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ok as the title asks, i am wanting to make my rims black, gloss black. I want to know if i should strip, and paint or take them in to have powder coated, I can do all the painting and know I will get it right, however, i have a friend that says powder coating them is better and will last much longer and look better. does anyone have any ideas? preferences? first hand experience?
 

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:) I've had at least 4 pairs of rims powder coated, over the years. The finish is thick, glossy, and very durable. Beats paint IMHO.
 

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I rattle canned the center of my ST rims about five years ago and they have held up very well. You do need to be a bit careful because single stage is softer than catalyzed or powder coat. Even at that, I've not scratched them changing tires.

I doubt that the original finish is powder coat because it softened quite easily with the stripper I used to remove the rim finish for polishing.

Regardless of the finish process selected, the most important element is the surface prep. Rattle can paint on a properly prepared surface will produce an excellent finish, while powder coat or a multi-stage product will produce an inferior finish on a poorly prepped surface.
 

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Powdercoat is 'tougher,' but paint can be repaired.

And your wheels are going to get scratched, dinged or at the very least marred by wheel weight application/removal.

I'd go with the rattlecan...
 

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2018 Kawasaki H2 SX SE, '73 Yamaha RD350, '74 Kawasaki H1E 500
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Painting or powder coating will both give excellent results if done well. See this post for great looking powder coating on redmosquito1's wheels.

Don't assume that painting is somehow inferior though. Over the years I've sprayed the wheels on a couple of road bikes and several race bikes. I rubbed the original paint with wire wool, applied a light mist of primer (may have been etch primer) and sprayed 2 or 3 coats of 2K acrylic. The results were superb. Finish looked better than friends' powder coated wheels, it was easy to wipe clean, never saw any chips and still looked like new when I sold each bike. That's durable enough for me.

Memories from 20 years ago - I liked the original white wheels but they showed dirt so bad. The shiny red finish was so easy to wipe clean and not a single chip when I sold the bike 2 years later.
 

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I have painted rims on my 82 Katana and they held up well.

You could also use Aircraft quality paint which seems to be a harder 1 shot paint that last. I have never used it but know some guys on the track that have and they go through numerous tire changes over the season.
 

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.....You could also use Aircraft quality paint which seems to be a harder 1 shot paint that last. .....
Not having any experience doing this :D, I've heard that USAF insignia red and blue makes a nice maroon.
 

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Any name brand (Dupont, Martin Senour) 2 part automotive will work fine. An isocyanate base paint will give you the best results. Aircraft paint is isocyanate based. This type will remain hard and flexible for many years. Be forewarned, it's can be pricey but you get what you pay for. DO NOT use a dust type mask with this paint. You will need a cartage type (organic compounds) and cover all exposed skin.

If the old paint is in good condition all you need to do is sand and degrease. You can even paint them with your tires mounted, masking tape slips in nicely between tire and rim.

Painting Tip: When doing tight areas like the spokes, cut the air bleed off (the part that produces the fan pattern), cut paint volume down (screw needle in). This produces a tight cone spray pattern. Consider it a large airbrush. This will help in getting an even paint film in recessed areas.

Hope this helps
KB
 

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......DO NOT use a dust type mask with this paint. You will need a cartage type (organic compounds) and cover all exposed skin.
.....
KB
GOOD ADVICE.

Taking it a bit further, not all cartridges are equal. Read all of the safety data provided on the cartridge before using it to make certain it is the correct one. Then use and store the respirator correctly. Two stage paint is some nasty stuff. It is not just an irritant, it can be deadly.
 
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