Miata Wheel Cover Restoration

Dennis Trimble
Gainesville, Fl

I have a 91 BRG with 119,000 miles on it. The lug nut wheel covers were starting to lose their paint, exposing the white plastic the cover is made of. The first problem I felt to be addressed was how to repaint the covers and maintain the black MAZDA imprinted in the middle. I when to an art supply company and bought some liquid masking solution that painters paint on their canvas where they didn't want painted. Put lots of it in the imprint. Let dry, I let it dry over night. Next was the paint selection. I tried a couple of different approaches. Silver, metallic silver and chrome spray paints. The metallic silver matched up nicely. It takes three light coats to bring it back to the original texture. Let the paint dry overnight. I then took a sturdy tooth pick and carefully picked the liquid masking solution off. Total cost for all 4 covers was a little less than $10.00. I didn't price new covers, but knowing Mazda, I must have saved a bundle.

I am the original owner and plan to keep my care for a long time. I have had to do regular maintenance, but well worth the cost. My last project was having the dents repaired from jerks opening their

We are attending our third "Gathering of the Green" event in October.

My wife just purchased a new BMW Z3, Green, and I like to drive my car the most. If I drove the bimmer like I do the Miata, I would have tickets coming out my ears.

Thanks for the opportunity to share.

Note from Lloyd Reynolds

Last summer, I was looking over my stock '91 with the spoke alloy rims and realized that the plastic hubcaps had seen better days. As Dennis Trimble of Gainsville, FL had done, I wanted to refinish my plastic hubcaps, but without a lot of work. Like Dennis, I didn't want to loose the black "MAZDA" that is imprinted in the center of each cap. I decided to try the "low-tech" approach and it has worked great. I simply filled the recess of each cap with petroleum jelly and then wiped off the excess from the silver surface with a clean cloth. I gave the caps a few coats of paint and waited for them to dry. After drying, I took another clean rag and lightly wiped over the imprint, which removed all the paint from the recesses. It left some petroleum jelly in the imprint, but a few days later I washed the remainder out of the cover and they still look great.

Back to the Garage

12 June, 2005