Lug nuts contribute to making your wheels look better. And if you have just got yourself a new set of rims, or you have painted them, you may be wondering, can I paint the lug nuts as well?
Sure you can. Lug nuts can be easily painted. However, you should let them dry first before putting them back on as this will ensure the paint doesn’t scratch easily.
The biggest problem with spray painting lug nuts is that they can scratch easily whenever you are removing them. But this shouldn’t be a problem because how often do you remove lug nuts?
Painting them is a quick way to get the finish that you want without having to spend a lot of money. And the other advantage of spray painting lug nuts is that you can always touch them up time after time.
If you are worried about scratches showing on the lug nuts, you can always paint them in silver, provided that is their original color.
Unlike black or other colors, silver doesn’t show scratches when that the lug nuts get when they are being loosened. However, if you want another color, brace yourself to paint them over and over again.
The other drawback you should be aware of is that wheels can get pretty hot and this can also affect low-quality paint. Ensure that you use quality paint that can withstand high temperatures.
Also, don’t forget that the wheels are exposed to a lot of harsh conditions. Therefore, do a lot of research on the paint you want to use it on.
Even though painting lug nuts can make them look amazing, the paint will eventually scratch or chip. You can either opt to continue repainting them over and over again.
Or, you can opt for a protective coating such as Krylon or other protective coatings. These tend to offer more durability.
For those who may decide to go with paint, a pro tip you can follow is by sliding the socket over a plastic grocery store bag. This can preserve the paint for a little bit longer. However, the bag will come off after a while and the outcome is just the same.
Table of Contents
- How to Paint Lug Nuts?
- Is Powder Coating Better than Painting Lug Nuts?
- Painting vs Getting Lug Nuts in the Color that You Want
- What about Dupli-Color or Rustoleum?
- What is the Best Color Paint to Use on Lug Nuts?
- Do Lug Nuts have to be Sanded before Paint?
- What about Plasti Dip?
- Can I Chrome Lug Nuts?
- How Many Coats Should I Spray on Lug Nuts?
- Is It Worth Painting Over Lug Nuts?
How to Paint Lug Nuts?
This is a very simple process, all you need is a can of spray paint. Unfasten the lug nuts and clean them thoroughly. If they were painted before, you can scuff them with sandpaper. Or you can use a paint thinner.
Once clean and free of old paint, spray them using your paint of choice. Ensure that the lug nuts are well-painted and leave them to dry for at least 48 hours.
If you put them back on right away, the paint will come off during the process. After they have dried, put them back on and if they do scratch, you can touch them up by hand using a brush.
Do not throw away or misplace your brush because you will need them in the future when you are touching up lug nuts.
Is Powder Coating Better than Painting Lug Nuts?
The main difference between painting and powder coating lug nuts is that the latter lasts longer and won’t scratch easily. The only thing you should be concerned about is whether the powder-coated lug nut will fit on the socket.
Having a professional do it will ensure that it fits perfectly. Though more durable, powder coating lug nuts does have its drawbacks.
The wheel bolt often has compression forces acting on it. With time, these forces weaken the powder coat and cause it to slowly start flaking.
Painting vs Getting Lug Nuts in the Color that You Want
Painting seems like a more affordable, quick, and easy solution. But, you can’t compare it to getting lug nuts in the color you want.
You see, getting the ideal colored lug nuts helps you avoid the hassle of painting and touching them up now and then.
Another perk of getting lug nuts in colors that you want is that the paint comes already cured, and you can use them right away. When you paint lug nuts, you can’t put them on right away. You have to wait till they are dry.
What about Dupli-Color or Rustoleum?
Even though these two don’t look as great as paint, the level of protection they offer comes in handy in ensuring your lug nuts look better for longer. Dupli-Color and Rustoleum are more durable than ordinary paint.
They can withstand road rash and any other elements thrown at them. Rustoleum and Dupli-Color can survive excessive heat as well as impact.
The only downside is that the finish isn’t as fine as that you can get from paint. These two also prevent corrosion. As a car owner, you need to step back and evaluate what you are comfortable with. Do you prefer a more impressive finish or want something more durable?
What is the Best Color Paint to Use on Lug Nuts?
This is also another question that relies on preference. There are so many colors that you can paint on your lug nuts. Black is the most popular choice.
But that doesn’t mean it is the only option. You can paint your lug nuts blue, red, yellow, green, and any other color you can think of.
When looking for the ideal color to paint on your lug nuts, ensure that you use one that matches the wheels as well as the color of the vehicle.
Failure to do that you may end up with an odd-looking color. If you do not have the time to keep on touching up scratches, use a color that resembles your lug nuts. A good example is silver. This won’t show when the paint starts to peel.
As much as the color contributes to aesthetics, do not use cheap paint. Spray paint is the go-to choice when painting lug nuts as it is easy to apply.
Ensure that you pick quality spray paint. We also recommend investing in a tiny brush that you will be using to touch up scratches.
The ideal paint for your lug nuts should be able to withstand the harsh conditions wheels are exposed to. This includes debris, grease, and tar. It should be able to withstand excessive heat.
Do Lug Nuts have to be Sanded before Paint?
If you want the paint to stick to the lug nuts, then the surface should be smooth. Preparation is an essential step in painting and just because lug nuts are tiny, it doesn’t mean that you have to skip this step when painting them. If you are interested in painting your lug nuts, sand them first.
What about Plasti Dip?
In terms of durability, plasti dip is the ideal product to use on lug nuts. If you are yet to settle your mind on painting the lug nuts, we would advise you to look into plasti dipping them.
Plasti dip is an excellent product to use to paint lug nuts. Other than being available in almost all colors, plasti dip is durable and can last for up to three years.
It is resistant to elements, debris, grease, road tar, and even chemicals. Plasti dip protects your lug nuts from nearly everything.
Compared to painting, plasti dip is a far much better choice when it comes to adding color and protection to your lug nuts.
Can I Chrome Lug Nuts?
Chroming lug nuts is also another excellent option. However, it only appeals to individuals that appreciate the shiny aspect of chrome.
Lug nuts that have been chromed will last for as long as chrome wheels. They may pit over time. Chrome will make your lug nuts very shiny and this is perfect if the look is what you are after.
How Many Coats Should I Spray on Lug Nuts?
For the paint to stick properly to lug nuts then you should apply at least three coats. When painting a lug nut, remember that you have to paint both sides.
Therefore, always switch from one side to the other in between coats so that the paint can look even. To avoid removing the paint, wait for ten minutes before switching the sides of the lug nut.
To get that shiny gloss and protect the paint on your lug nuts, you can add two coats of clear.
Give them enough time to dry and you will have the best-looking lug nuts in town. The problem is that chipping is inevitable. More so if you often remove your lug nuts.
Is It Worth Painting Over Lug Nuts?
It’s fascinating how a small object such as a lug nut can cause you so much distress. Anyway, if you are a car enthusiast and want it to look amazing, it is worth exploring all options you can find.
Painting them is a great way of getting a new and more appealing finish. However, paint doesn’t do so well on lug nuts. If you regularly remove them, the process contributes to the removal of paint.
You can always touch up the paint from time to time. There are other options, however, such as using Dupli-Color, Rustoleum, and plasti dip. These are more durable options that won’t need to be touched up every now and then.