Plasti Dip Vs. Spray Paint Rims (Compared)

Any car, no matter its age or condition, will always look better with a nice set of wheels. A lot of car owners only pay attention to their car paints.

The wheels are often ignored. If you are researching whether to plasti dip or spray paint, you are definitely a car enthusiast who appreciates the look of his/her rims.

The only problem is that if you want to give your wheels a fresh and new finish, you will have to choose whether to spray paint or plasti dip.

Both these methods have their pros and cons. In this article, we are going to look into each of these methods and help you choose which one is best for you.

What is Plasti Dip?

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Plasti dip has become a popular coating option for car enthusiasts interested in customizing or improving the look of their car wheels.

It is an air-dry, specialty rubber coating that creates a peel-able, non-slip, and durable rubber coating finish on rims. It is very easy to use and that’s why it’s so popular amongst DIY lovers.

If you are tired of driving around with rims that look terrible, plasti dip can help you with that. Unlike other options that can help enhance the aesthetics of your wheels, plasti dip as mentioned earlier is a quick and easy remedy.

You just have to buy some and engage in some light wheel prep then apply it and your wheels will look amazing.

One of the biggest concerns most people have regarding plasti dip is its lifespan. In the car body, plasti dip can last for two to three years.

On the rims, however, plasti dip will last for a year or two. Wheels are exposed to extreme conditions because they come into direct contact with everything that is on the road.

Plasti dip holds up pretty well. And it can be peeled off whenever you want to. For you to do so with ease, you must apply at least three coats.

This also helps with giving the rims a more elegant finish. Don’t forget that the more plasti dip is applied the better it looks.

Similar to paint, plasti dip requires thorough preparation for it to hold up on the wheel surface. You must remove grease, oil, and debris from the rims so that it can bond well. Using a plasti dip primer though not mandatory can also help with the above.

If you have been looking up other people’s thoughts on plasti dip then you may have come across a couple of negative comments, especially related to how it looks and how long it lasts.

Plasti dip on rims will look terrible if it’s not done well. Most people rush for it because it requires minimal effort and even though that is true, without adequate prep work, it won’t look as good as you want it to.

That aside, plasti dip is excellent if you want a temporary rim paint or if you want to get a visual understanding of how your rims will look when painted another color.

Considering the price and effort required to dip your car, it’s not such a bad idea, provided you know that it won’t last long and neither will it look as great as painting the wheels.

What about Spray Painting Car Rims?

plasti dip vs spray paint rims

Let’s kick off by answering the question that is in everyone’s mind, can you paint car rims? Of course, you can. Just like the car body, you can paint your rims and make them look better.

However, there is more to spray painting car rims than just walking to your car with a rattle can and point the spray paint to the rims.

Spray painting the wheels only looks better when it is done correctly. This is one of the many things that plasti dip and spray paint share.

Obviously, with spray paint thorough preparation is needed. First, the wheels have to be moved so that you can get that professional finish.

If you spray paint the wheels when they are on the car, you will either get spray paint on car paint. Or, you may not get the spray behind the rims.

The wheels have to be cleaned thoroughly and rust should be removed. Any damage should be repaired and the wheels need to be fine.

This is made possible by using super-fine sandpaper, preferably 500 or 600 grit sandpaper. A paint thinner should be applied before spray painting. You can use rubbing alcohol instead.

Another key thing you should know about spray painting wheels is that the final finish is heavily determined by the types of paint you use.

The ideal spray paint for rims should be specifically formulated for wheels.

Your rims face a lot of harsh conditions which ordinary paint can’t withstand. You will obviously need a primer and a clear coat finish.

Despite requiring a lot of time and effort, spray painting wheels is the go-to choice for most car owners. This is because the finish looks exceptionally amazing.

It lasts longer and you can choose from a wide variety of colors. It will obviously cost you more if you hire a professional detailer to do it for you. However, it is something that can be done in your garage as long as you gather the required materials.

How Are They Different?

1. Spray paint lasts longer than plasti dip. When you go through the product descriptions of plasti dip, more so the ones made for rims, you will see that it is expected to last for one or two years.

Quite often, it usually lasts for 6 months and starts peeling off. Spray paint on the other hand will stay on your rims for even 6 years. That’s how long it can serve you.


2. Plasti dip can’t withstand harsh environments but spray paint can. Unfortunately, plasti dip can’t withstand mud, dirt, and contaminants such as salt found on the roads.

Spray paint, on the other hand, will bond to the rim and even the harshest conditions won’t affect it in any way.


3. Spray painting requires more effort especially if you are applying it by yourself. Plasti dip is fairly easy to apply. Some people just clean their wheels and apply it directly.


4. Plasti dip is perfect for wheels that are needed to look good only for a while. That is if you are planning to sell the car. However, if you want to get a finish that will look amazing for longer, then spray paint is the only way to go.

How Are They Similar?

1. If done well, both will upgrade the look of your rims. Most people claim that plasti dip doesn’t give off a finish that’s as decent as the one you can get from spray paint.

That isn’t true, if you look at rims that have been plasti dipped by a professional, you would be amazed. If you decide to go with plasti dip, prep the rim thoroughly and apply several coats.


2. Both require the rim to be prepped adequately. Even though spray painting entails a more rigorous surface preparation, if you want your rims to look great, clean debris and oil first.


3. Both can be easily fixed with some touch-ups. If the spray paint starts flaking or gets scratched, you can apply some spray paint to cover it up. This is also exactly what you can do with plasti dip.

What’s Better about Plasti Dip?

Hands down, plasti dip is the ideal wheel coating and painting solution for its price. Even if people talk bad about it, plasti dip costs way less than spray painting or powder coating your wheels and that’s why it’s so popular.

If you are on a budget and want your rims to look better, get some plasti dip and apply it to your rims.

Another benefit of plasti dip is that you can use it to experiment with which colors will look good on your wheels. This is because it is easy to apply and remove.

This is something you can’t do with spray paint. During winter, plasti dip can create an extra layer of protection. And it can be used to touch up the rims finish when it is exposed to road rash.

What’s Better about Spray Paint?

Spray painting the wheels increases their durability. And this is what makes it so unique. When you spray paint your wheels, you get a lasting finish that is resistant to debris, salt, and anything else your wheels may pick up on the road.

It holds up really well and even though it can’t be compared to powder coating, it’s better than plasti dip.

Who Should Plasti Dip Their Rims and Why?

Plasti dip your wheels only if you are on a budget, don’t have enough time to prep the wheels for spray paint, and if you are only interested in a short-term finish.

A plasti dip is amazing for car owners that are experimenting with various colors on their rims. However, do not expect anything long-term.

Who Should Spray Paint Their Rims and Why?

Spray paint was created for auto owners that appreciate a lasting finish on their wheels. A set of rims that have been professionally spray-painted will look impressive and immediately grab everyone’s attention.

Spray paint is more durable and stronger. The only downside is that it needs a lot of prep work. So brace yourself to sweat for a couple of hours in your garage. Or, part with some money and have the rims sprayed by a detailer.