Powder-Coated vs. Painted Wheels: What’s the Difference?

Powder coating has risen in popularity over the last several years due to recent technological advancements and reduced costs. While painted wheels used to be the favored option, we are seeing a greater preference for powder-coated wheels.

This blog post takes a detailed look at the specific differences between powder-coated and painted rims.


The modern powder coating process uses negatively charged powder made of pigments and resin to color metal vehicle parts – like wheels, valve covers, calipers, springs, engine parts, motorcycle parts, and more!

Professional rim maintenance technicians use an electrostatic gun to spray your rims. Then, once the coating is thick enough, the rims are placed in a curing oven, producing a smooth, hard, gel-like finish. 

The powder coating does not JUST add a unique pop of color. The extra layer of coating maximizes durability and extends the life of your wheels, as well. The electrostatic powder finish guards against heat, regular wear-and-tear, weather, corrosion, chemicals, brake fluid, and more!

The electrostatic particles in powder coating ensure you get an even coating and greater coverage of your wheels’ hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.


Meanwhile, traditional painted rims are colored with a fine spray. Although the paint is typically electrostatically charged, it does not offer the same full-coverage or protective results as powder coating. 

It is difficult even for a highly trained professional to make sure the liquid paint coat spreads evenly across the entire rim surface, as paint is prone to dripping or sagging.

One of the major benefits of painted wheels is the lower initial cost. When you color your rims with liquid paint, you’ll be met with a lower price tag than if you were to get a powder coating job. 

However, painted rims are…

  • Far less durable
  • More susceptible to chipping, scratching, and wear
  • And less protective against corrosion and weather


The Rimguard team prefers powder coating over painting because…

  • Powder coatings emit near zero volatile organic compounds (VOC).
  • Powder coatings produce much thicker and far more durable coatings than liquid paint.
  • Powder coating over-spray can be recycled.
  • Plus, we can produce a wide range of specialty effects and colors.


Need rim repair or powder coating in Raleigh, North Carolina? The Rimguard Inc. team can help!

Learn more about our powder-coating customization options.

RELATED: Proper Maintenance of Powder-Coated Rims

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