A question I see a lot is people asking about caring for powder coated wheels. How do I clean them? How do I protect them? Can I polish out swirls? Will they withstand a grizzly bear attack? All valid questions for people not familiar with what powder coating is, and today I am here to tell you that the answer is very simple, the same as painted wheels.
Well for the most part at least. Over the last few years I’ve ran a powder coating shop working for some of the top wheel brands in the industry. I worked with thousands of powder coated wheels and really got to know the best way to care for them.
Just like normal painted wheels, don’t let anything too harsh dry on the wheels and be especially careful when working with matte finishes. These, just like matte paint on cars, car be discolored with the wrong products.
i.e. Wheel Cleaners
Again, just like painted wheels. Use a nice sealant or coating of your choice. While powder coat is less susceptible to damage than paint, it is not bulletproof. And it will help keep the brake dust off and make cleaning much easier.
i.e. Wheel Protection
This part is a bit different. While you can still polish out swirls, even wet sand down orange peel if the job wasn’t the greatest. The difference is the way the powder coat reacts to the products. Remember that powder coat is normally a polyester or epoxy so it reacts much more like plastic than paint. You can use much harsher products and can finish the down pretty quickly. For example, you can easily wet sand with 600 grit and finish it out with just a polish. The finishing down alone you have much more leeway with.
i.e. Wheel Polishes
NOTE: If you have gloss black wheels, prepare for swirls. There is no escape. Reason being that the way manufactures need to make gloss black flow through the gun and give an even finish, it makes it very soft. Even with a durable clear on top, it will likely happen. Even with the worlds softest brushes made from the queen’s pony, Preston, you would see swirls eventually. I’m sorry. BUT, luckily you can fix it as it is fairly easy to polish out! There may be some companies who make gloss black that does not do this, but we have dealt with many different manufacturers and their different blacks and have not found one that does not. If you do not have this issue, then I salute you.
Caring for powder coated wheels is pretty much the same as any other wheels. Clean it carefully, protect it with a good sealant/coating, and swirls/orange peel can be corrected.