Auto Faction enjoys maintaining, improving, and modding cars.
If you're tired of your old, curb-rashed wheels or just want to try a new look, then you should consider a Plasti Dip wheel coating.
Plasti Dip has become extremely popular and has proven to be a great way to safely and temporarily change the look of your car. You can do this on grilles, badges, trim, and just about any other part of your vehicle, but today we're going to focus on wheels.
What Is Plasti Dip?
Plasti Dip is a colored, rubberized coating that you can dip, brush, or spray onto parts. It was originally used for coating tool handles, but the variety of applications for it has grown exponentially. You can use the rubber material to change the color of parts, like wheels temporarily, and you can peel the material off if you ever decide to remove the finish or change colors. Although Plasti Dip can be removed easily, it is quite durable, and a great way to protect the original finish of your wheels.
What Colors Does Plasti Dip Come in?
Previously, Plasti Dip was only offered in a few matte colors like red, black, and white. You can still get these colors, but you can get many more; they now offer a "mix-your-own-color kit." Websites like dipyourcar.com offer a variety of premixed colors like gunmetal, monster green, blue, purple, and yellow. You can now buy gloss coatings or "metalizers" as well, to add a glossy, silvery, or golden look to your Plasti Dip coatings.
1. The first step is to clean your wheels vigorously. Dirt, grease, or wax will keep the Plasti Dip from sticking to small areas, and as a result, your finish will not be as durable. No other preparation is needed other than cleaning the wheels. Sanding may just make your job more difficult, as the Plasti Dip will be harder to remove from a rough surface. Do make sure that the wheels are completely dry before moving on.
2. After cleaning the wheels, you need to decide whether you are going to apply the Plasti Dip while the wheels are on or off your car. It's easier to apply Plasti Dip to wheels that are off the car because you can tilt the wheel and spray at angles that are difficult to reach when the wheel is sitting upright. That does not mean, however, that you can't spray the wheels while they are on the car. You just have to be careful of any hidden surfaces you might miss while spraying.
3. You have two choices for how to mask off the tire to reduce the amount of overspray. Overspray is not the worst thing in the world here, because Plasti Dip will peel off tires, but it's a lot easier if we take some steps to keep overspray to a minimum. You can either use masking or painter's tape to tape off the tire around the edge of the wheel, or place your deck of cards upright around the outer lip of the wheel (see below).
How to Plasti-Dip Your Wheels
Now we can talk about how to apply Plasti Dip. Before you start, you're going to need a few things:
- Soap, water, and a sponge
- A roll of masking tape OR a few decks of cards
- Your Plasti Dip
More About Adding Style to Your Car
If you like this guide, check out my other articles on how to Plasti Dip car badges or grilles, and how to choose a performance summer tire. Get a pair of grippy tires to match your newly finished wheels and add the finishing touches of style to the exterior of your car.
4. Now that the tire is masked off, you can begin spraying your wheels. Spray using arcing, evenly-paced passes. Spraying Plasti Dip is a lot more forgiving than spraying paint, but still, try not to create drips or bubbles. The first coat should be very light and still seem almost transparent. After it dries for 10 minutes or so, you should be ready for a second coat. Again, just lightly cover the wheels with smooth, even-paced sprays. After the second coat, the color should be more solid, but still not completely opaque; again, let this coat dry before moving on. The third coat will be the last. Spray just as light as before, but you'll notice that the color will become completely solid now. After the third coat dries you can extra spray to areas that might need touching up. After you apply your last coat, let the wheels dry at least 40 minutes to an hour before trying to handle them.
5. If you want to add a glossy or metallic finish to the wheels, make sure the last coat of Plasti Dip is completely dry, then spray the glossy or metallic coating on top of it. Try to spray very lightly, especially if using the silver or gold coating; these metallic-effect sprays go on pretty heavy. When you're done, wait for everything to dry and remove the cards or masking tape.
You're done! Enjoy the new look of your wheels! If you ever want to remove the finish or change colors, simply peel the coating up from the edge of the wheel, it's that simple.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Richard from Texas on March 31, 2020:
Very interesting. I didn't even know that could be done by a DIYer.
Thanks for the information
blablabla on March 28, 2018:
ppl says it last up to 6 months with plasti dip on wheels... I dont know how ppl apply it but generally you need atleast 5 coats. I did my wheel 4 years ago, drive the car everyday, under the sun all day long, in white too. Still same color as brand new. Car wash the car a lot, pressure wash the car at home too, and no problem what so ever. I just removed the paint - super easy. still brand new wheel paint under it. Will apply another color on the wheels, cheap for under 100$ do to yourself and last long time too.
Dustan on May 16, 2017:
I just done mine two days ago as planned above I recommend get plasi dip and not rustoliuims flexid it shrinks causing cracks I used to cans then still had cracks like crazy soo I went for more luckily I found the real brand I respray over the already costed rim and only two days I have some trouble I'm assuming I'll have to re do it but it's trail and error I didn't do it I took it to my "mcanic" and they did an awful job that just cost me alotta money next time I'll be doing it myself and it will not have a line nor a crack I have ocd haha
Joanne on November 03, 2016:
Do have a certain brand of coating you'd recommend? Thanks!
Waleed on August 20, 2016:
How many bottles did u use for 4 rims
Auto Faction (author) on July 10, 2012:
Plasti dip coatings on wheels can last up to 5 or 6 months. This being said, most cars that are driven daily and put through automatic car washes or generally treated normally should only expect 3 or 4 months of lifespan on the coating. There are a few horror stories out there about coatings that have only lasted a few weeks, but those are more often than not due to less than thorough cleaning of the wheels or too thick of coats. Thanks for the question.