Car tyres never look better than when you have just rolled off the forecourt and got your new pride and joy home right? Wrong! You can dress a tyre to get a better finish than the just purchased look and avoid it going all over the bodywork by taking care and approaching the task in the right way.
First think about what you are using. As with anything the better quality product you use the better result you are going to get. I only tend to use spray on tyre dressing for speed and ease as a quick top up during a show for example.
In normal use I prefer to use a tyre specific gel. These products protect from UV, can be applied more accurately and give a better looking “new tyre look” finish with the added bonus that you can control the balance between shine and depth by building up coats as you prefer.
In use it is essential to use a sponge applicator and a glove. The picture is for illustrative purposes only – you will find it difficult to completely clean your hands afterwards with a product designed to repel water!
Initially add a couple of good thick beads to your sponge and simply rub it onto the surface of the tyre to prime it. Once primed you should be able to use a single small bead to refill the sponge as required. The key is to make sure the gel is worked thoroughly into all the recesses of the pattern and text on the wall of the tyre so that you cannot see little pools or blobs of tyre gel anywhere on the tyre and that is why it is essential to use a sponge applicator rather than cloth.
Take your time and work the sponge with moderate pressure as required. You are aiming for a semi-gloss or sheened black look but not looking overly wet.
Do not think that simply adding more gel will overcome the time required to complete this properly – it will not. That way the look will easily be wet (yes – and you may prefer this) but it will just lead to “spin off” whereby excess gel is spun off the tyre by the centrifugal force of the turning wheel onto your lovely clean bodywork – not what is wanted. Speed is not of the essence – patience is!
If you want to build up to a wetter look then apply a second coat usually within 10 minutes or so of the first coat, depending upon your product. This adds a lovely depth to the shine and by experimenting with different numbers of coats you can easily achieve a wet look whilst avoiding the perils of “spin off”!!
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