Can You Spray Paint Hubcaps? (Yes, Here’s How To Do It)

Hubcaps can become dull or pill from exposure to the weather elements, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you need new hubcaps. With a little bit of knowledge and a trip to the auto parts store, you could renew your hubcaps right back to looking new.

However, if you find that you have grown tired of the hubcap’s original color and would like to try something different, can you spray paint your hubcaps? If you’d like to find out, keep reading!

Can You Spray Paint Hubcaps?

Almost all hubcaps are plastic and are easy to paint if you know how to do it properly. You can bring old hubcaps back to life or even choose a whole different color for a new look on your car. It’s an easy process that takes a few minutes at the parts store and a little bit of preparation work.

Are you looking to get a fresh new look on your vehicle? If so, this step-by-step guide and commonly asked questions will help you get your hubcaps painted the right way!

How Do I Spray Paint Hubcaps?

1. Remove your hubcaps gently with a hubcap removal tool or something similar. Don’t use a lot of force, or you could crack the hubcap, rendering it useless.

2. Once the hubcaps are off, wash all dirt and grime and brake dust off the hubcaps to ensure a clean surface.

3. With some real fine-grit sandpaper or a coarse brillo pad, scuff off the surface of your hubcaps. There should be no shiny overlay left on the hubcaps unless you’re not going to paint in those particular spots.

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4. Next, wipe down and blow off all excess dust leftover from the cleaning process to achieve a nice dry and clean paint canvas.

5. Always paint in a well-ventilated area. Make sure the temperatures are not too cold and don’t paint outside if it’s windy.

6. Shake your paint very well (make sure that the ball that bounces around and makes all that noise bounces free inside the can).

7. Next, spray a light coat on top of the prepared surface. Once the coat has dried enough to leave a sticky finish behind, you’ll be ready for the second coat (you want the sticky finish because it will help your next coat stick evenly).

8. For the second coat, spray evenly and let it dry (you can also apply a third coat if needed).

9. When you’re happy with the outcome, make a decision if you want to use a final clear coat finish on the paint or not. A clear coat will add some extra shine to the hubcaps, but more importantly, a little extra protection.

10. When the hubcaps are completely dry, put them back on gently.

How Do You Paint Hubcaps Gloss Black?

Gloss black or satin black has become a trending color for hubcaps recently, and applying a black finish is very easy if you follow the steps above.

The most important thing you’ll want to pay attention to is which form of black you want to use.

Both gloss black and satin black take the same step-by-step process posted above, but because of the finish from gloss black, imperfections show a lot more and take a little more finesse to perfect.

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What Type Of Spray Paint Is Best For Plastic?

What Type Of Spray Paint Is Best For Plastic?

When it comes to spray painting your hubcaps, you want to go with paint that is recognized for its durability. Your hubcaps go everywhere your tires go, which means they see a lot of miles, so choosing the right spray paint is very important.

Listed below are the best spray paints for your plastic hubcaps:

Dupli-Color Spray Paint

You can go to any auto parts store or auto parts section in a department store, and you’ll find Dupli-Color spray paint because it works great for vehicles.

For over 60 years, Dupli-Color has been noticed as a top-notch automotive spray paint for touch-up jobs, trim parts, interior parts, and more.

Dupli-Color is a fast-drying paint that offers a Fade-X technology meaning it will stay strong and keep its color and gloss throughout many years.

Kayron Spray Paint

This company’s spray paint is one of the best spray paints for plastic applications. And since nearly all of your hubcaps will be plastic, this brand is a good choice. Additionally, one of its key qualities is that it’s moisture resistant.

Rust-Oleum Spray Paint

This particular brand has been associated with outdoor housework for many years. In recent years, it’s been making strides to offer a great paint source for automotive usage like hubcaps.

This spray paint is very easy to find in almost any automotive or hardware department. It’s reasonably priced, fast-drying, and offers many years of customer satisfaction.

Thompson Water Seal Spray Paint

This is another great company that has been well-known for protecting your outdoor accessories. Yet, through new technology, they’ve made advancements in automotive use.

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Additionally, Thompson spray paint is waterproof, which is a highly recommended feature for hub caps.

How To Paint Plastic Chrome Hubcaps?

The only difference between painting plastic chrome hubcaps from the directions above is that you’ll want to add a primer coat in between the prep/cleaning steps and the final colors to prevent any damage to the paint.

To learn more about tires, you can also read our posts if you can get paint off tires, if you can paint tires, and how to clean whitewall tires.


Painting your hubcaps is fairly easy to do and gives them a new revitalized look to go with your car’s appearance. If you have plastic chrome hubcaps, it’s recommended that you apply a primer coat before and after painting.

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