How Much Does It Cost To Paint Car Rims – Is DIY Cheaper?

pexels megapixelstock 18296 How Much Does It Cost To Paint Car Rims - Is DIY Cheaper?

People say that your ride reflects your personality, so if your car is in top shape, it makes you look good. However, worn-out exterior parts, such as car rims, can ruin the appearance of your vehicle. 

Fortunately, you can upgrade your car by painting the rims, which leads you to the question: “Should you go for a DIY or a professional paint job?”

Ultimately, the cost of each option becomes the deciding factor. So, how much does it cost to paint your car rims?

For each wheel, a professional rim painting costs around $100 to $200. This means you must shell out $400 to $800 to have your rims painted professionally. On the other hand, a DIY rim painting costs $30 to $100 per wheel, depending on the products you use.

If you are on a budget but still want your wheels to look as good as new, a DIY paint job will cost you way less than a professional one and also offer good results.

Stay with me to find out how to calculate the actual cost of a DIY rim painting job and the factors that affect your ultimate paint budget.


Brake dust is the number one enemy when it comes to your car’s rims.

Regular driving can form a coat of dust on your rims, making them look dirty and dull. In addition, off-road drives only make matters worse.

When you repaint your rims, it adds to your ride’s aesthetic appeal and also increases its value.

We have already established that a DIY paint job will cost much less than a professional one. However, it will not deliver perfect results, so how do you select which one is right for you? By comparing its cost with your budget, of course.

What is The Cost of a Professional Rim Paint Job

Whether you opt for painting your wheels or a complete alloy wheel powder coating, the average cost of a professional paint job is about $100 to $200 for each rim. But before you choose one, getting painting estimates from more than one painter is recommended to get high-quality results at fair prices.

Another option is to get your rims painted by the same dealership from where you bought the car. Wheel repair and repaint are usually included in the warranty or through insurance, but you may have to bear the additional cost if your rims are extremely damaged.

What is The Cost of a DIY Rim Paint Job

Painting your rims at home is easier if you know how to paint car rims. With the right tools and techniques, you should be able to achieve lasting results even without professional help.

If you decide to paint your car rims yourself, be prepared to spend around $30 to $100 per wheel. The cost of DIY rim painting will vary depending on the type of paint you use, its quality, and the area coverage you require. Other factors contribute to the difference in price range, but we will discuss them in detail later.

Getting your rims painted professionally means you will be paying for the paint as well as labor cost. However, if you paint the rims yourself, you can straightaway save the labor cost and make it zero.

If you want to paint your car’s rims, pick a day when you can spare around 3 to 4 hours because that’s how long it will take you with all the equipment required for painting.


When calculating the average cost for painting 4 rims, it’s important to understand the breakdown of the costs. This will help you reduce the overall cost if your budget is low.

The following factors will affect the total cost of painting car rims:

  • Cost of paints
  • Cost of labor
  • Variable costs

Cost of Paints

You first need to determine the type of paint you want to use. Different paints have varying costs, so your choice of color will ultimately decide how much you will have to spend on the DIY.

Another thing to remember is that every paint has different variants in terms of quality. So, if you select a high-quality color over a low-quality one, the total cost of paints will be higher too.

Here are a few standard paint options for your rims.

Plasti Dip Paint

Plasti-dip is a form of sprayable rubber that was initially designed for coating tool handles. Over time, it has become a favorite among vehicle owners for rim coating.

This paint is very easy to apply, making it an excellent choice for painting your car rims. If you buy a 22oz bottle of Plasti-Dip, you will need 4 cans to paint all 4 wheels. Since the cost of 1 can is around $15 to $20, 4 cans will amount to up to $60 to $80.

The cost will be even less if you buy it in a pack of 4. For example, 4-pack Plasti-Dip Rubber Coating Spray costs a reasonable amount, which is definitely a smarter investment.

Spray Paint for Rims

Several spray paints are designed especially for rims, such as the Rust-Oleum High Performance Wheel Spray Paint and Dupli-Color High Performance Wheel Paint.

Spray paints cost lesser than Plasti-Dip paints, so if you want to reduce the cost of your project, this is a paint option you can try.                                      

You will need approximately 4 to 5 cans of spray paint to color all 4 rims. So, if one paint can costs about $15, the total should be around $60 to $75.

You can see more details on best spray paints for car exterior including wheels and rims here, discussed in depth.

Truck Bed Liner

This is another paint option for your rims that is cheaper than Plasti-Dip. A truck bed liner paint offers long-lasting results with a textured finish.

You need 2 cans of 32oz paint to coat 4 rims. Since a truck bed liner costs around $20 to $30, the total cost of using this paint will be $40 to $60. If you buy the Rust-Oleum Automotive Truck Bed Coating, it will cost you about $44 to paint all 4 rims.

Powder Coating

The final option, but an excellent one, is powder coating your rims. This delivers the best finish out of all the paint types but applying a powder coat is more complex than spraying regular paint.

When you apply a powder coat, it’s important to do so with industrial tools. The paint has to be sprayed electrostatically and cured under heat. Therefore, if you are an amateur with no experience in powder coating, you may not be able to achieve the desired results.

Powder coating costs $20 per gallon, but you also need a paint gun which can be brought for over $100. Therefore, the total cost of DIY powder coating can amount to $150 to $250.

More details on best automotive spray painting guns can be read here.

Powder coating is a pricier and trickier option, so if you don’t get the job done well, you may end up wasting considerable money.

Cost of labor

When you hire a professional to paint your rims, you have to pay them at an hourly rate. Most of the time, the cost of skilled labor is the same as that of paints. On average, professional labor costs around $500 to $1000 in total for all 4 rims.

You should keep in mind that the cost of professional labor varies in different countries and cities, and it’s pretty normal to pay a high price for the same service in a highly urbanized city.

On the other hand, for a DIY job, you are the laborer and probably working for free. So, all you need to invest is 3 to 4 hours of your time to paint the rims yourself.

Varying costs

Finally, you must decide what you want to achieve by painting the rims. Do you only need to recoat the wheels with a fresh layer of paint, or are your rims completely bare? This will help you determine how much paint you need to complete the project.

If you want to recoat your rims, the cost of paint will be lower compared to a new coat of color on bare wheels.

If you want to remove paint from your rims then you can read a detailed article here and for our review over paint strippers here, for an easy paint removal process. 


If you’re still unsure whether to go for a professional paint job or paint the rims yourself, here is a breakdown of the average cost per square foot of both options.

Average Cost Per Square Foot of DIY

Here is a simple way to calculate the cost per square foot:

  • If you’re working on 16” tires, the area of rims is equal to 1.3963 square feet
  • If you multiply that area with 4 rims, you get a total area of 5.5853 square feet
  • If you use 5 cans of spray paint costing $15 each, you are spending $75 on paint altogether
  • $75 / 5.5853 square feet = $13.43 per square foot

Average Cost Per Square Foot of a Professional Paint Job

Now, let’s look at the average cost per square foot of hiring a pro.

  • If the cost of getting 1 rim painted equals $150, you’d be paying a total of $600 for 4 rims.
  • $600 / 5.5852 = $107.43 per square foot

Hence, there is a considerable difference between painting your rims at home and getting them painted professionally.


Is it better to powder coat or paint wheels?

Powder coating creates a stronger bond with the rims and provides better coverage than liquid paints. So, powder coating your car rims is a better option if you are looking for lasting results.

Is rim paint durable?

The key to making your rim paint durable is to use colors specially formulated for automobile rims. In addition, you should also ensure the surface is thoroughly prepped and primed for maximum paint adhesion.

Is it cheaper to paint or powder coat rims?

It is definitely cheaper to paint your rims than powder coat them. While powder coating provides a more durable finish, the process of applying it is too complex for a DIY paint project.

Can alloy wheels be repainted?

Repainting your alloy wheels is an effective way to revamp their appearance and increase your car’s value. With so many colors and finishes available, you can customize your rims effortlessly.

How much does it cost to paint rims matte black?

Getting your rims painted matte black will professionally cost around $100 to $200. However, if you paint the wheels at home using specialized paint like the Rust-Oleum High Performance Wheel Spray Paint Matte Black, the paint will cost around $44 to $55. 


As we reach the end of our article, it’s evident that the cost of painting your car rims at home is much lesser than a professional job. However, you should prep and prime your rims correctly to make the paint finish last, or else it will end up costing you more with each repainting session.

Keeping your car in top shape is a great way to maximize its value and enhance its aesthetic appeal. From painting the car’s rims to painting your car’s hood or giving your bumper a facelift– there are many ways to upgrade your car’s outer appearance.   

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