Application of wheel coating can be quite the tedious task. Some wheel designs make it quite difficult to reach everywhere due to tight areas that are difficult to get your fingers into, resulting in quite a bit of time to coat such a small area. I have found that using an airbrush for applying the coating makes this tedious task quite simple. I will go over the process I use when coating wheels via air brush.
For this example I used a brand new 2015 BMW M3 I recently did a new car prep on along with various coatings on the paint, wheels, glass, leather and fabric.
In this example I have the wheels off the car, however you can certainly do just the face of the wheel while it is still on the car if you choose to do so. With the car safely on either a lift or jack stands you can proceed to remove the wheel/wheels to begin.
With the wheels off the car you will want to thoroughly clean the wheels. Being that this car was brand new with less than 200 miles and very little dirt built up on the wheels I just used Meguiar’s APC+ and a wheel brush, however Meguair’s All Purpose Cleaner D101 will work exactly the same since APC+ is no longer available. Depending on the condition of the wheel you may need to use a more aggressive product such as Sonax Wheel Cleaner Plus or P21S Gel Wheel Cleaner, for more information on these cleaners, check out the reviews by Ivan Rajic. I also cleaned the back side of the tire with Tuf Shine Tire Cleaner and a Tuf Shine Tire Brush.
The back side of the tire along with the barrel is now nice and clean after being thoroughly rinsed.
The same products were used to clean the front side of the tire and wheel. I like to use various Wheel Woolies when cleaning wheels as they work great for getting into tight areas when using the various sizes available in the 3 piece kit.
Once the front and back side of the wheel and tire is cleaned and dried, I will spray the wheel down with Carpro Eraser Intensive Oil & Polish Cleaner and wipe it down with a clean microfiber towel to prepare the wheel surface for the coating application.
Once the wheel is prepped and ready for the coating application you can hook up your airbrush. You do not need to spend a ton of money on an airbrush to do this. I picked up an airbrush kit for less than $30. I typically put 5-10 ml of the coating I am using in the glass container and adjust my air pressure to 15-20 psi roughly. I will work the tighter areas of the wheel first then proceed to work my way around the wheel. Once the wheels are coated front and back I typically will place them under my IR lamp before placing them back on the car.
The wheels were slick and glossy after the coating was applied, which should make cleaning the inevitable brake dust from the performance brakes on this M3 very easy. The tires were also dressed front and back using CarPro PERL Plastic Engine Rubber Leather Protectant to finish off the clean look.