To fix a scratched alloy wheel, wash it, sand it, mask the edges, fill the scratches with putty, apply primer, and paint the wheel. This project takes one day, and requires soap, water, a sponge, gloves, a paper mask, sandpaper, mineral spirits, rags, masking tape, putty, primer, paint and clear sealant.
- Clean the wheel
Wash the wheel with soap and warm water. Put on latex gloves, saturate a rag with mineral spirits, and wipe the wheel. Pay special attention to grime and grease stains.
- Sand the raised areas
Gently sand the raised portions of the damaged areas.
- Mask the wheel
Apply masking tape around the wheel's perimeter.
- Apply glazing putty
Put on a paper cone mask. Fill in the scratches with glazing putty. Apply at least three coats, and sand each coat before applying the next. Give the putty 2 hours' drying time between applications.
- Sand and prime the entire wheel
Sand the entire wheel with fine sandpaper until no shiny spots remain, and then cover the wheel with sandable spray primer. Let the primer dry for the amount of time indicated on its can, and then sand it with fine sandpaper. Apply several light coats, and sand each dried coat before you spray the next.
- Redo the masking
Strip off all of the masking tape, wipe the wheel with a dust cloth, and apply fresh masking tape.
- Paint the wheel
Cover the primer with spray paint. Apply several thin coats to avoid running and streaking. Wait for the paint to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Apply clear sealant
Apply several coats of clear, shiny sealant. Wait several minutes between coats, and wait at least 2 hours before you remove the masking tape, move the wheel or reattach it to your vehicle.