2006+ Honda Civic Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Deluded FK2 Owner
Joined
·
562 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
One of the reasons why I got my CTS a bit cheaper than other models of the same year + milage was that the previous owner had curbed the living hell out of the alloys. It was a bit of a shame, as I haven't seen many Civics with these particular 18" alloys- so rather than replace them, I thought I'd have a stab at refurbishing them myself!



So rather than spend £400+ on having them professionally done, I'd much rather spend £50 and do the refurb myself. I wanted to see if I could do it or not, and at fifty quid for the paint, primer and filler, it wouldn't be the end of the world if I messed it up.

What I used
  • Autotek Filler Primer
  • E-Tech Etch Primer
  • 4 x E-Tech Gunmetal Grey Base Paint
  • 2 x E-Tech High Gloss Lacquer
  • Isopon P38 Filler
  • Sand Paper 60-800 grit (Wet and dry)

Step 1
Remove alloy wheels from car and clean them using water and a de-greasing solution that doesn't leave any residue. I have a jet wash, so used this to give them a deep clean. This also stripped a lot of the dead flaking paint from the alloys, which saved me a lot of time on the sanding process. It is important not to wash with a solution or wax because this will prevent the primer and base coat from sticking to the alloy.

Step 2
Sand the alloys to a smooth finish. To do this, start with a corse sand paper around the curbed parts of the alloy. I used 60-80 grit sand paper to get rid of the rashes and shards of metal.

For any peeling paint, use a finer sand paper, such as 120 grit, and rub down until all the bad paint has gone and you've removed all of the lacquer finish. It's best to use a finer sand paper because a low grit will scratch the surface of the alloy, which you'd then need to fill.
If filler is required, mix to the recommended consistency; normally a golf ball size amount of filler to a pea size amount of hardener and apply to the affected area. Leave to dry for about 20 minutes and then sand down with 80 grit, then 120 grit to blend and shape. Repeat this process if necessary. Once you're happy with the finish, make sure the surface completely dirt, grit and dust free before spraying! Take your time, prep is the most important part.

Step 3
Because of the condition of my alloys, I wanted to apply a filler primer to cover the old paint and filled areas, before the etch and base coat. This will help to create a smooth finish, preserve the alloys and fill in any rashes too small for the paste filler. This is not essential, but I would recommend using a filler primer if you intend on keeping the old base coat on your alloys, as you'll be able to blend this in with the existing base coat.

When spraying, always start with a couple of light dust coats and wait about 10 minutes between each. This creates a tacky film for the remaining coats to stick to. After this, apply 3-4 slightly thicker coats, covering the entire wheel. Building the layers up slowly with 10-15 minutes intervals is best- but don't worry if you go too heavy, as this will be sanded down once dry anyway. I applied a thicker coat in areas that needed filling, so that I had more material to work with once I re-sanded. Remember to spray in a dust free, well ventilated area for best results.
Once you're happy, allow to dry for at least 24 hours and then re-sand with a high grit sand paper. I used 200-600 grit paper, depending on the areas to achieve a smooth finish. If you're trying to blend the filler primer in with existing paint, you may want to use a wet sandpaper process, but this wasn't necessary for me, as I covered the entire wheel. Again, take your time and once completed, remove all dirt and dust, ready for the next stage!

Step 4
The next stage is the essential etch primer. This is what your base coat will stick too, so getting this right is essential. With the same technique as before, apply 2 even dust coats of etch primer, allowing 10 minutes between to dry to a tacky film. Once done, apply 3-4 thicker coats of etch primer, covering the entire alloy. If there is a slight run, don't panic, continue applying even coats and if needs be, take a more abrasive approach to sanding, once completely dry (this takes at least 24 hours).

Ideally, once dry, you want to lightly sand the entire alloy with a 600 or higher grit sand paper to achieve a super smooth surface. The highest grit sand paper I had was 800, but most professionals tend to use a higher grit to achieve the best results. The reason why we are sanding the area is not to rub away what we've just sprayed, but to insure the surface for the base coat is flawless. The finished article is only as good as your prep!

Step 5
Once you're sure your prep is perfect, it's time to apply your base coat. I brought a can of gunmetal grey for each wheel, so I ended up with applying approximately 8 coats. I used the exactly the same process as before, however, I made each coat slightly thinner, so that I could prevent any running. I applied each coat of paint, starting with 2 even dust coats, and then 6-7 thin, even coats to build up a deep colour, covering the entire wheel.

It is difficult with spray cans, however, keeping to an identical spraying pattern each time helps to achieve the best possible results and even spread. Once happy, allow to dry for at least 24 hours,

Step 6
Once your base coat is completely dry, carefully wipe the entire alloy with a dust cloth to remove any dust particles from the paint that may have collected.
Next is to apply the lacquer. For best results, leave the can in warm water for approximately 5 minutes after shaking. This will help with an even spread and prevent running.
Apply a light dust coat on the alloy first and allow to dry for 15 minutes. This may result in a small amount of orange peel effect, but not to worry, because this will vanish once you start covering the alloys. I sprayed approximately 4-5 coats on each alloy, keeping each coat quite thick. This will maximise the gloss effect on the alloy and prevent the orange peel effect. If your coats of lacquer aren't thick enough, you may end up with a matte effect, so just make sure you keep it even across the entire alloy. Once you're happy, leave to dry for 24 hours and inspect your work!



The alloy will take approximately a week to fully cure, so avoid any grease, wax or washing solution during this time frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Nothing wrong with your method, but I used to do this for a living and have refurbished literally thousands of wheels so I feel I can add something to this.

In terms of products for alloy wheel refurbishment you wont find better than Wheel Paints

When I first started off I used various suppliers and looked at cost but in the end I just bought everything through them as they were so good to use.

Here's my old wheel repair site before I sold it on - http://www.shetlandwheelrepairs.moonfruit.com/
 

·
Deluded FK2 Owner
Joined
·
562 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Nothing wrong with your method, but I used to do this for a living and have refurbished literally thousands of wheels so I feel I can add something to this.

In terms of products for alloy wheel refurbishment you wont find better than Wheel Paints

When I first started off I used various suppliers and looked at cost but in the end I just bought everything through them as they were so good to use.

Here's my old wheel repair site before I sold it on - Home - Shetland Wheel Repairs
I'll keep them in mind for when I do my next lot, as the paint did the job, but it was a bit difficult to apply due to the paint turning a slightly different consistency towards the end of the can; so I had to adjust the apply method slightly. I think that may have been because of the temp at the time, as well as the pressure of the cans not being fantastic- but for a grand total of £40ish, I can't complain!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
You've done a good job! All I was saying was that some products are easier to use than others and these seem to be pretty good. Also the cans of lacquer are 2k, you just have to pull the pin out and shake the can to mix the two parts before use. It means it sets up a lot quicker and the result is a tougher paint.:)

You're right though, for £40 you can't complain. But you could have spent £60 and had a more durable result. For the effort you've put in, it may have been worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Good guide but I'm not sure it's the right way round.
I thought the etch primer went on directly after the prep stages,the object being that it needs to cover the areas of bare alloy because all normal paints have poor adhesion when applied to it (the aluminium alloy,that is.)
The primer filler is then applied,flatted as necessary and then the base colour is applied which will adhere to it without problem.
 

·
Deluded FK2 Owner
Joined
·
562 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Good guide but I'm not sure it's the right way round.
I thought the etch primer went on directly after the prep stages,the object being that it needs to cover the areas of bare alloy because all normal paints have poor adhesion when applied to it (the aluminium alloy,that is.)
The primer filler is then applied,flatted as necessary and then the base colour is applied which will adhere to it without problem.
Why would you put filler over an already primed surface?

You can do it both ways, however, I was using the filler primer as more of a "filler" because of the nature of the alloy damage before. I had a lot of dead paint that I couldn't get off entirely, as well as very small stone chips/ dents so instead, I used it to coat the whole alloy, then sand down with extremely fine wet/dry sand paper to smooth and even the surface out to protect the under-side from any further flaking.

I then applied the etch primer on top of that because this process did reveal some "bare-metal" patches after blending it all in, so this needed to be applied over the filler primer, ready for the paint.

Also, the filler primer dries with a sort of plastery effect and during my test sprays on a bit of sheet metal, the Alloy > Filler Primer > Etch > Paint combo gave the best finish. Spraying on the filler primer gave a sort of dull effect.

Anyway, since then, my alloys look spot on, no flaking, very durable, no signs of damage, other than what some tyre mechanic managed to do a week after spraying, during a tyre repair. Although, he was very careless whilst doing the puncture repair, I think it was mainly because the paint was still a bit soft at that point. Lucky, I managed to repair that slight damage and like I said, the paint hasn't flaked since, hasn't chipped, withstands a weekly jet wash and still looks like a pro-job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Don't think I made myself clear so I'll try again.
Paint does not adhere to bare alloy as well as it does to other metal surfaces,e.g.steel.
The normal primer/filler is a dual purpose paint which is fine as a primer on steel but is not recommended as a primer on alloy.Etch primer should always be used as a primer on bare alloy.
Read the data sheets of any paint manufacturer and you will find the above is the normal recommendation.
That's all I'm saying,if you are happy with the results that's fine.
 

·
Deluded FK2 Owner
Joined
·
562 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Don't think I made myself clear so I'll try again.
Paint does not adhere to bare alloy as well as it does to other metal surfaces,e.g.steel.
The normal primer/filler is a dual purpose paint which is fine as a primer on steel but is not recommended as a primer on alloy.Etch primer should always be used as a primer on bare alloy.
Read the data sheets of any paint manufacturer and you will find the above is the normal recommendation.
That's all I'm saying,if you are happy with the results that's fine.
I don't know if you're purposely trying to be patronising or not- however, I am aware of what etch primer is used for.
Again, I'll re-iterate, the reason why I APPLIED THE FILLER PRIMER FIRST is because of the nature of the dead-paint/ odd flaking/ alloy damage.

I specifically brought a filler primer used in alloy refurbishment, to which the "data sheet" outlined that it could be used with or instead of an etch primer (the manufacture was Autotek I think, but I did use another during the process when I unexpectedly ran out).

So at this point, specific to the recommendations on the product nature, usage and "data sheet", I applied this first, then applied an etch primer after because of the bare alloy + filler primer patchy finish (due to blending during the additional sanding process).

Again, I've done it this way because I'm using the FILLER primer for its FILLER PROPERTIES, filling in some deep scratches, dead paint that I could not get off the alloy during the initial sanding process, and lightly sand this down to create the smooth/ even finish. (Please look at the picture of the alloys, before I started spraying, notice the pealing and slight corrosion. This needed to be repaired, before pre-paring the paint surface and that's what I used the filler primer for- not specifically for it's primer qualities).


Yes, I used the etch primer on top of the filler primer because I wanted to make sure that the whole alloy was covered, before applying paint and again, I'm aware that the whole idea of the etch primer is to provide a better adhesive base for the paint, hence I used this last in the prep stage. :worms:

There are a few professional and amateur YouTube tutorials using the same process as mine, so I do not believe this is wrong.

I hope you can grasp what I was trying to achieve here. I wasn't using the filler primer as a traditional primer- I was using it as a filler, which, for this project was needed because of the nature of the damage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Repeat,my opinion,I may be wrong or I may be right.
If you have ended up with any bare alloy not covered by etch primer but with ordinary primer filler I think that is wrong because that is where you will have adhesion problems.
If your method has achieved all the bare alloy etch primed,OK

Primer filler will adhere to etch primer and base coat will adhere to primer filler and lacquer will adhere to base coat,which is the normal order.
I'm just adding to the fund of knowledge,not trying to patronise,but I will offer you some more advice,if you intend to do a lot of wheel refurbs get yourself a compressor.They are cheap enough and you can thin the paint to the correct viscosity,thicker than rattle cans, so it's easier to get a good result
 

·
Deluded FK2 Owner
Joined
·
562 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Repeat,my opinion,I may be wrong or I may be right.
If you have ended up with any bare alloy not covered by etch primer but with ordinary primer filler I think that is wrong because that is where you will have adhesion problems.
If your method has achieved all the bare alloy etch primed,OK

Primer filler will adhere to etch primer and base coat will adhere to primer filler and lacquer will adhere to base coat,which is the normal order.
I'm just adding to the fund of knowledge,not trying to patronise,but I will offer you some more advice,if you intend to do a lot of wheel refurbs get yourself a compressor.They are cheap enough and you can thin the paint to the correct viscosity,thicker than rattle cans, so it's easier to get a good result
I have considered getting one to be fair- the only problem I did encounter whilst doing the project was the sometimes inconsistent spray of the can, which did require a lot of layers to get the nice finish. But that's obviously the downside of using cans!
As for my results, they came out pretty well and *touch wood* the paint job has turned out to be very resilient in all weather and conditions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
I know this is an old thread, but don't suppose you have any photos of the wheels back on the car? I'm thinking of using the E Tech Grey/Gunmetal colour too and was wondering what they look like back on the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
I'm about to do this project myself on my diamond cut 18" wheels. I've been told past and previous that the etch primer should go on first ( on bare metal) then filler and sand so it gets a bite and is smooth.
 

·
Deluded FK2 Owner
Joined
·
562 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
This is just the way I did it, I'm not a professional. That said, it held up fine for the few years I owned the car and showed no signs of peeling, bubbling etc (not even at the bits I curbed after doing this), so I don't think it really matters to be honest. Much cheaper than getting it professionally done and looks miles better than the state they were in when I brought the car.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top