Volkswagens turn heads on the road because they’re such good-looking cars. That’s why a damaged or outdated set of wheels could really hinder your VW’s appearance. Luckily, there are a few ways you can fix that.
1. Paint Your Wheels
To pull this off like a pro, you'll need the following:
- High-quality paint designated for wheels
- Primer spray
- Clear protection paint
- Wheel & tire degreaser
- Mineral spirits
- 1,000-grit sandpaper
- A couple of days to do this project
Painting your wheels is a difficult task that requires flawless application, but you can achieve it if you know exactly what to do. Here’s a general overview of the process.
- Lift the tire higher than 2 inches off the ground and remove the tire.
- Scrub your wheel and tire with soap and water until everything’s clean.
- Apply degreaser everywhere to remove the grime and then rinse.
- Sand the wheel with the 1,000-grit sandpaper to remove any rust or uneven surfaces.
- Rinse the wheel, apply mineral spirits, and rinse again.
- Apply primer paint to the wheel and then let dry.
- Apply at least three thin coats of paint to the wheel until the paint looks smooth and even.
- Apply at least three thin coats of clear protection paint to the wheel.
- Place the wheel and tire back on your VW and repeat the above steps with the rest of the wheels on your car.
- When all four wheels are done, kick back and admire how awesome your VW looks!
If you want more detailed steps with pictures, here’s a great tutorial to follow.
2. Powder Coat Your Wheels
If you want to give your tired ol’ wheels a bright matte look, powder coating them is the way to go. The process requires special tools and equipment and it may be pricey in the long run. If you have most or all of the following tools, materials, and equipment, then you should be fine:
- High-quality powder coating for wheels
- Clear coat powder
- Media blaster
- Mineral spirits
- Powder coating gun
- High-temperature masking tape
- All metal filler
When you have everything you need, take the following steps:
- Take the tires and wheels off the car. Remove all the tires from the wheels.
- Remove anything that shouldn’t be coated, such as the valve stems and lug covers.
- Remove the already existing paint on your wheels. You can either media blast your wheels down to the metal or strip off the paint chemically.
- Rinse the wheel, apply mineral spirits, and then rinse again.
- Pre-bake your wheels at 350-400 degrees to remove the toughest grime.
- Ground your wheels to the powder coating gun.
- Hot-flock your wheels to ensure that the powder sticks to them better.
- Use an all metal filler to fill and sand any dents or scratches on the wheels.
- Apply powder coating, and then clear coat powder. Allow for thorough drying between the coats.
- Apply a layer of powder on the inside of the wheels to prevent corrosion.
- Put the tires and wheels back on your VW and... voila!
3. Plasti Dip Your Wheels
This option is much easier and more common than painting or powder coating your wheels. Plasti Dip is a rubberized plastic coating you can dip, brush, or spray on your wheels. The rubber material is a great way to protect your wheels from curbs and debris on the road.
To Plasti Dip your wheels, all you have to do is to thoroughly clean and dry your wheels and spray them with Plasti Dip. You can also opt to apply clear coating over the Plasti Dip for an extra layer of protection.
4. Buy a New Set of OEM Wheels
A sterling silver 21" Mallory wheel straight from Volkswagen
The above three solutions work well when you have people admiring your wheels from afar, but they will notice minor imperfections upon close inspection. If you want your wheels to look flawless, or if you don’t want to put forth the effort to spruce up your already existing wheels, you can buy a new set of wheels.
It’s a great excuse to change up the look of your Volkswagen, as well. If you’re not digging the color or design of your existing wheels, you can get a new design that better suits your preferences.
Volkswagen offers a huge selection of OEM wheels to choose from. Even better, RealVolkswagenParts.com offers them at discounted prices. If you want to see a few of our favorites, check out the list below. Or you can head over to our website and check out all the OEM VW wheels we have available.
- Black & Silver 17” Blade Wheel (Part No. 5G0-071-497-FZZ)
- Black & Silver 18” Wheel for Beetles (Part No. 5C0-601-025-AK-AX1)
- Silver 19” Tornado Wheel (Part No. 5C0-071-499-AX1)
Have you upgraded the wheels on your VW? Share your pics with us on Facebook!