How to Paint Rubber Tires – What Kind Of Paint to Use?

What paint to use for truck's rubber tires

No, I am not telling you to paint your truck tires or those big off-road tires before you ride. I am here talking about those old and used ones that were on your car or truck and are now lying in your garage.

When painted in bright colors, you can upcycle old rubber tires and use them as planters, lawn art, tree swing, or other decorative items for your home. You can even add some fun patterns to them and use them as a part of the kids’ play area in your backyard.

If it’s your bicycle or your skateboard tires, you can paint them and give a new look to your ride. It will also protect the rubber from further damage.

With all that said, the big question here is how to paint these rubber tires without damaging and cracking. And what is the best kind of paint you should use on them?

So, let’s dive in and check…

Painting Old Truck Rubber Tires

Painting old worn-out rubber tires is a lot easier than you think. It doesn’t require any expertise, and with just a few supplies, you can get the job done in no time.

Here is what you need to get started:

  • A bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush
  • A can of spray paint designed for rubber surfaces
  • A piece of cardboard or an old newspapers
  • A pair of gloves
  • A dust mask (optional)

Once you have gathered all the materials, here is a step by step instructions you need to follow:

Step 1. Wash the tires

Start by washing the tire with a bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush to remove any dirt, grime, or debris that might be on the surface of the tire.

After washing, dry the tires completely with an old rag or a paper towel.

Step 2. Prep the work area

Now, it’s time to prep the area where you will be painting the tires. If you are doing this project outdoors, make sure to lay down a piece of cardboard or an old newspaper. This will help protect the ground from any paint drips or spills.

Step 3. Paint and seal the old truck tires

To get started with painting the truck tires, shake the can of spray paint for at least one minute to mix the paint evenly.

Next, hold the can about 6-8 inches away from the tire and begin painting in long, even strokes. Make sure to cover the entire surface of the tire.

Because tires are black in color, you may need to apply a second or even third coat of paint to get the desired look. Once you are finished painting, let the tires dry completely before moving them.

If you want to give the tires a glossy finish, you can choose to apply a clear sealant. To do this, simply spray a thin layer of sealant on the surface of the tire and let it dry.

few steps to paint rubber tires

What Kind Of Paint Can You Use On Rubber Tires?

The best paint to use on rubber tires is spray paint designed specifically for rubber surfaces. Check the label to ensure that it is compatible with plastic.

These types of spray paints will stick well to rubber and will be long-lasting. They will also resist fading and chipping and provide good coverage and adhesion.

Most of these spray paints already include a primer, so you don’t need to apply one before using the paint.

Other kinds of paint, such as acrylic or latex paint, can be used on rubber tires. However, these types of paint are not as durable and may not last as long.

Before painting rubber tires with any kind of paint, it is always a good idea to do a patch test first. This will help you determine if the paint is compatible with the rubber and if it will adhere well.

To do a patch test, simply apply a small amount of paint to an inconspicuous area of the tire and let it dry.

If the paint cracks, chips, or peels off, it is not suitable for use on rubber tires, and you should look for another kind of paint. If the paint dries without any problems, it should be safe to use on your tires.

How Can You Add Decorative Patterns and Details on Tires Using Stencils?

Using stencils to add patterns is a great way to personalize your tires. You can find stencils at most craft stores or online. If you are using stencils to add patterns or details to your tires, it is best to use spray paint specifically designed for rubber surfaces.

As mentioned earlier, these kinds of paints will provide good coverage and adhesion. They will also resist fading and chipping.

  • To use a stencil, start by painting the entire surface of the tire with a base color.
  • Once the base color has dried, place the stencil on the tire and hold it in place.
  • Next, use a different color of spray paint to fill in the stencil. Make sure to apply an even layer of paint.
  • Carefully remove the stencil and let the paint dry.

You can use this same technique to add other details, such as stripes or polka dots.