Light and sleek, alloy wheels are valued for their look, versatility and performance. Understandably, drivers want to keep their alloy wheels in excellent condition. However, when parking along a kerb, driving in tight space, or coming out of a garage, scuffing or scratching those alloy wheels is all too common of an occurrence. Such an event can ruin a day, but it's important not to panic. Most superficial damage on alloy wheels can be repaired right at home, and quite quickly if all the supplies are readily available. Prior to starting, though, read over how to repair your scuffed alloy wheels at home.
Fixing Alloy Wheel Scuffs
Note that careful adherence to procedure and having the right supplies is critical to fixing alloy wheel scuffs properly. Also, if possible, due this during a sunny day, as warm Australian weather will make drying more effective and much faster, thus decreasing the amount of time you have to spend on the repair.
1. Gather Necessary Materials
Obviously, silver alloy wheel paint, automotive spray clear coat and wheel primer are essentials. Though pure silver paints match wheel many wheels just fine, it's crucial to test if the colour matches prior to buying. Sandpaper -- 240, 400 and 1500-grit -- is another necessary item, along with a flat sanding block, such as a piece of rubber or wood. Get putty (both scratch filler and spot putty) and masking tape and masking paper. Also, paint thinner or nail polisher, linen-free cloths, dish detergent, sponges and a bucket are required for cleaning.
2. Wash Scuffed Area
For this part, only focus on the scuff and surrounding area -- not the entire wheel. Grab dish detergent, a bucket of water and a sponge, then wipe down the tire and wheel. This is to scrub off the layer of protective silicone, which will ensure the paint job will look nicer. Then dry with a linen-free cloth. Next, use paint thinner and a cloth to clean the area. Let it dry completely before proceeding.
3. Mask off Wheel Lip
This has to be done sooner and later, and definitely needs to be done before sanding if the scuff is located by the wheel lip. Place the masking tape on the tire, being sure to get well behind the rim. This way the part of the tire near the wheel's scuff is covered with tape, and any sand dust, primer and paint won't get on it.
4. Sand Area, Then Clean
Get the 240-grit sandpaper and flat sanding block and rub back and forth over the scuff area until it's smoothed. Get a cloth dabbed with soap and water and wipe off excess sand dust. Let dry.
5. Fill Scratches, Then Sand and Clean
Dab scratch filler putty onto a sponge and fill the scuffed area. Allow it to dry, then apply an even layer of spot putty and let dry. After that, use 400-grit sandpaper on the putty until the area is firm, flush and blending in well. Lastly, use a cloth dabbed with soap and water to clean leftover sand dust off and then allow to dry.
6. Mask Area
Replace the dirty masking tape new masking tape. Then, use masking paper (newspaper, butcher paper, etc) to prevent overspray from the paint hitting nearby areas of the car.
7. Apply Primer, Then Sand, Clean and Re-Mask
Apply three light coats of primer. Between each coat, while let the primer dry, use paint thinner and a cloth to get overspray off other areas of the wheel. Once dry, gently sand the area. After sanding, clean gently with dish detergent and a damp cloth. Then allow to dry.
8. Apply Paint, Then Clean
Mist the automotive paint onto the car. Be careful not to spray too heavily or quickly, as this can cause the paint to splash into undesired area. If paint gets into undesired areas, clean with paint thinner and a cloth.
9. Apply Clear Coat, Then Sand and Clean
The clear coat is what's going to give the wheel the shine it needs. Apply two coats, with a half hour of drying time in between. Once dry, get out the 1500-grit sandpaper and buff the area until it looks polished and shows no imperfections or every having been damaged. Dust off sand dust and wash the wheel one more time.
10. Remove the Masking
Lastly, remove the masking and take a look at the newly repaired alloy wheel.