truck whell finishes | A Complete Guide to Truck Wheel Finishes | Either buying for new truck wheels or maintaining what’s already on your vehicle, knowing about the different wheel finishes can help you to manage your vehicle properly. There are quite ample choices in the market to choose truck wheel finishes. Besides, you must know how to care, clean or maintain these different types of wheel finishes. Also, do know what kind of wheel finish your truck needs depending on your requirements. Today we are going to discuss the types of wheel finishes available and how to care for them.

Most Common Types of Finishes

It doesn’t matter what type of all terrain wheels you are going to buy; or which finish you prefer, but if you want to give your wheel a smart look and sturdiness, do try some wheel finishes to add a slight finesse to your rim’s exterior. Usually, the most common five types of wheel finish available in the market today are:

  • Powder Coating
  • Paint Coating
  • Clear Coating
  • Chrome Plated
  • Bare Polished

Powder Coating

Powder-coated wheels have varieties of colour choices. It is applied aiding heating technique. Free-flowing dry paints, fine particles of resin and colours are electrically charged and sprayed using an electrostatic gun over the surface and curing in an oven which results in the best finish. It makes the wheel not only attractive but also extremely tough and durable, which further aids in resisting heat, scratches, chips and rust. When compared to the painted wheel, powdered-coated wheels have thicker coating as the powder doesn’t flow or drip. 

But, there is one drawback in powder coating when once it is done, there is no looking back; as removing the powder coating for refinishing is troublesome, even recoating in a new colour is not recommended. As for doing anything new, the wheel has to undergo high heat process which can damage the probity of the wheel. Except for this one disadvantage, things are fine with this finish. It has endless colour choices, also it is less expensive than custom painted wheels.

How to Care: To clean powder coating is quite handy, wipe it with a microfiber or terry cloth using soap and water or a mild non-acidic wheel cleaner. Don’t use bleach or any tarnish or rust removal products. Always clean brake dust off frequently to avert damage to the finish.

Paint Coating

Paint Coating is one of the easiest and conventional coatings; paints and supplies used in it don’t cost you more than $30-$40, so proffering your wheels a fresh coat of paint is quite affordable. A paint coating can smoothly work on chrome, steel, and aluminium alloy wheels, but the best result comes up with steel. 

When trying to do it at home, you will need:

  • spray primer, 
  • spray paint, 
  • a wire brush, 
  • rubbing alcohol,
  • tire shine gel, 
  • index cards, 
  • and soapy water

For this wheel finish, wet paint is used first, further followed by a clear topcoat to shield the paintwork. You can easily match the wheel colour tones and polishes with the vehicle’s body paint colour as they come in endless shades to choose from.

How to Care: Painted wheels are easy to clean and maintain. Also, it can be easily repaired if needed. Use mild soap and water and a microfiber or terry cloth. Do clean brake dust off routinely to forestall damage to the finish.

Clear Coating

The clear coating can be used both on raw aluminium wheels and painted wheels, most often it is also used as an added touch for numerous wheel finishes. In clear coating, the bare metal wheels are first machined and clear coated. In the process, a thin layer from the wheel face is trimmed for a glossy shine; afterwards, it is coated with clear sealants to protect from corrosion. It acts as a protective topcoat when used over paintwork, ensuring you that it will stay new and good for a long time. Do remember to clean the dust off your brake regularly to prevent damage to the finish.

How to Care:  To sustain the clear coating finish, make sure to use only mild soap and water or water-based wheel cleaners. Don’t go for metal polish or any acidic wheel cleaner. Make sure to clean brake dust off periodically to prevent damage to the finish.

Chrome Plated

Chrome-plated rims are beautiful, classic, mirror-reflective coating, although a few auto companies offer chrome plate rims as stock choices. Still, they are a very delicate finish and incredibly pricey to repair. Chrome plating is a traditional way of creating an expensive look. To chrome plate, first, it is polished and acid-etched, then wheels are plated with layers of copper, nickel and chromium, the layers cohere to each other and give strength to the finish and furnish a highly reflective appearance. The chrome finish doesn’t need topcoat or clear coat to prevent rust.

How to Care:  Chrome wheels need regular cleaning, clean with soft rags with mild soap and water. Never use steel wool or sharp-edged cleaning brush which can scratch the finish. Again like others finish care, make sure to clean brake dust off time to time to prevent any damage to the finish.

Bare Polished

Aluminium wheels have the potential to shine like chrome when clean and polished; it is a soft metal that’s the reason it responds well to polishing. Hand polish an aluminium wheel with a buffer to make the surface perfectly smooth and then apply a clear coat for a luxurious shine. The wheels can be machine-polished to an imminent mirror shine without any topcoat application. When compared to chrome-plated wheels, it is lighter as it doesn’t add weight to the wheels, hence enhancing fuel efficiency as well as handling. If at any point you find it losing their lustre it can be repolished to restore their previous like-new condition.

How to Care: If there is no protective coating over the bared polished wheel, then these wheels need regular cleaning, polishing and waxing to prevent them from decay and pitting. Don’t forget to clean brake dust off regularly to forestall damage to the finish.

Wheel Shine Options

Lastly, if these wheel finishes aren’t enough for you, you can go for the customization for the type of shine you like. The shine options to choose for the wheels are:

  • Matte 
  • Gloss
  • Satin
  • Mirror

You can mix and match these on different parts of the wheel surface.