With any design, there’s such a thing as “best practices”, things you should do and things you should avoid. It’s especially true with custom wheel colors, so when we sit down with our customers we’ll spend some time educating them on the dos and don’ts. These are the kinds of things we talk about in those meetings
1. Chrome works with everything
The first is classic chrome. Chrome will work on virtually any car and any paint job out there, and when it comes to custom wheel color options, chrome is the safest bet.
2. Black or white can work for some cars
Black rims can give a car an aggressive style. Whether to blend with the black auto body color or to stand out against a bright paint job, black wheels or rims usually add to the resale value of a car.
3. Red, yellow, blue, green should only be used for special rides!
Copper, Gold or Bronze are popular wheel color choices for drivers with black or blue cars, but they don’t fit the style for every car. Some drivers will dig the personalized look of custom gold, bronze or copper wheels as it can tell other drivers you like to customize while keeping it practical – or be looking for a more rich look.
4. You’re better off customizing factory wheels
No disrespect to tire stores, but most aftermarket wheels are pretty, um…crappy. Of course there are exceptions, and some Aftermarket Wheels are very well-built. In general, if it is stamped “Made In China”, or is less than a couple of hundred bucks each, they’re probably not very well built. Some others have the two or three-piece ‘look’ and the fasteners are just pressed-in plastic screw heads – not high quality.
Your best bet is with customizing your Original Equipment from the Manufacturer wheels (OEM). These are better built and ride much smoother than their cheap aftermarket counterparts.
5. Stay with quality-built wheels
This is especially true with higher-end cars like Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Lexus, Acura, and Infinity, which all have sensitive suspension systems. If you slap inexpensive wheels on here, they’ll transmit more road noise and cause greater vibrations in the car cabin, making them less comfortable to drive. And ‘comfort’ is what you bought those cars for, right?
6. Let your creativity explode
The biggest problem people have with customizing wheels is they don’t know what’s available. For customizing your wheels, anything is possible. Pinterest, Instagram, Google or Bing searches for custom wheels can spark imagination in nearly anyone.
Powder Coat Finishes
The specific finishing process known as powder coating is an excellent option for aluminum or alloy wheels. You have hundreds of color options at your disposal, and you end up with a resilient wheel finish at a very affordable price.
After you decide on what color you want for your rims, it’s time to choose the finish type. Here’s a look at each:
1. High Gloss
Make your wheels sparkle and shine.
If you don’t want too much shine in your wheels, take it down a notch with a semi-gloss.
You can have a rim finish that is not smooth. Besides the visual appeal, the rims can help hide modest physical imperfections.
A bonus benefit to powder coat rim finishes is that they are environmentally friendly. Unlike other finishes that use solvents containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the powder has microscopic VOCs.
White Wheels Are All Right
White is a clean, presentable color in all forms. If you are considering white as a custom wheel color, keep in mind that white wheels tend to look their best with monochromatic cars. A white car with white wheels might work with the right rim design. White wheels on a black or gray auto body can also appear slick without being tacky.
The tricky part of a white wheel is remembering just how many different shades of white there are on the market. Pure white wheels, off white wheels, beige wheels and more are available. A professional should be consulted to ensure that you do not place an order for a particular shade of white that ends up looking way out of place with your vehicle.
Here is a Mercedes we did with white that looks great:
Creative Wheel Colors Require Caution
It is always tempting to get a wild custom wheel color such as yellow, red, orange or green. These vibrant colors might seem like a good idea in a video game garage of sweet racing machines, but in real life, they often end up looking tacky unless done right. They are often expensive and unless a buyer goes along with your quirky color scheme, can hurt the resale value of the vehicle.
Wild wheel colors will often work best in tandem with a bright or graphically extreme vehicle body wrap, like those you see in movies like “The Fast & The Furious” – but budget becomes an issue quickly there as well.
Our parting gift is this image of Camaro we did with red wheels recently that came out looking fantastic!
If you’re looking to breathe new life into your vehicle’s rims with a new color or finish, refresh your wheels with a powder coating finish. It’s a very affordable way to make your wheels look new again or transform the way they look entirely.
If you have questions on your creative wheel colors, ask an aftermarket wheel specialist at Wheelkraft NW for our input.