Treat it just like you would sheetmetal. Are you using a spray gun or rattle can?
If it is spray gun, talk to your supplier. Sikkins, DuPont and the other major one(I can't remember the brand name) all have many different kinds of primer. I wouldn't worry about using a filler/primer.
If you are using rattle cans, again stick with a name brand, like Krylon. Really, any primer should work.
The key will be in the prep work. Be sure the wheels are clean and oil free. There is a cleaner ( I can't remember what it is called either) that painters use with a cheese cloth to remove oil and particles from paint surfaces. Clean the wheel, prime it, let it cure for 24 hrs, wet sand it with 600 grit paper, clean it again, then paint.
Aa far as the part inside of the tire, I would clean it and prime it, then leave it at that stage. Get a good coat and call it good.
I painted mine inside and out with Krylon paint no primer and it seems so far. I did not get to involved because the wheels get fu(ked up anyway, I painted the inside because I have lost a few beads in the rain and my OBA spits a bit of water so I did not want to encourage rust.
Les Schawb Tire(at least in my area) will send your wheels out to be powder coated(and sand blasted if needed) for $22.50 a wheel, best price I have heard of, just heard of this after I rattle caned a set of wheels 3 weeks ago, will try it next time. But my buddy just had them do a set of wheels for his Cheby and they came out great
Personaly I just rattle can them, I have done a few(4) sets now and the spray paint that I have found works the best is Rust-Oleum High Performance Industial Enamal, it drys fast and hard, covers very well. I have never primed any of my wheels or have not sanded between coats.....just lots of light coats of paint.
A self etching epoxy primer would be the way to go, it really sticks to the metal and paint sticks to it well. Most paint shops and even some Napa's have it in spray cans. I would clean/prime/paint, wheels are abused so I see this as a reason to take extra care to make a tough paint job instead of a reason to slack off. I would not powder coat because you can't really tough that up at home.
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