I decided that my merc wheels that i was planning on putting on my van were looking a bit tatty and could do with a refurb. got a few quotes from a few different places and realised that i couldnt afford to get them done just yet so i decided to give it a go myself. Thought id type up what ive done to help out anyone else who is thinking of doing this theirselves.
Shopping list of what was reqired:
240, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000 grit wet and dry sandpaper (only used 240, 800, 1500, 2000 for painting the rest was for the mirror polishing)
Paint preperation wipes
Filler primer 500ml can ( 2 cans for 4 wheels)
Primer 500ml can (2 cans for 4 wheels whatever primer is required for your colour of choice, i used white primer)
Colour 300ml can (1 can per wheel)
Clear laqure 500ml can (2 cans for 4 wheels)
Satin black 500ml can (optional 2 cans for 4 wheels)
Auto glym Metal polish
Auto glym super resin polish
This is not a definitave guide by any means this is just how i did mine and was happy with the results i got, please feel free to add to this with your experiences to help others get the info they need.
Firstly i got the front bead of the tyre broken and pushed back by my local tyre shop so i could get at the front lip of the wheels. if you are planning on painting the wheels complete inside and out all round it would probaly be best to get the tyre completely removed. When i got the wheels home i gave them a good clean with plenty of hot soapy water and a scrubbing brush. Make sure you get all the brake dust, grease and grim of the wheels at this stage.
My original plan was too mirror polish the whole wheel so i masked up the tyre and started stpipping the paint off with nitromors. but if you are only planning on mirror polishing part of the wheel as i later decided you only need to strip the paint off those parts. Apply the nitromors with a brush, put plenty on and leave for about 10 mins until the paint starts bubbling should look something like this
At this point take a plastic scraper (i used an old bank card) and remove all the lose paint. I needed to reapply more nitomors and rescrape another couple of times to remove all the paint. Once all the paint was removed i cleaned the wheel off with white spirit to deactivate any paint stripper that was left on the wheel.
I then started to rub down the wheels. I started with 240 grit wet and dry sandpaper (used dry) to remove any curbing, imperfections, pitting and oxidation. (be warned this stage takes time)
If you are mirror polishing then you need to continue with the sanding if you are just painting then you can stop the sanding at this stage. (the centres of my wheels i left at 240 grade ready for painting)
To mirror polish the dishes i next used 400 grade (dry) followed by 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500 grade paper (wet) these stages of sanding are to remove the scratches left from the previous grade of paper. I then cleaned the wheel down with some warm water and dryed it off. I then buffed up the outer dish with the Autoglym metal polish until i got a mirror finish.
This pic was with the outer dish polished up and the centers sanded with 240 grade paper ready for painting.
Next up i masked up the dish of the wheel and the tyre ready for painting. I would recomend buying some good quality masking tape as the cheap stuff starts to lift off after about 10 mins. (no good for a good clean paint edge). I used 3M scoth green tape. very good high tack tape.
Once this was done i gave the wheel a quick wipe over with a paint preperation wipe, alowed to dry and applyed two thin coats of filler primer alowing 10 to 15 mins to dry between coats. Once the second coat was on i left the wheel to dry for 24 hours
I found when spraying the primers, paint and laqure to spray at a distance of between 8 and 10 inches away from the wheel and apply lights coats of paint.
This is the wheel masked up and in filler primer
After 24 hours i flated the primer back using 800 grade wet and dry sandpaper (dry) i sanded the surface lightly until the paint was smooth to the touch. I wanted the backs of the wheels behind the spokes to be black so at this point i turned the wheel upside down and applyed a couple of coats of satin black. When this was dry approx 30 mins i masked up any holes on the wheels to stop any paint going through onto the black of the back of the wheel.
Next i wiped the wheel over again with a paint prep wipe and gave the wheel two coats of white primer (or whatever primer you need) Alowing between 10 and 15 mins drying time betwwen coats. Then allowed 24 hours to dry.
Here is the wheel in white primer
After 24 hours i flated the primer back again with the 800 grade paper (dry) until the paint was smooth to the touch. Wiped the wheel over again with a paint prep wipe and once dry applyed two coats of the colour coat i was using, once again allowing 10 - 15 mins between coats. Once the second coat was on i allowed the paint to dry for 24 hours. (This differs between different paint manufactures, read the back of the can some say to laqure straight away and others say to wait 24 hours)
This is the wheel in the colour i used
Once the paint had dryed for 24 hours i flatted the paint back with 1500 grade wet and dry paper (use wet, plenty of water) You only need to rub very lightly as if you go at one area to much you will easily sand through to primer. (I found this out the hard way!!) The idea of this stage is to just dull back the surface of the paint ready for the laqure. Once flatted back use the paint prep wipes again to give the wheel a good clean off, once dry i applyed to thin coats of clear laqure (go fairly lightly with this stuff as it can run if to much is applyed, dont panic if you do get a small run this can be removed when the laqure is fully cured)
Here is the wheel once it was laqured
After 24 hours i carefully removed the masking tape from around the dish and tyre. Make sure you read the back of your can of laqure as this will tell you the curing time before you can wet sand and polish. My can said i had to wait two weeks! So i stuck the wheel in the shed for 2 weeks and let it do its thing. When the two weeks had passed i got the wheel out and noticed a small run and some small dust marks. I got some 2000 grade wet and dry sandpaper (used wet plenty of water) and sanded of the dust marks and the run. Go lightly at this and you will remove the imperfections and leave the surface with a dull finish. Dry the wheel of when done and give the wheel a good polish up with a light cutting polish. I used Autoglym super resin polish and had good resluts.
Here is the wheel finished just need to get the tyre refitted
I hope this helps people who are looking for info to refurb their wheels theirselves. As i said this is by no means a definative guide, just what i done and had good results. Before this i had only done very small bits of painting on areas that can hardly be seen so didnt have to be that good. As long as you take your time, keep the can of paint at a distance of roughly 8 to 10 inches away from the wheel and apply the paint in light even strokes you will have good results.