Tire Lettering Tutorial: How to Make Your Tires Really Pop

Looking for an inexpensive way to transform your car’s appearance? Consider coloring the letters on your tire sidewalls! Not only will it freshen up your car’s appearance, but it’ll also separate your car from the pack with a unique high-performance look.

Jeep wrangler tires

A Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition with white lettering on its tires, via Tuner Tom

All this project requires is about $20 and a few hours of your time.

Supplies You’ll Need to Get Started

First, let’s talk about the paint. You can paint the lettering on your tires any color you want. The most common color is white, followed by yellow. When painting tires, you have to use oil-based paint. The easiest way to apply it on the tire is with a paint marker. Now, let’s take a look at a comprehensive list of all the supplies you’ll need for this project:

  • Medium tip oil-based paint marker
  • Fine tip oil-based paint marker
  • Tire cleaner or Windex
  • Rags
  • Scrap paper, paper towel, or cardboard

Tire Lettering in 5 Easy Steps

Here’s what you need to do with each tire:

1. Remove the tire from your car.

2. Scrub the dirt and oil from the lettering area or the whole tire with a tire cleaner (or Windex if you don’t have tire cleaner). If you’ve used tire shine in the past, you’ll have to apply some extra elbow grease to get it all out. Once the cleaned area (or the whole tire) starts to look dull, it’s clean and free of any oily residue. Wipe with a clean rag until dry.

Lettering step 2

Make sure your tire letters are completely clean and dry! Credit: CashedOutCars’s YouTube tutorial

3. Grab your medium tip paint marker and shake it well. Pump the tip against a piece of paper, paper towel, or cardboard repeatedly until the paint starts to come out and the tip is well-saturated.

Lettering step 3

Saturate the tip of the pen with paint before beginning. Credit: CashedOutCars’s YouTube video

4. Color in the letters with the marker. The easiest thing to do is to fill in the centers first and then outline them carefully with the fine tip paint marker.

Lettering step 4

Take your time coloring in the letters for a clean look. Credit: CashedOutCars’s YouTube video

5. Touch up any of the spots you may have missed and let the paint dry. If you want your lettering to look brighter and bolder, apply another coat.

Lettering end result

The end result. Credit: CashedOutCars’s YouTube video

A Few Tips

  1. If applying more than one coat, try not to press too hard with your marker because it may peel up the first coat.
  2. If you accidentally color outside the lines, cover up the paint with a black sharpie. However, the black marker might not exactly match your tire so it’s important to get it right the first time.
  3. Wear gloves and old clothes because it’s hard to wash out the paint.
  4. Add RimSavers to your rims. This is a great, inexpensive way to further accentuate your wheels.

Rimblades installed