Spray Painting Steel Car Wheels

The spare wheels on both our cars were a little rusty, so i figured I would clean them up a bit.

So to get to this:

From This

I wire brushed the wheels to keys the surface and scrape away any loose surface rust. Then went over everything with wire wool as its easier to get into the corners.

Next I washed the wheel to rid them of the bits of wire and rust.

Then once dry, I masked the tyre.

I choose to use Hammerite Hammered Finish which will hide some imperfections of the surface.

So once I shook the can for three minutes as directed and applied a very thin coat and continued to add coats every 15 minutes until I had built up 6 coats. I left them in the sun to hopefully bake the paint a little. Then completed the same process on the other side a couple of days later.

I painted the backs first in case any of the paint ran, I could then wirewool/sand prior to applying the outside coat. However this was not an issue – the paint was very easy to apply thinly.

Here’s the first coat on – note the time written in marker pen on the cardboard to keep track of the times.


  • Hammerite hammered spray paint – six coats each side for two wheels all from one can
  • wirewool
  • wire brush
  • kitchen paper
  • newspaper and cardboard
  • masking tape
  • wood wedge to push the masking tape under the tyre

Finished wheels:

Job done.