body Repair Technician Should Know About the Painting Process
When painting alloy wheels, it’s recommended that you do so in either a two-tone form, or in a single colour. Should you be painting the wheel with two colours, make sure you wait for the first colour to have dried out before painting the second. Also remember to mark where the second colour is being painted by using masking tape. Lay several coats of primer onto the rims before starting to paint them. When using spray paint, do so in a back and forth motion, and while holding it a sufficient distance away from the rim to avoid paint running.
Another key factor for those with auto painting careers to remember before beginning to paint and/or prime is to avoid overspray as much as possible, by using tools like newspaper and painter’s tape. After you’ve finished painting, add a top coat (one or two coats) to the wheel to help give it more robust protection and a more vibrant shine. Leave each coat to dry before applying the subsequent one. Allow the rims to dry overnight if you can, and remove any protective materials such as tape before reinstalling them onto the vehicle.
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