Curb rash happens when you bump the wheel against a curb or a pothole, which scratches the rim surface. Wheel rims can be costly to replace, whether they are aftermarket or new factory rims. Luckily, you can fix the damaged wheel rims yourself, but you shouldn't delay repairs, since rust may eventually form. Fix the curb wheel damage by following these tips.

Prepare to Fix the Rim

To fix the wheel rim, gather:

  • plastic work gloves
  • soft polishing cloths 
  • old T-shirt  or old towel
  • liquid dish soap
  • masking tape 
  • 80-grit to 2000 grit dry sandpaper
  • 1500-grit to 2500-grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • paint thinner
  • auto body filler
  • auto paint
  • auto primer
  • aluminum polish

Park the vehicle on a flat surface, and engage the parking brake. Squirt several drops of liquid dish soap on the tires, and rinse with a hose or bucket of water. then let it dry. 

Dab a T-shirt or old towel in the paint thinner, and rub it on the damaged area to remove road dirt. Rinse the area with dish soap, and rinse the suds.

Sand the Damaged Area

Tape undamaged areas one-inch passed the rim. If your wheels have a clear coating, it will need to be sanded. 

Sand a small section of the area with 220-grit sandpaper. White dust is an indication you have a clear coat. Keep sanding the area until the dust turns gray. Clean sand dust with a shop rag as needed.

If there is no clear coat, start sanding with 80-grit sandpaper, then work up to 220-grit. Use 400-grit sandpaper in a feather motion, applying moderate pressure, and stop when you notice grooves. 

Go over the area with dry fine-grit sand paper, such as 1500-grit to 2000-grit, working in a circular motion for five minutes. Sand the area for one minute using wet/dry fine-grit sandpaper, or use moistened dry sandpaper. 

Apply Filler and Paint

Apply auto putty to the scratched area, and let it sit for five minutes then lightly sand the putty with 600-grit dry sandpaper. Spray three to four thin layers of primer. If you notice bumps, wait ten minutes, then sand them with fine-grit sandpaper.  

 Spray a thin layer of paint; holding the can six inches from the area, and keep spraying thin layers until you cover the .primer. Lightly sand the area with dry 1200-grit sandpaper, then clean the area, then spray on a clear coat. 

After the area dries, apply aluminum polish with a clean rag, working an eight-inch passed the damaged area. Continue to add polish until the metal shines evenly with the rest of the rim. Remove the tape when everything dries. .Visit a site like for more help.