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  • Painting Stock Rims on TJ

    I just bought a '00 TJ and i havent gotten off the internet just looking up anything and everything i can do to this bad boy (once i get some financial backing of course I have 30x9.5 R15 tires on the stock rims and they work for me but i want to black out the rims. Would it be a good idea to paint them with some good metal black paint? if anyone has id like to see pics or hear your thoughts and how you went about the prep work.

  • #2
    I painted mine. 31x15 Pro Comp Xtreme AT's on stock wheels.

    Get some steel wool from the hardware store and rough the wheels up really good. If your wheel has a clear coat that is starting to peel, you'll want that off. A peeling clear coat will eventually peel more. If there is a clear coat and it's holding well, just scuff it up a little so you'll have good bonding in the process.

    Use a really good degreaser and wash the wheels. After you think you got them really clean, wash them again. If you have an air compressor, blow out any standing water in the crevices of the wheels. If you don't have an air compressor, an air duster can should do well enough. Let the rest air dry. Don't use anything else to dry them. Lint and dust will look huge in dry paint.

    Get some blue painters tape and tape off everything you don't want painted. Tucking the edge of the tape between the wheel and tire worked best for me. I tucked strips about 4 inches long around the wheel until I was all the way around. Then I stuck newspaper to the tape to protect the tires. You'll also want tape on the inside of the wheel covering the vents.

    Get your primer ready. I used self-etching primer, which is great to prevent rust. Follow the directions on the can. Spray about 8 inches from the surface and always keep the spray moving. Spray in thin coats and allow a little time to dry between coats.

    Choosing the type of paint is important. Cheap is cheap and you'll notice the results. You can get the specialty wheel paint, but they can be expensive and I've never been happy with the results. The paint I was most happy with has been Dupli Color's Epoxy Appliance Paint. You can get them at the home improvements stores for around $5 a can. Get two cans.

    The Epoxy Appliance paint is self-leveling, so it's very forgiving if you've never done this before. It has a nice gloss to it, but it's not too "blingy". The best part is that it dries extremely hard and durable. It's the same paint used on kitchen appliances. Things like stoves. I use my stove daily and have yet to scratch it.

    Read the directions on the can. Spray in a fanning motion, always keeping the pattern moving. I can't stress this enough, spray in light coats. This is the part where many people will ruin their finish. They see light areas and think a little more paint will fix it. Instead, they create paint pools or runs. Those can be sanded and fixed later, but it adds to the process.

    Again, use light coats and wait about ten minutes between coats. It takes a long time, but if you are painting all your wheels at once, it should be right around ten minutes when you finish the coat on the last wheel. That way, the paint process should be almost continuous. I kept spraying until both cans were empty.(5 wheels including spare) The paint will not look smooth at this point, but it will level itself as it dries.

    The can says they should be dry in about 4 hours, but let them dry overnight before mounting and driving. That's a lot of paint put on there. I'd hate to see the result of spinning the paint off while driving.

    If you're careful, you'll be very happy with the results. Here is a picture of mine about 7000 feet up a mountain, so they are dirty. I'm ok with that. Jeeps look better dirty anyway. Three years and they still look as good as the day after I painted them.


    • #3
      Forgot to mention, this process works better with the wheels off. It can be done with them on, but your chances of paint running will be greater with them on.

      If you only have one jack, you can do it one at a time, but it will take much longer. Days. Two jacks and you can finish in two days. Get jack stands and you'll be done in one session. I picked up a set of four jack stands off CraigsList for $20. Every Jeep owner should have jack stands anyway.