Whether you followed our guide on spray painting wheels, or you have recently had your wheels painted via spray cans or a paint gun – protecting them with a coating is probably the next thing on your to do list.
In our tutorial, we went over how to paint your wheels using either Rustoleum or Duplicolor spray paint. If you followed our step by step guide then you probably have some nice looking wheels right about now. The only problem with spray painted wheels is that the paint isn’t as durable as factory or powder-coated rims.
However, if you keep a protective coating on them you’ll be able to keep your wheels looking good for many years.
What kind of wax or sealant is best for spray painted wheels?
Any protective coating is better than nothing, and a synthetic wax isn’t a bad choice. But, if you want the longest-lasting protection, then a ceramic coating is the way to go. There is not a specific brand that you need to choose, but it’s best to go with a reputable brand that you trust.
CarPro Cquarts is a great option, and it’s not too difficult to apply. It will last about two years and protect your wheels from the elements, which is especially important for those of us who experience harsh winters with snow and ice.
How do you wash your spray painted wheels without damaging them?
The most important thing you can do is avoid any harsh chemicals or strong wheel cleaners. Spray paint isn’t tough and will get damaged much easier than powder-coated or factory painted wheels. Use a very soft brush or wash mitt and wash them with regular car shampoo – the same stuff you’re washing your car with.
Washing your wheels like this on a weekly or bi-weekly basis will prevent build-up of brake dust and prevent the need for harsh chemicals.
Also, once you install the ceramic coating on your wheels they will come clean much easier than before. So, the combination of having a protective coating and washing them properly will keep them looking fresh for many years to come.
More tips and advice for taking care of your painted wheels…
Take it easy on dirt roads!!! Rocks will chip your paint fairly easy and even the best ceramic coating won’t prevent such damage.
Don’t wait too long to wash your car – make sure to wash it at least once a month and clean your wheels as described above.
Avoid harsh wheel brushes, as the paint is relatively soft and may scratch easier than factory wheels. It’s also wise to avoid automatic car washes, unless you know for a fact that the wash is gentle on the wheels – although most aren’t.
You can polish them, although you don’t want to use anything too abrasive. Skip the compound, and just hit them up with a polish, such as Meguiars Ultimate Polish. Do this before installing the ceramic coating or applying wax.
With that said, it’s also worth mentioning that quick waxes can be useful for those who don’t want to install a ceramic coating. A liquid wax and a foam pad are great as well, but a spray wax is even easier to apply. Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax and Turtle Wax ICE Seal N Shine Hybrid Sealant.
If it doesn’t snow where you live, then a quick spray wax should do an okay job – but it will only work if you keep applying it as needed and washing your wheels properly on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.