As some of you may already know, I got a spare set of 17" alloys with my car when I bought it. The tyres on these wheels were a little tired to say the least (metal coming through on one of them) and the wheels themselves weren't in great condition .... about 6 out of 10 I would say.
I thought about selling them on but then decided to refurb them with a view to putting them on the car when my current tyres need changed this winter. I didn't want to pay for a professional refurb so I set about reading various articles on the net to try and do it myself.
The following is my advice on how to do this. Most of my recommendation come from mistakes (all stupid ones) that I made
The usual disclaimer applies to this advice. If you damage your wheels following my steps thens its your fault, so dont come crying to me
DIY ALLOY REFURB
What do you need:
Halfords Project Pack - Alu Oxide and wet & dry paper
Filler - I used Cataloy Knifing putty
Sugar soap spray or wipes (I used the wipes ... much easier)
Latex gloves & goggles for sanding and painting
suitable dust mask for spraying
Clear coat/lacquer spray*
* you need about 300ml per wheel of each paint for a complete refurb
What I did:
I will try to keep this as brief as possible
This is what my wheels looked like at the start
After removing the tyres, thoroughly clean the wheels. Power hose and then used the sugar soap wipes until the wheels are free of all dirt and grime. Make sure you get into every nook and cranny.
This step should only be attempted if you wheels are in a really bad way and even then I would suggest trying step 3 first. Apply Nitromors to the wheels to remove paint. I found this caused more damage than benefit (see pic). The paint bubbled up and I used two coats but it didn't strip the paint effectively. I ended up having to sand away the damage on the two wheel I done.
Sand the paint and rust/corrosion off the wheels using the coarsest paper to start and getting finer as the paint is removed ending up with the 400 w&d. This should take about 10-30mins per wheel (depending on their condition) and should be tried without paint stripper ... trust me :)
Once sanded and smooth, hose down the wheels again and clean with sugar soap wipes to remove all sanding debris. Ensure wheels are totally dry before starting to paint.
Apply two coats of primer to all surfaces of wheels. The primer is touch dry within 15mins but you should resist the temptation of sanding until at least a few hours has passed or better to wait until the next day. I found the number of runs was reduced if you keep the wheels horizontal when spraying. You do need to paint one side and wait for at least 1 hour before spraying the other side
Leave the wheels overnight before continuing if possible.
Before applying the coloured spray, smooth out the primer with 600 w&d or finer. Again clean all dust from the wheel. Spray the colour on the wheels in a similar style to the primer. I found that a light coat first followed by to proper coats (and a final touch up check) reduced the possible runs.
Again leave overnight to set before finishing
Some of the websites I read said about using an ultra fine w&d paper before the clear coat. I didn't do this as I thought it would spoil the finish. I again clean the wheels (using the sugar soap wipes as they were handy), dried them off and sprayed the clear coat. I gave the wheel 2 coats all over and and extra coat on the front. The lacquer was the thinnest of the three paints and ran very easily so you need to be careful applying this coat. Ensure the wheels are flat when spraying the front, that way, any runs will go tot he back.
... and hey presto you have refurbed your wheels.
Do the spraying inside in a well ventilated area where over-spray wont land you in trouble with the other half
When setting a wheel onto a surface that may have wet paint on it, lay down a sheet of paper to protect the wheel finish to that point
Be patient and don't try to take short cuts
wear your mask & goggles when spraying and sanding
I would recommend gloves when sanding as I managed to sand off my finger prints :blink:
Don't bother with a sanding block of any sort - it just doesn't get into the wheels properly
I think my wheels turned out pretty well. The colour I used is Peugeot Cossack Grey with a grey primer. It would be a slightly darker version of Quandry's SMG and it quite metallic, so the wheels have a nice sparkle.
The job done is not perfect, but it isn't that far off and I am more than happy with it. I made a few mistakes which meant back track/sanding and having to redo bits but it still only cost me about £80 for all materials and everything was bought from Halfords. A professional job would have been from £250-400. Pick a colour from Halfords standard pre-mixed ranges, that way matching wont be a prob.
The total amount of time required for the four wheels is probably about 6-8 hours. However, to do it properly this needs to be spread over at least two day but better three.
BTW, I sprayed my centre caps as well (not in the pic) so they match the wheel finish.
If you want to give this a go and have any questions, just give me a shout. If you find it useful then give me a Karma Click _KUNENA_BBCODE_HIDEIMG