Professional software development, amateur BMW tinkering, old arcade game stuff


E31 alloy wheel refurb

No real alloy damage to my wheels but the finish on the fronts was quite poor, cracking and discoloured from brake dust that no amount of cleaning will remove.  Decided to try some DIY…


First up, wash wheel as much as possible!


Apply some putty where needed and sand down with a mix 600, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit sandpaper.


I didn’t want to remove the tyre so I carefully taped around the alloy, and then a blast of primer.


Two things above – the first primer seemed to react slightly with the putty – I tried a different primer and it was fine though.  The stage also really showed up bits where my putty finish wasn’t smooth.  If I had more patience I would have done another putty pass here.  But I don’t.

Loads of coats of bright silver with some rubbing down and sanding in between, then a full can of clear coat.  It was quite hard to get consistent paint coverage on the inside of the spokes.

Leave overnight to dry!

Then some polish and a lot of wax to hopefully stop brake dust from sticking to it.  Comparison against the other front below.  Up close you can see it’s not a professional job, next week maybe I’ll have another pass on it, with more putty work, and much more clear coat.


But when you aren’t up close, it really looks pretty good :)   Very pleased with it for first attempt!  Took about 5 hours though and still got 3 wheels to do (Luckily the rears are pretty good already so they will be easier).




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