One of the issues with black wheels is that they can easily blend into the tires and it can be hard to separate the two at a glance. Black paint, in particular, matte or satin finishes, can hide subtle details as well. If you have aggressive wheels and you want to tone them down, black paint will do the trick.
The SSR GT2s have a classic 5-spoke design with very subtle concave spokes and a small lip. Most of this is hidden in the black paint, unless the sunlight hit the wheel just right after fresh cleaning.
Realizing that I was pining for new wheels that more or less have the same subtle details as my GT2s, I decided a color change was in order.
Instead of stripping the wheels down to metal, as the previous paint job held up reasonably well, we can just sand the wheels with 300-grit, primer and paint.
At this point, I hadn’t really decided on a color; sanding is a time consuming process and I just decided to go ahead and get started. I’d just go to the store and pick something that jumped out at me. Since I was only painting two of the wheels as well, it shouldn’t be too much effort to change the color if need be.
With the wheels sanded and back on the car, I was leaning towards a matte finish.
I drove to the local hardware store and made my selection.
I decided to try a different masking setup this time. Normally, I just stick index cards around the edge of the wheel. This is a quick and dirty method of masking wheels but it really difficult to readjust the wheel to spray the trickier parts of the wheel; so coverage is not the best.
This time I used tape and some leftover packing paper. I won’t lie, this process takes a LOT longer. Be prepared to spend around 10-15 mins a wheel on this.
I probably didn’t need to primer but why even risk it.
And then the paint.
I went with Rustoleum Charcoal Gray enamel (#7784830).
My initial plan was to hit with a matte clear coat, but after a test piece of matte clear, I decided to leave it glossy.
After letting the wheels bake in the sun for a day, it was time to peel off the masking materials and see the final results.
I was kind of expecting the paint to be a little bit darker but overall, I like the color. It is definitely more Nardo Grey than charcoal, however. I think some highlighter yellow Brembo calipers would complement this color very well.
For now, we will just have to make due with some dusty old slider calipers.