Will Painted Wheels Fade?

The simple answer is no, they shouldn’t. The proviso to that is if they’ve been professionally painted and if they are cared for correctly.

Although Salt Lake City and nearby Park City and Heber are at high altitude and therefore are subjected to more intense levels of UV light, this alone will not affect rims that have been painted professionally.

Initial Process:

At Salt City Wheels, we use a proprietary process to skillfully apply paint to your wheel rims. Very simplified, this process involves cleaning down, priming, painting and then sealing the wheel using products customized for your rims. Many people skip the all-important step of sealing the paint color, which can quickly result in wear and fading since the pigments are in direct contact with light, salt, water, and a myriad of potential physical contact points. When a professional clear sealant is used, although this seal is invisible, the paint is protected from external forces that might damage it. 

Priming is similarly a vital step, as the primer provides a strong foundation for the pigmented paint to attach to, making the final finish sturdy and tough as it contends with environmental and atmospheric forces. Store-bought wheel paint products simply don’t compare with professional products, as the pigment levels, chemical composition and resulting durability are clearly different.


A fact that many an innocent upgraded-wheel owner doesn’t realize is that how you care for your wheel rims can directly impact (literally and metaphorically) how tough and true your wheel finish stays over the life of your vehicle. Using special wheel cleaner to clean your wheels would seem logical, right? However, many of these wheel cleaners have a relatively high acid content; if not applied correctly or even sometimes if applied at all, these cleaners can have a totally opposite effect to the one you wanted - taking the finish off along with the dirt!

If you have your vehicle washed at a professional car wash, sometimes they apply a treatment to car tires that can easily run down and damage the paint finish on your wheel rims. Check with your car wash to see what they actually use and make sure they keep any products off your wheels’ painted finish.

If you wash your vehicle yourself and are bent (so to speak) on using wheel cleaner for your wheels, make sure to follow the directions to the letter and rinse the product off completely before drying. You can also easily make your own, paint-friendly wheel wash using a bucket of hot water and a few drops of liquid dish detergent, making sure to flush the wheel clean with plenty of clean, non-soapy water after.

If it’s too late and your painted finish has faded or corroded, give the experts at Salt City Wheels a call today at 801 425 3044. At Salt City Wheels, our wheel experts are careful to provide you with customized care advice for your newly-painted wheel rims, and we can restore any damage to bring your wheels back to their gorgeous original state.