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Black Is The New Chrome: How To Paint Your Rims To Look Like New

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While chrome rims look beautiful right out of the shop, they can eventually become rusty and chipped, leaving your entire car looking ragged. Painting your rims black is a great way to keep them looking sharp for a long time. You can do it once they are worn or as soon as you purchase them. Here is how to paint your rims to look like new.


To prep your rims for painting, you will need:

  • Steel wool (for old rims only)
  • Sandpaper (for old rims only)
  • Rags
  • Paint thinner (spray)
  • Self-etching primer
  • Painter's tape
  • Rust-stopping spray paint
  • Gloss coating


If you have old rims, you will need to prep them to allow the paint to stick. Any rust or flakes need to be completely removed for the end result to look fabulous. First sand the rims with sandpaper. If they're really old, 150 grit should get all of the rust and flakes off. Once they're sanded, pull out the steel wool. The steel wool should be as fine as possible. Either 000 or 0000 will do the trick. Once you finish with the steel wool, wipe it down with a rag to get all of the loose debris off.

This next step should be done by everyone whether you have old or new rims; so those of you with new rims will begin the process here. Dip a rag in some paint thinner and wipe a thin coat onto the rims. Once it's completely covered, you can tape the edges of the wheel with painter's tape.


Once you have taped up the edge of your tire, paint your rim with a coating of spray paint. If your rims are new, you won't need more than one or two coats of primer. For old rims, you might want to tack on a third coating. Once the primer has dried after each coating, paint your rims. Black seems to be the color of choice because they will match any color car and look like new for years to come. Of course, you can choose whichever color you like for your rims. After your rims dry, they will become a black matte. If you want glossy black paint, spray your rims with a gloss finishing spray. After your rims are dry, remove the tape and be on your way.

Rims are expensive so you should paint them black and keep them looking new for as long as possible. Black looks beautiful on any vehicle, and it's simple to do right in your garage or driveway.