Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Accessorizing your car is easier than ever
by Jake Lingeman, February 18, 2019
Wheels. They’re delicate, they’re important and they’re probably the first thing on your car to have a scratch. They were never a good paint candidate because they’re such a crucial part of your car’s look. But since about 2010, chemical makers have been formulating…formulas that look great and are 100 percent temporary, the most famous of which is Plasti Dip.
However, the company wasn’t birthed in 2010 when rattle cans of the stuff became popular. It has been around since the early ‘70s creating all manner specialty rubber coatings. It started out as a way to add a non-stick coating to your tools.
Now, black is back. Almost every manufacturer offers at least black rims, if not a whole “murdered-out" package. Thankfully, if you didn’t get your car murdered out, you can do that with a couple cans of Plasti Dip. By the way, it comes in all colors of the rainbow now, and people have been known to throw a coat of gloss over the matte surface for that extra shine. I left my Mustang wheels in satin finish.
Here’s a step by step process for dipping your wheels; along with the video above I’ll add some of my own tips and tricks.
Step 1: Clean the crap out of your wheels. Spray them with soap and water and wipe them dry. Clean off all of the brake dust and wash them again, making sure to get into the nooks and crannies.
Step 2: Either protect your car's sensitive parts or take the wheels off. Our guy “throwsomediponit” uses a painter’s tarp to get behind the spokes and cover the brake parts. I took my wheels off and cut a round piece of cardboard to stop the overspray. Either way will work. He also sprays the Plasti Dip right on to his tires. I protected mine by slipping playing cards between the rim and tire. If you spray it on thick enough, you can always cut the excess with a razor blade.
Step 2.5: Warm. One thing I didn’t try was warming up the cans in a bucket of hot water. But Throwsomediponit swears by it.
Step 3: Spray. The first coat is light, maybe 50-60 percent coverage. Try to get it from every angle. Throwsomediponit says rotate the wheel after the first few coats and get the undersides. I had the wheels off the car, so I just rotated around the wheel as I was spraying. The second coat should be thick and wet, and be sure to dab off any drips with a clean rag. Coats 3 and 4 are also thick. Remember, the thicker you put it on, the easier it will come off. If the wheels are still on the car, rotate and spray more. Wait about 20 minutes between each coat.
Step 4: Finish. Remove the playing cards or painter’s tape around the edge, or trim with a razor. Remove the brake protection or put the wheel back on the car.
Step 5: Repeat for the rest of the wheels.
You can throw a coat of removable gloss on your wheels, or not. And Plasti Dip isn’t the only company out there either. Dupli-Color has a product, as does Rustoleum and AutoFlex. You’re supposed to remove it and recoat it once a year or so, though I’ve left mine covered for a few years now and the only problem is when you have new tires installed, the machine rips up the edges.
Overall, it’s a great way to change the look and feel of your ride without spending much money. And the coating works on almost everything, not just wheels. Mirror housings? Sure. Grille? We wouldn’t advise it but yes. Roof panel? Why not. You can always demurderize it later when styles inevitably change.