I'm painting my Si swirlies right now, partly because they look pretty bad, and partly as practise for my HXs. I used aircraft stripper to get the paint off (only did one wheel so far) and it blistered within a minute, almost all the shiny silver came off, and then there's primer underneath. I painted my friend's wheels off his Mazda a while ago, and it took about 20 minutes for it to start blistering, but all the paint came off, down to bare metal. Anyway, so I have all the wheels down to primer, and I ran out of stripper (used most of it on the Mazda last week). I spent about an hour with a wire wheel getting one of the rims clean down to bare aluminium, but it's a real pain in the ass with all the little crevices. My arms are killing me, and I only did the front of one wheel! If I get more stripper, will it eat through the primer too? If not I'll just wire/sand the other ones too. Also, is there anything to be gained by painting the whole thing? I cleaned all the brake sediment off the insides of all of them, but I haven't cleaned them all the way down to metal yet. As with some of the fronts, and most of the lips, there is some aluminium corrision that looks nasty. I might just have my friend sandblast them in the student shop, but I don't know how the finish will come out then.
I'm planning to paint them gunmetal, with either polished or red lip and red H's on the centercaps (not sure if I'm going to run the caps yet, I have to take them out for AutoX anyway). If anyone has any pics of painted swirlies, I'd love to see them.