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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tired of your white wheels?

I recently came across a video from OJ Wheels that depicted a way to dye your skateboard wheels a different color using Rit dye. The video explains the process pretty well, so I thought I would try it on some of my favorite wheels: Kontrol wheels.

I picked up some Rit Dye in Amarillo Yellow and Royal Blue and took two sets of Kontrol wheels off my shelf. The pictures that follow document the process I followed:

I tried both powder and liquid versions of Rit Dye.

I put enough water in my saucepan to cover the wheels completely.

First up: the yellow powder.

You don't need much of the powder. I used one teaspoon.

To prevent splashing, I put the wheels in using a pasta strainer.

The water doesn't need to be boiling, just bubbling a little bit.

After about 3 minutes, the color started getting into the wheels.

The first two wheels, finished with dyeing, compared to the other two wheels that haven't yet been dyed.

All four wheels of the first set in the mixture. Note that the water is just bubbling softly, not boiling.

Finished with the first set. The wheels came out a nice saffron color.

For the blue, which was the liquid, I had to use a lot of the dye. I ended up using half the bottle on one set of wheels.

When the wheels first come out, they look mottled. The dark spots wash off. Wait until the wheels are cool enough to pick up with your hands, about 5 minutes, and rinse them in cold water from the tap.

The second set, all cleaned up and a nice lite blue color.
You can dye used wheels, too! Just remember that anything that is white will become the color of the dye you're using. I put these Kontrol wheels in the dye without even washing them off. 

I added in the rest of the bottle of blue dye to get the wheels dyed. The color seeped into the worn parts of the wheels more, but the wheels still look good.
All in all, the process of dyeing my white wheels a different color went pretty smoothly. The neon yellow came out looking really good. The blue color came out okay, but the color isn't exactly the best color for skateboard wheels. I recommend that if you want to dye your white wheels a different color, go for the neon colors of Rit Dye, and I also recommend in any case that you use the powder version of the dye. To get a specific color for your wheels, follow Rit's guide to color formulas. Blue and yellow make green, right?

The dyeing process does not affect the performance of the wheels. I skated a dyed-blue set of Kontrol wheels for the past 2 weeks, and they skate just like Kontrol wheels always skate.



  1. I've never ridden Kontrols, but I like white wheels. Can you say whether or not their white wheels turn yellow? This is one of the reasons why I prefer Bones STFs.


    1. I have a pair of well-worn white Kontrols. I've been skating them in the heat and the cold for over a year now. I'll post a picture on the facebook page and you can see for yourself whether they've gotten yellow or not.

    2. I've posted the comparison photos to the facebook page:

  2. Thanks for posting the photos. The wheels look pretty white to me... I guess I'll be ordering a set. Also, I've been riding the TiHs for two weeks now. They're the 8 inchers and in one word, are AMAZING. I've had no problems with the bushings. Prior to this I was riding Thunder titaniums. The Theeves are in a different league, and consequently I have no interest in using anything else.

  3. just curious if the dye only penetrated the outer layer of your wheels? Ive tried to dye 2 sets of bones spf wheels and the color doesnt seem to absorb very far into the wheels. After an hour or so of rolling only the sides are still dyed. And after a few week lots of the dye is scraped off. Ive only tried dying half the wheel not throwing the whole wheel in the dye.

    1. I, too, was unsuccessful in dyeing Bones SPF wheels. The Kontrol wheels that I dyed were dyed deeply enough that I wore 2 mm off the wheel size and the color was still there.