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Deciding to powder coat vs. paint your wheels is an important one.
Your wheels bear the brunt and weight of your vehicle, so it’s not a choice that should be taken lightly. Taking care of your wheel correctly helps eliminate downtime and ultimately protects your vehicle, driver, and your business.

Painting is a low-cost and well-known method for coating your wheels, but in reality, it leaves your wheels vulnerable to corrosion. Prone to scratching and chipping, paint is a short-term solution, causing unnecessary corrosion to your wheels and leading your vehicle to be taken off the road again and again to get its wheels repainted. This also proves to be costly due to the repeat application, despite the initial savings. Another factor that adds to the long-term expense is that painting does not shield the wheel, causing wheels on the road to wear down more quickly without protection.


Know the environment in which your wheels are refinished and what questions to ask of your service provider.

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It’s important to know that powder coating does more than add color and gloss to a wheel: it creates a shield. The powder coating process uses advanced technology to create a more durable finish than simply painting. To see how powder coating creates stronger protection than painting, it’s helpful to understand the refinishing process:

  1. Pre-treatment. The wheel rim is cleansed of rust, dirt, and debris. This is often done chemically or with shot blasting, an environmentally-friendly method of removing debris by blasting the surface with recycled materials.
  2. Powder coating. The wheel’s prepared surface is sprayed with color and resin particles that have been electrostatically charged. Because of their positive charge, they adhere to every part of the wheel’s surface without running, pooling, or distributing unevenly. This method of coating allows for a stronger coat than painting, meaning more protection for the wheel, and less wasted product.
  3. Curing. The coating is then set by exposure to high temperatures. The powder melts, flows evenly over the surface, and chemically reacts over the surface of the wheel to create a tough, web-like interlocking of molecules. This molecular structure does more than cover your wheel – it defends it.



Steel has a high degree of durability and resistance to rust treated with powder coating. This heavy material is a perfect solution for wheels used in more demanding applications because it offers exceptional longevity when given a finishing treatment to stave off corrosion. Powder-coated steel is highly resistant to rust, so it should not develop red streaks or rust patches. Powder coating also improves the appearance of steel, lending it a smooth, finished look.

Meanwhile, painting provides more color options and is easy and cost-effective, but it sacrifices the durable shield offered by powder coating. However, painting wheels is far easier and less expensive than the complex process of applying a powder-coat finish. Paint is a quick solution, while powder coating rims is a premium option that allows you to bake on a long-lasting protective layer.

painting-Vs-Powder Coating Your Wheels


Powder coating for steel wheels is the most beneficial choice for wheel longevity since paint is far more susceptible to chipping and being scratched, leaving the bare metal exposed and vulnerable to rust. The more involved process used in powder coating can reach difficult crevices on a wheel that are harder to cover with a basic paint application.

Powder coating truck wheels yield a professional appearance, corrosion resistance, and the natural longevity of this rugged finish. When you’re weighing powder coat versus paint, there’s no question that powder coating is the best choice for providing wheels that can withstand many road conditions over a longer period of time.

Another benefit of powder coating comes from the fact that it does not require any of the harsh solvents used in painting, making it far more environmentally-friendly. It also creates a more consistent, professional appearance since it is distributed evenly over a wheel’s surface. Most importantly, powder coating extends the life of your wheels by thoroughly cleaning, coating, and defending wheels from corrosion.

The decision to choose between painting and powder coating could mean the difference between vulnerable, chipping wheels and protected environmentally-friendly ones. If you’re ready to protect your wheels and get more out of your investment, learn more about our commercial wheel refinishing system, MILCURE, here.