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CALLING PRO AUTO PAINTERS: Question about painting plastic

2368 Views 20 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  evo77
So I want to get my new Z Spec grille painted in gloss black. I took it to a local body shop and the guy looked at it and said immediately he won't do it. Said that textured plastic is impossible to have paint adhere to. And that it would eventually start chipping/peeling from rock chips. He said he would challenge any painter that would say other wise. And that he wouldn't do the work unless he could guarantee against that sort of thing.

Honestly I think he just didn't want to bother with the job but who knows if what he says has some truth to it.

Can I get some opinions from any pro painters?

Thanks.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not talking about the bezel pieces (that normally are chrome but come painted on the Z spec). I want the center pieces painted gloss black.

I would be inclined to agree with your assessment of this painter however based on his demeanor and the way he spoke to me, I know when someone feels "bothered" and can twist the facts to put off a meaningless job.

Which is why I am seeking other opinions to validate his claims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I do paint some and have rebuilt 4 totaled cruzes. I'd think it would be paintable. The hard plastic could be cleaned, scuffed, cleaned, masked, adheason promoted, and painted. There are a lot of edges where failure could start. It won't have oe durability, but it can last and look good for a long time. The paint won't stick as well to the softer flat plastic behind the hard grill surround. Cleanliness is key with plastic. Sometimes the mould release agents work against paint adheasion. It won't be cheap as the time and materials are expensive.
Ahh, yes mould release agents. Didn't think about that. But I figure if plastic side mirrors that come unpainted on the base models come painted on the higher trims, than I'm sure there is a proper way (as you have outlined) for painting these types of plastics.

Thanks for your input! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I like the look. And I want to be different.

Just came from another body shop. He said he can do it but it will be difficult. A lot of sanding involved to knock down the texture. The tedious work will be getting into the nooks and crannies. There are many tiny/tight areas. They would first clean/prep the surface then lay down a couple primer coats. Give back to me for sanding (since it will save a ton of money). Then back to them which they will assess and determine if they can lay the final coats down. Which may be many to build up layers enough to cover up the texture.

I'm gonna explore vinyl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
220 wet is too coarse for finish coats. Standard automotive paint is fine for most plastics, but adheasion promoter is recommended for most plastics. 240 wet under primer or 180 dry, 400 wet under single stage or 320 dry or red scotch brite, 600 wet under base coat or grey scotch brite.
Screw it, I'm gonna rattle can this and save money. I painted chrome plastic center caps years ago with Krylon Fusion Gloss Black and I must say they turned out **** good. Just cleaned and sprayed multiple coats. Then I laid them on my computer monitor that was warm to the touch to cure for a few days. :)

I'm gonna try out a few different plastic paints and use old fog covers as test mules.

Do you recommend an adhesion promoter first and then the paint? Or do these plastic paints already have that formulated in?

To help add protection I'm thinking of laying down a clear spray film like 3M Paint Defender to resist rock chips and crap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Did you ever finish this? If not, here is my $.02 worth...

I would recommend separate adhesion promoter. This allows you to choose the best color / shade / sheen of paint as there will be more of a selection. I would also test spray the paint first as sometimes grit or paint balls will come out and it looks like dust in the paint.
I would start with 2 to 3 light coats (3 to four minutes between coats) and then 3 to 4 light coats of paint (30 to 60 minutes between coats). I would use the can handle, you can get one from Menards for 2 or 3 dollars and lay the grille on the ground on some newspaper or masking paper and spray lengthwise for the first coat remembering to start off the grille and end off the grill. The next coat would be width-wise and so on.

Spray directly towards the grille the entire time you spray, about 18 inches away. If you have some spots that are not being hit, change the angle for the entire sweep to get an even coat across the grille.

I would, as an alternative, plasti-dip it and use glossifier over it. Both Menards and Lowes carries this stuff and usually some of it is on clearance.
Nope. Still haven't touched the grille. I was going to rattle can it but I think I'm just gonna bite the bullet and have a body shop do it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
For the price you are going to pay, I would say try your hand at it first. You still have the fog inserts. I'm probably 15-20 minutes away if you want to try it. I have a can of adhesion promoter and I am assuming you have a can of gloss black. If you want to try, PM me and we'll work out a time and day.
Thanks for the offer. But got a good price from a body shop across the street from me, $100. Plus if I tried to paint it myself and it didn't come out to my liking I would have to spend the time to remove it for a respray. I am very picky! Lol
 
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