Even the best of drivers can sometimes find themselves with small scratches and imperfections on their rims. For most people, this may not be much of an issue. But for a car enthusiast, scratched rims on their baby are completely unacceptable. Some go so far as to completely replace the whole set when one gets scratched up. Fortunately, that isn’t necessary and there are other options (unless you were waiting for a good excuse to buy some sweet new wheels). In today’s blog at 5280 Rim Go Round in Denver, we take a look at how you can perform minor rim scratch repair yourself.

As always, though, if you are looking for affordable, quality, and professional rim repair, you can always turn to our team at 5280 Rim Go Round in Denver — no matter how minor or major the damage. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Our rim repair services will have your wheels looking as good as new in no time.

Clean Thoroughly

The first step you need to take when attempting DIY scratched rim repair is cleaning. We don’t mean just spraying your rims with the nozzle at the car wash or wiping them off with a soft cloth. It’s necessary to get dish soap, water, and a sponge or soft cloth. Then, remove as much of the dirt, grime, grease, and whatever else may be on your wheel as possible. This will save you major headaches down the road. Many of the other steps require some sort of bonding and sealing, so it’s important that the area be as clean as possible in order for the best chance of success.

Paint Thinner

After you have cleaned your rims with dish soap and water, the next step in the DIY rim repair process is to clean the damaged area of the wheel with paint thinner. Paint thinner will get rid of the remaining, tougher dust and debris on the wheel. You can use a washcloth to dip into the paint thinner, then use it to scrub any remaining dirt off. It’s worth spending a little time on this process to make sure the scratched area of the rim is completely clean. Before moving on to the next step, your rim should be clean, dry, and free of any debris. You should also know that paint thinner is a dangerous substance and should be handled with gloves and a facemask at all times.

Are your wheels and rims too damaged for DIY rim repair? Reach out to our rim repair team at 5280 Rim Go Round in Denver today.

Tape and Sand

Next, you’ll need to apply some sort of protection for the undamaged areas of the wheel. Oftentimes, people choose to use masking tape. Be sure to cover all of the undamaged areas surrounding the damaged portion of the rim. Once only the damaged area and a small portion surrounding it are exposed through a masking-tape window, sand the scratches with sandpaper. Our team recommends around 200- to 400-grit sandpaper for this step.

Putty and Sand

Now that your damaged rim is sanded and the undamaged areas are protected with masking tape, it’s time to use Bondo putty. Make sure there is no dust on the damaged area left from the sanding process. Then, apply the putty to the scratched area with some pressure and spread it across the entire region. Applying pressure should help the putty to fill in the small scratches and spaces left behind by the scratches. After the putty is applied, smooth it out with your finger or a putty knife. During this rim repair step, try your best to ensure that you don’t get any putty on the undamaged areas of the rim. This can create small raised areas and bumps. You can repeat this step if the scratches are more deep and severe.

Cover and Paint

The next step in our DIY rim repair process is to completely cover up the tire and the rest of the rim, leaving no exposed area of the undamaged rim. Once everything is properly covered, spray a thin layer of paint or lacquer on the damaged area. Be sure that the paint you choose matches the color of the rim as closely as possible. Also, always take the proper safety precautions. You can do this by painting in a well-ventilated area and using eye and respiratory protection. With more bold colors, you may choose to use a metallic primer first, let it dry, then use your metallic paint. Don’t hesitate to use multiple layers of paint if need be.

Wash and Clear Coat

You may want to sand the damaged area of the rim with very fine sandpaper and apply another layer of paint if your putty is showing through. Once your putty is properly covered and you have painted the damaged area, we recommend washing the entire rim once more. Finally, let it dry then apply a few clear coats of paint or lacquer to protect the area from future scratches and damages and let it dry for about 24 hours.

5280 Rim Go Round in Denver

DIY rim repair certainly isn’t the easiest thing in the world. It requires some time, patience, and a little skill — but it certainly isn’t impossible! However, we encourage you to bring in your wheels and rims no matter how minor or severe the damage. We offer expert rim repair services at very reasonable prices. Contact us at 5280 Rim Go Round in Denver today to learn more!