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How Much Does It Cost to Paint Rims & More

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Painting the rims or wheels of your vehicle will give the vehicle an extra touch of class and style. Asides from beautifying the look of the vehicle, painted rims also protect the metallic frame of the rim.

Whether the rims of your vehicle were made from cast aluminum, alloy, or chrome, painting them holds a lot of benefits.

It will make the rims last longer, make them thrive well in muddy terrain, and will still give your vehicle a classy appearance. However, before you can get all those perks, you need to paint the rims first and that can cost you a bit of cash.

On Average, it costs between $30 and $100 to paint each rim of your car by yourself and between $50 and $200 to hire the services of a professional car painter. Hiring a professional car painter or employing the services of an auto repair shop will cost you more than it would when you paint the rims by yourself.

Additionally, the cost of the paint, the type of rims, the preferred color, and the cost of repairs if needed will also impact the total price it will cost you to fully paint the rims of your vehicle. For instance, personal customization of the rims to display particular logos, signs, writings, or pictures will cost more.

It’s important to know the cost of painting your vehicle’s rims before you go on so you can make better financial decisions and choose the best rim paint that will fit your budget. So let’s figure out how to estimate the cost of painting rims.

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What Type of Paint Do You Use on Rims?

There isn’t one specific type of paint for all rims. The type of paint you will use on a chrome rim is different from the type of paint needed for alloy rims. Regardless of the type of rim your vehicle has, you will need a primer, spray paint designed for car wheels, and a clear coat finish.

These three materials are needed for all wheels but the variation comes in terms of the product you will need for your wheels.

For chrome rims, acrylic or latex metal paint will work just fine but you will need to strip part of the chrome off so the paint will stick to the rim. For alloy and aluminum rims, rust-oleum paint or polyurethane paint will work well.

Rust-oleum paint is usually recommended not just for the wheels of a car but for the metallic parts of the car itself. Rust-oleum paint works well on metal and as you have probably guessed, the paint has a quality coat that prevents rust.

The paint is usually used on ships, cars, trailers, trains, and other metallic vehicles and objects. Rust-oleum is a great pick for painting rims. You just need to focus on your preferred color and ensure the paint can you pick is suited for the rim.

Paints for rims are sold in rattle cans and are usually sprayed on the rim directly. There isn’t any need to mix the paint, get a paintbrush or a paint sprayer.

All you need to do is to ensure the paint is dissolved, then give the can a nice shake and spray the rims. The rattle can is usually filled with compressed air which makes it easy to spray paint. Think of it as spray-painting your suede shoes only on a bigger scale.

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How to Calculate the Cost of Painting Rims?

The total cost of painting the rims depends largely on the type of paint used and the method used in painting the rims. The exact cost of painting car rims cannot be exactly estimated when you want to paint the rims by yourself.

Yes, our estimate can be right or wrong because it depends on many factors. But, how to calculate the cost of painting rims? You have to know the price of paint, tools, and the size of your rims to know the exact amount you will be spending to spray your rims.

However, when you hire a professional, the total cost of the painting process will be made known to you. All you have to do is select your preferred color, pay the fee, and pick your car later in the day or at most, the following day.

How to Calculate the Estimated Cost of Painting Rims by Yourself?

The challenge of calculating the total price it will cost you to paint the rims arises when you want to paint the rims by yourself. You will need to buy paint cans, the needed primer, and other materials to get a good paint job. For instance, to paint an alloy rim, you will need to:

  • Buy the Required Paint – The price of rust-oleum metallic paint cans ranges from as low as $15 to as high as $100. The cost of the rust-oleum paint per gallon costs more. For all four alloy rims, you will need more than one can of rust-oleum paint. Let’s assume one paint can cost $60 and you buy 3. That’s a total price of $180 for the paint.
  • Buy the Needed Primer – The primer needs to be applied on the rim before painting to increase the adhesiveness and make the paint stick better to the rim. The primer needed will have to be designed for metallic surfaces and metallic paint. Most paint primers for metal cost between $15 to $40. Let’s assume the primer you buy costs $25.
  • Buy or Rent the Tools and Materials Needed –  To paint the rims by yourself, you will need to lift the vehicle using a jack and remove the tires so the sprayed paint can reach the inner parts of the rim. You will also need to fix the tires back in place, and some types of paint will even require a specific drying method. You will need tools and materials to do all these. You may be lucky to have some of these materials in the trunk of your car while you might need to buy or rent some.
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The cost of purchasing the tools will vary and can cost well over $200. Though the cost of renting the tools wouldn’t be as high as buying them, the rental price will still affect the total cost of painting the rims.

By the time you add the prices of the paint, primer, and tools needed together, you will have a total price of over $250 and that’s without taking into account the cost of repairing the worn out parts, the cost of hiring help, and the likes.

At the end of the day, the total estimated cost of painting the rims yourself can be up to $400. The bright side to this is that it will cost relatively more to employ the services of a professional or an auto repair shop.

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How to Calculate the Estimated Cost of Hiring a Professional to Paint the Rims of Your Vehicle?

For professionals and auto-repair shops, many of them charge you based on the type of rims your vehicle has, the condition of the rim, and the type of paint job you want.

For instance, if you want to paint the rims of a Honda Civic 2005 model, the total price you will be billed will depend on all the above-mentioned factors.

The 2005 Honda Civic would likely have silver-finished alloy rims. If you want to change the finish to black, you will be charged for:

  • Prepping the Wheels –  This includes the removal, cleaning, sandblasting, and repair if needed. The price will be calculated per wheel and can cost between $25 to over $100 per rim.
  • Painting the Wheels –  Since you want black color, the silver finish will have to be removed and then a can of rust-oleum black paint or polyurethane paint will be sprayed on the wheels. The price will be calculated per wheel and cost between $30 to $100 per painted rim. Depending on the car and the paint used, it may cost more than $100.

When you add the price to prep and paint, the total cost can be as high as $150 per rim and that’s without adding potential charges for transport, storage, and the likes. Eventually, you might be staring at a total cost of up to $200 for each finished rim.

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Should You Paint the Rims by Yourself or Hire a Professional?

Painting the rims of your vehicle is a task you can take on yourself. If you have the time, the experience, and you are willing, you should paint the rims yourself. You will get more satisfaction and pride in doing it by yourself. However, if you want to employ the services of a professional, you can too.

Any method you decide to use will work well but there are a few factors to consider before you go ahead to hire or DIY.

  • Cost: employing the services of a professional car painter will cost you more than it would if you paint the rims by yourself. So if you are interested in a pocket-friendly option, you should paint the rims yourself and if you don’t mind the cost, then you can hire. You would also be guaranteed professionalism and a good paint job when you hire.
  • Experience: Your level of experience with using the tools accustomed to painting car rims is a crucial factor that determines if you should DIY or hire a professional. If you know you aren’t very experienced with such tasks, you should take time to learn first or just hire a professional.
  • The Size of the Car: Smaller car rims are easier to remove and paint than bigger car rims. For instance, if you have a Toyota Sedan, removing the rims and painting them will be easier than taking on the same task for a Toyota Hilux. So a bigger car will require an extra set of hands or professional help.
  • The Condition of the Rim: the condition of the rim also determines if you DIY or hire a professional. Before you go ahead to paint, you need to clean the rims, remove the rust by sandblasting, prime the rims, and paint. Some rims would be dirtier and rustier than others which makes them more difficult to paint. So the condition of the rim matters.
  • Time: painting rims can take a bit of time. The whole process is usually lengthy so if you are time-conscious or have some other things to do, you will be better off hiring a professional to do it for you.
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Why Are Car Rims Painted?

Car rims are usually painted for two reasons:

  • For protection
  • For beautification

No doubt painting the rims of a vehicle adds more glamor and finesse to the overall look of the vehicle. Black matte paint is in vogue these days.

The gentle yet classy look of the black matte wheels is easy on the eye. You can pimp an old vehicle by just painting the wheels and giving the body a new coat of paint and no one would recognize the vehicle.

Asides from beautification and looks, painting the rims of a car also helps with preserving the condition of the wheels especially when the vehicle is regularly used on rough and dirty terrain. Metal doesn’t thrive in dirt and moisture. This makes it important to protect the metal rims of a vehicle so it doesn’t rot. You should note that the paint used on rims is very different from regular paint.

The wheels of a vehicle deal with a huge deal of friction, mud, water, dirt, and debris. Any or all of these can ruin the rims of a vehicle and can also impede the performance of the vehicle as a whole. So rims are painted for increased durability and appearance.

So there you have it. Now you know why you should paint your wheels and how to calculate the estimated cost. Just take into account the prices of everything you will need to paint the rims and you are good to go.

If you have any questions or comments, kindly leave them below and I’ll attend to them as soon as possible. Have a nice rim-painting experience.

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We’re a team of engineers, contractors, technicians, and woodworking experts who use power tools daily and share fact-based information, tips, and recommendations. At thetoolgeeks.com, we debunk myths about power tools and share methods to use them effectively.

The Tool Geeks Team

We're a team of engineers, contractors, technicians, and woodworking experts who use power tools daily and share fact-based information, tips, and recommendations. At thetoolgeeks.com, we debunk myths about power tools and share methods to use them effectively.

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