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Wheel Finishes And Colors

Aftermarket wheel manufacturers provide a wide variety of custom wheels with an array of finishes. They range from the conservative and understated to the flamboyant, ?look at me? finishes. This gives us a way to make our vehicle ours with personalizations that will truly make it unique. Here is a breakdown of all the various finishes.
These have truly become the industry?s standard finish for those looking to add some shine to there vehicle?s look. These have a mirror-like finish that is very durable since it is applied in 3 stages. First a nickel bath, then a copper, and finally the chrome leads to that pristine finish.
While the chrome is always in style, people are starting to follow the new trend of the color-matched finish. Multi-piece wheels allow an infinite amount of custom-paint possibilities as the center section of the wheel can be matched to the same color as your vehicle?s body. While most top of the line 3-piece wheels are available with a painted to match or a complement to the vehicle?s color, there are now more affordable alternatives such as the solid black wheels. These cost less than the chrome, but look more intimidating.

These have yet to really catch on, but you can still find them at select wheel manufacturers. These wheels have the aesthetic look that they were brushed by hand, when actually a machine grains the pattern onto the wheel to give it the visual texture the customer desires. The wheel is then coated to protect the look. You will usually only find the custom brushed wheels sold as three piece sets.

The machine finish has been one of the more recent favorites. The face of the wheel is sanded down to produce a smooth finish that looks satin yet industrial. It is then coated to protect the look.

The two-tone finish is a combination of chrome and color-matched finishes that will give the user the added flair and satisfaction. The finish is done by first taping off selected portions of the wheel, so that the other untaped portion can be sanded down so that it can be painted. Usually you have the choice as to what is painted on the wheel, and whatever you choose, the end results and gratifying. It requires patience and skill to produce, but it?s worth it as you?ll have the best of both worlds.

The silver finish is similar to that found on stock wheels. It comes in a wide array of similar gradients that varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. These are not painted, but powdercoated to achieve its finish. This process is in fact favored over painting because of the greater durability and stronger finish when tested against rocks and other road debris.

This look is produced through the powdercoating using the sputtering process. This process can create a wheel finish that adds much more depth than other finishes. It is much more lustrous than ordinary silver, and can be found on higher-end cars like Lexus and Infiniti. Sputtering is a seven step process that involves a black basecoat. This is followed by lighter gradients all of which are applied at different angles in a step-by-step process until the face of the wheel has the bright luster. Over the life of the wheel, you will notice that the silver will eventually fade into a darker black finish. Though it won?t be what it was the shade of black resembles gun metal, which looks sharp in itself.
These caps give you the additional option of changing the look of your wheels. First, you must make sure you purchase a set of wheels that are compatible with the alternate caps. Once you do that, popping the faces on and off are a snap. Pop the pressure rings and clips into the center bore and bolt down the ends of each spoke into the bolt holes. In less than ten minutes, you?ll have a brand new look without having to buy a whole new set of wheels. Alternate caps come in black and color-matched to accentuate your vehicle.

Also available now on many wheels are inserts. Inserts are made of similar materials as caps, but they do not cover a large portion of the wheel. Instead, inserts are smaller pieces that accent the wheel. Many times these inserts go between spokes to give the wheel a different look. As with caps, inserts are also paintable and are easy to put on and take off the wheel.
First off, go to someone you trust, painting wheels requires a bit of skill, and patience is a virtue. Ask to see at least some pictures of previous work before handing your wheels over. Be sure to check for overspray, any scuffs when you get them back, and just be sure that you trust them.

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