Powder Coating Wheels – The Pros and Cons | WamCars.com (2023)

Powder-coating wheels have grown in popularity in recent years. It is a process for changing the wheel’s color.

The powder is a dry pigment that is electrostatically charged, and it adheres to the metal surface when it is exposed to high temperatures.

Once the powder has been applied, it can be cured with ultraviolet light or heat to create a durable finish.

Powder coating is often used on car parts and machinery, as it resists scratches and corrosion.

However, it can also be used to finish household items like light fixtures and hardware.

As the usage of powder coating rims has several benefits, there are certain drawbacks to this procedure too.

The advantages and disadvantages of powder-coating rims are discussed in depth below.

Table of Contents

Benefits of Powder Coating Your Car Wheels

This procedure enhances the looks of your wheels and also saves you a lot of money by not purchasing a new tailor-made rim.

Rather than buying custom rims when they begin to seem worn out, refinishing them by investing in this procedure might assist them in looking brand new once again.

Powder coating, as opposed to traditional paint, uses an electrical charge to guarantee that the powder adheres to the rim.

Here are a few benefits of using this coat for your car wheels…

1. It can drastically enhance the appearance of your wheels

Many individuals utilize powder coating to enhance the overall appearance of their wheels.

Your rim color may fade or be degraded over time due to numerous exterior forces.

Powder coating is a wonderful alternative to traditional paint as it produces distinctive aesthetics and has a variety of additional benefits.

Many individuals now favor powder coating over traditional painting, as this fashion has the potential to be super trendy in the near future.

2. With powder coating, you have a better degree of resistance

The powder coating on the rims creates a non-porous surface that protects the wheels better than regular paint.

You’ll suffer less overall damage from certain unforgiving situations than you would in most other instances.

3. Powder-coating wheels may assist in increasing the durability of your rims

One of the primary benefits of powder coating rims is that it makes rims/wheels significantly more robust. A thick coating layer is put on the rims throughout the procedure.

Powder coating is often thicker and may last up to three times as long as standard coatings.

4. Can save your wheels from damage caused by inclement weather

Because it makes your wheels resistant to a variety of exterior circumstances, it’s very useful and durable in harsh weather.

While traditional paint is often damaged by harsh weather occurrences, powder coating is more durable and may preserve your rims far better.

(Video) Paint VS Powdercoat!

5. Powder coating does not take long

Powder coating is not a time-consuming procedure and is often quicker than traditional painting.

This also suggests that you will not have to wait long at the auto service center.

As a result, you’ll have more time to do other activities you like.

6. Powder coating your rims is healthier for the environment

When you powder coat your wheels, you are helping to save the environment.

The reason for this is it doesn’t include considerable levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are damaging to the environment and the ozone layer.

It also has major negative health consequences for humans.

Because power coating contains no chemicals that are hazardous to the environment or living creatures, it is a much safer solution for the environment.

7. Powder coatings may be applied to a variety of wheel materials

When powder coating rims, you’ll generally be working with metal materials such as aluminum, steel, or stainless steel.

If you choose, you may also utilize brass in this technique. This approach may also benefit a range of non-metal rim components, such as fiberboard or glass.

The only restriction you have when producing a durable finish is that the material you select must be able to withstand heating.

8. Powder coating is a very clean technique

Powder coating is a relatively clean procedure since it depends on an electrical charge to adhere to the desired surface.

Due to the advantageous properties of powder coating, nearly no powder is lost during the coating process.

As a result, powder coating is a very clean procedure that wastes significantly less material than traditional paint.

9. Powder coating is quite effective

The waste is minimal to none as compared to the traditional painting of the wheel’s rim.

Practically every powder particle will adhere to the rim and be much more effective than the traditional procedure.

10. Powder-coating wheels may help to prevent global warming

We should all be conscious that every material product that must be produced has a detrimental impact on our ecosystem.

Most material things need the usage of fossil fuels in the manufacturing process.

Hence, large volumes of hazardous compounds are discharged into our environment.

As a result, by using powder coating instead of purchasing new rims, we may help to minimize global warming to some degree.

Drawbacks of Powder Coating Your Car Wheels

Aside from the benefits of powder-coating wheels, this process has several drawbacks.

1. Higher prices when compared to traditional paint

Powder painting wheels, for example, is generally more costly than applying traditional paint.

(Video) Paint VS Powder Coat? Whats Best!?

Yes, powder painting is normally more resistant, more robust, and more durable, so it advocates for itself in the long term.

Nonetheless, for many individuals, traditional painting turns out to be a cheaper option in the short term.

2. Color application issues might arise while using powder coating

When you choose powder coating over paint, there may be concerns with the final tone or color that you obtain after the rims are removed from the oven.

The baking process produces a consistent output most of the time, although recycled products might sometimes seep into what you’re using.

This implies that even if identical particles are applied to all of your wheels, cross-contamination issues may arise.

3. Powder coating signifies that your rims have a thick surface

While the powder coating’s thick surface helps save your rim from numerous outside circumstances that might damage your rims, many people dislike the appearance and feel.

Many individuals prefer a light coating of paint on their rim rather than a heavy powder covering.

4. Before you can apply powder coating to your rims, they must be ground

Another downside is that you must grind your rim to get the best results.

Only when the rim is grounded and the exterior is prepared correctly will the powder adhere to the rims and persist for a long time.

Consequently, the grinding procedure may take longer and result in increased costs.

5. There is less control over the coating’s smoothness

The outcomes are typically consistent when you engage with an experienced powder coating vendor.

Because the baking process works with electrolysis to produce a firm bond, you have less control over the ultimate smoothness of the surface.

There are instances when the heat isn’t quite right, or the powder doesn’t adhere as well as it should, which means your rims will need to be redone since the appearance is uneven.

6. The outcomes might be dismal

Another issue is that the ultimate finish may be unsatisfactory to the consumer.

While individuals have a hazy concept of what the end coating would seem like, they are frequently dissatisfied after seeing the genuine result.

7. Powder coating for bigger pieces might be challenging

While powder coating may be utilized on most standard wheel sizes, it might be difficult when used on bigger pieces.

The bigger the item, the more likely there will be complications, and the coating will not be lasting.

As a result, powder coating is not very appropriate for enormous wheels and other larger pieces of your vehicle.

8. There are just a few businesses that specialize in this method

Depending on where you reside, you may have difficulty locating someone who specializes in the powder coating procedure.

If you reside in a distant rural region, you may have to travel for hours before you locate someone with the necessary equipment and skill sets.

As a result, if you reside in one of those distant regions, you may have to spend a significant amount of time looking for someone who understands what he’s doing.

9. It Only works if everyone knows what they’re doing

(Video) The Best Rim Job Ever, Using Prismatic Powders Super Rootbeer Powder Coat.

Generally, the powder coating procedure is more complicated than just painting your rim.

In truth, powder coating entails several procedures; if not completed correctly, the intended result will not be obtained.

So ensure that you leave your automobile to the professionals to receive the finest possible outcome from powder coating.

How Much Does it Cost to Powder Coat Your Car Wheels?

The cost of powder-coating wheels can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the size of the wheels and the type of powder coating used.

A 20-inch wheel, for example, will be on the high end, while a 16-inch wheel will be on the lower end.

In general, you can expect to pay between $100 and $300 to have your wheels powder coated.

Keep in mind that this is just a general estimate, and the actual cost may be more or less than this depending on whether you are coating it yourself at home or hiring a professional near you to get the job done.

There are several online powder coating calculators available that can help you estimate the cost of the project. So, you can make use of it before you decide.

How Many Pounds of Powder Will You Need to Coat Your Truck’s Rims?

The Powder Coating Industry standard is around 1.9 square feet of coverage per pound of powder you will use.

According to that standard, you can comfortably coat a set of four standard-sized rims/wheels using 3.5 to 4.5 lbs of powder.

This assumes that you are using an 80-mesh powder that will give you a smooth, consistent finish.

You can use a coarser powder if you want a textured finish.

If you are powder coating for the first time, it is always best to start with a smaller project so you can get a feel for the process.

This will also allow you to test out different colors and finishes before committing to a larger project.


How long does powder coating last?

Powder coating can last for many years if it is properly cared for.

To help extend the life of your powder coating, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives to clean it.

In addition, be sure to rinse the powder coating thoroughly after cleaning to remove any residual cleaner.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your powder coating looking new for years to come.

Can powder coating be done at home?

Powder coating is a popular finishing treatment for metals, and it can be done at home with the right equipment.

When powder coating at home, it is important to use a respirator and protective clothing, as the powder can be harmful if inhaled.

In addition, the curing process will generate fumes, so it is important to work in a well-ventilated area.

With safety precautions in mind, powder coating can be a fun and rewarding DIY project.

What is the best way to clean powder-coated wheels?

When it comes to cleaning powder-coated wheels, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the finish.

Use a soft brush or cloth to avoid scratching the surface, and be sure to rinse the wheels thoroughly after cleaning to remove any residual cleaner.

Remember that if you do scratch or chip your powder-coated truck wheels, they can be challenging to repair.

Additionally, you will need to sand down the entire wheel and start from scratch if you want to change the color of your powder-coated truck wheels.


(Video) Model Y: $160 Spray Paint Job vs. $1000 Powder Coat

As we have shown above, there are several pros and cons to powder painting wheels and rims on your vehicle.

In fact, it’s a terrific alternative to purchasing new rims and may save you a lot of money. Plus, it is healthier for the environment, and also it is far more durable than traditional paint.

Although it may not be the best solution in every situation, the value of this work is usually well worth the expenditure.

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Powder Coating Wheels – The Pros and Cons | WamCars.com (7)

Based in Orem (Utah) John Paterson graduated from Utah Valley University and has begun writing in 2009. He has a large wealth of experience in writing articles related to cars, automotive repair, wheels, cleaning/maintenance, and much more. He has also written instructional articles in a similar niche for a few online publications as well. Currently, he works as a mechanic in his personal garage shop where he loves serving his countrymen from his heart.


Is powder coating your wheels a good idea? ›

Powder coating provides a superior finish that is durable and easy to apply. It might cost more than regular paint, but it will protect your rims for many years, offering a great return on investment.

Is it better to paint or powder coat your rims? ›

Powder-coated wheels also provide better coverage than liquid paints. This means the more difficult to reach spots on the wheels will receive coverage where liquid paint can't reach. The electrostatic nature of the particles aid in a complete application.

What is the most durable wheel finish? ›

Powder coated wheels are very durable and resistant to chemicals, chipping, scratching and fading. Because there are no evaporating solvents used in this process, no holes develop in the finish. This makes powder coating wheels corrosion resistant and great for exposure to the elements.

What is the average price to powder coat rims? ›

Professionals within a specialized facility typically carry out powder coating. Due to the complexity of this service, you expect to pay a reasonable amount for these services. The cost of powder-coating wheels ranges between $350-$700 to powder coat all four wheels.

How much does it cost to powder coat 4 wheels? ›

On average, powder coating rims costs $550. Powder coating rims costs range from $400 to $700 according to. BONE HEAD PERFORMANCE has a nice page where they list pricing for powder coating different rim sizes including the following.

What's better than powder coating? ›

STEEL-IT® stainless steel based industrial coating – a top alternative to powder coating – is tougher, lasts longer, and offers superior protection against corrosion and abrasion.

How many years does powder coating last? ›

Powder coating finishes can last up to 20 years, but due to the consistent use, exposure to UV light, and outdoor environment may break it down faster. Different coatings also have varying lifespans. For instance, coatings that have fluoropolymers and urethanes can last longer.

Does powder coating chip easily? ›

Sometimes powder coating will chip or crack, and continue peeling just like an egg shell. Not only does chipped powder coating look bad, it can it allows the elements to wear away the precious parts you tried so hard to protect.

How do you take care of powder coated rims? ›

Use a Mild Soap and Water

All powder coated products should be cleaned with either a soft cloth or a brush, using a solution of mild soap and warm water. The best type of soap to use for this purpose is one that has emulsifiers that can break down the most common types of stains.

Is powder coating best for alloy wheels? ›

Overall, powder coating seems to be the best choice for alloy wheel refurbishment unless you are on an extra tight budget, need a quick fix or require a rare colour. At GLW Engineering, we offer powder-coating services for many different materials.

Do you have to take wheels off to powder coat? ›

The wheel powder coating process:

In order to powder coat your wheels, they must be taken off of the vehicle.It is possible for us to remove the wheels from your car or you can even leave your car with us! This allows a smooth, even finish to coat the entire wheel surface.

What rims shine the most? ›

Diamond Cut – high shine look commonly used by manufacturers to highlight their top of the range models. Split Rims – often seen on Porsche, BMW and VW, very popular in the custom scene. Chrome – mostly found on classic cars.

What is the strongest rim? ›

Steel wheels are the cheapest and most durable wheel option on the market. They generally run from about $50 each and are great for standing up to winter conditions, and particularly for heavy or hard-working vehicles.

Which rims are stronger? ›

Steel wheels are significantly stronger than alloy wheels making them the ideal choice for use in the Winter and for more powerful vehicles. Unlike alloy wheels, durability is a major advantage when it comes to steel wheels.

Is it safe to powder coat aluminum wheels? ›

Is powder coating safe for alloy wheels? YES, we take great care to closely monitor curing temperatures and in special cases, Porsche Fuchs come to mind, where the wheels are made of an alloy that is rich in magnesium, we can use specially formulated powders that cure at lower temps to make sure your project is safe.

How long does it take to powder coat 4 rims? ›

Accordingly, the total time required to apply a powder coating to a wheel is about 2 hours. Powder coating all 4 wheels for a client's car won't take more than a day, even when working on one wheel at a time.

Can you powder coat rims with tires on? ›

Powdercoating, unlike most other finishes, requires the wheels to be baked in an oven once the powder is applied and if you left the tires on they would melt. yes tires have to come off.

Does powder coat scratch? ›

Powder coating, properly applied, will give surfaces a strong, uniform protective coating. It is a combination of paint pigments and resins, which harden when cured under heat. However, even with its considerable durability, powder coating may still get damaged over time, and this damage can include scratches.

Can I do my own powder coating? ›

If you want to try DIY powder coating at home, it will be even more challenging to carry it out correctly and safely. There are many challenges and risks you have to deal with when you attempt to carry out this process without the right expertise, equipment, and supplies.

Is there an alternative to powder coating? ›

Spray paint can be a viable powder coating alternative.

It is true if you need a quick and straightforward color coat. Atomized paint particles can help you achieve an even layer for your perfect finish. With patience and a few even coats, spray paint can give a smooth finish to your part.

Is powder coating worth the money? ›

In many instances, powder coating is the superior finishing option for its durability, texture and ease of application. It can stay on for years and protect your parts from corrosion and rust. Powder coats look good in any home and offer a much safer application process than spray paint.

How can you tell if powder coating is good quality? ›

Adhesion Tests
  1. Crosshatch. The crosshatch test is designed to test the adhesion of the powder coating to the metal substrate. ...
  2. Mandrel Bend. This test checks the elasticity and the adhesion of the powder coating to the substrate. ...
  3. Impact Test. ...
  4. Salt Spray Test. ...
  5. MEK Rub Test. ...
  6. Color Match. ...
  7. Gloss Measurement.

What is the most durable powder coat? ›

Epoxies were the first widely used powders. They are very durable, offer excellent hardness and have arguably the best chemical and corrosion resistance of all available powders. Another plus of this type of powder is its ease of use and a wide range of cure schedules.

How do you maintain powder coating? ›

Powder coated items should be cleaned occasionally with mild detergent soap and water. Harsh chemicals and solvents are unnecessary and can damage the finish. Use a wet sponge or a soft, non-abrasive bristle brush to loosen stubborn dirt.

Is powder coating rust proof? ›

Corrosion resistance: The powder coating creates a barrier to protect against many different types of corrosion, including rust. Many natural metals like steel rust over time with exposure to moisture and oxygen. Powder-coating creates a protective barrier so the metal remains rust-free.

What is the failure of powder coating? ›

Failures in powder coating can also stem from how it is applied. If the powders are applied too thinly, the patchy surface will not have full protection and could lead to corrosion. If a layer is too thick, flexibility will be limited.

How do you keep powder coat from peeling? ›

Sand it down or media blast it until the part surface is totally even and clean of any contaminants. The old powder coating likely won't need to be completely removed unless there is a major issue with it. Then, use some sandpaper to work down the edges of where the coating broke off until it's smooth.

Can you polish scratches out of powder coating? ›

Use cutting compound to remove the powder coating down to the level at the bottom of the scratch. A fine rubbing down paper may speed up the process (800 to 400 grit, no coarser), but the job will need to be finished with cutting compound to remove the fine scratches left by the rubbing down paper.

What not to use on powder coated wheels? ›

Abrasive cleaners like solvents and detergents can remove or damage the powder coating finish. Avoid using such products to clean your wheels. A gentle cleaner like mild soap and water can remove dirt and grime buildup without hurting the finish.

How do you make powder coated rims shine? ›

How do I polish it?
  1. Choose a mild detergent. This should be applied to a full bowl or bucket of water. ...
  2. Clean the surface. Don't be worried about scrubbing too hard. ...
  3. Dry and Prepare. Once the surface is cleaned and clear of detergent, apply a polishing compound to the surface. ...
  4. Finish.

Can you touch up powder coated wheels? ›

The good news is that you can repair and touch up powder coating, providing the surface damage is not too great.

Is powder coating better than spraying? ›

Compared to spray painting, powder coating is a safer process because the active product — polymer powder — is inert and therefore free of toxins. Paint, by contrast, usually has toxic solvents and volatile organic compounds that can be harmful if inhaled.

Can powder coated wheels be polished? ›

You don't want to polish the powder coated surface until it is thoroughly clean. Using a clean, soft cloth, apply a polishing compound that is specifically designed for powder coated surfaces. *Note: Some compounds are not recommended for chrome, chrome like finishes.

Can you powder coat brake calipers? ›

Powder coating brake calipers is a great way to make your vehicle stand out. We always remove pistons, seals and rebuild brake calipers after powder coating.

Does powder coating damage wheels? ›

Yes. The amount of basic heat required to powder coat a wheel is enough to pre-maturely "age" and weaken the metal alloy to the point that it is more brittle. This is exactly why wheel makers like Enkei say that powder coating voids their warranty.

Do powder coated wheels rust? ›

Powder coating doesn't prevent rust, but it is more resistant to the elements and everyday wear and tear than paint because it's applied thicker, which also gives it a cleaner finished look.

Are powder coated wheels easier to clean? ›

While powder coat is less susceptible to damage than paint, it is not bulletproof. And it will help keep the brake dust off and make cleaning much easier.

Can you wash powder coated wheels? ›

Use a Mild Soap and Water

All powder coated products should be cleaned with either a soft cloth or a brush, using a solution of mild soap and warm water. The best type of soap to use for this purpose is one that has emulsifiers that can break down the most common types of stains.

What is better than powder coating? ›

STEEL-IT® stainless steel based industrial coating – a top alternative to powder coating – is tougher, lasts longer, and offers superior protection against corrosion and abrasion.

Can you repaint powder coated wheels? ›

Normally, powder coating has a slick surface which does not allow paint to stick. Sanding it down carefully will enable you to paint on it effectively. Wipe down the area you will be painting with an appropriate solvent cleaner.

How do you clean powder coated rims? ›

Abrasive cleaners like solvents and detergents can remove or damage the powder coating finish. Avoid using such products to clean your wheels. A gentle cleaner like mild soap and water can remove dirt and grime buildup without hurting the finish.

Do you have to sandblast wheels before powder coating? ›

Simply put, yes. As touched on above, without sandblasting any type of coating won't properly adhere to the surface of a material. The sandblasting not only removes dirt and grime but leaves behind minuscule scratches that make it easier for coatings to sink into and bond with.

Can you use car wax on powder coated rims? ›

Wax: If your powder coated metal has lost its gloss and shine, after removing dirt with mild soap, you can apply a thin layer of wax just like you do after you wash your car. After the wax dries, wipe all of it off and powder coated metal will look like new.

Can powder coated rims go through car wash? ›

Will my powder coated rims be fine in a car wash??? Yes , it helps if you clear coat them !


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