Stripping wheels

Best way to strip paint off of wooden T wheels? I don’t want to damage the wood using the wrong products.

I would think any stripper used for furniture refinishing would be fine.
It used to be I knew of a number of antique furniture stores that did this
kind of thing, but not anymore. I would be asking them what they prefer.
I don’t believe any of the common strippers for this would damage the
integrity of the wood.

Are you painting them black ? If so, and depending on the finish desired/
current condition, you might be better off sanding them and using the
existing paint as a base and filler (?)

I can tell you from experience that 100 year old paint is really tough to get off - even with stripper.

Poulsbo, WA

That REALLY-ON-THERE paint means it has excellent adhesion.
And that is a good thing. Using it as a base to build on is better
than taking it all the way down to wood. And stripper residue
plays havoc when you apply new paint !

My wheels are well weathered and the grain is deeply eroded.
Someone did a bunch of work and got them all painted and purty,
but they look like a mud fence IF one expected that smooth lacquer
finish that I have seen cubic dollar restorations put on wheels …
you know, the whole deal with the pinstripes ?
But I drive a truck and I do not want flawless, mirror finish on my
wheels (or anything else on this truck). It is a truck and I use it to
haul boulders and hay and firewood and all sorts of stuff, so I would
just sand off the high ridges and any peeling stuff and hit them with
another coat of enamel.

Some people have nicer rigs than mine and want a nicer finish. You
did not specify what your end goal is.

I used aircraft brand paint stripper on these wheels. First I removed the hubs. Then scraped off the paint after it softened up. Rinse with water, sand down the spokes with 80, 180,240 and 400 grit sandpaper. Wash again with water and let dry overnight. Finally put a coat of Minwax polyurethane spar varnish on. Let dry, sanded with 400, and put on one more coat. Then painted the rim and joining plates with black enamel. Put the hubs back in and peened the bolts. All done with a brush. Gives a lovely and very durable finish that will last for decades.

I would like the finish to be slick and shinny. The 2 front wheels are solid but have chipped and peeling paint and the 2 rear are nos rims. I wanted to try to make them look the same if that’s possible without putting in New spokes. I want to paint them black. Does anyone use a spray gun on the wooden spokes or are they using a brush. The 26 rpu isn’t the nicest but every thing I do to it I try to fix it so it looks good. No like a 100 point restoration but nice looking driver. It does have a rebuilt motor and trans and new tires and a new top, rebuilt coils and carb so far. Thanks for the advice

I stripped my two rear wheels this year. It was a chore. I used Permetex paint stripper (in a spray can) and a piece of metal cut out to half a half circle to match the spokes and used as a scraper. I did that by using a hole saw, drilling a piece of metal, then cutting the metal across the hole. It worked out great. I could not get every last piece of paint off, but it did a really great job. I used the scraper while the paint stripper was on the wheel. Once cleaned the best I could, I sanded the spokes, rim and hub down. This basically removed about 85-90% of the rest of the paint. What was left was definitely not coming off so no issues leaving it on. Once everything is clean and bare, being you want to paint them black, I would use a sanding sealer on the wood parts and sand lightly between coats. Then fill an imperfections with spot putty and prime and paint like you would metal.


I personally did my spokes in natural (light color stain used) with two light coats of urethane and the hub and rim black. It was ALOT of masking, but they came out great. I had approximately 15 hours into the pair of wheels.

I will have to see if I still have pictures as I had a computer crash and burn a couple months ago and I lost ALOT of pictures.

Thanks for the advice. I plan to start this weekend. I will post some pics as I go…