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LAST UPDATED: November 21, 2019

Best Wheel Paints for Aluminum: Bring Back the Shine

These are the top paints for restoring the shine of any aluminum wheel

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PUBLISHED ON November 21, 2019

Painting your wheels is one of the easiest ways to improve the overall look of your vehicle. Some paints are specially formulated for aluminum wheel surfaces and clean up the minor flaws that have gathered on the metal surface. In addition, they keep the surface of the wheel protected against future damage from the elements. Here are the three best wheel paints on the market.

  • Best Overall
    Dupli-Color Black High-Performance Wheel Paint
    Dupli-Color Black High-Performance Wheel Paint
    Summary
    Summary

    The paint comes with a special formula that recovers the look of worn-out wheels. It can withstand harsh conditions without cracking. It also dries quickly.

    Pros
    Pros

    The paint delivers a glossy and metallic finish. It resists peeling and flaking. Since it’s resistant to chemicals and brake dust, it lasts long.

    Cons
    Cons

    The paint can be difficult to spray uniformly as it is thin. It also requires the application of a primer and a clear coat.

  • Best Overall
    Dupli-Color Black High-Performance Wheel Paint
    Dupli-Color Black High-Performance Wheel Paint
  • Best Value
    Rust-Oleum High-Performance Wheel Spray Paint
    Rust-Oleum High-Performance Wheel Spray Paint
    Summary
    Summary

    This paint has been specially formulated to minimize corrosion and rust. It is suited for all metal wheels and plastic as well. The paint works well even without a primer.

    Pros
    Pros

    The paint spreads easily and provides good coverage. It is an oil-based formula that dries very fast. Any-angle spraying technology makes application easier.

    Cons
    Cons

    The durability of the paint is not the best. The finished surface has a slightly rough texture.

  • Best Value
    Rust-Oleum High-Performance Wheel Spray Paint
    Rust-Oleum High-Performance Wheel Spray Paint
  • Honorable Mention
    VHT Gloss Black Wheel Paint
    VHT Gloss Black Wheel Paint
    Summary
    Summary

    This paint has a polyurethane base that offers a high level of protection. It can withstand high temperatures very well. It is easy to apply and provides an even coat.

    Pros
    Pros

    This versatile paint can be applied to brake calipers, drums, and rotors. The paint is equally effective on all metal alloy wheel surfaces. It protects effectively against abrasive materials like sand, brake dust, and salts.

    Cons
    Cons

    The surface finish produced is not consistent. The nozzle design makes application difficult, and it works best when used with a primer and clear coat.

  • Honorable Mention
    VHT Gloss Black Wheel Paint
    VHT Gloss Black Wheel Paint

    Painting your wheels is one of the easiest ways to improve the overall look of your vehicle. Some paints are specially formulated for aluminum wheel surfaces and clean up the minor flaws that have gathered on the metal surface. In addition, they keep the surface of the wheel protected against future damage from the elements. Here are the three best wheel paints on the market.

    Best Wheel Paint for Aluminum Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    The Dupli-Color Black High Performance Wheel Paint comes in a 12-ounce rattle can. It has been tested and approved by vehicle manufacturers for use on restoring scratch or chip on the original factory finish.


    This wheel paint is really good in providing a glossy and metallic finish to your wheels due to its exact-color match paint, and clear coat. It is also good at restoring and protecting your wheels from peeling and flaking with its scratch fix all-in-one touch up tool that includes an abrasive prep tip. 


    The only problem with this wheel paint is that it is quite difficult to spray uniformly on the wheel, as its consistency is quite thin. You will also need to purchase a primer and a clear coat to ensure that the paint stays on your wheel longer.

    Best Value

    The Rust-Oleum High Performance Wheel Spray Paint comes in an 11-ounce rattle can. It is an oil-based formula that has a fast-drying feature and provides a strong and long-lasting protection for your wheel. 


    The paint spreads easily and provides good coverage (it covers up to 8 square meters). This wheel paint is ideal for rust and scratch prevention, so you can use it for metal wheels and plastic hubcaps, among others. Restoring the original look of your wheels can definitely be achieved with this wheel paint and provides a high shine finish that will make them look brand new. 


    However, the durability of the paint itself is not guaranteed. Despite the high shine finish, your wheel can have a slightly rough texture.

    Honorable Mention

    The VHT Gloss Black Wheel Paint comes in an 11-ounce rattle can. It is a versatile wheel paint that can be applied to various auto parts.


    The best thing about this wheel paint is that it protects your wheels from high temperature and chemicals due to polyurethane. In fact, it can withstand temperatures up to 900 degrees. It is also great at protecting your wheels from sand, brake, dust, and salt. When you use a primer color paint and a clear coat with it, then it is guaranteed to last a long time.


    The downside, however, is that the surface finish produced is not consistent with this wheel paint. Moreover, the nozzle is quite challenging to use. If you are on a budget, the extra primer and clear coat you need for better results can be a bit too much on your wallet.

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    All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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    Benefits of Wheel Paint for Aluminum

    • Affordable. It is definitely cheaper to use wheel paint than to buy brand new rims. Your wheels will have a new look without you having to spend so much. All you have to do is spray it on and you have fresh-looking wheels on your car.
    • Adds attractiveness. Looking good need not be difficult when you use wheel paint. The most effort you need to make is to use your forefinger to press on the spray can to give your wheels a fresh and a more attractive look.
    • Revitalizes and protects. If your wheels are worn, chipped, and damaged, you can revitalize it with wheel paint. However, you can also use wheel paint for brand new wheels if you want to protect it from high temperatures, rust, and other blemishes.

    Types of Wheel Paint for Aluminum

    Rattle Can

    Wheel paints come in rattle cans or aerosol cans that look like spray paint cans you use for graffiti. Rattle cans usually contain a total of 11-12 ounces of paint, solvent, and propellant or compressed air. All you have to do to expel the wheel paint is to press the nozzle of the can with your forefinger. Before pressing it, however, check whether the hole is facing toward the wheel and not toward yourself to avoid spraying paint on your face and clothing.

    Top Brands

    Rust-Oleum

    Rust-Oleum has been manufacturing protective paints and coatings since 1921. The company mainly focuses on providing paint and coating for home and industrial use, just like for car wheels. One of the best products from this company is the Rust-Oleum Spray Paint for Aluminum.

    Dupli-Color

    Dupli-Color is a self-proclaimed leader in providing do-it-yourself or diy automotive paints and coatings. It is a division of Sherwin Williams Company and has been around since 1938. It manufactures products to fit your paint restoration and coating needs. Dupli-Color HWP103 Clear High Performance Wheel Paint is one of its best products. 

    Wheel Paint for Aluminum Pricing

    • $5-$20: This is basically the only price range you have for wheel paint for aluminum. Part of the reason is that there is only one type of it, which is the rattle can type of wheel paint. The brand is the only factor that affects the price range. Of course, the more known and trusted the brand, the more expensive the wheel paint is. Wheel paints in this price range contain 11 or 12 ounces.

    Key Features

    Color

    When we paint our wheels, we must consider the color of the paint. The reason is simple: we want it to match the color of the car. The most popular wheel paint colors for any car color are silver and black. However, if you are the type who wants to go crazy with your wheel’s color, then you may go for other color options such as blue or red.

    Finish

    After the color, you must consider the finish. Finish refers to the texture you want as a result of painting your wheels. You can choose from matte, satin, or high gloss finish. Satin is the middle ground between the very shiny high gloss and the not-so-shiny matte.

    Versatility

    Considering the versatility of your wheel paint can save you a lot of money. Versatile wheel paints can be used for painting other auto parts like hubcaps and other accessories, which can also save you a lot of time. If you want to update more than the appearance of your wheels, then you must definitely get a versatile wheel paint. 

    Other Considerations

    • Brand. Premium brands have a higher quality than unknown ones. These have already been tried and tested by users for a long time, so they deserve some increase in value. If you have the money to splurge, then we suggest that you go for the $20 wheel paints because they will last quite a long time.
    • Value. Watch out for promotional offers that will surely help you save a lot of money. If you are on a budget, then you should definitely consider the value you are getting for your money. There are value packs that offer multiple cans of wheel paint. There are also packs that offer a wheel paint and a clear coat as a set.

    Best Wheel Paint for Aluminum Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall
    Dupli-Color Black High Performance Wheel Paint

    The Dupli-Color Black High Performance Wheel Paint comes in a 12-ounce rattle can. It has been tested and approved by vehicle manufacturers for use on restoring scratch or chip on the original factory finish.


    This wheel paint is really good in providing a glossy and metallic finish to your wheels due to its exact-color match paint, and clear coat. It is also good at restoring and protecting your wheels from peeling and flaking with its scratch fix all-in-one touch up tool that includes an abrasive prep tip. 


    The only problem with this wheel paint is that it is quite difficult to spray uniformly on the wheel, as its consistency is quite thin. You will also need to purchase a primer and a clear coat to ensure that the paint stays on your wheel longer.

    Best Value
    <strong>Rust-Oleum High Performance Wheel Spray Paint</strong>

    The Rust-Oleum High Performance Wheel Spray Paint comes in an 11-ounce rattle can. It is an oil-based formula that has a fast-drying feature and provides a strong and long-lasting protection for your wheel. 


    The paint spreads easily and provides good coverage (it covers up to 8 square meters). This wheel paint is ideal for rust and scratch prevention, so you can use it for metal wheels and plastic hubcaps, among others. Restoring the original look of your wheels can definitely be achieved with this wheel paint and provides a high shine finish that will make them look brand new. 


    However, the durability of the paint itself is not guaranteed. Despite the high shine finish, your wheel can have a slightly rough texture.

    Honorable Mention
    <strong>VHT Gloss Black Wheel Paint</strong>

    The VHT Gloss Black Wheel Paint comes in an 11-ounce rattle can. It is a versatile wheel paint that can be applied to various auto parts.


    The best thing about this wheel paint is that it protects your wheels from high temperature and chemicals due to polyurethane. In fact, it can withstand temperatures up to 900 degrees. It is also great at protecting your wheels from sand, brake, dust, and salt. When you use a primer color paint and a clear coat with it, then it is guaranteed to last a long time.


    The downside, however, is that the surface finish produced is not consistent with this wheel paint. Moreover, the nozzle is quite challenging to use. If you are on a budget, the extra primer and clear coat you need for better results can be a bit too much on your wallet.

    Tips

    • Clean the wheel surface to get rid of any dirt, grime, or grease before applying the paint. This allows the paint to effectively bond with the metal surface for a long-lasting effect.
    • Follow the instructions by the manufacturer, and apply the necessary number of coats. Paints have different thicknesses and drying times, so the application methods can differ depending on the brand.
    • Choose the right type of paint that suits your wheel’s material. Some paints are formulated specifically for steel wheels and may not be suitable for aluminum wheels.

    FAQs

    Q: Do I need to remove the tires before painting the wheels?

    A: This is the best option. Otherwise, you can use a tire gel or silicone gloss to prevent the paint from sticking to the tires. You can also stick paper or cardboard pieces between the wheel and the tire to prevent the paint from affecting the tire.

    Q: What precautions do I need to take before painting my wheels?

    A: Use a pair of goggles to protect your eyes from harmful chemicals. In addition, wear disposable gloves and a face mask so you don’t inhale any chemical vapors.

    Q: How do I paint a wheel surface with scratches and crevices?

    A: Spray an initial layer over the damaged areas, and then allow it to dry. Next, paint the entire wheel surface in a continuous motion.

    Final Thoughts

    For enhancing the look of your wheels, the Dupli-Color Black High Performance Wheel Paint is our top pick. It brings back the shine and also restores the surface.

    For a pocket-friendly and corrosion-proof option, choose the Rust-Oleum High Performance Wheel Spray Paint.