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TIRE CLEANING - AND LETTER REPAINTING
Sept 2015. I never really paid a lot of attention to the tires as I planned on replacing them one day with new ones. But then I got to looking online and came across
some web sites that showcased paint pens for repainting the white letters on the sidewall. I figured maybe this was a worthwhile attempt and cheaper alternative
as there is still plenty of tread left on my tires, probably 75% left. I had scrubbed and scrubbed the tires every time I washed the truck but the tires never came clean.
There was years of tires shine and grease built up on most of the grooves and edges and the task of getting them back to normal just seemed too daunting using mild soaps
and even tire cleaners. I actually thought the white on the letters had been rubbed off from hitting curbs! (not me).
This is what the front tires looked like before:
The first step was to get the rubber clean before any painting can begin. I knew I needed something strong to get the years of tire shine off as regular tire and rim cleaners
just wasn't cutting it. I ended up trying a extra strength tools and parts cleaner I found at the local Canadian Tire store.
Even though the directions say to avoid spraying rubber, I figured tire rubber is pretty resilient and the fact that I'm only wiping it on it would be fine. In fact, the chemicals flash off so fast
it really doesn't have much time to sit on the rubber, but it sure cleans rubber well!
I jacked up each wheel making it easier to spin and clean while sitting on a stool. Using a microfibre cloth and spraying a little bit onto the cloth then rubbing each section by hand, the grease came off super easy. It took me two nights at a few hours
each night to clean all 4 tires. Be sure you have good ventilation as this stuff gets pretty strong after just a few minutes of using it. I had a fan set up blowing directly
on where I was spraying to carry the fumes away from me.
The tire letter paint pen I found was also at Canadian Tire and is called Premium Tire Lettermate made by Trimbrite. I used 2 pens to do all 4 tires, but went over the letters
twice. I'm sure 1 pen could tackle four tires with one application.
Actually painting the letters with this pen was suprisingly easy, the flow of paint was the perfect amount, stayed constant and because the actual raised letter have a bit of a recess in
them, the paint stays within the borders. If you draw outside the lines, use the tool cleaner and a cloth to remove the paint.
Here is the before and after of the drivers front tire:
And a shot of the side with just a bit of tire shine applied: