What type of paint is on the gold or black "lace" wheels? It seems kinda thick and/or plastic, like maybe some sort of epoxy? Just wondering in case I want to change colors. Anyone done this? Remove the old first?
You often can remove clear coat w/ paint stripper but not the color "paint" on rims.
I believe GM and others uses 2 step finishes... "Paint" in/on them isn't just normal paint. Many are like Imron 2 part paint then often baked or are "powder paint" and baked. Both plans are often chemical resistance. Then over that clear coated to keep alloy bright and shinny.
ETA--> Some colors are Anodize then final machine then clear coat. You never remove anodizing by DIY methods but can damage it using other chemical to strip clear coat. Example: If you ever tried oven cleaner on anodize pots etc... that can ruin the anodize and even aluminum pot.
Using normal paint often doesn't stick and flakes off soon even if you remove all factory finishes and use special primers for aluminum. Try single or 2 part epoxy or car paint w/ hardener added to it. Either type and paint strippers you need a mask w/ VOC filters. Many claim low/no VOC but ignore that when using them because is only a 1 foot or three in front of you. Breathing even dry over spray can cause problems to many people.
------------------ Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should. (Jurassic Park)
Thank you, sir. It appeared to me that is was more than just paint (too thick). That's why I thought it might be epoxy (like the 2 part mix you mentioned). The clear coat is probably a single spray, as that it was usually deteriorates. There is a wheel restoration company in a larger city near me. I'll consult them on this.
I painted the black lace wheels on my 88 GT last year. This after research indicated that I could have them professionally restored to like new - for $150 to $200/wheel.
The clear on the rims was pretty bad, pock marks and some light but very visible corrosion in some spots where the clear was no longer. Lace chipped in a few places. I did all the work with wheels two at a time off the car, tires on the wheels. I sanded the clear rim part of the wheels with a Dremel and by hand, and managed to keep the factory appearance of the machine mark looking lines in the rims. I smoothed a couple of spots where there was some curb rash, then scuffed the lace part with 3M green pads. I masked off the clear part of the rims with 3M Blue masking tape, and tucked index cards between the rims and tires to avoid overspray. I put some 1/2" flat washers in the lug holes to avoid painting the tapered part of the holes and popped out the center caps. I wiped wheels down with a tack rag, then Duplicolor Paint Prep, and then shot the lace part with Duplicolor Professional Wheel Coating (black). Then I unmasked the rim part and shot the whole wheels with gloss clear Duplicolor Wheel Coating. A year and 8000 miles later they look like I just did 'em. Given the time/miles I have on them, I'm confident that this is going to hold up very well.
So, this Duplicator is "wheel coating", which is different from paint? (I'm referring to the black used on the lace portion of the wheel). Yes, there is a wheel restoration shop near here. It wants $180 per wheel, but this includes truing the wheel, balancing, and refinishing. I'd rather do it myself.
It basically a specialized paint, in that it's a one component, ready to spray product - I just used the spray cans. It seems to be formulated for the purpose, though, rated for intermittent temperatures up to 250F, and claims to resist chipping and fading (I wonder how different it is from brake caliper paint). It does not say you have to scuff the surfaces to be painted, but I did and I highly recommend that you do so (for any painting, really). Worked for me. It also levels really pretty well. I had some chipping on the black part of the wheel, which I feathered out by sanding before scuffing the rest. I couldn't find any of those spots after I was finished.