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Old 06-17-2013, 10:25 AM   #1
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Talking Aluminum Wheel Resurface/Paint project

So a long time ago I bought a jeep with a set of aluminum American Racing wheels on it. Right after I bought it I swapped them out for a set of black Craigers I had (as seen in the picture of the jeep) After awhile I had the project bug and was trying to find something I could do to the jeep to change its look. I figured resurfacing the wheels would be a change.

You can see how badly they were corroded and pitted. They were like that when I took them off the Jeep. Most of the damage was done around the lugs and the rim of the wheel. I never thought I would be able to bring these back to life at first but after some research I found that It would be possible.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:36 AM   #2
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After I assested the damage I thought out a plan of attack. I first decided that I would use my grinder with a wire wheel to prep the rough areas of corrosion. After that I would sand the rest of the wheel.

Well that plan went down the drain fast. I found out fast that it would take for ever to hand sand all the wheels. I was talking to a friend that suggested aircraft paint stripper to get down to the base metal with NO MAJOR SANDING!!! Yes please. Looked into the idea and it was an easy decision.

The pictures show the wheels all ready for the paint stripper to be applied. One wheel was already primed from earlier before the idea of using the paint stripper. One picture also shows all the materials I used for this project.

Materials include:

Grey primer x2 cans, Dupli-color wheel paint (Graphite) x2 cans, respirator, aircraft paint stripper for metal, latex gloves, metal tray for paint stripper, 2" paint brush, 1000 and 1200 grit sand paper.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:38 AM   #3
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Looks like a fun project. That aircraft paint stripper is great stuff.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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I had never used paint stripper before and only had seen videos of it in action. My first thought was that it didn't actually work the way they said it did. However it did. You could literally watch the paint peal away from the metal. It was amazing. I was sold. Each wheel took a few coats of stripper to pull all the clear coat off the wheels and a few extra for the one I primed previously. Over all It made the project way easier. Thanks to my friend for the suggestion. After the paint stripper was applied and the specified time passed then the real work began. Now, it's a lot better than sanding the whole wheel by using the stripper but cleaning the pealed up paint/clear coat off is the hard work part. Getting in the little cracks is a pain. The beads on my wheels were the hard part.

The pictures attached are of the wheels during the stripper application.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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Few more pictures of the paint stripper in action.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:02 AM   #6
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Now I forgot to get pictures of the wheels after I cleaned all the clear coat off. But attached is one picture I have of one wheel that I have two coats of primer and two coats of the graphite wheel paint on so far. I plan on putting a few more coats on since i'm not going to clear coat these rims due to the texture the paint leaves. The paint it awesome. It has a great look, just what I was looking for.

It has been a big process so far and thought I would share with the forum in case someone else was thinking about doing the same thing.
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corrosion , paint , resurfacing , wheels

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