Choosing a new set of wheels can be difficult. Between the finishes, offsets, backspacing, diameters, and widths available, the options seem almost infinite. In this guide, we’ll focus on the finishes available for aftermarket wheels. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be one step closer to picking the right set of rims for your ride.
Chrome wheels have an unparalleled level of shine and luster. This finish is achieved by coating the wheel with chromium plating, either through a dipping process or via a powder-coating process called PVD (positive vapor deposition). Chrome is ideal if you’re looking for a flashy, eye-catching look. If you do decide on a chrome wheel, make sure to keep it clean and polished to help prevent corrosion and cracking.
Great for a more subtle look, black wheels are available in a number of finishes from gloss to semi-gloss and even matte. The darkness of a black finish contrasts brilliantly with a white truck or completes the look of a dark-colored vehicle.
Silver finishes are common on original equipment wheels. The powder coating process used to apply a silver finish results in a wheel with a durable exterior, capable of withstanding impact with road debris.
Sometimes referred to as gunmetal or anthracite, gray wheels have seen a surge in popularity over the last few years. If you want a subtle appearance distinct from silver or black wheels, gray wheels are worth your consideration.
Bronze finishes can vary a little from a dark hue to an almost coppery appearance. This color complements certain Dodge and Ford paint finishes very well. One of the less common wheel finishes, bronze wheels create a unique appearance that’s sure to turn heads.
A machined finish is achieved by placing an aluminum wheel on a lathe, and cutting the surface finely until raised ridges are etched onto the wheel’s surface. The result is a subtle shine with a textured appearance.
When an aluminum wheel is buffed to a sleek shine, the result is a polished finish is a polished finish. While not as brilliant as chrome, it is easier to maintain the appearance of a polished aluminum wheel. This finish is usually more affordable than chrome, so if you’re looking for a sharp look on a budget, polished aluminum is a great choice.
Custom-painted wheels offer endless color options to suit any appearance. Most custom-painted wheels are painted using a powder-coating process, which creates a durable, easy-to-clean finish. If you choose a set of custom-painted wheels, make sure any wheel cleaner you use is suitable for painted and powder-coated finishes.