Updated: Jan 8
Electrostatic powder coating is a popular method for finishing wheels, as it provides a durable, long-lasting finish that resists chipping, scratching, and fading. Two-toning or creating a color gradient on the wheels can add visual interest and style to your vehicle. Here is a step-by-step guide on two-tone electrostatic powder coat your wheels.
Strip, Clean, and prep the wheels: The first step in any powder coating project is to clean and prepare the surface. When two-toning, imperfections or contaminants on the surface will be more noticeable in the finished product. You will need to strip the wheels of any old powder coat or paint. Then out-gas the wheel to bring any contaminates to the surface. Once the wheel has cooled completely, media blast, or sand the entire wheel. Use clean compressed air to blow the wheel off completely, leaving no dust and debris.
Apply the base coat: Once the wheels are prepped, it's time to apply the base coat. Use an electrostatic gun to apply the powder to the wheel's surface, covering the entire surface evenly. Then you will need to cure the wheel about 60% (get the wheel to manufacturer curing temp) then only keep it in for 50% of the cure time)
Mask off the gradient areas: Once the base coat has partially cured, and cooled, it's time to mask off the places you want to be the gradient color. Typically the outer rim of the wheel, as well as any other desired areas. Using heat tape (you can find it on Amazon) to cover the base color creates a clean, straight edge.
Apply the gradient coat: With the gradient areas taped off, you can apply the gradient coat. Use an electrostatic gun to apply the powder to the wheel's surface, evenly covering the entire gradient area. You will have to partially cure this powder, by placing it in a hot oven for just about 90 - 120 seconds.
Remove the masking: Remove the heat tape while the wheel and the tape are still warm. You will have problems if the wheel starts to cool down, so move quickly and efficiently.
Finish with a clear coat: To protect the two-tone finish and give it a glossy shine, applying a clear coat over the top is a good idea. Use an electrostatic gun to apply the clear coat powder, following the manufacturer's instructions for curing time and temperature.
Two-toning your wheels with electrostatic powder coating is a fun and rewarding DIY project that can give your vehicle a unique and stylish look. By following these steps, you can achieve professional-quality results at home.