How to Get Paint off Tires (2022 Guide)

So, for some reason, there’s paint on the car tires and you’re thinking about what to do next! 

While there are several methods that you can try, there’s a high probability that if not done correctly can lead to a worse condition than you had before. 

How to Get Paint off Tires

To make your work easier, we have a simple solution that can help you to get paint off tires.

What You Need to Know about Getting Paint off Tires

When you are cleaning the metal part of the tires, it will be a great idea that after cleaning, you wax the area once done with removing the paint. This is mainly because there is a probability that there are still some abrasive paint bits. Therefore, you must clean it properly and then use wax for protecting the area from any kind of further damage.

Supplies you’ll need for getting paint off Tires:

There are some vital supplies that you should have while you are trying to get rid of the paint from car tires:

  1. Paint thinner
  2. Towel or Microfiber cloth
  3. An old Toothbrush
  4. Sandpaper or drill that has a brush attachment
  5. Water
  6. Pressure washer (optional)

How to Get Paint off Tires

Removing the paint from tires is a simple and straightforward method, and shouldn’t be taking much of your time. Having the right information on how you can get paint off tires can be a very useful skill; particularly if you like painting the tire rims yourself. 

Here is the simple step by step guide:

Step 1: Drench the tires in water

A soap and water mixture is always the best way for cleaning surface stains and paint. So, just soak the tire in soapy water for a few minutes and then start scrubbing the tire with a sponge or towel. This is also going to loosen the color debris that’s present on the tire sides. One can also make use of a microfiber cloth as its gentler over the rubber areas. Then wash the tires with plain water thoroughly.

How to Get Paint off Tires

Step 2: Spray Paint Thinner Over Affected Area

Now make use of quality paint thinner over the specific affected area. In case you are just dealing with the rims, you can apply as much amount as you want. This is because the metal surface will be able to take chemicals easily without any damage. 

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Also, this will make your work easier. But, when you are dealing with the main tire part, use a very small amount and spread it over a larger paint-affected area.

Important note: It is recommended that you first test the paint thinner over the small surface area and make sure you’re not causing any damages while following this process. If there isn’t any damage see, you can use it over other affected areas. Just remember to remove it speedily as prolonged exposure is going to damage tire plastic. 

Step 3: Wipe The Paint Off With Towel

Now you will see that the paint thinner had made the dried paint chip and now you need to work pretty quickly with cleaning. Removing the paint thinner is vital and you might need more than one towel or microfiber cloth to do that, so keep things handy. 

You don’t have to stress over getting the entire surface perfectly clean or reach all of the crannies and nooks. You just have to remove the paint thinner with the help of a soft cloth and the paint also comes out with it easily. 

Step 4: Make use of toothbrush for deep cleaning

When you want to reach the small alloy spaces of the tire, a simple toothbrush will be your best friend. For making sure that the tire is well cleaned, you will have to put in your muscle power, as this is hard work.

While the paint remover can effectively lose the paint, some of the interior space needs to be worked on for restoring the original finish. Some of the places are not easily seen like the screw spaces, but they have vital functions. So you can even make use of a drill that comes with a brush attachment here for taking the paint off with ease. 

Step 5: Rinse with water

Now you need to rinse the whole tire with water, making sure everything including the surface cleaner containing chemicals is not present on the surface. Before one goes ahead with anything for buffing like sandpaper over alloy wheel, we need to be sure that the surface paint is completely removed. 

There is a probability that paints thinner gets stuck over the surface and cause damage in a future painting. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you make use of a quality power washer to do this. Just be careful and don’t damage its surface. 

Step 6: Time to use sandpaper

For buffering the alloy wheels you need a sandpaper or buffer drill if you have one. This is the point where all of the paint and paint thinner is removed from the surface. However, the alloy surface of the wheel tends to look slightly rough. 

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So, use sandpaper or a drill that has a buffing attachment for cleaning the wheels and giving a finished and polished look. When you are using sandpaper, you will have to make use of your elbow grease as this is pure hard work and one has to work over the entire surface. 

Certainly having a buffer drill will be a faster process, but both of these ways will lead you to the original tire finish and they are going to look new!

Important note: Be careful and don’t damage threads or the internal couplings. In case that happens, you will have to use the thread started for fixing it. You might also have to make new ones and drill in them, but this again will be a long process that needs bolts and proper tools. 

Does Paint Remover Damage Tires? 

How to Get Paint off Tires

There is immense conflict seen online if the paint remover can damage tires. Some of the users have an opinion that this is the simplest way to get rid of paint from tires and saves a lot of time without any damage. 

However, understand that petroleum solvents and products are harsh and should be used very carefully on tires. In case the product gets absorbed by the tire rubber, it can break down. Paint thinners and similar products are caustic and can make the tire prone to cracking and brittleness and therefore can lead to a reduced lifespan of the tire. 

Can you use Paint Thinner on Tires?

Paint thinners can be used on tires, but cautiously. There is a probability that it can strip the rubber surface oils. This will lead to tires being prone to cracking and brittleness. Although a very small exposure isn’t going to cause visible harm and if you follow the proper method, you will be safe. 

Is There A Homemade Paint Remover From Tires?

Yes, you can make use of household ingredients to clean paint from tires as well. Sprinkle baking soda over the affected area and then spray lemon juice over it. Then scrub with a nylon scrubber and you’ll notice that paint starts to loosen up. 

Then rinse off with plain water. Repeat the process if needed, as this method won’t work as efficiently as using paint thinner but is safer.

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