Does anyone know a link that will give you the best directions on how to paint your own rims including all the materials needed? Don't have the cash to buy new rims so going the cheaper route for now. Want to do a really good job on it. Don't want it to look like crap. Doing this right!
I'm in the process of painting my aluminium rims at the moment that were badly neglected by the PO. I started by using a wire brush to remove all debris off my rims all the way down to the metal ( or primer coat if it's still in good shape). I then used 180 grit sandpaper to remove any remaining paint/debris left over in the hard to reach areas. Once the rims are down to bare metal, I cleaned them real good with varsol ( any degreaser will work I suppose, varsol is my go to product for these types of jobs). Make sure to dry the rim surface completly before continuing. After cleaning the rim, apply some primer. I like to put 3 coats on, and follow the directions suggested on the can. Same thing with the 3 paint coats then 3 clear coats I apply after. I never bother trying to sand down the primer, paint or clear coat... it's just a waste of time IMO. I've done a few set of rims this way and they always turn out great! I would post some pics but I don't think I can yet. Supplies should cost about $60 for a set of rims.
If you're looking the cheapest route, prep as the guys above mention... Make sure you rough it up enough so that primer will stick. I dont have pics, but I had American Racing aluminum wheels. The clear coat was a bit thick, so prepare to sand quite a bit, all the way to the aluminum. I used 2 coats of self etching primer, let it dry over night, and used 3 coats of epoxy paint in a rattle can. It turned out really well. The biggest thing with painting is being patient. If you paint too heavy it will run, especially the stuff in rattle cans. The only issue I had is when I had to fix a hole in my tire, the idiots at Big O tire chipped the hell out of it when they were taking the lug nuts out. I just kept a spare can for touch-up.
Judging by your username you have a Liberty, I don't know how much off road driving you do buy if it isn't a lot then just use plasti dip on the wheels. No sanding or priming needed and if you spray it on thick enough you can peel it off when you're tired of it. I went a little overboard with the stuff on some other vehicles but it held up for over a year.
He's an angel dressed in oilskins; he's a saint in the "Sou'wester,"
He's a pluck as they come, or ever can;
He's a hero born and bred, but it hasn't swelled his head,
For he's just the U.S. Government's hired man.
I recommend you check out Plastidip if you're just looking to coat 'em black with like $20 and a day off. It's like a rubber coating. It's matte, got no sheen to it. Plenty of people around here spray their wheels with it and it looks good. No need to scuff up your finish on your wheels or anything. You can peel it off if you get sick of it and it's very easy to touch up if it gets scratched.
If you take that route just google search "painting wheels plastidip" and I'm sure you'll get a ton of results w/ how-to's and pictures and all that good stuff. Hope that helps.