Painted Wheels


I’ve been going the rounds on the Nomad’s wheels – stick with stock or go aftermarket – and I figured I didn’t have much to lose if I tried painting my stock wheels to begin with.

I’m not much on blackout. I like contrast and I like the ’60s and ’70 look of Chevy SS wheels with chrome hubs, lugs and outer trim rings over a dark dish, so I thought I’d try to replicate that with these wheels.

Two key issues in painting anything are prep and products. Each wheel was thoroughly washed and degreased and I used a semi-fine sanding sponge to scuff the chrome.

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I then masked the area on the rim using a flexible 3M tape that when carefully applied appeared to created a good bleed-proof line.

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With the rim line set, I masked the rest of the tire.


I used Dupli-Color products only because that’s what I could find at my local auto parts store. I’ve shot these before and found that cans that have been sitting for awhile on retail shelves have mix and propellant issues. Fresher is better. The downside to that is retailers who know this only stock one can at a time.

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The scope of this project went over two days, painting the driver side wheels on Saturday, and the passenger side on Sunday. I say this because I ran out of stock after finishing the driver side wheels and needed to buy more, only to not find the same adhesion promoter. I went with a Dupli-Color primer instead on the passenger side. Both products did just fine.


In shooting the wheels I stuck to the timing instructions, three coats each of the primer, coating and clear coat. The results were good.

After an adequate set time I removed the masking to see how well it prevented bleeding.

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Better than I thought, but not perfect. A little steel wool knocked that down and feathered the edge well.

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It’s growing on me, maybe even enough to stop dreaming about aftermarket wheels.

At least for now.

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