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  #1  
Old 05-18-2009, 03:21 PM
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Painting aluminum wheels??

I have a set of old aluminum wheels.
In this application I want to paint them Argent Silver.
The last set of wheels I did turned out great, but they were steel.

I've never painted a set of aluminum wheels, any specific tricks I need to know?

Thankz
E
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:19 PM
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Not really any different than painting steel wheels. Use a good primer and then topcoat. Depending on the surface finish of the wheels, you may need to chemically etch them for good primer adhesion. Of course IMO abrasive media blasting would be a better way to etch them.
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:38 PM
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Not really any different than painting steel wheels. Use a good primer and then topcoat. Depending on the surface finish of the wheels, you may need to chemically etch them for good primer adhesion. Of course IMO abrasive media blasting would be a better way to etch them.
Self Etching Primer??
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:52 PM
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Self Etching Primer??
That would probably work. I would however clean them very well and sand the smooth areas to remove the oxidation and provide a little bite for the primer.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:00 PM
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If you use self etching primer I would make sure that it will etch the aluminum. If I remember right when we had aluminum motorcycle gas tanks painted where I used to work the primer the painter used was different then for steel. But then I am NOT a painter (I don't even like painting with rattle cans). There's my $.02 but I am not sure if it was even worth that.

Lunch is over, back to work.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:38 PM
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The key to paint is always prep work; so, yes I will lightly sand or sand blast the surface, I could use an acid wash of some sort.... The outside of the wheel will be silver and the back side and slots will be blue... I think...
I'll be using a polyurethane type paint if I can find it in rattle can again on the outside, on the inside I can use anything as it is not as visible.

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Old 05-18-2009, 07:50 PM
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If they have any clearcoat on them DO NOT USE any striper. it will eembed it self in the wheel and mess you up later.Good luck.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:00 PM
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If they have any clearcoat on them DO NOT USE any striper. it will eembed it self in the wheel and mess you up later.Good luck.
They don't, being old "Slotted Mags" perfect for my 70's truck. Painted to protect the metal from the nearly useless stuff they spray on the roads in the winter. These will be the all-around/street wheels, I think H1's & spacers will eventually be the Trail Wheels.

That is a great tip though I'll file it away for the future!!
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:59 PM
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media clean, or roloc them with the red pad, self etch primer (auto body supply store will get you straightened out on which one)

very important to get the primer on the wheel soon for the etch to stick.
otherwise it will be flaking off in sheets shortly there after
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:02 AM
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gonna do that much work use roloc fine pad then work up to a 2000 grit sand paper then pollish them and clear coat
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:54 AM
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my first metal job ever was building alluminum gunships for the navy, when we painted them we started with a zolatone base primer that stuck to anything then strayed them with an epoxy paint for durability. but you could easily lay dow na layer of automotive over it. rubberized undercoating would be an excellent and durable primer as well, if you don't mind the rough look ;-)
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:20 PM
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gonna do that much work use roloc fine pad then work up to a 2000 grit sand paper then pollish them and clear coat
Ummm... Because I can prep the wheel for paint is maybe 45-min per and to get them to the point where I would polish them would take another 2 hours per... In one case the wheel is just too rough...
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:23 PM
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Back when I worked at the Restoration shop we used to use an Aluminum prep liquid. It was an acid of some sort. You would scrub the aluminum with this liquid and a maroon scuffing pad. You would then follow with water to neutralize the liquid. We would then spray the panel with an automotive primer. I'm not sure if this step can be skipped since you will be media blasting the wheels. We did a lot of body panels that couldn't be blasted.
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miteclgst View Post
Back when I worked at the Restoration shop we used to use an Aluminum prep liquid. It was an acid of some sort. You would scrub the aluminum with this liquid and a maroon scuffing pad. You would then follow with water to neutralize the liquid. We would then spray the panel with an automotive primer. I'm not sure if this step can be skipped since you will be media blasting the wheels. We did a lot of body panels that couldn't be blasted.
Chemical (acid) etching is not necessary on media blasted material. The media blasting mechanically etches the material, providing good adhesion for primers/paints. I actually prefer the media blasted method.
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Old 05-24-2009, 05:31 PM
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I agree, then you wont have to worry about the chem coming back to haunt you later.
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  #16  
Old 08-18-2009, 02:12 PM
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What about polishing and then clear-coating some aluminum wheels? What clear coat do i need to use?
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  #17  
Old 08-18-2009, 02:37 PM
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self etching primer in a spray bomb is crap, etching primer that actually etches the metal is a 2 component primer with an acid based activator.
you cannot put any acid in a spray can without it eating the can itself.
all major paint manufacturers make a 2K wash primer (acid etch) for steel or aluminum, some work on both, some don't!
that cheap crap in a can will fail as soon as you get a chip through the paint film & you will be doing this again!
every one can dissagree with me if they want but I have been in the B.S (body shop not bull $hit) business for over 20 years.
WWW.DAVESAUTOBODYINC.COM
buy a cheapie spray gun & do it right, use automotive finishes not spray paint that is $hitty old synthetic enamel.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:48 PM
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also most of the larger PPG jobbers can put ready to spray automotive paint in a spray can, they have an awesome machine that fills & pressurizes the spray can with whatever, not cheap though they start around 30$ a can.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUPERD View Post
self etching primer in a spray bomb is crap, etching primer that actually etches the metal is a 2 component primer with an acid based activator.
you cannot put any acid in a spray can without it eating the can itself.
all major paint manufacturers make a 2K wash primer (acid etch) for steel or aluminum, some work on both, some don't!
that cheap crap in a can will fail as soon as you get a chip through the paint film & you will be doing this again!
every one can dissagree with me if they want but I have been in the B.S (body shop not bull $hit) business for over 20 years.
WWW.DAVESAUTOBODYINC.COM
buy a cheapie spray gun & do it right, use automotive finishes not spray paint that is $hitty old synthetic enamel.
Why don't you stop by on your way home and shoot these for me?
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  #20  
Old 08-18-2009, 02:57 PM
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I don't want any color, just gonna polish the aluminum and then clear coat. I have some nice spray guns so that is not an issue. Do I need to prep the aluminum with anything or just shoot them in clear?
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