How to refurbish your alloy wheels

Scraping your rims on the kerb; bad times. Bagging a bargain set of rare rims on a forum or well-known auction site; good times! Both have one thing in common though… pretty soon you’ll be looking for a refurb.

Well, as ever, here’s all the advice you’ll ever need. Whether you’re going down the pro-route or breaking out the wire brush and rattle cans, we’re here to help… we’re pretty good like that!

1. Remove the tyres

Deflate the tyres and break the bead, (push the rubber away from the edge of the rim). Mask them up with paper and masking tape. It’s best to take the tyres and valves off completely but not essential.


2. Scrub them clean

First thing’s first, give ‘em a good scrub. You need to get in there with a brush, wheel cleaner and plenty of soapy water. Any dirt, grease or brake dust has gotta go! You’ll be suprised how long this first step will take but the prep is worth it.


3. Get scraping
Remove any loose or flaky paint with a wire brush and give the whole lot a good going over with some medium wet and dry or a Scotch Pad. Get into all those fiddly corners because ‘keying’ the entire surface will make the paint stick.


4. Smooth out any dents

If you have any kerbing or small dents that won’t sand out it’s time to break out the Liquid Metal. Apply a liberal amount and sand it back when it’s dry. Get it smooth.Jagged edges will mess ya rubber.


5. Clean them (again)

Give the whole lot another clean. You need to get rid of all the dust and grime from your fettling. It’s a good idea to give it a once-over with some panel wipe or degreaser too.

6. Apply some primer
If you choose full-on spandangleyness, hit ‘em with a couple of coats of primer before the top coat. Or to be quick, use Hammerite. Spray in a well-ventilated area and, to help the paint stick, make sure it’s nice’n’warm.


7. Get painting

Depending on the paint you use it could be anything between a few hours to a couple of days before they dry and harden enough to go back on the car. Usually the longer you leave them alone the better. In the meantime though it’s job done so feel free to be proud of your handywork and generally strut round like you own the place.