When it comes to car customization, there are a lot of different options to choose from. One of the most popular choices is painting your wheels. This can give your car a whole new look and can be a lot of fun to do.
But one question that often comes up is “Should I Get New Tires Before or After Painting My Wheels?” In this article, we will explore both sides of the argument and help you make the decision that is right for you!
From our point of view, if you will need to install new tires in the near future, we would always recommend installing them before painting, respraying or refurbishing your wheels.
Why you should install new tires before painting your wheels
It is a common occurrence. You are parking up at the side of the road and you accidentally park too close. The crunching sound of your wheel grinding away against the curb is enough to send a shiver down your spine.
Or, you are driving on the highway and you hit a pothole. Again, that dreaded sound of your wheel hitting something hard is enough to make you wince.
You get out to check the damage and see the fresh exposed metal on the rim of your wheel which used to be painted. This horrible feeling is multiplied if it is a brand new car or if the wheels have just been freshly painted or refurbished. We have all experienced it at one time or another
You start to tell yourself, “If only I had payed more attention”, or “next time I will not make that mistake”.
Prevention is the best cure in this case and if you ever do plan to have your wheels refurbished or painted, planning ahead with your new tires can save you from making a simple mistake.
Since changing tires is a process that involves a lot of force and machinery, it means there is always a risk of your wheels getting damaged. Changing your tires before you paint or refurbish them is the only sure-fire way to ensure that your wheels will not be damaged in during this process.
How tires are installed
Most of the time, we don’t get to watch as the mechanics replace and install new tires onto our vehicles. The reality of this procedure is that even if the mechanic is being careful, the likelihood of your wheel getting scuffed or damaged is still pretty high.
Even though tires are made of rubber, they are very firm as they are designed to be able to withstand the weight of the vehicle. A machine is therefore used to provide the required force to remove the tire from the wheel.
The process of installing and removing them involves using a machine to help separate the tire from the wheel. This machine uses what is called a Duck Head which is a metal head that is inserted in between the tire and wheel.
Once the duck head is in place, it works its way around the wheel and pries the tire off and over the wheel rim. This process means that the metal duck head has to run across the surface of your wheel and it is quite likely to cause some scuffing.
This process is then repeated when installing the new tires onto your wheels. This increases the chances further of your wheels being damaged during the installation process.
While any damage that does occur is only likely to be very minor, if you have just had your wheels painted or refurbished and they are looking their best, the last thing you would want to do is damage them.
This is why when asked should I get new tires before or after painting my wheels, always install tires before you decide to have your wheels painted as this is the easiest to avoid damaging your wheels.
So if you are about to refurbish or paint your wheels and can see that your tires are beginning to wear or that they are soon to expire, make sure to change the tires first. This way, you can be sure that your beautiful new paint job will not be ruined by a fresh set of tires.
What if you have just had your wheels painted and need new tires
If you find out that your tires are more worn than you expected and need replacing just after having painted your wheels, do not despair.
It is possible to change your tires without damaging your wheel.
When you take your vehicle to the shop for a new set of tires, be sure to ask the mechanic to be extra careful because of your freshly refurbished wheels. While this won’t guarantee not to cause any damage, being careful is the best way to avoid it.
We would also make sure to leave at least a few days between when your wheels have been painted and having new tires installed. This will allow the paint enough time to fully cure and harden so that it is less likely to be marked or damaged.
Should you remove your tires from the wheel before painting?
Another option is to have the tires dismounted before they are brought to the painter which will avoid any potential damage. The installation process is then done after the painting is completed.
Removing the tires from your wheels sounds like a good option at first. It will allow for better access to paint the wheel more evenly between the tire bead and the rim. However it does not solve the issue as tires will need to be mounted back onto the wheel and this can lead to damaging your brand new paint job.
We would also not recommend attempting to remove or install your tires at home. It is a difficult process to attempt without a machine and even more difficult to attempt successfully without damaging your wheel.
The cost for installing tires by a professional shop is minimal and can save you money in repairs or damage you may cause attempting to install or remove tires yourself.
Can you paint your wheels with your tires on?
Yes it is possible to paint your wheels yourself, all while keeping the tires on the wheels. As long as you take the necessary precautions prior to the painting stage and make sure that your tires are protected from any paint overspray, with a few simple supplies you can change the look of you wheels from home.
How to paint your wheels at home
If you are looking to paint your wheels and are on a budget, instead of paying hundreds of dollars at a professional shop, you can do it yourself at home for a fraction of the cost.
You will need to purchase some supplies including primer, paint, and clear coat for a high-quality finish.
Before you begin, it is important to tape-off or cover your tires. This will prevent any of the paint from hitting your tires. A trick we like to use is to buy a pack of playing cards and insert them between the tire and the rim all the way along the tire. This will prevent any overspray onto your tires.
We recommend starting by sanding down your wheels to create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to. 800 grit sandpaper is what we would use.
You will then want to apply a primer coat and let it dry completely. Apply a thin coat and leave to dry. Repeat this until the whole wheel is evenly covered in primer.
Once the primer is dry, you can start painting your wheels. In the same way you painted the primer, use thin and even coats and leave to dry. Repeat until you have achieved the desired color.
Be sure to let each coat of paint dry completely before moving on to the next one. Once you are happy with the color of your wheels, you can apply a clear coat to protect the paint and give your wheels a glossy finish.
Watch how to here.
The bottom line
It is always best practice to get new tires before you have your wheels painted or refurbished. This way you can avoid any potential damage that could be caused during the installation process.
However, if you do find yourself in the situation where you need new tires after having your wheels painted, don’t worry, just be sure to ask the mechanic to take extra care.
This way you can avoid any nasty scuffs or scratches on your beautiful new wheels.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!