Register now to get rid of these ads!

Cheap Wide Whitewalls (revisited) using "White Tire Paint"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BIGREDTODD, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. YES!

  2. NO!

  3. I'd Probably just save for Cokers/Diamondbacks

  1. I'm going to do my best to keep this simple and concise...

    After searching and reading and reading a bunch of threads on the subject, and not finding a lot of thorough information, I decided to attack the following problem:

    1. *Needed to put good tires on the T-bird:confused:
    2. *I didn't have $750 for a set of radial wide whites:(
    3. *I did have about $350 and a free weekend:cool:

    So I decided that, after reading mixed reviews of all other tire paints out there from Krylon, Ebay tire paint, to the snow-coat roof paint, that I'd go for the good stuff from Orn Sigurdsson in Iceland (Great guy, shipped immediately, takes about a week to get here). I ordered 3 cans ($80shipped) to be on the safe side, but only used 2 of the cans:

    I went down to Pep Boys and bought a set of Cornell 1000 radials. A lot of folks might call these cheapie crap tires, but they are made by Cooper, and this is the fourth set that I've bought. Really nice tires, and a clean sidewall (More on that later). $220 carry out, then had my tire guy mount/balance them for $40 with the whitewall turned to the inside:

    I wanted to do my best to clean the sidewall of the factory markings:

    So I sanded them of with 80 grit, with an electric orbital sander:

    And they ended up pretty well. It should be noted that you'll need to move around quite a bit. The rubber heats up, stops sanding off in a "dusty" form, and clogs up the cheap sand paper I was using. I followed the 80 grit with 180 over the entire sidewall to give the paint a little "tooth" and to give a uniform surface visually:

    I then made a "jig" of sorts to make sure that all the tires had the same radius. I used a sacrificial hubcap, a strip of 16 gauge steel bent with some thought for the shape of the tire, allowing room to clamp a blade to the side, set for a 2 1/2" whitewall:

  2. Here's the basic material (excpet for blue masking tape, steel, and Razor blades). About $40 worth of goods at the neighborhood Home Depot:

    This photo shows tire #1 taped off with black duct tape. This was a stupid idea. DO NOT USE DUCT TAPE!!!! I used blue painter's tape on all tires, including this one after I realized all the residue the duct tape leaves behind:

    More to come, just uploading pictures and posting!

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  3. Not shown in photos, but very important:

    *Use a wax/grease remover (I used Oil Eater from Costco) to thoroughly clean the tires of any oily residue. Extremely important!

    *Before you paint, warm up the paint. I soaked mine in the utility sink for 10-15 minutes. It really makes a difference, and is a recommendation in the provided instructions.

    Here's a couple of shots showing how the blade compass worked. First, the attachment to the aforementioned sacrificial hubcap:


    The glowing stop sign should be taken as further warning about the stupidity involved with the duct tape:eek:. Here's a close up of how I clamped a razor blade to the return leg of my "compass", Plan on using a new blade for each tire. They dull quickly on the tires, and you only want to cut through the tape:

    After switching to more practical blue masking tape, this shows the first tire after the radius cut with my jig. I would use more tape on subsequent tires, just for more of a comfort zone:
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  4. I'll admit, it's a little nerve-racking after the first coat of paint. It covers pretty well but the brush strokes are pretty evident:

    But before I knew it, the first coat was done, it was 1 a.m. and time to go to bed after all had the first coat:

    No pictures of the second coat, as there's nothing that can be captured on camera. It covered very well, and the bruch strokes settled out quite well.
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. I forgot to note it above, but I used a new brush for each coat, on each tire. I bought cheap brushes that held up pretty well, but I HATE cleaning paint brushes and figured I'd err on the safe side.

    While I didn't photograph it due to a mild hangover and being generally excited to see the finished product after its second coat (re-coat only after 24 hours of dry time as recommended), this step will have a great impact on the final success.

    Before you try to peel the tape, take a fresh razor blade and cut right to the inside of the tape, if not perfectly on the edge. I found that this took 2 blades per tire, as you are cutting through the rubberized white paint.

    Take your time, be patient, and don't attempt to cut the tape until the paint is completely dry. It just makes a mess.
  6. Been there done that. Ran tire paint and every kind of white coating you can think of. Bottom line? Nothing lasts. You do it over and over and over.
    You spent a lot of $$ of paint and supplies. Could have paid for two WWW.
    You'll see...............
  7. The supplier recommends not loading the tires for one week after painting. That worked fine for me since the Bird was on stands already.

    For the moment, these are all the finished photos I have (see below). The engine & engine compartment is about 90% through paint, and ready for reassembly, so I can't roll her out at the moment.

    I hate the waiting game for tech threads to finish, so here are the tires back on the car. I'd say from 5 feet away you'd never thick to consider they were painted on, which was the goal. I still have a few touch ups to do as far as removing some residue and some overzealous brushing, but this should give a pretty good idea:


  8. UnsettledParadox
    Joined: Apr 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,107


    subscribed!! thanks for taking the first bullet for us!!
  9. That's kind of the point. I need 4 of 'em (and I also needed a Mallory tach drive dizzy for the Bird) :rolleyes:

    And I have another can for touch up. I will post updates from time to time after some use, and some time has gone by. Other HAMB'ers have successfully used this specific product (from Iceland) for years without trouble. I figured, since I couldn't find a tech thread using this product, I would learn for whoever cared to follow along...:)

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  10. Lazer5000
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 687


    Looks like you put a little more time into it than I did Todd.
    All this= you have $10 left. Lunch is on you! Ha ha, bet you didn't know I was some kind od numbers wizz.
  11. I couldn't afford WWW either. I'm in Canada so they're $1,000 by the time I get them.
    Live and learn. I'm not knocking it. I'm just saying. They look great.................... until you start driving and crazy shit like rain happens.

  12. I used the same exact "White tire paint" you used, on the rear tires of my shoebox and It looked ok for the first few months, but after about a year they have definately discolored... I prepped everything as I should of as well... Dunno why that happened... I have have yet to see a paint used on tires that lasted..
  13. KrisKustomPaint
    Joined: Apr 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,107


    Should have done more burnouts.

    Looks great and I can see that being very useful for tire sizes that don't normally come in wide whites or performance tires that aren't offered in white walls.
  14. What does burnouts have anything to do with it?? It discolored on both tires, and I dont have posi. For how much the paint costs, and what it claims, it definately wasnt what I expected.
  15. Lono
    Joined: May 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,423


    Yep i used the white can stuff too on a brand new set of tires.
    I drove them less than a mile and the white started pealing off.
    what didnt peal off wouldnt come off until I hammered them with a pressure washer.

    I hope you have better luck. If you're not to frustrated try some enamel paint, its known to stick to some tires too.
  16. Lazer5000
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 687


    I have heard that it works better on older tires. I guess new tires (under a year) "out gass" as the rubber continues to cure. This out gassing causes the discoloration. As the tire age the gasses reduce and the paint should stay whiter longer. But hell, even if you only have to touch them up every six months or so it could still be woth it.
  17. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,000


    Thank you for setting up this test.
    Several of us will be waiting to see what you have to say after driving the car for a while. They look nice and I hope they hold up, but ANYTHING looks good when you first do it. The big question we will all be waiting for is how they look after a couple months on the road.
  18. That's my understanding also about the "outgassing"...the website that sells the paint mentions that the shiny sidewall should be scuffed, and wax/grease remover used.

    You can spray the stuff as well, and I think I'll try that next time just for kicks (absolutely no brush marks).

    If I only have to touch them uponce or twice a year, I'll be happy. The car is garaged, so they aren't going to cook out in the sun. I've heard so many customers complain about the WWW from the manufacturers yellowing in short order, and seen first hand how some have checked over time, this was a calculated risk...

    Thanks for all the comments, both positive and negative. Some interesting feedback...
  19. rivguy
    Joined: Feb 16, 2009
    Posts: 113


    They look pretty good to me. Try using white spray can primer with the same set up. It lays out flat and has a nice matte look. I've had mine sitting outside for two years and they still look good. I read about this in Rolls and Pleats a few years ago. You know how hard it is to get paint overspray off of a tire.
  20. Dan
    Joined: Mar 13, 2001
    Posts: 2,286


    cool idea with the compass...

    funny how whenever I accidentally get paint overspray on a tire you cant get that shit off to save your life...
  21. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,122


    I've read more than a few threads on here stating how their Cokers discolored also.

    I wonder how well this would work in "fixing" them?
  22. duffy.
    Joined: Jun 16, 2009
    Posts: 78


    I used Krylon Fusion on my whitewall & they are holding up GREAT almost a year later.
  23. That's what I'm curious about as well...the test of time. This is also part of the reason I mounted the tires with the manufacturer's whitewall to the inside. If the paint turns to shit, I'll just have the tires remounted with the paint to the inside and run them till I save the scratch for some Cokers or Diamondbacks.

    Thanks, and that's the truth about overspray:eek:

    I'd think it would work alright. It's all about adhesion. The discoloration threads are why I decided to try this. I would have been twice as pissed if I had to deal with a quality issue on a high-priced set of tires. Not bashing the WWW manufacturers, but this was an experiment that didn't cost much more than a set of over the counter tires, IMHO.

    Believe me, I read the threads about that as well. However, there were a lot of mixed results, particularly with newer tires. Since these were spankin' new shoes, I opted for this route.

    It should also be said that I am in no way connected to the "White Tire Paint" manufacturer. This is just a thread showing how I applied the product, and as time goes by I will post updated pictures of the tires. The paint went on last weekend, and I have a few weeks before the car leaves the garage again.
  24. dullchrome
    Joined: Jan 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,439

    from SoCal

    Interesting, this is probably the best "how to" I have seen on painting white walls. Good Job ! ! !
  25. Since I only fit in the Bird with the top OFF (BIGREDTODD means just that:D) I'll have bigger problems than my white walls, hahahaha!:eek:
  26. davidwilson
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 596

    from Tennessee

    the trick to getting painted whitewalls to last is prep - wash the sidewalls w/ acetone several times - the last ones i did, i washed the sidewalls 4 times - i then applied exterior house paint primer (white) to the tires w/ a brush (3 coats, let dry completely between coats) - this lasted at least 3 years w/ the vehicle sitting outside all the time - i even curbed 1 tire & it didn't come off, but it did discolor it
  27. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 3,892

    from Wa.St.

    A question, could you use white paint with flex additive that would normally be used on rubberized/plastic bumpers?
  28. autobodyed
    Joined: Mar 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,945

    from shelton ct

    not for nothing, but why didn't you just grind the whitewall to the width you wanted, instead of putting it on the inside and then painting the other side? i had a set of radial whitewalls that i had painted, and they cracked from the flex of the radial, so i grinded and sanded them and they came out real nice and look a hell of a lot better.
  29. big creep
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,945

    big creep

    i would just buy a set, thats cause im a lazy ass when it comes to this stuff. great job though, let us know how they hold up?
  30. I had looked into that with a couple tire shops, the ones that would actually admit to grinding them. They showed me how far they could grind them and I wasn't happy with the width.

    Also, several years ago we had a set of radials ground for our '61 Imperial, and they discolored pretty quickly.

    As I said, I read damn near every thread I could find on the subject. This is one approach that I hadn't seen documented, so here it is--take it or leave it.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2013 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.