Wheel Refinishing – What You Need To Know

Refinishing your wheels is a popular way to restore them, or to completely change their appearance. Whether your wheels have some gouges or they’re just old, refinishing your wheels makes them look brand new again (if done correctly, that is). You can even choose to have your wheels refinished in a color that’s different from the original color.

If you’re not sure what it means to refinish your wheels, this guide has all the information you need to know about refinishing your wheels.

A Basic Overview of the Refinishing Process


The refinishing process basically involves filling in and sanding down the scratches or deep gouges and then painting the whole wheel. Here’s the process in more detail:

  1. Repair the scratches, pits, or gouges. This is done by filling in the scratches, pits, or gouges with putty and then sanding it down until the wheel surface is restored.
  2. Prime the wheels. This step occurs when the wheel surface is completely smooth. Primer is applied to the wheel to ensure that the paint sticks correctly.
  3. Paint the wheels. If you did the first two steps yourself, it’s still strongly recommended to have a professional take care of painting the wheels.
  4. Apply clear coat to the wheels. This final step comes with several attractive sheen options, flat and glossy being among the most common ones.

Basically, refinishing your wheels is an affordable way to switch up your car’s appearance by customizing it a bit.

How Much Does it Cost to Have a Professional Refinish Your Wheels?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The cost depends on the individual or shop doing the job. Commonly, having your wheels refinished costs about $75-$225 per wheel. Most shops will base their estimate on how much damage your wheels have.

You may hesitate at the prices, but keep in mind that having your wheels refinished is generally cheaper than replacing your wheels. Brand new OEM wheels cost about $300-$600 each, depending on the type of car and model. You can find aftermarket wheels for less, but you will also need to do some research on the quality of the brand.

Can Refinishing Wheels be a DIY Job, or is it Better Left to a Professional?

You can refinish your own wheels, but should you? It depends on your knowledge and experience. If you want the end result to look good, you need to know what you’re doing. It’s a good idea to do research and practice on a throwaway wheel (which you can find at a junk yard).

What Tools Would You Need?

Refinishing your wheels requires a lot of sanding. We mean a lot of it. You would need plenty of patience and a lot of sandpaper from 600 grit all the way up to 2,000 grit. You would also need wheel polish, wheel paint, and clear coat.

What’s the Best Way to Protect Refinished Wheels?

Red rim savers

If you’re going through the trouble to refinish your wheels, it’s a smart idea to apply a protective strip around the wheels to ensure that they don’t get curbed again. Look no further than RimSavers! It’s an affordable set of extremely durable strips that will protect your wheels no matter what. Learn more about RimSavers today!