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Thread: Polished wheel... how do you seal?

  1. #1
    Senior Member fiatgal's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    New England
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    Polished wheel... how do you seal?

    So my 2012 Sport wheels need lots of TLC. New England winters can be harsh with the salt and all. I have the stock wheels that look like this (left hand pic). The charcoal inserts are fine, but the "polished" face needs some love: clearcoat has chipped in lots of places and some oxidation has cropped up in places.

    Buying a new set of wheels is out of the question (I need to stretch my $!) as is having someone come out and do this. I enjoy doing this sort of work, so that's my plan: sanding, polishing, etc. I've read every possible thread here on wheels and have looked elsewhere on the interweb, and now would just like a bit more feedback. It sounds as though my options are:

    1. sand/polish/degrease/clearcoat
    2. sand/polish/sealant
    3. sand/paint/clearcoat

    Do I have that right? I'm a bit hesitant with the clearcoat and not a big fan of the paint+clearcloat option.

    What do people favor?

    (I should add: I have a dremel, on top of regular drill.)

    (one more edit: I've seen that temporary paint and wondered if that would be a good option for winter?)
    Last edited by fiatgal; 04-30-2020 at 12:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Poulsbo, Washington
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    This is what I did for a 95% factory look without touching the painted (charcoal) portions. The reason I say 95% is because I did not tape off or protect the painted portions at all during the sanding or clear coat phases. any minor scuffs I made to the painted portions were easily covered with the overspray from the clear coat.

    1. Might as well give the wheels a good cleaning with soap/water and degreaser for the harder stuff.
    2. Use 300/400 grit to remove the failing clear coat and oxidized aluminum. Now is also the time to level out any curb damage that has occurred around the rim.
    3. Worked my way up to 800 grit so the metal had enough roughness for the clear coat to stick.
    4. Used mothers aluminum polish on a drill attachment to make it shiny.
    5. Cleaned the wheels with soap and water and then dry thoroughly.
    6. Taped off the tires and shot 3 layers of clear following the directions on the can.

    I didn't bother going back and wet sanding because wheels typically get beat to hell and any clear coat I could leave on there would be slightly more protection.

  3. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to pr0d1gy9 For This Useful Post:

    fiatgal (04-30-2020), HalfPint (04-30-2020), smark (04-30-2020), Tedolph (05-01-2020)

  4. #3
    Senior Member fiatgal's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    New England
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    Really nice job!!! Thanks.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to fiatgal For This Useful Post:

    pr0d1gy9 (04-30-2020)

  6. #4
    smark's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
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    Visit our Affiliate Sponsor.

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    You did a nice job....

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to smark For This Useful Post:

    pr0d1gy9 (04-30-2020), Tedolph (05-01-2020)

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