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Best Wheel Paints

Updated August 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 10 Models Considered
  • 5 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 76 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best wheel paints

    Last Updated August 2018

    Are you looking for an affordable way to give your vehicle a fresh look? Sprucing up your wheels with a coat of wheel paint is an easy way to make your car or truck look like new and also protect your wheels from damage.

    But with so many wheel paints on the market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options. You’ll need to decide on the color, finish, and other features to find the right wheel paint for your vehicle.

    At BestReviews, we aim to answer all your shopping questions with our recommendations and guides. If you’re ready to purchase a wheel paint, check our our top picks in the matrix above. For everything you need to know about wheel paint, including our in-depth application tips, keep reading our shopping guide.

    A versatile wheel paint can also refresh other metal components on your vehicle, such as the grills and trim.

    Benefits of wheel paint

    Wheel paint is an aerosol paint specially formulated for automobile wheels. Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of using wheel paint.

    • Wheel paint is an affordable way to make your wheels look like new.

    • A coat of wheel paint revitalizes your wheel’s metal surfaces.

    • Wheel paint minimizes chips and other minor imperfections.

    • Wheel paint also protects from future damage, such as rust and knicks from harsh weather and poor road conditions.

    • Wheel paint is an attractive enhancement that pairs nicely with other modifications or restorations of your vehicle.

    EXPERT TIP

    Are the surfaces of your wheels still in rough shape even after you sand them? If using sandpaper isn’t enough, have your wheels sandblasted by a professional before you apply wheel paint for the smoothest results.


    Wheel paint features

    Consider these features when shopping for wheel paint to find the best option for your vehicle.

    Color

    Silver is the most popular choice for wheel paint, but it’s not your only option. Other shades, such as black, are available for custom looks.

    Finish

    Whether you like a flat, satin, or high-gloss look, there is a wheel paint finish to fit your preference. The best finish will complement your vehicle’s paint job and other features. For a dramatic look, choose a finish that contrasts with your vehicle.

    Versatility

    Some wheel paints are also suitable for painting other auto parts, including hub caps and other metal accessories. This versatility is ideal if you are updating more than just the appearance of your vehicle’s wheels.

    Brand

    Wheel paint is specialized paint that can withstand harsh outdoor conditions, which means quality is important. Look for a wheel paint from a trusted brand with a reputation for quality results and longevity.

    Value

    Some wheel paints are available in value packs with multiple cans. You can also find kits with a wheel paint and a clear coat for added value. These bundles can make painting your vehicle’s wheels more affordable, especially for customers who need more than just a few cans. It’s important to keep in mind that the amount of paint you need depends on several factors, such as wheel size, the level of damage, and your finish preferences.

    Price

    Wheel paint varies in price, with standard 12-ounce cans ranging from $5 to $20. For the best results, it’s worth investing in wheel paint from well-known brands.

    Allow wheel paint to dry thoroughly before hitting the road to keep your paint job intact and looking its best. Dry time depends on various factors, such as weather conditions and the number of coats you applied.

    Applying wheel paint

    You can simply spray your wheels with wheel paint, but you’re unlikely to get a good result without proper preparation. Let’s take a look at the other items you’ll need for a professional application.

    Degreasing cleaner

    Start with clean wheels for smoother, longer-lasting results. A degreasing cleaner does a good job of removing the grease buildup that’s common on vehicle wheels.

    Sandpaper

    Sanding your wheels before you start, and in between primer coats, will help wheel paint adhere smoothly. It will also buff away minor imperfections and make your wheel surfaces look sleek and new.

    Primer

    You don’t have to use a primer, but applying at least one coat before you paint your wheels will go a long way toward producing a perfect finish. Many people use more than one primer. Filler primer is a good option for filling in imperfections.

    Cloths

    Having cloths or towels on hand is helpful for cleaning up during the often messy wheel painting process. Tack cloths are particularly useful because they are ideal for removing particles on wheels that could cause bumps in the painted finish.

    Clear coat

    You don’t have to apply a clear coat after painting your wheels, but it’s a good idea. A clear coat seals and protects your paint job. And a clear coat is necessary if you want a glossy finish.

    Safety items

    Wheel paint contains chemicals that can harm your skin, eyes, or even lungs if inhaled. Proper safety accessories will provide protection while you paint your wheels. Protective glasses, gloves, and masks are key.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    For the best results, use one or more primers before you apply wheel paint. Wheels with knicks and chips will benefit from a filler primer in addition to a regular primer.

    Tips

    • Spray wheel paint using a continuous, side-to-side sweeping motion. This is the best way to apply wheel paint evenly to create a seamless, professional look.

    • Take eye protection seriously. A typical pair of glasses isn’t enough to protect your eyes when using wheel paint. Slipping on a pair of goggles designed for working with potentially dangerous chemicals or tools will provide the best protection.

    • Invest in quality sandpaper. Because preparing your wheels’ surfaces is important for achieving smooth, even results, sandpaper is a vital tool. Opt for a coarse grit – 350 or lower – for the best results.

    • Don’t underestimate the importance of clean surfaces. If you don’t properly remove dirt, dust, and grease from your wheels before you paint, a uniform finish is impossible.

    • Have several pairs of disposable gloves and masks on hand. Since you may have to change your gloves or mask several times during the painting process, it’s a good idea to be prepared with plenty of extras.

    • Allow painted wheels to dry thoroughly in between coats. This will ensure that you get a smooth, even finish.

    • Follow instructions carefully. Not only is wheel paint highly flammable and pressurized, but it contains harsh chemicals that can be harmful to your eyes, nose, lungs, and skin. Before you paint your wheels, read the instructions on the wheel paint thoroughly, and follow all the listed precautions.

    • Check the weather. If you plan to paint outdoors, weather conditions like high humidity or wind could result in a rough finish or slow down dry times.
    The longevity of wheel paint varies depending on your climate and the road surfaces where you drive. However, taking the time to sand, prime, and apply a clear coat will help wheel paint last longer.

    FAQ

    Q. What’s the best way to paint wheels with a lot of grooves and crevices?

    A. These types of wheels are the most challenging to paint, but it can be done effectively. Start by spraying the wheel paint directly into the small, tight spaces in the wheels, and then allow it to dry. Next, spray the paint over the entire surface of the wheel. Using this method will ensure that you don’t miss any of the tiny crevices in your wheels.

    Q. What types of metal can I paint with wheel paint?

    A. Although an extremely durable metal like steel works best with wheel paint, most formulas are suitable for use on other common metals and finishes, such as chrome and aluminum.

    Q. How can I protect my tires from overspray when using wheel paint?

    A. Ideally, it’s best to paint your wheels with the tires removed. However, if this isn’t possible, applying a tire gel or silicone gloss first will stop the wheel paint from sticking to the tires. Some savvy gearheads have also used hacks like loose paper or pieces of cardboard stuck between the wheels and the tires to catch excess paint.

    Q. I plan to paint my wheels outside this summer. Do I really need to wear a mask since ventilation won’t be an issue?

    A. Due to the caustic chemicals in wheel paint, you should always wear a face mask when applying it. A face mask provides protection from the aerosol products that are released into the air when using wheel paint, regardless of the ventilation.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor
    • Kyle
      Kyle
      Writer
    • Linsay
      Linsay
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer