How Much Does it Cost to Paint Rims? [Cost Reduction Tips]

Have you ever wondered how much it would cost to get someone to paint your car’s rims?

how much does it cost to paint rims

You may have a budget in mind that will work for the project, but there are many factors that go into determining the price.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what those factors are and how they affect the final cost of painting rims or getting them painted by professionals.

How much does it cost to paint rims?

The cost of painting car rims depends on many factors, whether you are doing the task yourself, or you want to get the rims painted by a professional. A huge difference between these two situations!

Apart from that, condition of the rims before painting, the paint you choose, the type of it, and some other variables will affect how much will you end up spending on repainting rims.

Cost for DIY Paint Job

If you do the task yourself, you will save at least $100 per rim. So, $400 save straightaway. However, there are other costs that you need to bear, irrespective of whether you do it yourself or get it done by a professional detailer. And some items may add up to the supplies if you plan to go DIY.

Painting Tools & Equipment

You’ll need multiple items to get this done. A suitable mask, protective wear, goggles are a must while you do the paintwork. Plus, the painting tools you need are-

  • Paint sprayer
  • Sandpaper
  • Wire brush
  • Steel wool

The cost of these tools will vary depending on the quality. Generally speaking, you should get a good quality paint sprayer that can do the job at hand and in the future for about $100, and the other three (sandpaper, wire brush, steel wool) shouldn’t cost more than $10 aggregate.

So, you’ll need to spend around 100 to 120 USD extra for painting tools if you choose not to assign a professional to do the job.

Painting Supplies

Whether you choose to do it yourself or assign the job to a professional painter, you’ll need to spend on painting supplies depending on how much area you need to cover. The supplies you’ll need are-

  • Wheel cleaner
  • Paint thinner
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paper or plastic sheet
  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Clear coat

On average, you’ll need to spend around $50 to $150 for these supplies. It can be $50 if you need the least amount of materials, i.e. 1 pack of each, or it can be $150 if you need multiple paint cans.

So, what’s the cost if I choose to do it myself?

You’ll need to spend between $150 to $250 completing the job. However, if you already have a paint sprayer, it can extremely reduce the burden from your shoulder by minimizing the cost to $50.

Cost for Getting Rims Painted by Professionals

Now, you must be wondering how much the cost would be if you choose to get it done by a professional?

The answer is- It depends on the condition of your rims and paint. So, we cannot give an amount as such since there are other variables that affect this estimate. However, generally speaking, hiring a detailer will cost you somewhere between $400 to $800 for repainting four rims.

So, if we add the supplies cost and professional painters’ fees together, it will come close to around $600 to $1100 approximately. But this is a rough estimation that can vary depending on how much work needs to be done.

The above are the average prices of getting your rims painted. However, you can also save money by doing some preparation work before bringing the car to a professional detailer or painter.

This will reduce their charges since they’ll have fewer additional tasks on hand that may take time and eat into their profits. Just make sure not to damage the surface by doing this since it would affect the final result.

Paint Rims Cost Summary

Tools (Only applicable for DIY)$100-120
Professional Fee (Only applicable for Pro)$400-800

Average cost to paint rims per square foot

The math is pretty simple. A 16-inch tire comes with a 1.4 square feet rim. That means 5.6 square feet in total. So, the equation will be-

Total cost divided by 5.6

According to the formula, a DIY paint job will cost around $29 per square foot.

And if you go with professionals, per square foot will cost you around $110.

Recommended Supplies For Rim Paint Job

Here are our recommendations for all the supplies you need-

1. Primer: Rust-Oleum 249418 Automotive Sandable Primer

If you want to refurbish the paint job on your car, Rust-Oleum 249418 Primer can prepare it for a perfect top coat.

It’s ideal for metal, fiberglass, and wood surfaces so if you have anything from a pickup truck to a 1960s vintage table or bookcase in need of refinishing, this primer will do the trick.

What makes Rust-Oleum 249418 Primer really stand out is that it can be sanded! How often do you worry about getting splinters when sanding automotive projects because the pre-primer was applied? Not with this product. You get even coverage within a few minutes then sand afterward and voila, your project is ready for the paint.

2. Paint: Dupli-Color HWP104 Black High Performance Wheel Paint

Who knew paint could be so much more than just a skin-deep fix? It can also give your vehicle’s wheels that brilliantly shiny, new car look again. And with this formula by Dupli-Color you don’t have to remove the old coating on your car’s black wheels first!

With their new product, HWP104 Black High-Performance Wheel Paint, they will dry in 30 minutes and be ready to handle in one hour. So even if it takes some time to upkeep your ride’s appearance, you can get back on the road without looking like your tires are squared off from use on gravel roads all day long. The water base sticks tight on its own but is also resistant to chemicals and brake dust – perfect for reducing wear.

3. Clear Coat: VHT SP184 Clear Coat Wheel Paint Can

When you need to paint wheels that will be exposed to the elements, VHT Clear Coat is the perfect product. Manufactured for metal and steel surfaces, this industrial-grade coating can provide protection from rust and oxidation without changing your wheel’s natural color.

A brilliant protective finish coats with a durable urethane sealant with UV inhibitors and excellent chemical resistance, so it resists chipping or cracking even in high-heat conditions – making VHT Clear Coat perfect for protecting your wheels not only on the road but also in the dirt.

Tips on how to save money when painting rims

You can get the job done yourself if you have basic knowledge of painting techniques. However, you can do the work without any prior knowledge as well but that will require you to spend an hour or two learning and practicing things. So, here are some tips that will help save money when repainting car alloy wheels-

1. Buy Supplies from Online Stores

You can save a significant amount of money by buying supplies online. So, do your research and find out the best deals that are available on reputable e-commerce websites. You’ll be able to get high-quality products at cheap rates as you’ll be able to compare the products and price better than physical stores.

Note: Just make sure to buy from reliable sources such as Amazon, eBay, etc.

Another thing is to buy products in bulk if they are available so that you can save money on shipping charges.

2. Do it yourself rather than Appointing a professional

This is a general tip that can be applied to almost anything. If you have the time and patience, then DIY will save your money rather than going for professional services.

However, if you lack either of these two attributes, it’s better to get professionals on board as they add value by doing things quickly without any flaws in the final result.

3. Use Spray Paint

Spray paint comes in a wide variety of color options so it will be easier to get the right shade for your rim. However, you need to make sure that spray paint is compatible with the rim materials as some paints can damage the surface and leave behind ugly stains on alloy wheels.

Going with spray bottles will save you from spending about a hundred bucks on a paint sprayer that you’ll barely use in the future.

4. Save on Accessories

You can save some money by putting off accessories that are not required to do the job. For example, you don’t need microfiber cloths or gloves if you’re using spray paint as it comes with its own safety kit.

So, avoid spending extra bucks on anything apart from painting supplies which is necessary for your DIY rims repainting project. You can use rubbing alcohol instead of paint thinner, paper instead of plastic sheets, etc to save money.

For professional painters, their fees will include the cost of accessories so you don’t have to worry about that.

Why Are Car Rims Painted?

Car rims are painted to make them look more attractive and eye-catching which will increase the resale value of your car. However, if you’re keeping it for long then paint job isn’t really necessary as rims don’t lose their shine due to oxidation or weathering that easily.

You just need to clean alloy wheels on a regular basis and give them a polish once in a while to maintain the original look.

However, if you live in a humid area or you go off-road, then dust can accumulate and cause the rim to degrade faster than it supposed to be. In such cases, you should paint the rims so that they are well-protected against any type of harmful substances.

How to Paint Car Rims: Step by Step

Taking your car to the shop for rim painting is an easy way out as you will be charged a fixed amount by them. However, if there is not much money available to spend on this luxury, then it is recommended that you do the painting yourself. It will be a task done with ease as long as your hands are steady and focused.

Rims can get scratched or dented easily even when they are parked in the parking lot because of many reasons like accidents or poor parking. You can use sandpaper to remove the scratches and then spray paint the rims with a primer in case of big dents, but you will have to go for an expert if there is no way out and they do not look very small.

All you need are some tools like wire brushes, screwdrivers, masking tape, and so on. You should also have the right kind of spray paint for this job, including primer and a clear coat if needed.

Step 1: Clean the Rims

You should start this task from the back, with a wire brush to remove any dirt particles and grime accumulated on them. Then use a degreaser to make it oil-free. Remove all the rust using sandpaper if there is any. You can also follow up by wiping down with an alcohol solution or washing them under running water.

Step 2: Sand the Surface

Make sure you wear a mask and gloves before beginning the next step. Spray paint does not stick to dust or grime, so make sure there is no residue left on the surface of your rims by sanding it down with sandpaper.

If there is no rust or oxidation mark, you can skip sanding and head over to the next step.

Step 3: Apply Primer

Primers are meant for metals like chrome and raw aluminum as they provide a surface for the paint to stick on. Use your spray can with primer in hand, shaking it well before use so that the contents are mixed up properly. Hold from around 12-15 inches away and spray evenly over all surfaces of the rims you want to be painted.

Before you do that, make sure to cover up the surrounding tires with plastic or paper sheets and masking tape.

Step 4: Apply the Paint

You will need to use the same technique of holding at a distance while spraying on your paint, by shaking it well beforehand. However, make sure you shake it constantly during application as well so that the paint is applied evenly throughout the wheel.

Spray two coats of color evenly over all surfaces and let them dry for about 30 minutes in between each coat if needed before applying the clear coat.

Step 5: Apply Clear Coat

You can use a spray can of clear coat in case you want an extra layer of protection over your rims, which is recommended if they are going to be placed outside where there will be more damage due to weathering and dirt accumulation on them. Hold at 12-15 inches and spray evenly.

Repeat the earlier step and wait for about 30 minutes before moving on to the next one. If you want a more glossy finish, repeat with another coat of clear coat afterward if needed. You will get better results by using this technique than going in with a brush every time. Apply it over all surfaces and let them dry completely before you start using your car again. It will take about an hour or two for them to dry completely, depending on how thick the layers were and whether it was a single coat of clear coat or multiple ones that were applied.


While the cost of getting your car’s rims painted may depend on a number of factors, it is important to remember that it will not be cheap.

In order to keep costs down, you’ll need to do some research beforehand and shop around for deals. After all, there are many options out there when looking for places that offer this service!

We hope we’ve been able to help answer some questions and provide helpful insights into the world of automotive painting!

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