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Painting alloy wheels details

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A simple question that I’m sure has been asked & explained before. I gave up after a couple google searches when my results didn’t turn up what I was looking for.

I’m going to repaint my silver alloy wheels after a scrap with a kerb. I’m going to give it a go myself rather than having it professionally  done.

Silver is easy but I’m considering a subtle colour change to a gunmetal or slight hint of bronze, just not jet black. My car is Guards Red.

Now thats was the easy part. What do I do with the centre caps. They are not the coloured Porsche crest but the ones with the embossed crest with a black outline.

I’m not interested in a coloured hand painting, or having someone else paint a coloured crest on the centre cap. 

I would prefer the new painted colour and the outline of the crest in a single colour. Masking off looks possible but challenging. 

Even if I stick with a silver colour the centre caps need repainting as they are looking tired. 

Do I just paint the centre caps then lightly sand off the embossed outline?

What have others done?


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I am assuming that your centre caps are black plastic but the principle still applies.

It’s been a few years since I did this and even reading this confuses me.


I started with the Silver Centre Caps part no: 901 361 032 00.

I first wiped the caps clean with a clean cloth. I used a micro fibre cloth.

I then painted them with 2 to 3 light coats of Killrust Matt Black allowing a minimum of 16 hours between coats, as per the paint instructions. Too thick and it may cause problems when exposing the logo, although the first cap had about five coats while experimenting getting the appearance right.

When dry I wet a paper towel with metholated spirits then lightly rubbed (and small areas) over the logo to expose the silver underneath. Metho served to soften the paint enough to rub off. Turpentine may be a bit strong and remove the wrong areas, although I didn't try because I didn't have any available. The paper towel is abrasive enough to remove the desired areas.

Now the fiddly bit….For the "fine detail", such as the shield edge, I used a scalpel (hobby knife) to gently scrape the edges and some high points that were cast at a different height the rest of the crest. You'd be amazed how uneven the crest is. A gentle wipe with the paper towel with metho every now and then, to remove "debree" and keep the paint "soft". This stopped the paint from chipping and coming away from areas that I want to keep covered in paint.

It’s fiddly and time consuming and frustrating if you remove too much and have to start again....but it’s worth it in the end.  Silver may react differently to flat black enamel too so a bit of experimenting may be required

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