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Best Paint Remover for Rims – [Top 9 picks] Review & Buying Guide 2021

As painted aluminum wheels get older, they tend to start showing signs of their age. They begin to look dingy and chipped. But that is not what you want. You want your car to look its best, right? Fret not because there is a way to do that. The answer to your problem is two words, paint remover. They are also known as paint strippers.

While stripping the paint from your rims is a relatively easy task, you need the proper paint removers to do it correctly. That is why we have brought you a list of the best paint remover for rims. 

Just check our top 3s if you're in a rush, that will be enough for you.

Best Paint Remover for Rims Review

To make sure you get the best product available, we have put over 300 products through our rigorous testing process. These 300 products that we have tested consisted of the world’s renowned brands. And out of the 300+ products, only nine have passed with flying colors. So, if you choose any of these nine products according to your tastes, you are sure to get the best result. 

Enough talking, now let's get down to it!

1.Citristrip QCSG801 Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel rim paint remover

Are you one of those people who do not want to use strong chemicals for their paint stripping needs? Well, then you are in luck! Citristrip has the perfect product for you. You can strip the paint off of your rims without working with any dangerous fumes but rather with a citrus smell!

You may find it hard to believe that a perfectly environment-friendly paint stripper exists, but it does! Citristrip has introduced its stripping gel entirely devoid of any harmful substances such as NMP and methylene chloride. It is also effortless to use. You can repair your rim color with it effortlessly. You smear it on your desired areas and leave it on for 24 hours, and voila! You can scrape the chipped paint off of your rims without any difficulty. And after you wash it, you will find it hard to believe that there ever was any paint on your rims!

You can also use it for other surfaces besides metal. This citrus-scented paint stripper will also work on masonry and wood surfaces. So, be it a piece of mahogany furniture or your garage door, you can use it anywhere. Because of its wide array of applications and harmless nature, we have added it to our list of best paint remover for rims.

Major Features:

  • Zero-VOC
  • Removes varnish, oil-based, and dried latex-based paint, polyurethane, lacquer, and shellac
  • Works on masonry, metal, and wood surfaces
  • Devoid of NMP and methylene chloride

What We Liked About It:

  • The stripping gel is environment-friendly.

Note to Enthusiasts:

  • You have to keep the gel wet for it to work correctly.


  • Keep out of reach of children!

2.Sunnyside Corporation’s Quart Trigger Spray

While working with zero-VOC strippers is advisable, they take a lot of time to start working. So, if you do not have that much time on your hands, will you have to settle for that chipped paint on your rims? Of course not! Sunnyside has considered your needs and delivered the perfect product for you.

You can see the effect of Sunnyside’s paint remover within 30 minutes. But it does not use any harmful chemical substances like methylene chloride. What it does is it uses a unique blend of chemicals that eliminate the need for any VOCs. You can easily use it before your wheel repaint.

Sunnyside has included the no-drip feature in its product. As a result, you can now use it on not only horizontal surfaces but also vertical surfaces. You can safely use it on wood, metal, masonry, concrete, and brick surfaces. So, it is also applicable for other applications besides rims.

Major Features:

  • Removes up to three layers of water or oil-based coating
  • Features no-drip formula
  • Can strip the paint off of both vertical and horizontal surfaces
  • It starts working in about 30 minutes.
  • Stays wet longer
  • Easily cleanable
  • Non-flammable

What We Liked About It: 

  • You can see its effect within a short period.

Note to Enthusiasts:

  • You may have to put in some extra effort to get the best result.


  • Do not use on plastic, sheetrock, linoleum, or rubber surfaces.

3.Super Remover Automotive Stripper

Are you tired of using high-VOC stripping agents? You are not alone. That is why Super Remover has brought you a powerful paint remover that does not use harmful substances. 

Super Remover has implemented the no-drip feature in its stripping gel. So, you can easily clean any surfaces with this product. And since it works well on any type of body, the possibilities are endless!

You can see the potent stripping agent working wonders within 15 minutes. And it can remove coatings up to five layers. That too, without using any type of harmful substance. Super Remover has included a plastic film in their product. You can use it for greater effectiveness. It will help your repair-wheel process a lot.

The gel is water cleanable. So you will not have a hard time cleaning up afterward.

Major Features:

  • Strong paint stripper
  • Without any NMP or methylene chloride
  • Works in 15 minutes
  • Removes up to five layers
  • No-drip featured
  • Water cleanable

What We Liked About It: 

  • It works well on all surfaces.

Note to Enthusiasts:

  • You will have to clean the surface with denatured alcohol.


  • It has a powerful smell

4.Sunnyside Corporation’s 2-minute Remover Advanced Gel

It is tough to find a stripping agent that works exceptionally well without harming your rims, isn’t it? Well, look no further because Sunnyside Corp has brought you the perfect solution to this problem. Their 2-minute remover advanced gel will remove multiple layers of varnish or paint in one application. And it will do so, leaving your working surface intact.

Sunnyside has produced this semi-paste type substance that grips onto both horizontal and vertical surfaces. So, you can even use it on round surfaces. It will help you to repair your alloy wheels. Sunnyside prides itself on its product being able to remove paint from any type of body.

What is surprising about this paint stripper is that it does not get its unrivaled strength from any harmful substances like methylene chloride. However, it is a good idea to work in a room with proper ventilation. While it may not be compulsory, but it is a good practice nevertheless.

Major Features:

  • Free of methylene chloride
  • Removes multiple layers of coating in one application
  • Fast-acting
  • Covers 100 square feet per gallon
  • Deals no damage to metal, wood, or masonry
  • Usable on both horizontal and vertical surfaces
  • Removes lacquer, shellac, latex, and oil-based paint, polyurethane, and epoxy finish

What We Liked About It:

  • It works extremely fast, within 2-10 minutes.

Note to Enthusiasts: 

  • Do not wait too long to scrape it off. Otherwise, it may begin to dry.


  • Extremely powerful; take proper precautions.

5.Rust-Oleum Aircraft Remover

Would it not be fantastic if you found a stripping agent that is modified specially for vehicles? Good news for you because there is one. Rust-Oleum has brought you such a specialized paint remover. It specializes in removing the automotive surface coating.

We are saying that the paint remover aircraft specializes in removing automotive coating is because it does not corrode metal. This gel-based coating remover grips onto any surface. So, you can scrape out the paint from every nook and cranny of your vehicle.

While it does not work ultra-fast like those agents that contain methylene chloride, it works effectively. 

Major Features:

  • Works on metal surfaces
  • Removes lacquer, acrylic, baked enamel, and polyurethane coatings
  • Free of methylene chloride
  • Finishes working within 20-45 minutes
  • Does not corrode metal

What We Liked About It: 

  • It removes any finish on automotive metal surfaces.

Note to Enthusiasts: 

  • Use in a well-ventilated area or outdoors.


  • Do not use on plastic, fiberglass, or any other synthetic surfaces.

6.Max Strip Paint and Varnish Stripper

Are you tired of setting up unique ventilation systems just to strip the paint off of a surface? Well, worry no more! Max Strip has brought you the answer to all your problems. Their varnish and paint stripper gives off no harsh fumes. As a result, you can work with this stripping agent any time of the year, anywhere.

The strip paint comes equipped with a feature called skin-safe. That means that the substance will not harm you or cause any irritation if you come into contact with it. However, you should try to avoid contact with it since it is a form of chemical.

While this agent cannot remove baked paints, it is very gentle on all other surfaces. So, you can consider using this stripping agent to remove the coating off of fragile surfaces.

Major Features:

  • Free of NMP and methylene chloride
  • Gentle on most surfaces such as antique woods
  • No harsh fumes
  • No need for any superior ventilation
  • Easy to use

What We Liked About It:

  • It is entirely devoid of any harsh fumes instead gives off a pleasant fragrance.

Note to Enthusiasts: 

  •  It can etch some plastic.  


  • It cannot remove any baked paints 

7.Klean-Strip Premium Sprayable Paint Stripper

Are you looking for an all-purpose paint stripper? One that will help you no matter the job is light or heavy-duty? Well, then you are in luck. Klean-Strip has brought you the perfect all for one stripping agent. Its wide array of applications makes it one of the best paint remover for rims.

Klean-strip’s stripping agent is a sprayable one. This feature allows it to minimize its contact with the user. As this paint remover contains no harmful substances, Klean-Strip guarantees the safety of the user.

It can strip away 15 layers of coating from any surface, be it fragile or robust. So, it does not matter where you want to use it. You can.

Major Features:

  • Contains no toxic substances
  • Removes up to 15 layers of coating
  • Works on all types of surfaces
  • Can remove water and oil-based paints, varnishes, acrylics, urethane paints.
  • It starts working within 15 minutes.

What We Liked About It: 

  •  It works perfectly for both fragile and robust coatings.

Note to Enthusiasts: 

  •   Not available in California.

Caution: Can prove to be fatal if swallowed.

  •  Can prove to be fatal if swallowed.

8.Confined Space Paint Strip Gel

Are you looking for a way to remove coatings from a confined space safely? Well, look no further because Confined Space has brought you the perfect solution. Their paint strip gel carries no harmful fumes. That makes it safe for you to use them in confined spaces.

Major Features:

  • Removes over 20 layers of coating
  • Works on brick, metal, wood, stone, plaster, concrete, masonry, tile, fiberglass, and porcelain
  • Includes non-drip formula
  • No harmful smells
  • Guaranteed satisfaction
  • Works within 30 minutes
  • Free of NMP and methylene chloride

What We Liked About It: It is safe to use it in small, confined spaces.

  •   It is safe to use it in small, confined spaces.

Note to Enthusiasts: It works best with post-1980’s coatings and paints.

  •   It works best with post-1980’s coatings and paints.

Caution: Do not forget to wear protective clothing.

  •   Do not forget to wear protective clothing.

9.Dumond Chemicals Heavy-duty Paint Remover

Finding the perfect heavy-duty paint remover is a tedious task. It is even harder to find one that is friendly to the environment. That is why we have brought you Dumon Chemicals heavy-duty paint remover. Do note that their Peel-Away 1 product meets all local, national, and state regulations. It is the perfect paint remover for your alloy wheels repair.

Major Features:

  • Removes over 30 layers of paint in one application
  • Works on most surfaces
  • Environmentally safe
  • Does not produce any hazardous scents or fumes

What We Liked About It: 

  •   It features a biodegradable paint stripping system.

Note to Enthusiasts: 

  •   Make sure to do a patch test before removing paint.


  • .Do not use on veneer, plywood, drywall, aluminum, brownstone, sandstone, limestone, glass laminates, fiberglass, plastics, plexiglass, rubber, and EIF surfaces.

Things to Consider before buying a paint remover for rims

While the list we have provided is a list of the best paint removers, you will want to choose the optimum one. Before you set your mind on buying a paint remover, you will want to consider if it fits your applications. Not all paint removers are suitable for your surface. Some contain harsh chemicals that warrant specific safety measures. But, that does not mean you have to feel intimidated. You have nothing to worry about because we will hold your hand through the entire process!
These are the things that you will want to take into consideration when buying a paint remover or paint stripper.

Know Your Surface: 

You will have to take into account the material of your rim. You will also need to know if the paint stripper will make your rim get its looks back or damage it even more. So, choose your paint stripper accordingly. Otherwise, you may end up in a worsened situation.

Keep the Essentials Ready: 

It is of utmost importance to keep the essentials ready before removing your rims’ paint. These essentials include sandpaper, cleaner, primer, and others. That is because removing paint from your vehicle’s rims is an intricate process. Time is of the essence in the paint removal process. You do not want to leave the strong chemical on your rims any longer than instructed. That can severely damage your rims. Keeping those essential pieces of equipment close at hand is the smart call you should make.

Safety Measures: 

You have to take safety into considerations when working with paint strippers. Many chemical paint removers contain a substance known as Methylene Chloride. It is also known as DCM. It features a high amount of strength and speed.

However, DCM is widely known for being hazardous as well. Using DCM has both adverse short-term and long-term effects. It can adversely affect the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen. As a result, you may feel out of breath and dizzy while working with it. In the long run, researchers have found that prolonged exposure to DCM can cause kidney damage, liver failure, and cancer.

So, take precautions before working with any paint strippers. Make sure to wear protective clothing. They will help you avoid burns. And always use paint removers in a well-ventilated area. Doing so will help reduce fume build-up. If you use a respirator mask, that will also help your cause.

Types of Paint Removers

There are four primary types of paint strippers. They all have their unique features and are suited for different kinds of applications. They are as follows.

Solvent-Based Paint Strippers: 

The solvent-based paint strippers are the most versatile paint removers. They work by loosening the bond between surface and paint. Some of these have methylene chloride in them, while others have a combo of toluene, methanol, and alcohol.

You should remember to be cautious when working with high-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paint removers. They not only contain smellier fumes; they are also more of a hazard to your health. So, make sure to wear a respirator when working with these paint removing agents.

However, you only need to apply solvent-based strippers in a thin layer and keep it there for a short period. While you need to wash it with mineral spirits or water, you will not need a neutralizing agent.

Caustic-based Paint Stripper: 

Caustic-based paint remover works differently. They contain an active ingredient of lye, such as sodium hydroxide. They work by converting the dried paint into soap. That way, they can lose color from the surface.

You have to apply caustic paint strippers twice as thick as solvent-based paint strippers. You also have to leave it on for twice the amount of time. The necessary period is approximately thirty minutes. Do note that caustic paint strippers are alkaline and are high in pH. That is why you will have to neutralize it before painting your rims. You can return it to the average level by wiping it down with a water and vinegar solution.

Even though caustic strippers can cause you irritations, they are considerably safer than solvent paint strippers. That is because they are lower in VOCs compared to solvent strippers.

Biochemical Paint Stripper:

 If you are looking for a safer alternative to caustic and solvent paint strippers, biochemical is the way to go. They are a combination of plant-based solvents such as terpenes and organic compound NMP. However, you may still feel some irritation due to the presence of NMP. But it will still be comparatively less than VOCs. Nevertheless, you should wear protective clothing when using biochemical paint strippers.

While you will need to apply the same amount of biochemical removers as the others, they take longer to work. You will need to leave the chemical on the surface for three to four hours. After that, you can scrape the paint off with a scraper. You need to neutralize it. You can simply wash it with water or mineral spirits.

Zero-Voc Paint Stripper: 

You may have some concerns about using any of the paint removers mentioned above. If you are concerned, you can consider using a VOC-free paint remover. These paint strippers contain no lye, methylene chloride, or NMP. That is why they are virtually odorless. However, they will cost you more.

The industries use naturally occurring solvents like benzyl alcohol to produce this paint stripper. They work by breaking down the resins of the color and removing them from the surface. These are the safest paint removers on the market. But do not forget to take any precautions while using it. They can still affect your internal and external organs.

You will have to apply the same amount as the biochemical paint stripper. It usually takes a day for the zero-VOC paint stripper to loosen the color from the surface. After you have scraped the color off, you do not have to neutralize the surface. You can start painting your wheels right away!

Frequently Asked Question

How do I get the paint off of my rims?

You can quickly get the paint off of your rims by using this five-step method.

  • Remove the wheels from the car.
  • Remove the tires (optional).
  • Pressure wash the wheels to remove the dirt.
  • Spray a layer of paint stripper and keep it on for the recommended time.
  • Pressure wash it and polish it in the post process.

Can paint remover damage aluminum wheels?

Paint removers are a form of chemicals that get rid of paint through chemical reactions. And they can even start reacting with aluminum wheels and do some degree of damage to them. But you should not worry about that too much because you can polish it and make it look as good as new. But do note that you do not want to leave the paint remover on for more than the recommended time. Otherwise, you will not get a satisfactory result.

Can I use vinegar as a paint remover?

Vinegar is a practical, easy, and inexpensive way to remove paint. You should consider using vinegar before taking more extreme measures, such as paint strippers.

How should I remove overspray from my rims?

It is a relatively straightforward process. You will need a few pieces of components to complete the process. You will want to use a detailer spray, a clay bar, and a towel. To start, spray the detailer spray where the overspray paint is. You do not have to leave it to work. After you spray the detailer spray on the affected areas, start rubbing it off with a clay bar. And clean it up with the towel you have. The over-sprayed paint should start disappearing gradually. Rinse and repeat this process to get the optimum result.

How can I remove paint from my plastic rims?

You can efficiently get rid of the paint on your plastic rim by using this 7-step process.

  • Remove the wheel of the car and lay it on old cardboard.
  • Pour some kerosene into a mason jar and apply it into each nook and cranny of the wheel. Be sure to wear latex gloves to protect your hands.
  • Leave the kerosene on for 5-7 minutes. Afterward, use paint stir sticks to scrape the paint off.
  • Repeat this step for those areas where the paint still has not cleared.
  • Take a clean rag and wipe off the kerosene.
  • Wash the whole wheel with soapy water.
  • Pressure wash the wheel and air dry it. After it has thoroughly dried, install it back in your car.

Final Words

Stripping paint may be a relatively simple task, but there are some measures that you should always take. You must remember to take proper precautions and stay safe. You must get an accurate and reliable paint stripper that can complete its job without using any added chemicals.

Try to make your selection of paint remover based on facts such as the type of surface. And we hope that our list of the best paint removers for rims has helped you. We guarantee that you will be satisfied if you choose any of the products mentioned in the list according to your applications.

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