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Old 15th April 2007, 13:19   #1
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Default How to refurbish your alloy wheels

Materials used:
  • Multigrades of Wet n Dry paper ranging from 80 - 1200 (Halfords project pack is good here)
  • Cataloy filler (a flexi filler)
  • High Build grey Primer (Halfords)
  • Vauxhall Metallic Star Silver (Halfords)
  • Clear Coat Lacquer (Halfords)
  • Paint thinners (Halfords)

This is what the bad alloy looked like. Both had severe kerbing but this alloy was the one I really wanted to get sorted and as you can see it's pretty messy:

Step 1

Whip over with the 80 grit dry paper to get this (You can see the kerbing here. Remember, unless you are picking up severe brake dust that doesn't remove under normal washing conditions then this step is probably not for you):

Step 2

To the filling, I used a knife for spreading with as it allows to give you a good thin film - which is what you want. You can build this up with 30 minutes in between but don't go too mad or you'll regret it when you come to sanding. Also, give your primer the benefit of the doubt as it will mask a lot of imperfections.

Step 3

Allow the filler 45-60 minutes to fully harden,. The day I did the job was a scorcher which was a great benefit. Then crack on with the sanding to achieve a smooth finish. Again, don't worry if there are some slight imperfections, primer will hide this.

Step 4 (priming)

I made three fairly thick passes with the primer and only sanded between coats two and three with DRY 800 grit (DO NOT WET SAND PRIMER). Don't worry about overspray, thats easy to sort. Here are the primed wheels - note how the primer hides the small imperfections:

Step 5 (painting)

Halfords sell a specific alloy wheel silver spray but it really is cack. It's very dull grey and has no sparkle in it - so I went for a metallic silver. I'm sure most will be an accurate match but the Vauxhall one is very good indeed.

3 coats of Silver with WET sanding in between coats 2 and 3 with 1200 grit paper. I advise a curing time of 24 hours before painting on primer.

After coat 3 of the paint has dried it will look very sparkly. Sand it. Yes, that's right sand the paint BEFORE applying lacquer - use 1200 grit and WET sand around the wheel and then wipe down with a clean cloth.

Step 6 (lacquer)

Apply two coats of lacquer with 15-20 minutes between coats. Sanding between coats is not necessary.

And here is the finished wheel back on the car

[Sorry no pics available as they were gone before I could save them - Dragrad]

Colour match compared to the wheel centre looks off in the pics, but its not, just light and shade in the photo. Taken dead on you really wouldn't notice.

Step 7 (overspray)

Remove any overspray from the tyre by using your thinners with a cloth and rubbing. It can be stubborn but it comes off ok in the end. Use a damp cloth after you've removed the overspray to wipe around the tyre.

Last edited by Dragrad; 30th July 2015 at 01:09.. Reason: Repaired
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