How to Fix Rim Damage

The rim is connected to the wheel, which is the main contact point of the vehicle to the ground. For this reason, it is very much close to all kinds of damages, the most common of which are scratches. This kind of damage can be acquired by driving over debris or by running into a curb. Instead of buying a new set of expensive rims for such minimal damage, it is a better alternative to learn how to fix rim damage.

Materials Needed

This job is moderately challenging. The important materials needed for this one include a primer, a high-gloss clear lacquer and wheel lacquer. Aside from these, you also need a masking tape, paint thinner and Bondo putty. In addition, prepare also a bucket of water, a sponge and dish soap. You must also have 400-grit, 600-grit and 1,200-grit sandpaper. Lastly, bring in a lint-free washcloth and masking paper.


Before fixing the damage, clean the wheel first using a mixture of dish soap and water. Dip the sponge and then wipe off grease and dirt. Rinse thoroughly and then wipe it dry. Put a significant amount of paint thinner on the lint-free cloth and scrub it right onto the scratched part of the rim. This will remove dirt, wax and other unwanted elements. After this step, wash the rim twice and then dry it with a clean cloth.

Stick some masking tape in the surrounding areas of the scratch. In case the damage is found at the edge of the rim, tuck the tape underneath to prevent damaging the tire. Just to be sure that the entire scratch is to be repaired, leave at least ¼-inch of the area surrounding the scratch without tape. Use the 400-grit sandpaper on the scratch until slight grooves appear.

Put some Bondo putty enough to cover the scratch. After that, smooth out the area with 600-grit sandpaper. By doing this, the putty is pushed down deep into the scratches to produce a smooth surface. Allow it to dry for about 5 minutes. Use the 600-grit sandpaper once again and then wait for another 5 minutes.

Get the masking paper and use it to cover the entire tire as well as other nearby parts of the car. This can prevent paint or lacquer from spreading to other areas. Apply a thin layer of paint or lacquer to the area you are repairing. Once the paint dries, use the 1,200-grit sandpaper on it. If the Bondo putty becomes visible, spray another layer of paint to conceal it. After drying, wash the entire wheel once again using water and soap.

Spray clear-gloss lacquer. Do it approximately 8-inches away from the repaired part. Repeat this five times. Slowly remove the masking tape and the masking paper from the rim before leaving it to dry overnight.

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