Repainting hub caps - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Repainting hub caps

So my wife's Elantra is ten years old and the hub caps are showing a great deal of wear. They are a collection of dings, dents, scrapes, scratches, road rash and peeling paint. I had to replace the tires so I figured it would be an easy time to remove the hub caps while the wheels were off. My original plan was to simply refinish them with a metallic silver wheel paint but I figured while I was at it I may as well play around and have some fun. To those of you who may mention that it's worthless to repaint hub caps. I may agree with you, however I'm just repainting something which was previously painted and which wore out. I'm not trying to pretend I have awesome wheels, just to make the old hub caps a little less of an eyesore.

I ended up using rust-oleum metallic wheel paint. I was looking for the duplicolor one but couldn't find it in the silver locally.

So anyway here's my results so far.

Fresh off the car and without any prep
[img width=576 height=768]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/icspots/e58aa491.jpg?t=1307386770[/img]

After light cleaning and a few light coats of silver
[img width=576 height=768]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/icspots/f8a14cad.jpg?t=1307386752[/img]

After clear coat


The first two were really just for me to play with and while I cleaned/scrubbed them I did not sand or prime. They came out super bright and sparkly, though not as glossy as I was hoping. I am planning on clearing them with a gloss clear so I'm not terribly worried on that count. They did however end up with some nasty rough spots so I wet-sanded them and will be giving them another coat of paint as soon as they've dried off from cleaning again. Also kind of nice the silver paint gives somewhat of a grayish effect depending on the angle you're looking at it. I'll see if I can get any pictures to demonstrate that later.

On to the ones I was playing with. I was curious what it would look like with the rim done in the graphite wheel paint leaving just the spokes and face of the hub cap in the silver.

graphite coat
[img width=576 height=768]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/icspots/9749b675.jpg?t=1307386783[/img]

graphite coat next to the "finished" straight silver one
[img width=576 height=768]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/icspots/f594e228.jpg?t=1307386795[/img]

Masked off and did the and silver coat (wet-sanded silver one next to it)
[img width=576 height=768]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/icspots/c6dc871a.jpg?t=1307386721[/img]

Just like the silver one this one will require some wet-sanding and another layer of paint. An example of why prep. is important but again I was really just playing with the paint match up so I'm not worried if it requires another coat. While that dried I went ahead and sanded the other two hub caps with a 200 grit sandpaper and will be priming them as soon as they finish drying off.

I realize the pictures aren't fantastic, but what do people think? Straight silver or silver/graphite? Granted my wife actually gets the deciding vote but I figured I'd see what other people thought as well.


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 03:47 PM
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Re: Repainting hub caps

Wow you did an excellent job!

I'm digging the silver/graphite mix. Looks pretty neat.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Repainting hub caps

Redid the silver coat on the silver one I wet-sanded and I hit both of the other ones with a flat black primer. Still waiting for those to dry out so I can see if they need to be wet-sanded before paint.

Here's a better example of the color-shift of the silver paint. Check out the center bowl and the spokes of the silver/graphite hubcap. The lower spokes are straight silver (which is what it shows it direct sunlight). The upper ones show a grayish effect. I think it looks really attractive personally. Don't mind the silver hubcap. It looks weird because that's only a few minutes post-paint and it's still drying.

[img width=576 height=768]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/icspots/e234ca19.jpg?t=1307390085[/img]

I can't really do anything else with them until the wife tells me which style she likes better. Either way I'm going to need more paint as I only grabbed a single can of silver to play with until I decided what I was going to do. Plus I'm out of painters tape (ran out mid-mask and had to finish with masking tape which left a bunch of adhesive behind).


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 04:30 PM
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Re: Repainting hub caps

Silver/Graphite FTW

'08 Ford Fusion SEL

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Repainting hub caps

^^ That seems to be the concensus so far. Of course everyone would like the one that requires more prep work. :hide:

Weird though. The insides of the rim on the silver one are still a little rough... I mean they're smoother than they were before I sanded them and repainted but they're definitely rougher than the rest of the paint. Is there something weird about the angle they're at that the paint isn't playing nice with them? I mean they still look great, and I think the slight dullness imparted by the roughness will be mitigated by A) the clear coat, B) them looking fine from 5' away, and C) they're only freaking hubcaps!

Primed ones have been wet sanded with 400-grit and are now just awaiting the go ahead from the wife.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Repainting hub caps

Okay, third option. How about the entire thing in silver except for the sloped inner face of the rim? Basically what looks darkened on the inside of the rim in this picture. I would leave the "prongs" to either side silver, so it would only be that inside face. Also if I were to do that should I also do the sides of the spokes in graphite?

Yes I know I was just bitching about masking and prep work and this would actually be more difficult. I'm just trying to be both creative and not over the top at the same time.

[img width=576 height=768]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/icspots/f8a14cad.jpg?t=1307386752[/img]


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Repainting hub caps

And decision made. The wife just wants them plain silver. Mostly just because it will take me less time which equals more time of my doing stuff around the house. Guess I'll sand the down the silver/graphite one tomorrow to knock out the imperfections then spray all three with silver tomorrow then clear all four.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Repainting hub caps

Aaaaaand finished. sprayed the other three silver and just finished clear coating all four. They're currently finishing drying in the sun and I figure I'll leave them off for another day or two so the paint can fully harden. Not 100% perfect but they're certainly an improvement.



[img width=576 height=768]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/icspots/photo2.jpg[/img]


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 06:11 PM
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Re: Repainting hub caps

Psh, you shouldve said that you were either gonna do them all graphite or quit altogether so you had even MORE house time!

Good job painting though, at first when I saw the title I was reminded of stuff like oversprayed hubcaps painted stupid non matching colors. Glad I was wrong


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Repainting hub caps

I looked around briefly for a good picture of a hubcap painted with tons of overspray on the tires and brakes to spoof everyone with but couldn't find a nice one.


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