Short Answer: The cost of powder coating wheels depends on the size and depth of the rims, and whether you pay someone else to coat your rims or do the work yourself. If you’re paying a powder coating company to coat your wheels for you, you can plan on paying around $250 to $520 for a base coat for rim sizes ranging from 13” to 26”. If you choose a base coat with a transparent or candy finish, or if you want a clear topcoat, you can expect to pay an additional 50%. If you are mailing your rims in to be coated, you’ll also need to pay for shipping both ways. If you choose to coat your own wheels, you may find yourself paying more than $2,000 for an oven. We have more information about the costs associated with powder coating rims and wheels below.
How Much Does It Cost to Powder Coat Wheels?
Powder coating the wheels on your vehicle can provide numerous benefits, from adding protection against corrosion to simply making them look unique. Whether the once-shiny chrome finish has been destroyed by years of wear and tear, or you simply want the attractive look of freshly powder coated wheels, you’ll first need to estimate how much it will cost to prepare and powder coat them.
Mail-In Powder Coating
You can ship your wheels to a number of powder coating companies nationwide — these companies will do the work and then send the wheels back to you. Be sure to let them know the state of the wheels before sending; if there’s minor curb rash, most companies will usually agree to fix it. However, if a wheel is cracked, many will decline the business since it’s too much of a liability for them to touch the wheel. Our article has information about the price of rim repair.
If your aluminum rims have previously been chrome plated, but the chrome is in poor condition, you’ll need to first take them to a chrome plater to have the chrome and nickel chemically removed; blasting off the chrome could damage the actual aluminum wheel.
We contacted some of the major mail-in powder coating companies in the U.S. — Bonehead Performance, Graub Design & Fabrications, and Streetwerkz — and all three companies follow the same pricing scale. Below, we list the prices you can expect to pay (plus the cost of shipping) when you mail in your wheels for powder coating. The companies we contacted also require between a $35 to $50 order minimum, but since the lowest-cost options for a standard wheel coating are about $65, this price minimum should not be a problem.
The standard prices quoted in the table below assume a seven-inch rim. You’ll be charged an additional $2 for every inch over the seven-inch depth per wheel.
Bonehead Performance, Graub Design & Fabrication, and Streetwerkz all charge $20 if you’re selecting more than one color, and if you’re doing a base coat with a transparent or candy finish, expect to pay an additional 50%. It’s 50% more if you’d like another clear coat — which you must get for some colors.
Note that the entire rim will be coated, not just the spokes. Though some companies are willing to powder coat just the spokes, it’s generally cost-prohibitive since the manual masking process is so labor-intensive.
To potentially cut down on shipping costs, you can purchase all of the necessary shipping supplies from a hardware store such as The Home Depot and ship your wheels in one box.
If you want to find out whether choosing a local company will be the most cost-effective option, you can check out the following sites to help you locate powder coating companies near you. You can compare their quotes — which they will usually offer for free — to the prices you’ll find at mail-in powder coating companies. Service prices can vary widely for local shops but are typically comparable to mail-in companies (starting at around $60 to $80 per wheel), and you will not need to pay for shipping if you stay local.
If you’re looking for a straightforward list of company names and contact information for powder coating companies in your area, try Local Pages. Use the search results on Local Pages to find a powder coating company that piques your interest; then you can click for more information and get in touch with them when it’s convenient for you.
Powder Coating Institute
If you’re particularly interested in finding the highest-quality service, you can search the Powder Coating Industry’s Membership Directory. You can search for custom coaters by name or location.
If neither of these sites provides you with the results you’re looking for, you can try a Google search for “powder coating near me” to bring up a few options for you to consider.
DIY Powder Coating
If you choose to powder coat your own rims, the cost will vary significantly depending on which tools and pieces of equipment you already own. If you’re starting completely from scratch, you could pay anywhere from $300 for basic tools and supplies (assuming you already have a used oven of a sufficient size in which to cure your rims) to more than $2,000 in order to purchase an industrial oven. To save money, you can buy a used oven used off of a site like eBay. Note that you will need to dedicate this oven solely to curing wheels — you will not be able to use it as a regular kitchen oven.
You can calculate how much powder you will need and the cost of the powder for the job using the MIT Powder Coating calculator. To calculate the amount of powder you’ll need for your rims, enter the specific gravity of the powder you’re using, the recommended film thickness in millimeters, the surface area to coat in square feet, and the percentage of estimated transfer efficiency (as a whole number). The calculator will give you approximately how many square feet one pound of powder will cover, and the estimated number of pounds of powder you’ll need to completely powder coat your rims.
To calculate how much the powder will cost, simply enter the cost of powder per pound, and the calculator will tell you the total estimated powder cost for your job.
If you’re unsure about powder coating, check out our article about powder coating vs. painting.
In this detailed yet concise video, GlassGlowz takes you through the steps of cleaning, sandblasting, hand sanding, degreasing, preheating, and powder coating a set of four rims. The video includes brief explanations of why each step is necessary to ensure a quality coat of powder and offers suggestions for products and tools you might want to use.
In the following video, 610 Garage gives you the details of how the host powder coated his rims not once, but twice. Viewers learn from the host’s mistakes so they can avoid having to repeat their own stripping and powder coating processes. His tips on cleaning, degreasing, stripping, and blasting are especially noteworthy, as are his succinct explanations of why certain techniques are (or are not) effective in preparing rims for powder.
This video thoroughly explores how different types of powder coating products can be used in different applications for projects small and large. Eastwood’s video is a great introduction to those unfamiliar with powder coating, or those hoping to expand their understanding of which products work best for which projects.