Budget Auto DIY Hack – How to Spray Paint Your Rims!

One of my friends is starting a plumbing business in San Francisco.  Well, he happens to be a crazy Z-addict and recently, he spray painted his rims he got off a Mercedes Benz.  The above picture is actually after the Nissan Z has been driven awhile(ignore the dirt, it looks good in real life), but it’s a good thing I took some pictures of the process so you can spray paint your rims. (the right way of course)

1) Anyways, first you will need some rims like below: (Take out any screws or bolts if you have any)

2) Now, start taping away the spots you don’t want painted.  In this case, my friend wanted to only spray paint the inside.

3) Once you are done taping, you will need to “buff” using a scouring pad. (the ones you use in the kitchen)

4) Before you start painting, place a powerful lamp over the rims such as this 500W Lamp.  (Anything around 200W and up should work)  The lamp will allow your spray paint to dry much faster so you can spray faster.

After buffing a little, you can start spray painting by applying 2-3 strokes at a time.  Don’t do all at once, you will flood the paint and leave watermarks.

Now, if you mess up during the first couple strokes, don’t be afraid to grab some cloth and clean it off to try again.

The MOST important part of spray painting is that you dont’ over-do it.  Try to do small strokes at a time.

5) After couple strokes, let the paint dry by the lamp, then keep strokin’ it baby!

6) Repeat step 5.

7) When you have spray painted everything nice with your desired color, spray paint again with Clear Coat spray paint, which will protect your paint.  (Same thing with clear coat spray paint, do 2-3 strokes at a time.)

8) Yey, let it dry for about an hour or two under the lamp, and you should be able to get a nice “professional” finish like this.  Now, this isn’t probably the best way to paint your rims as far as durability issues go but for about $20 of spray paint, you can add a new look to your rims.

Here’s the finished product, looks much nicer. (Note, I took the finished photos after my friend drove a lot and didn’t clean his rims but it looks nice when clean and you can’t tell that someone actually spray painted it.)

And yes, here’s an extra for you, a HOME-MADE cold-air intake for about $20 in parts from Lowes.  (I tell you, my plumber friend can do stuff like this really good.)  That sure beats buying one of those over-priced cold air intakes.

I can understand how valuable these things are as I have spray painted my rims myself(and utterly failed) and spent $300 on cold air intake.

Next time, I will try to see if I can get some pics of him doing it on someone else’s car.

(Homemade Cold Air Intake for $20 of parts from Lowe’s Hardware store)

Here’s a cool video of the intake too:


22 Responses to Budget Auto DIY Hack – How to Spray Paint Your Rims!

  1. Foxy Fashion says:

    I like the painted rims. You can probably do amazing stuff with it, like combine colors … I’m not allowed to do it on my car though (not mine) …

  2. Nicole Price says:

    The photos unfortunately are not loading fully.

  3. jaceuno says:

    hopefully that intake isn’t made from PVC??

    “PVC is exactly unsuited to this application for a lot of reasons. I wont bore you with too much chemistry, but “getting brittle” and “breaking off” are realistic expectations over time. PVC and heat don’t mix. This is all available in the archives, but I’ll touch a few points.

    The main reason not to use PVC for this stuff is it’s chemistry. PVC is polyvinylchloride. That’s polyesther, vinyl, and chlorine in a mixture that’s designed to be stable, flexible, cheap, and lightweight. PVC reacts to heat 3 ways, and in stages. First, the compound gets soft and starts releasing chlorine gas. That’s when it starts to shrink and turn either yellow or brownish, depending on the schedule and quality of the pipe. That’s the part we need to worry about.

    Chlorine gas attacks organic rubber, and silicone, and makes acids out of hydrocarbons (like the oil residue in your intake path). All of this is bad news. It won’t usually shatter or crack until enough of the chorine has outgassed to make it brittle – and it will have discolored and shrunk noticably first. And anyone who thinks a turbo’s intake housing or an engine block doesn’t get hot enough to be a problem is either stupid, or just not thinking.

    Radiant temps under the hood of the car will easily reach 300 degrees near the exhaust manifold or turbine housing – and any intake you build will have to be close enough to mount to the turbo so you can bet it’ll be an issue.”


  4. The spray-painting technique shown appears to have quite an effect, as the finished product looks almost as though it is a colored rim purchased from an outside source. The comment about spray paint working best when done a little bit at a time sure seems to be the case as overdoing it results in what one might call “splotches” of paint.

  5. max says:

    Hmmm… try Ctrl+F5 or sometimes it works if I reset my server.

  6. max says:

    Hmm… I talk to my friends who are plumbers, they deal with all type of stuff including high heat and says there’s absolutely no problem using the pipes. I don’t know PVC or whatever, but I know these guys know their stuff, they are like Super Mario plumbers.

    And there’s no turbo on this Z we are doing on, so there’s no high heat involved. Plus, he did install this thing that goes over the engine manfold, (i forgot what its cold), to keep the overall inside-hood temp down.

  7. max says:

    Yes, I found out more information and the intake part works perfectly as the internal temperature of the intake doesn’t ever go over 90 degrees plus the ABS piping they used can handle up to 300+ degrees.

  8. It’s always easier and cheaper to do it yourself. I’m a big DIY freak. I prefer learning to do things myself, it’s a great way to learn new skills.

  9. ERIC says:

    Use (black TFE Hose) It will Stand very “high temps” & out last your car..I used,two Radiant/hoses on my 69 corvette and never had too change them in over 10 yrs.and i sold the car,but am sure the hoses were never changed………..

  10. Finished product looks very nice! Thanks for the post…

  11. zedomax says:


  12. jessej says:

    how would you recommend painting the inside of the rim? in my case im worried that if i just paint the front as shown in your example, the unpainted inside of the rim may make the job seem unprofessional. i only ask because i figured the curved walls of the inside would make dripping more of a risk. also please let me know if painting the inside of the rim would be hazardous (flammable perhaps). thank you for your help as i am a beginner to any type of car modification.

  13. zedomax says:

    I think you should be fine, just try to do a little bit at a time so you don't risk dripping.

  14. zedomax says:

    I think you should be fine, just try to do a little bit at a time so you don't risk dripping.

  15. Danny says:

    I love the article, but the pictures are what really make it come together. A few didnt load for me but most of them did and they are great pics. thanks a lot.

    compound bows for sale

  16. The REAL g35 owner! says:

    let me point out at the beginning of this commentary that i own a 2003 g35 coupe 6mt with sport and aero kit packages. first of all that g35 became super tacky looking with the front black lip and black framing for the grill and putting mercedes rims on a G35 is ricer… the car is amazing without doing tacky stuff to it… i am a fan of diy i smoked my g35 tailights and debadged it myself and installed clearcorners. SO i do know how to mod my car without making it look super cheesy and poor, you can do tasteful mods on your car, instead of ones just to change them cause you can.. thats stupid! I am a g35 enthusiast and seeing what you did to your car makes me very very sad… when you buy a 42k car you dont need to rice it out with stupid week mods and rims from a car that isnt even yours while keeping their logo. ALSO the cold air intake you have on there does not have a bypass valve for water and g35s are low to the ground as it is. so yes be cheap and use your mod to lower your horsepower and get a waterlocked engine while others can use a stock intake and or buy a real one with a bypass valve.. dont cut corners when you spend 42k on that car to make it look cheap.

  17. Anonymous says:

    THATS NOT A 350z THATS A g35!!! LOLLLLLLLLLLLLL hahahaha fail

  18. max says:

    yeah i know its a g35 but they are pretty much same engine, slightly diff body.

  19. eko says:

    Thats a g35, Besides the engine/tranny totally different car.

    your friend knows that those benz rims are 5×112, and g35s are 5×114.3 Bolt pattern, They’ll fit but def not safe.

    And that Intake LOL. g35s make better power from a ztube from 350z and stock intake box with kn&n drop in filter.

    Oh and Ur friend forgot to sand, and Primer the Rim before painting it. LoL. Without primer, that paint will chip and peel off.

    Tell ur friend to go buy a honda civic or leave the g35 stock.

  20. eko says:

    Thats coming from another g35 driver. here is mine dropped on 370z rims/ rolled fenders.



  21. Pingback: Spray Paint Rims - Cobalt SS Network

  22. joemama says:

    good article but yet , u did forget to sand and prime b4 painting. im thinking on doing this 2 my 1st sport car.All i had were suvs and sedans. the second article looks dangerous…

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