Blazin’ Wheel Barrels.

July 4, 2014 in BMW 318ti

One of my goals with the ti is to follow my own aesthetic and coax out my own style without fear of ruining a fine automobile.

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Not that the ti isn’t a fine automobile, of course.  More so that every other car I’ve owned was the culmination of so much personal and financial investment that I was afraid to experiment with different ideas lest it result in permanent damage or undesirable outcomes.

I’ve always liked seeing cars cruise by with brightly coloured wheels.  It’s eye-catchy, fun and definitely sets those rides apart, if not quite a commitment.  Queue the rubber paint movement:  A friend of mine recently used some Plastikote to black-out the grill of his car.  Apparently the idea behind the paint is that it can be sprayed on absolutely anything and when you’re finished with the look you can just peel the coating away.  The coated grill turned out super-nice.  It was impressive how well and evenly a rattle can covered up a chrome grill with little to no prep work.

I was rolling around CDN Tire one day and spotted a sale on some “Protect Dip” – looked basically like a rip-off of the Plastikote product.  I’ve been toying with the idea of painting the barrels of my style 23 wheels a bright orange, but reluctant to pull the trigger due to the shear amount of work involved with prepping and painting.    I figured that the Protect Dip would give me a pretty good preview of the look without a lot of work and without costing a fortune – for about $20 I got a can that was able to do two of my barrels.

My wheels are pretty beat up, so I did a quick cleaning with some Off oven cleaner, washed ’em with dish soap and let them dry in the sun.  The coating went on without a hitch, it even seemed to cover some of the blemishes and dirt that I didn’t care to clean up.  I sprayed from the inside out doing a pretty half-assed job of masking the tire and not masking the outside of the wheel at all.  The best part about the paint is that you can just rub off any overspray.

All in all I’m pretty happy with the look, it kind of pops out at you from certain angles and the Protect Dip seems to hold up well to washing…  I know this because the bright colour gets annihilated by brake dust, within a week of driving the bright orange is dull and almost unnoticeable.  I can kind of get a wash mitt in between the spokes to help the effect jump out, but for shows and meets I’ll pretty much have to remove the wheels to get a proper washing.

Despite the washing issue, I’m loving the look.  Lots of colour, but it’s not stabbing you garishly in the face – it’s a subtle accent that doesn’t detract from the lines and German minimalism of the car.  The future will contain these wheel and this paint scheme.