Spray Painting New Wheels

Hello all.

I’m wondering if anyone here or someone you know has ever painted new wheels because they didn’t come in the colour you wanted? I am in this position as I consider upgrading the 18" wheels on the used 2017 CX-9 I just bought to 22" in the spring.

And yes, I’ve done tonnes of research and joined a Mazda forum to discuss this with others that did it and there’s no rubbing issues. And I’m aware about having less rubber when potentially hitting potholes.

Powder coating would be $500 CAD and I don’t want to spend that much because of the higher cost mainly. But if I DIY with the spray paint ($120 maybe), I can always change the colour if I feel like it the next season and not regret the cost. And if there’s paint chips from undoing the lugnuts when changing over to winters or just wear and tear, I feel like it’s easier to touch up a DIY job than doing that to a pro powder coating job. Meaning, I’ll get closer to the original DIY job than the pro job when doing the touch up.

So what I’m wondering about is if anyone here think it’s necessary to sand down new wheels to help the primer stick. Stripping the paint I wouldn’t imagine is necessary for new wheels. But making them rougher with sandpaper might be helpful? Then I can do the primer, graphite paint and clear (2k).

These are the wheels I am interested in. Fast Vybz. $307 CAD plus tax with free shipping. They only come in gloss black and satin bronze. My car is dark bronze, so neither goes with it. So I’d want to spray paint a graphite colour. I’ve done a photoshop of what it might look like if I took those wheels and painted them graphite and stuck them on my car. For comparison, there’s also a pic of my car untouched, which was the dealer’s photo.

I wouldn’t be ordering these wheels till the spring. I’ve already messaged Fast asking if they had future plans for this colour but they said not in the foreseeable future. They said they will pass along that suggestion to the product development team though so I can only wish it happens.

It’s been my experience with these types of wheel companies, that style wheel may not even be available in 6 months.

I have very recently painted a set of factory wheels. I only used primer because of bare aluminum. I have touched up other factory wheels as well with spray can paint.

You would have new wheels with a great finish already on the wheel. Work with that and don’t remove it as it makes great primer. Scuff the painted surface with fine scotchbrite pads and paint directly onto the factory finish. Two to 3 cans should be enough for 4 wheels or a pint of urethane paint for a touchup spray gun.

Am I missing something here ? Why not find wheels in the color you want that appeal to you ?


These particular wheels are on lots of sites so I hope they’re still around when the time comes. They also have a business relationship with Mazda. Their wheels are on a few different Mazda dealer’s websites. The company is from Montreal and are pretty established.

I did see on a tutorial where a guy painted his mom’s Elantra wheels and did it again two years later. As the paint was still pretty solid, he just cleaned them up and painted and put clear over and didn’t prime, so that follows the same logic mentioned above. I guess I can skip the priming. Now, what is the reason for scuffing the surface? Does that help the paint to adhere?

I should clarify. These wheels are around the $300 CAD mark. Not going to find many 22s around that in a suitable style for my car. There’s a set of Braelins that are about $90 per more expensive that are matte gunmetal, which is close to the colour I want, but I’d like the wheels to shine.

These are them. I like the Fast wheels above better. But if these were the same price then I’d consider getting these to avoid the whole paint thing. Still though, these might be too dark for my liking.

There’s also the issue of having the right bolt pattern and centre bore.

My recommendation would be powdercoat

22”? I hope you don’t have any rough roads or potholes in your area!

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Each one is 307.00 and then buff the finish and rattle can spray them . Good grief what ridiculous low profile tires will this have on it ?

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I have always wondered why people wanted those rough riding tires with no side wall to make the ride smoother.

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Powder coating is $500. If I could do a decent job spray painting for say $120 then I think I’d be happy. If I have to do it again three years later, then it’s not the end of the world. In between I think I can just touch up for any paint chips. I’m not a serious car guy or anything so I don’t need perfection in my wheels, but it would be nice to have cool wheels.

The tires I would get are 40. When I discuss with the guys on the Mazda forums or seeing on other SUV forums, it’s basically evenly split between 35 and 40. They all say the ride is different, but wouldn’t describe it as rough. I don’t typically drive places with potholes. The OEM 20s are 255/50/20. The OEM 18 is a 60 profile.

I’ve seen several 30 and even a couple 25 in the classifieds. On lowered cars too. I think it looks funny.

Here are all the 22 examples I found online. A few of these guys I’ve had discussions with on the forum.

Nobody who just spent $2000 on wheels and tires will admit they made their car ride rough. Of COURSE it’ll ride rougher. And 40 series and below are much more likely to bend a rim on a bad bump.


You never leave your driveway ?


Yes… it does

You must be fun at parties. I don’t mean literally. There’s always the potential for them to be anywhere. But for instance, Steeles Ave. in Toronto is consistently rated as one of the worst streets for this in the province and I haven’t driven on it in years. Or read the stories in Winnipeg with their brutal winters.

I drive in places that aren’t infamous for bad roads.

It’s considerably more based on the guys who posted their expenses or the name of the wheels. The cost for a brand name tire is a b*itch at that size.

They say the ride is different but not rough. You can interpret that as saying it’s a rougher ride, compared to what was on their before, but not “rough”.

The Range Rover that comes with 22" also uses a 40 profile. However, I’m not a car guy so I can’t comment on what the suspension is like on that.

I’d go for a 45 sidewall, but when you add that to a 22" wheel, it’s throwing off the overall diameter a lot apparently, which affects the speedometer, ride height, certain sensors, etc. so I read.

Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind.

As long as I’m raining on parades, I can’t imagine buying a set of new huge wheels and then painting them. Especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Wheels face a rough life, anything but a good/great paint job will quickly look bad.


That’s why I’m crossing my fingers that Fast will introduce the new colour. But with all the youtube tutorials these days, and forums like this, the odds are much better now of people doing a decent job.

I already did a paint job three years ago on an '09 Accord to revitalize the matte black wheels that the previous owner did. Different scenario this time, but since I’m not a car enthusiast, I don’t really let imperfections bother me. Some pretty glaring flaws yes, but the not so obvious ones I can deal with.

If the wheels do look bad after a couple seasons, it wouldn’t be the end of the world to me if I have to drop $500 on a powder coating job. Or so I think.

Anyway, like I mentioned at the beginning, I’m considering this upgrade. Asking a couple questions on here helps to inform me. I am still open to 20s. But it’s very hard to fine the OEM 20s. A guy did have them on classifieds this week for $600 and they got snapped up right away. Another guy several weeks ago had them for $1,150, but wasn’t selling them till October. Now I found out he might be keeping them afterall to use as winters.

Have you looked around tire rack?