Powder-coated rims may be more resilient than other finishes such as paint and chrome. But they are still vulnerable to things like curb rash.
A Curb rash is every motorist’s worst nightmare because other than making your rims look hideous. It can also affect your suspension and alignment.
Because of these reasons, drivers should be careful when parking on pavements and avoid any obstacles on the roads, such as potholes which can also lead to curb rash.
If your powder-coated rims have fallen victim to curb rash, you are probably looking for a remedy. Below, we will discuss some solutions for fixing curb rash on powder-coated rims.
Table of Contents
- 1. Liquid Touch-Up Paint
- 2. Re-Powder Coat
- 3. Sanding and Buffing
- 4. Nail Polish + Powder Coat
- 5. Stripping Powder Coat and Switching to a Different Finish
- What are the Challenges of Fixing Curb Rash on Powder Coated Rims?
- How to Prevent Curb Rash on Powder Coated Rims?
- Can I Use Plasti Dip as a Fix for Curb Rash?
1. Liquid Touch-Up Paint
This is the easiest and quickest fix for curb rash on powder-coated rims. One of the benefits of painted wheels over powder-coated ones is that the former is much easier to fix. In this case, the paint may be slightly different but can be used to touch up curb rash on powder-coated rims.
Before settling on this method, you need to evaluate the size of the curb rash. If it’s significant, explore other options. But some touch-up paint can offer quick relief if it’s a small area.
For touch-up paint to work as a fix for curb rash on powder-coated rims, you need to find the exact color match. This will ensure the finish looks uniform.
Secondly, you need to tone down on aggressive solvents. If you use something too harsh, it can melt the surrounding powder coat.
Finally, before applying liquid touch-up paint, clean the area thoroughly to remove contaminants that affect the paint’s longevity.
For many car owners who don’t have the money for a re-powder coat, touch-up paint is often a cheaper remedy which, if done right, it can make the rims look as good as new.
As you consider using touch-up paint, you need to know that it will fade faster than the powder coat, and someone with a keen eye for details can know your powder-coated rims have been touched up by liquid paint.
Before we move on from painting, if the curb rash has sunk deeper into the wheel, you may have to add a filler. Carefully choose a quality filler with strong adhesive properties.
The wheels are often exposed to rough conditions. If the filler is weak, it can come out while driving.
2. Re-Powder Coat
When curb rash develops on powder-coated rims, the best and most effective solution is a recoat. If you have fallen victim to such, this is the last thing you want to hear. But it’s the ugly truth.
Suppose there is some curb rash on the powder-coated surface that creates an opening on the finish. In that opening, the deterioration of the finish will begin.
To ensure that doesn’t happen, curb rash on powder-coated rims should be taken through a recoat. If you are wondering whether the re-powder coating is possible, the answer is yes. A professional powder coater should be able to get more powder coats over an existing one.
A re-powder coat may be the best fix for curb rash. But it’s the most expensive. The cost of powder coating a wheel is around $100. To have the same wheel re-powder coated, you can pay approximately $50 to $80.
Unlike paint, powder coating is a complicated process. Due to adhesive problems, some powder coaters may be afraid to add more powder to the finish.
Therefore, they may strip the entire powder coat and spray a new one. If that’s the case, you will pay almost the same price for a new powder coating job. If the wheel is damaged and may require repair, that also increases the cost.
3. Sanding and Buffing
Sanding and buffing are fixes for surface curb rash. If the curb rash on your rim has extended past the powder coat, you have no option but to recoat or use touch-up paint. This method is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is check the extent of the damage.
If the impact was minimal, you should grab some fine grit sandpaper and work on the area that has the curb rash. Through sanding, you can also get rid of any orange peel that was left after powder coating.
When sanding powder-coated wheels, you need to be careful because it’s easy to buff out the paint when you are too aggressive. If you doubt your buffing skills, you can hire an expert to sand out curb rash on the powder-coated wheels.
4. Nail Polish + Powder Coat
This is more of a DIY hack and only effective on small imperfections caused by curb rash. If you slightly scratched the wheels on your curb, you can mix some powder coat and nail polish, then use it to touch up the rash.
A mixture of nail polish and powder coat can resemble the powder-coated finish on other areas, and you will get a temporary fix. This method is a bit unconventional therefore don’t expect perfect results.
5. Stripping Powder Coat and Switching to a Different Finish
The other option on our list may seem extreme, but it does have some pros. If curb rash damage is severe and the powder coat on the wheels has significantly worn out.
You should consider stripping the powder coating and switching to another finish, such as paint or chrome. Powder coat has its advantages which you are well aware of.
But you can see how difficult it is to repair curb rash on powder coat. Switching to another finish allows you to find something much easier to take care of.
What are the Challenges of Fixing Curb Rash on Powder Coated Rims?
As you can see from all these methods of fixing curb rash on powder-coated rims, one may encounter a couple of challenges. It’s crucial that we list these challenges so that you can be prepared in advance.
Unfortunately, the best fix for curb rash on powder-coated rims is the most expensive. If you are interested in a permanent solution for curb rash, you will have to pay for the wheel to be recoated.
Unlike touch-up paint, which is cheaper, the cost is almost the same as getting a new layer of powder coat.
• Incompatibility and Adhesion
In case you consider using the touch-up paint method. You should expect incompatibility issues. Even though the paint is a coating, it’s not made using the same ingredients as powder coat.
Therefore, when used together, they may not bond. And if there’s a problem with adhesion, the fix may only be temporary.
• Color Matching
Another problem with fixing curb rash on powder coat is finding a matching color. You must be extra keen with the finish you use to touch up the curb rash.
When you use the wrong material, there is a good chance the overall finish won’t be uniform. And that can mess up the aesthetics of your wheels.
Finally, most DIY fixes won’t last for very long. Take nail polish + powder coat, for example. It may hold for the first few months. But when exposed to a harsh environment, the nail polish and powder coat mixture will expose the curb rash.
How to Prevent Curb Rash on Powder Coated Rims?
Some vehicle owners think powder coat is a bulletproof finish that can withstand everything. However, your encounter with curb rash should teach you that powder coat is also susceptible to damage.
Powder coating rims is expensive, and so is repairing them. To ensure the powder coat serves you for longer, here are ways to prevent curb rash;
• Always know that there is a curb on the side of the road. Curbs are part of modern roads. It’s crucial to acknowledge their presence. If you ignore curbs, you will always hit them with your wheels.
• Master the art of parallel parking. Most people hit curbs when they are parallel parking. To prevent such, learn how to use the mirrors when parallel parking. Also, try not to come too close to the curb.
• Avoid running over potholes. The curb isn’t the only thing that can damage your wheels’ finish. Potholes can also have a similar effect. Always keep your eyes on the road.
• Invest in a rim protector. Even though it may seem counter-intuitive to have both a powder coat and a rim protector. But until you learn how to park, the protectors will keep the finish safe from curb rash.
Can I Use Plasti Dip as a Fix for Curb Rash?
If the powder coat finish has a flat color such as black, you can spray plasti dip on the curb rash as a temporary fix. Plasti dip is a rubber coating that can cover curb rash on powder coat.
However, you should know that plasti dip doesn’t last very long on wheels because of the elements it’s exposed to on the regular.