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Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? #5322713 01/14/20 05:22 PM
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Mr_Luke Offline OP
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I want to paint the steel wheels on my Prius and run the car with or without the hubcaps. The finish seems to be wearing off them under the hubcaps.
I don't want to use a spray paint. I want to use brushes or foam applicators with some type of rust stop paint that will hopefully be a matte finish.
Got any suggestions?

DSC_1193.JPG

2012 Toyota Prius C / 108k
Conoco Phillips 0w20 FS
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Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: Mr_Luke] #5322719 01/14/20 05:37 PM
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Rustoleum glossy enamel would work , semi-gloss not as well, and the matte not so much. You'll be heavily depending on the primer under it and their primer for rusty metal is a very soft formula that would dig up pretty badly on wheels. Then again, it'll go on, and it'll work, just don't expect good lifespan.

In other words I would clean all the rust off and use a clean metal primer. Whether you can brush it on and be satisfied depends a lot on your brushing skills, but it is a bit difficult to get a good matte finish brushing. Spray would be much easier. To be clear, brush painting matte hides painting mistakes better than glossier paint, but if you are picky about the finish there will be more errors, particularly on something with many holes and curves like a wheel.

Your covers look good, why run without them? I'd just as soon use them and put gloss black rustoleum on the wheels. It will also be much easier to rinse brake dust off of glossy vs matte.

Shorter version: I think you want spray on paint.

Last edited by Dave9; 01/14/20 05:45 PM.
Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: Mr_Luke] #5322736 01/14/20 06:02 PM
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bullwinkle Online Confused
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Lifespan on the rusty metal primer seems just fine-the 14" Civic steel wheels that I use on the xB were wire brushed, sprayed front & back with Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer, and the outer sprayed with Rustoleum flat black. I run black painted lug nuts, and I put them on & take them off by hand, and after 3 years the wheels look better than the lugs.


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Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: Mr_Luke] #5322765 01/14/20 06:50 PM
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You can brush it, just make sure you thin the paint with a solvent. If you think it you will have to put more coats on, but whatever.

The first set of snow tires I ever bought were on steelies that had been painted by a brush. You only really noticed when you took them off or put them on.


99 Toyota Tercel CE 5EFE/C151
Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: Mr_Luke] #5322769 01/14/20 06:53 PM
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Heck, you can paint an entire car in Rustoleum!

http://www.rickwrench.com/50dollarpaint.html

Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: Mr_Luke] #5322785 01/14/20 07:22 PM
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eljefino Online Content
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How is the backside? Usually it gets rough with rust, which makes mud and snow stick extra well.

I've done brush on rustoleum on the visible side of wheels but it only looks good for one season.

If you don't want to dismount your tires you can jam playing cards in between them and the bead for a clean cutoff.

Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: Mr_Luke] #5322816 01/14/20 07:57 PM
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Mr_Luke Offline OP
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Thanks for the tips. I haven't seen the back side of them yet.

Yes, I agree, these hubcaps look good and I think the car would look best with them on, not off. smile

So I'm mostly wanting to prevent rusting on the wheels. I don't think they're rusting much yet but the black finish has worn off and they look dull.

Gloss black rustoleum seems like it would work OK.


2012 Toyota Prius C / 108k
Conoco Phillips 0w20 FS
Not sure what brand the filter is
Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: Mr_Luke] #5322848 01/14/20 08:24 PM
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14Accent Offline
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If you want to prevent rust, just clean the wheels really really well and coat them with POR15. That brushes on, and should hold up better than paint.


2013 Chevrolet Volt - Saves enough in fuel to pay for itself!

2007 Chevrolet Impala LT
Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: Mr_Luke] #5322864 01/14/20 08:42 PM
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Make sure the wheels are prepped properly and perfectly to get a great long lasting job.


2015 F150 2.7
2018 F350 6.2
Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: Mr_Luke] #5322875 01/14/20 08:56 PM
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why no spray paint.. that is the easy way?


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Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: Mr_Luke] #5322893 01/14/20 09:17 PM
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I tried removing the rust with wire brushes on my old steelies and priming and painting with spray cans. Took a looonngg time and I wouldnt even waste my time doing that again. Id rather buy a new set of steelies and toss the old ones once the tires are finished. Or...just clean em quick, use a spray product that turns rust to a primed surface and spray paint them. (Ie. Dont spend much time on them). If you have wheel covers, i wouldnt worry too much. Just my 2 cents


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2015 Toyota Venza Parisian Blue Pearl 25k miles
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Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: Mr_Luke] #5322932 01/14/20 10:03 PM
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Having used several wheel paints, Wurth is much better (easier to achieve a good finish) than Rustoleum, although overall surface prep is probably more important than paint brand.


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'74 BMW 2002
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Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: 14Accent] #5323054 01/15/20 01:27 AM
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Driz Offline
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Originally Posted by 14Accent
If you want to prevent rust, just clean the wheels really really well and coat them with POR15. That brushes on, and should hold up better than paint.




If you use POR15 keep it off the bead area. I did a set once that didn’t leak a bit. When I was done I’d r
Taken it odd all 4 of them. Why, who knows I just knOw it would never let the tire seal or stay sealed. Once it was gone they were all fine.

Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: Mr_Luke] #5323079 01/15/20 03:37 AM
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You will be better served with engine paint - they can handle the higher heat coming off brakes and are more chemical resistant than regular rust-o-leum paints. I did a set 3 years ago with aerosol engine enamel and still look ok.

Re: Rustoleum on Steel Wheels? [Re: Mr_Luke] #5323100 01/15/20 05:06 AM
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Kira Online Content
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Set of older Saab wheels from the Champlain Valley (NY-VT) with rust.
Prep, prep, prep.
I used Rustoleum Rust Converter on the back-brush on. Nice finish that has
Black engine paint on the fronts-spray.

They've seen 8 or 9 Winters without problem.

I swear, today at a junkyard in Balston Spa, NY I'm buying a rough alloy wheel and will take a stab at cleaning/refinishing one of those.
Wish me luck.

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