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Old 11-25-2012, 07:45 AM   #1
Casejeep OP
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Painting body panels?

Im finally thinking of fixing my large front body panels after my epic fall. Im going to fix the crack and smooth the scrape marks.

But then i want to paint them black, and have a nice white "GS" on them. i want to make sure the paint looks good and is durable, anyone have any experience in painting plastic?

Could i use the spray on truck bed liner? or just use a thick clear coat?
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:32 AM   #2
runnin4melife
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I have done a lot of painting regarding ABS plastic, and composites such as fiberglass. If you are going to rattle can it, it will always look sub par, even if you are really good at it. If you want a good job you will have to use an actual paint gun but I doubt this is the avenue you are going since you are suggesting truck bed liner.

regardless of you application the prep is where the money is at. You will need to clean everything up, fill any scratches or scuffs and do a step wise wet sand from 300 -> 1000 grit. I recomend doing a primer check to ensure you have low spots and any trouble areas marked so you can re-sand them and move on. Desired piece, clean with acetone, scuff up for bondo or what ever fix/prep you decide, apply, sand down to rough finish, apply a base primer (opposite color from the body work), then sand that down in a progressive fashion with finer grit (wet sand with a sanding block, I prefer a semi rigid type for plastics/composites) and then clean again, clean with a honey cloth or something else to remove any fibers and if you want it to look good you will need a proper paint booth or some place with no flying particles, once your level of base coat has been set up I would sand with 1000 grit to remove orange peel and then apply the clear coat. This is the very basic method.

Even if I rattle can I still prep, primer, wet sand and paint then clean up orange peel and clear coat.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by runnin4melife View Post
I have done a lot of painting regarding ABS plastic, and composites such as fiberglass. If you are going to rattle can it, it will always look sub par, even if you are really good at it. If you want a good job you will have to use an actual paint gun but I doubt this is the avenue you are going since you are suggesting truck bed liner.

regardless of you application the prep is where the money is at. You will need to clean everything up, fill any scratches or scuffs and do a step wise wet sand from 300 -> 1000 grit. I recomend doing a primer check to ensure you have low spots and any trouble areas marked so you can re-sand them and move on. Desired piece, clean with acetone, scuff up for bondo or what ever fix/prep you decide, apply, sand down to rough finish, apply a base primer (opposite color from the body work), then sand that down in a progressive fashion with finer grit (wet sand with a sanding block, I prefer a semi rigid type for plastics/composites) and then clean again, clean with a honey cloth or something else to remove any fibers and if you want it to look good you will need a proper paint booth or some place with no flying particles, once your level of base coat has been set up I would sand with 1000 grit to remove orange peel and then apply the clear coat. This is the very basic method.

Even if I rattle can I still prep, primer, wet sand and paint then clean up orange peel and clear coat.
do i need a plastic specific primer? and how much should i put down?
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:53 AM   #4
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Go to your local automotive paint supply, inside the napa or Carquest. Ask for adhesion promoter. Most of the guys who sell the paint supplies know as much as your run of the mill body shops, and will be very helpful if you have any last minute questions. Just tell them what you're up to...
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:55 AM   #5
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Go to your local automotive paint supply, inside the napa or Carquest. Ask for adhesion promoter. Most of the guys who sell the paint supplies know as much as your run of the mill body shops, and will be very helpful if you have any last minute questions. Just tell them what you're up to...
How much would a shop charge for such small pieces?

and what kind of clear coat works best? or just do many coats?
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:11 AM   #6
runnin4melife
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The primer doesn't matter as you will sand most of it off, you can get a multi use primer. As far as coats go I would do 5-7 with a reputable spray paint of the color you like. Most people use way too much and create runs. Take your time and do a uniform application. Most of the times if I am prepping plastic for spray paint I just do a really like coat and let it dry as a primer. Once you get your base coat you can lightly sand down the minor imperfections and the clear coat. I find that the good clear coats cost more and I don't skimp on that. I usually use an automotive type. Tends to work better in these applications as opposed to the "any" material coat.

I just used the rustoleum automotive clear and gloss black and liked that combo. Even after sanding on the gloss black after 5 applications I got a great finish with the application of the clear coat. Do not cake on the clear coat. I tend to apply a little at a time. Before I went to the rustoleum I was using a 3m product that really looked awful after applying it.

runnin4melife screwed with this post 11-25-2012 at 09:37 AM
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