How Much Does it Cost to Paint Rims

Say, you have a car with a stunning interior and attractive paint, but the rims are peeled and damaged. It will ruin your car’s look. Polished rims not only enhance your transport’s (car or truck) appearance but also protect the frame. Although buying a new rim is an easier solution than painting, DIY painting your vehicle’s rim is much more cost-effective than buying one.

Why should you paint the rim?

  • Rims allow you to lessen the friction between the roads & tires. Thus, you can steer the car or truck easily.
  • Paint protects its metallic (aluminum alloy, steel & Teflon) body which not only gives the rims a shiny look but also makes it long-lasting.

How much does it cost to paint rims?

You can paint rims in two ways:

1) Professional painting job.

2) DIY rim painting job.

This guide will ensure that you get a clear knowledge of the total expenditure of rim painting whether it is professional painting or DIY painting. Apart from that, we also included a detailed guide to DIY (do it yourself) rim painting.

Wiping the rims

Before you plan to paint the rims, you should know the average cost (professional or DIY) of painting. So, you can choose a course of action that best suits your financial situation. We will give you an idea of the average cost of your painting job.

Besides, the metal of the rim, the chosen color, the price of the paint, and the cost of repairing it will affect the final cost of painting your sedan or truck. This expenditure will increase if you add customized signs, writing, logos, photos, etc.

1) Professional painting job

Sometimes the rims are worn-out or damaged so badly that it’s too difficult for you to repair them. It is high time to take the rims to a professional auto repair shop. If you have no time to repaint the rims, then hire an automobile technician.

  • The cost of painting rims by a professional may vary depending on some variables:
  • The wheel size and material of the wheel should be considered for your painting job. Most of the time, wheels and rims are made of the same material (chrome or alloy), but sometimes rims are made of different materials (steel or Teflon). Thus, it will affect the total price of your rim painting.
  • The wheel’s present condition is also a key factor in the cost of the painting job. You have to pay more if the wheel needs to be fixed.
  • The size of the rim also affects the cost of the rim painting.
  • The type of paint is another variable in the cost of your painting job. Expensive paint increases the total cost of rim painting.

 Initiation of painting rims in an auto repair shop:

First, ask the automotive technician, the approximate cost of the painting job. They will charge 25-100 dollars for each rim for removing, cleaning, repairing, sanding, and striping. This amount may vary depending on the cost of labor.

Now it’s time to apply new paint to the wheels. Polyurethane paint will cost 30-120 dollars per wheel. This expense may vary depending on which paint you select.   

The final cost of painting:

For four wheels, your automobile technician may charge 200 to 1000 dollars. They will charge more if you want to paint an SUV or truck. The cost also varies based on the location of the auto repair shop.

2)    DIY rim painting job

Since you are spending your time painting rims by yourself to save money, don’t hesitate to give 6 to 20 hours for the job to be fully done. This time, we deserve to avoid wasting money. Completing the total painting job, including primer, paint, other supplies, etc. will cost about 100 dollars for the car rims.


Essential materials you need for DIY rim painting:

  • Primer: To fix the paint to the metal on the rims, you need at least two cans of primer. The price of a can is at least 15 dollars.
  • Sandpaper:  To make the wheels smooth, sandpaper should be used. Thus, the paint will stick to the wheels evenly.
  • Paint: You have a few options for painting the rims of your vehicle, although glossy black and black are two popular colors. A few painting options are mentioned below-
  1. Truck bed liner: 

If you want scratch-proof as well as long-lasting black paint on your rim, a spray-on truck bed liner is the right option. Per can of this paint, it costs 15 dollars, so you have to pay 45-60 dollars to cover four car rims.

  • Plasti dip:

The rubberized coating of the Plasti dip has a detachable rim. You have to spend around 50 dollars to buy four cans of Plasti dip in a kit. It’s a wise choice to protect your car’s rims from scratching.

  • Spray paint:

To customize your worn-out rims or wheels Dupli-color wheel spray paint can be used. You will need 4 cans for car rims, and the total expenditure is 50-60 dollars.

Other essential materials you may need:

A lug wrench, a wire brush mounted on a drill, a jack, steel wool, a mask and eye protection, soap or degreaser, water, painter’s tape, and plastic sheeting and drop cloths are some must-have things you need for the painting job.

Step-by-Step Instructions for DIY Rim Painting

  • 1st step: Removing rims

To make the painting job easy, you have to remove the rims from the wheels. Don’t forget to put eye protection & a mask on.

  • 2nd step: Cleaning the wheels

Clearing dirt before painting is crucial. Cover the wheels up with soap/degreaser, and wash them out with a power washer. Finally, dry the wheel up.

  • 3rd step: Using Grit Sandpaper

Now you have to take off all the old paint & rust. First, start with 300-grit sandpaper, then use 500-grit sandpaper. The wire brush is also a good option instead of this heavy-grit sandpaper. To get a mirror-like finish, rub it with steel wool.

  • 4th step: Covering the tire

Before applying primer to the rim, you should wrap the tire.  Painter’s tape/plastic sheeting can be used for this purpose. Don’t forget to keep a drop cloth under the tire.

  • 5th step: Spraying

Spray two layers of primer on the rims. After completely drying out the first layer, apply the other layer.

  • 6th step: Painting

Try the paint on cardboard to check the pattern and see if it needs any readjustment.  Apply 2-3 coats of paint to the rims. You have to ensure the complete dryness of one layer of paint before applying the next one.

Now leave the wheels overnight to get dry. Take off the painter’s tape/sheeting before reinstalling the wheels.

Final Thoughts

Whether you hire an automotive technician or paint yourself, it will change the total appearance of your vehicle. Thus, painting the rims not only changes the look of the car but also protects the metal of the wheels from dirt, mud, friction, and moisture.

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