Tag Archives: Wheels and Rims

Maserati Rim Refinishing

So among the other things I do. I really enjoy auto-painting. My first Maserati Spyder I purchased GS rims, and front/rear bumpers to add to it. I liked the new design and style. I figured most of these posts are dealing with technical aspects, or mechanics of the car. So let’s give a post about paint, and rim re-finishing. I won’t embed everything I’ve done because this would be long. Just a few for casual reading.

Here are some 19″ GS rims I did for the Spyder. They were seriously scratched up in a collision but weren’t bent or messed up when checking for being out of round. So I basically had them bead blasted to start with a new canvas.



So after I take the rims down I use a high quality epoxy primer before I lay down the base coat. This will both make sure you have a proper foundation that the base can stick to, but will also ensure it has the proper adhesion to the metal of the rim. Remember many times rims are made with alloys that aren’t conducive to self-etching primers.

After laying it down I usually use a Scotch Bright Pad. I’ve used grey and red pads. It’s basically a way to sand the top layer off from any imperfections that stick on the top of the primer. Scotch Bright Pads are really like using a really fine grit sand paper. I’ve even been known to use adhesion promoter on top of the Primer just to make sure the primer and base does it’s job, and doesn’t have adhesion problems.

I then lay down the base coat 2-3 coats, and clear coat, 1-2 coats. I like PPG 2021 high solids clear. I’ve tried Sherman Williams high solids clear as well but I will have to look up the nomenclature of it and add it later. It worked really well. If you especially have problems laying down the 2021 because it will sag or run like rain if you’re not careful. Try thinning it out a little more and lay down thinner coats. If not contact Sherman Williams ask them for their high solids clear. It’s easier to work with, it’s quality and lays down really nice.

So here are the rims above after full paint, PPG DBC #1 Bright Metallic Silver, 2021 PPG high solids clear.

IMAG0909 IMAG0911 IMAG0916

Here’s an example of a rim repair job on a client’s low mileage Facelift Maserati. He emailed me probably about 1-2 months after I performed an inspection on the car asking if there was any hope for the new bruised rim. To be honest, I was anxious to get the car back anyway because the dealership he purchased the car from did a terrible job on them. So here’s the rim he banged up:

20160620_101957 20160620_102007 20160621_122923 20160621_122942 You would think this would bother me but, it didn’t. This is normal here in Boston, I expect to see it. Here is what bothered me more than the curb rash:

20160622_112133 20160622_112142 20160627_094224 20160627_094234

The top photos of the caliper is the lazy work of a dealership that decided to paint the rims on the car. This car had less than 14,000 miles on it, that’s apart from the marquis. Secondly, I don’t know if the photos caught it well. Those are cracks in the base coat, UNDER the clear coat. They were very prominent when you stood beside the car. When you leaned over and touched them it was all smooth. It was terrible work, and I had to take care of the front rim. The client was a good client, so he paid me for the rear rim, and I did the front free of charge. Yes it bothered me that much, so you know I cleaned the caliper off to.

So let’s get back to the curb rash. It’s pretty standard 3″ in rough grit sanding wheel to massage the metal all back out like so:

20160623_174326 20160623_174320

Of course the rules of sanding apply to rims as well. You need to feather out each layer and have at least 1/4″ between each level or you will see the lines come up through the base coat.

Before I forget here is some good adhesion promoter I like to use.


Primer is basic stuff so let’s jump over to the base coat:

20160623_180848 20160623_180852 20160623_181625

(TIP) Here’s what I do when I want to make sure to color match a rim perfectly. Take the rims and the color chips in the sun. If you’re having a hard decision between two chips, paint a mixing container as a spray out card so you can turn it in the sun as well. Manufacturers’ paint chips are really small to make a determination on if you don’t have the color code already. Remember the dealership painted these rims before hand, and no of course no record of a color code.

Above you’ll notice the lug bolts. A small touch but color match them to make the entire look come together. Don’t leave something so small to hang out like a sore thumb. I almost left the most important part out for good painting. ALWAYS follow the flash periods. Let the dry times be. You gain nothing by rushing in, and trying to rush everything.

Since I do have a mess up available. Here’s what happens when you try a clear coat from another manufacture that you think is quality but isn’t. 20160624_105849

Now I actually tried this clear coat from Kemperle before on two different hoods with their base coat. You’d think I would have known better. The hoods had the same issue, with this. I thought it was a chemical reaction or environmental reaction. The problem with that was I actually painted with PPG base/clear and it came out perfect. Nothing had changed. The base coat from them cost me almost $300 a gallon. I will never, ever do this again. It’s why I don’t use cheap paint or a paint I’m not sure of. Every time I do you find out why they paint Ferraris/Maseratis with PPG paints. The only other paint I’ve used that’s really good is Sherwin Williams. You get these type of  issues or the color matches are off by variants when you try paints that are hyped up to be something they are not or are just cheap.

So I guess you know this rim had to be sanded down and repainted, which doesn’t work as a business model of course. So what the client paid covered one rim, I did the other for free, but the one he paid I did twice. No worries we all have these stories. Let’s see the finished product and end this short post:

20160627_184934 20160627_184938 20160627_091609

 They look good in the shade and pop in the light which will catch people’s eyes driving down the road. The Client was obviously elated, and I could entertain you with a post, surely a  win for everyone!