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Whether you own a brand new or used car, you are bound to feel frustrated when you discover a new scuff mark, scratch or dent on your alloy wheels. Scuffs leave your car looking unkempt and shabby. Most car owners immediately go to auto repair shops, but they are unaware that simple techniques can remove scuffs and restore alloy wheels.
Before you start the task, however, determine if you have enough free time to see the project through; if this is not the case, contact a professional. You’ll need the following items:
- Wheel paint
- High gloss clear lacquer
- Self etch primer
- Spot putty
- Paint thinner
- Masking paper and tape
Clean the damaged area
First, clean the area using paint thinner to get rid of any polish or wax. This is the most important step so repeat it several times until you get a gleaming surface. To succeed in this technique, focus only on the damaged area otherwise you’ll find yourself painting half the wheel, which will be moderately challenging work.
Sand and putty
Start by masking the tyre. Make sure the tape goes behind the rim. Next, use 240-grit sandpaper to sand the damaged area until it’s smooth before applying spot putty. The drying time for spot putty is a few minutes when it’s sunny, but it may take longer during damp or cold days, which is why it’s not recommended to try this project under these weather conditions.
After the first round of spot putty, use the finer 400-grit sandpaper to sand the area until it is smooth. Wait for 10 minutes for the putty to dry before applying a second coat.
Mask and primer
Mask carefully by covering the entire area with an old bed sheet or an equivalent. After you’ve sprayed the primer, clean all the overspray around the wheel and rim. Only the clear coat will be applied without wiping off the overspray.
Wait for the primer to dry completely before sanding it lightly using fine sandpaper. Scrub the entire tyre and wheel using a household detergent to get rid of silicone, which is mainly used as a tyre protectant. Next, use a soft piece of cloth and paint thinner to clean the wheel. Dry thoroughly.
Before you start spraying, read all the manufacturer’s instructions on the can. You’ll need to shake the can for a minute and then press the spray nozzle for the paint to be released. When spraying on the damaged area, spray off at intervals to achieve a fine coat. Practice on a scrap piece of metal to get used to spraying thickness and required distance. The spray paint will cause a mess if used in cold temperatures.
Leave the paint overnight to dry and apply a clear coat the following day. If you want to apply two clear coats for a glossy finish, wait for 30 minutes for the first coat to dry. Finish the project by sanding the repaired area using a fine sandpaper and applying a final polish. Be aware that if you apply the clear coat too soon it will remove the silver paint and you’ll need to repeat the previous process.
All in all, check whether the scuff is deep by running your fingers through it; if you can barely feel it, then it is not too deep and this remedy will do.
For deeper scratches and damages that require high-level expertise, it is advisable to take your car to a repair shop.