Question: I have a set of rims that were originally chrome. I want them powder coated. It’s a rare set of AMG monoblocks.
I took them to a local rim specialist and they did a shit job. Can it be fixed? I don’t think they bathed them in acid but they said they did. They have pitting and corrosion.
Answer: Not going to lie.
Not going to lie this rim in the original condition is probably the worst I have ever seen. Quite frankly we wouldn’t have even taken them here at our custom coating shop but these guys do call themselves rim pros. I can agree with you on their outcome.
What I see from the pics are not enough surface build with primer coats sanding in between. Too heavy or thick of a coating plus lots of surface imperfections due to extreme oxidation and outgassing of the metal.
What they did wrong
This leads me to suspect they did not sandblast properly or at all as well as apply a pretreatment to help mitigate surface impurities in the metal.
I checked their sire there is no mention of sandblasting which is a critical component to the restoration process before powder coating.
With this many problems your best bet would be to paint them and avoid powder coating altogether; limiting surface irregularities like you have here.
Even-though powder coating offers excellent durability and perfection it is also about finding a common ground when a client comes in with an extreme restoration project like this one.
Managing expectations and outcomes is what a coater with experience can discern so that you’re not left disappointed.
What to look for when choosing a custom coater
Not everything can be restored to perfection or original, especially chrome. If you move forward with trying to restore them again make sure they have the appropriate stripping, sanding & blasting capabilities you need to do this project right.
You’ll need to look for someone who is experienced in applying a few good layers of surface build before priming & powder coating.
Powder coating works best when the underlayment surface is perfect. This labor intensive project could take several man hours to complete. aka. mo’money..mo’money..mo’money!
In the end, it may cost you far more than a brand’s restored market value is.
This is definitely something to consider as you may not be able to obtain an estimate next time.
In terms of money well spent it may be easier to find a better painter than an experienced coater.
That said, I think this company did the best with what they had.
However, it fell short because they either under-quoted, lacked experience, or did not have the right equipment. Perhaps all of the above.
Solution: Somethings you should consider
In this case, ask for some money back because they still had to pay out in labor & overhead.
Next, consider your attachment level for this project then consider the value option of painting over powder coating.
Getting a good raised surface through sandblasting is what helps prevent chipping and peeling. So yes you should expect that eventually. Lets hope they cured it long enough. Not to worry you more but curing is the second most important thing after blasting.
I talked to roro_designs he said you called him for advice too. Right? That guy is the best. Heed everything he says.
There are other trade tips too.
If you put an automotive clear you should be good. Just like powder clears it make the finish super durable.
I talked to another coater from Houston, TX. He says if your thinking of re-chroming you’ll have to send it to a de-chroming facility first then have your powder coater take it from there. In his state, getting caught with chromium uncontained is 10k for your first offense. If you do pursue a chromer to strip and re-chome just know that lead times for jobs has gone from 2-4 months to over 9 months due to ongoing supply chain issues. Some clients may not be able to tolerate waiting on projects that long.
The mistake rim guys do when getting into powder coatings is know when to say no when an impossible job comes in. If we had taken your job it would have been well over a thousand. More like double mostly from labor in sanding & special prep.
The money’s been spent but if your the OCD type that may be too much to bare. Its a tough call. If you can tolerate the inconsistency then slap some tires on them and enjoy them as much as you can.
One last thing
One last thing and something I hadn’t realised till just now revisiting the photos. Having a good seal with your tires is critical to maintaining air pressure. Achieving this with surface degradation even after painting or powder coating could be an issue for you. Fingers crossed this is not the case but to keep in mind before you spend anymore money. Tested it out first to see if they can still hold air and seal properly. Let me know if we can help in any way.