I found this interesting in my quest of how they did this way back when.
Jack up the front end and spray the two front wheels with M127 Black Pyroxylin.
My Mama always said it was against the law to paint wood ladders, as it would hide rot. Why wasn't there the same law for wheels?
Arlington VA, DC visit
1. Lawyers weren't out-of-control then like they are now.
2. Painting them allowed them to use oak without the customer knowing it if the price of shagbark hickory jumped for some reason.
Sorry, I just couldn't resist.
I love the masking on that photo - overspray everywhere!