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TheArgobus 11-30-2020 02:41 PM

Spray painting rims—yay or nay?
A friend suggested I spray paint my rims a matte black instead of leaving them the regular grey that they are. It got me wondering—aesthetics aside, are there any functional concerns about spray painting the rims and/or bolts?

CHEESE_WAGON 11-30-2020 02:49 PM

Color is inconsequential, apart from darker colors making hub seal leaks harder to detect. But painting helps keep rust away, a major plus. Rust is an easy way to spot loose lug nuts and such.

TheArgobus 11-30-2020 05:03 PM

I’d be using rustoleum for this, and I think I’m gonna do it.

Bus'n it 11-30-2020 05:16 PM

I am going to get Alcoa's :). (And new tires for the matter!)

LRScout 11-30-2020 06:26 PM

I would use Plasti-dip so you can easily remove it later

CHEESE_WAGON 11-30-2020 07:00 PM


Originally Posted by Bus'n it (Post 416047)
I am going to get Alcoa's :). (And new tires for the matter!)

Might hit a heavy truck salvage yard and get a smoking deal. Lots of newer fleet trucks have Alcoas and if they fit your bus... :thumb:

TJones 11-30-2020 07:23 PM


Originally Posted by TheArgobus (Post 416046)
I’d be using rustoleum for this, and I think I’m gonna do it.

Let me know how it turns out. I'm thinking of doing the same. If I wanted to spend some $$$ I'd have them sandblasted and powder coated. Alcoas would be sweet but I also want to go with black not shiny.


Danjo 11-30-2020 10:10 PM

+1 on rustoleum.

EastCoastCB 12-01-2020 07:34 AM


Originally Posted by LRScout (Post 416055)
I would use Plasti-dip so you can easily remove it later

I'd advise against this as its a total pain to get it all off and it starts peeling on its own after just a little while. I've done whole vehicles in the stuff. Wasn't my idea.

novice 12-03-2020 11:06 AM

I've sprayed rims with matte black $1 cans but left the lug nuts alone and made sure no paint got inside the threads where it could affect even torque by gumming up. For prep I wire brushed all that was flaking and just went for it. I'd recommend a cup brush on angle grinder for this and maybe some solvent if you really wanna get it pretty, but my rims turned out really nice anyhow. Rustoleum or an enamel spray paint would both work well.

Booyah45828 12-03-2020 11:32 AM

Mine are spray painted black, no issues. Knocked the loose rust off, sprayed it with rustoleum rust converter and then sprayed it with rustoleum semi gloss black enamel. Hit the lug nuts and everything with it.

Good enough and looks better then it being rusty.

musigenesis 12-03-2020 01:18 PM

Man, painting my rims is one of those trivial things I've been dying to get to, but too many other things on the list. My color scheme is going to be antique white with navy, maroon and gold highlights (all the glory Rust-Oleum can provide) and I'm going to make the rims all gold.

CHEESE_WAGON 12-03-2020 01:57 PM

Removing rust and painting rims can make it easier to detect rust if it appears again (a sign of loose nuts). ANNNNND I just saw I already posted this. :facepalm:

cadillackid 12-03-2020 03:20 PM

standard black spray paint here.. and I even made a plastic shield that I hold up as i go around as i think its Ghetto to also paint the tires..

black paint, easy to touch up as it wears.. I have daytons.. no alcoas for daytons..

cadillackid 12-03-2020 03:21 PM

on my red bus with 19.5's i put sims on and love them.. easy to keep clean and look nice

sportyrick 12-03-2020 05:29 PM

Painting wheels is temporary as they will flake, peal, rust soon enough. The factory painted wheels are done in a very exacting way under perfect conditions and work for a decade or two, you can't match it at home with a rattle can or a gun. Here in MO I had the wheels on my service truck blasted with steel shot and powder coated for $90 each. My guy said the clear coat is so hard his steel shot machine has a hard time getting it off. Of course you can get most common colors and yes even flat black. Spend that time getting something important accomplished on your bus and leave the wheels to a pro, you won't regret it.

TJones 12-03-2020 10:07 PM

Just do it like Ray Ban.

I bet this was someones million dollar idea and yes you can buy still one. I'm sure these are used by every used truck sales lot to make the rims pretty.


Booyah45828 12-04-2020 08:34 AM

That's not the worst idea that I've ever seen.

As far as spray paint vs factory, yes factory finish/refinished is better. But factory paint would only last a few years max in fleet service. Powder coating is the way to go if you're driving regularly, and at the shop we try to switch fleets over to doing that. It's over double what we can get a rim refinished for though, so some don't buy it. Those that don't get a quick paint job with a rattle can before annual inspection.

But my skoolie sits more then it moves, so the spray paint has lasted so far. And a can of spray paint is what, 10 bucks? No brainer if you're in my shoes.

dwood443 12-04-2020 08:53 AM

I think this was one the first things I did. Power wash and sprayed the rims. Of course I grew up backyard mechanic and we did this to many cars. At least I did not spray the rocker panels and cover the rust like we also did back in the day :biggrin:

magnakansas 12-04-2020 09:28 AM

I am adding this from the world of s41t that goes wrong.

The surface of the rim that sits on the hub and touches any part of the lug nuts, or in the case of daytons, makes contact with the rim wedges/clamps.

When the coating flakes off, wears off, crushes. The clamping load goes away.

Example: air plane propellers, When you paint a propeller, the mounting surfaces on the flanges and under the bolts, the paint would wear off, flake off, what ever reason, Varnish, in case of wood props, the clamping pressure for the bolts was lost, and as a result the bolts worked loose. After many propellers fell off during flight, the smart guys figured out why. As a result you are not allowed to coat the mounting surfaces of a propeller.

Powder coating is pretty thick as far as coatings go. I have some aluminum rims for my bus that I bought used. The coating under the lug nuts and on the mounting flange area is flaking off. I am going to sand, scrub, sandblast, do something to take the coating off the rims so I dont have a loose wheel nut problem.

I have seen this happen to street cars, and racing cars on alloy and steel rims that have been powerder coated. I expect wheels with many coats of paint can fall to this problem as well.

If you paint... keep the coats very very light on the mount surface and lug nut sruface. If you find rust streaks unsightly, consider painting lug nut areas after you torque the wheel nuts a second time. The paint on the threads could be a problem if you use a heavy coat, but can also be brushed off.

Think about this when dealing with anything that mounts on flanges, motor shafts, grinding wheels, flywheels, pulleys, wind turbines, brake parts.

If what ever is under a bolt, goes away bolt torque is lost. Enough bolt torque lost means the nut can spin off. Usually ending in something coming apart.


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