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Painted & powder coated wheels


Except for polished and chromed wheels, all wheels are painted or powder coated. Diamond cut wheels are painted or powder coated before undergoing the diamond cut process and also receive a paint or powder coat lacquer afterwards. Likewise, hydro-dipped wheels are painted or powder coated before undergoing the hydro dipping process. Wheels that have been painted or powder coated, but don't undergo an additional finishing process, are quite simply referred to as "painted or powder coated". Powder coating is generally more durable than paint. We therefore favour powder coating, but can utilise a select number of base coat paints. All lacquers used, however, are extremely durable powder coat lacquers. 


Diamond cut wheels have become incredibly popular in recent years. As the diamond cut process produces a very shiny silver finish (similar to the rear of a CD), a very aesthetically pleasing two-tone effect can be achieved on diamond cut wheels. Black is therefore a very popular choice for the base coat colour of a diamond cut wheel, as it produces a strong contrast with the shiny silver diamond cut areas. This two-tone appearance, combined with some of the creative spoke designs found on modern wheels, can make for some truly fantastic-looking wheels! Whilst they do look fantastic, diamond cut wheels typically tarnish much quicker than wheels which have only been powder coated or painted. This is largely due to a particular form of corrosion - known as filiform corrosion. Filiform corrosion, which generally takes the appearance of white veins and milky spots, occurs when moisture is present between the lacquer and diamond cut parts of the wheel. Underneath the lacquer, the diamond cut areas are actually exposed areas of the bare wheel metal. This moisture then tarnishes and corrodes the bare metal of the wheel, producing the white veiny and spotty look. This can sometimes be frustrating, and even confusing, to owners of diamond cut wheels, as a wheel doesn't always possess noticeable damage when the filiform corrosion begins to appear. The most common  cause of filiform corrosion, in this case, is a tiny pin-prick hole in the lacquer - often caused by a rogue stone chip!  

Diamond cut wheel example
Diamond Cut Finish
Ceramic polished wheel example


Just like chromed (chrome-plated) wheels, polished wheels possess a highly-reflective mirror-like finish. Whilst chrome-plated wheels involve the addition of metal plating to achieve the mirror-like finish, polished wheels instead require the removal of all wheel coatings - back to the bare metal of the wheel itself. The bare metal is then buffed and polished to produce the mirror-like finish. Nowadays, polishing can be done by hand, semi-automatically and with ceramic polishing machines. Although the initial polished finish is very aesthetically pleasing, it can very quickly become tarnished without frequent and proper care. It is arguably the most difficult wheel finish to maintain as the bare metal of the wheel is entirely exposed to the elements. Oxidisation, corrosion and tarnishing, from exposure to moisture and chemicals, can very easily and quickly occur.  

Polished Finish


Chromed wheels are sometimes also referred to as chrome-dipped or chrome-plated wheels. The chrome plating process involves applying a thin layer of chromium onto a substrate (metal or alloy), through an electroplating procedure. Many chrome-plating providers actually apply several layers of metal plating to the "chromed" object - typically copper, then nickel and, finally, chrome. Wheels that are truly chromed - not just polished or painted/powder coated to a chrome-like appearance - must be professionally de-chromed before we can carry out any refurbishment work. De-chroming can typically only be completed by a company that provides a chroming service, as it requires their specialist equipment and chemicals to remove all layers of plating. Chroming and de-chroming, however, can weaken wheels. Wheels that have been chromed may therefore be unsuitable for refurbishment, following the de-chroming process.

Chromed wheel example - chrome plated
Chromed Finish
Hydro dipped wheel example - cartoon character medley


Hydro dipping - also known as water transfer printing, immersion printing, water transfer imaging, watermarbling, or HydroGraphics - is a method of applying printed designs to three-dimensional surfaces. The hydrographic process can be carried out on metal, as well as various other materials. This process takes place in a dipping tank and, through the use of an activator, a chemical reaction results in the printed design adhering to the surface of the dipped object. A large and varied selection of print designs are available - some of our favourites were camouflage patterns, a carbon fibre effect and a cartoon character medley (as pictured). Once upon a time, we offered a hydro dipping service... but there were too few brave souls who would dare to put a design on their wheels! 🤪

Hydro-Dipped Finish
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