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post #1 of 16 Old 04-28-2012, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Painting plastic?

I know there are plastic-specific paints out there, but the color choice is pretty limited. So I'd like to use regular paint, and I'd like to know the recommended way to prep the plastic (for that matter, I'd also like to know what kind of plastic the Wee uses for the cowl and front fender -- ABS? polypropylene?).

I have painted the tank side panels and tail panels successfully, but they were already painted and all I had to do was scuff up the existing paint a little. The bare plastic parts, I think, will need some special prep.

I saw something on YouTube where a guy used a torch to "sweat" out the mold release agent from bare plastic -- apparently that's what makes it hard for paint to hold on plastic -- and then just wiped it off with alcohol. Anybody tried that?

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post #2 of 16 Old 04-28-2012, 11:58 AM
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There is also the issue of flex with plastic parts. Any good automotive paint store should have rattle can plastic specific primer and flex agents that can be added to stock car colors which will flex and adhere (much like what is used on new car bumpers).

If you are looking for rattle can colors - that's another story. SEM is the only plastic specific paint I am aware of out here in California...it does come in numerous colors.

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post #3 of 16 Old 04-28-2012, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
I know there are plastic-specific paints out there, but the color choice is pretty limited. So I'd like to use regular paint, and I'd like to know the recommended way to prep the plastic (for that matter, I'd also like to know what kind of plastic the Wee uses for the cowl and front fender -- ABS? polypropylene?).

I have painted the tank side panels and tail panels successfully, but they were already painted and all I had to do was scuff up the existing paint a little. The bare plastic parts, I think, will need some special prep.
When I was looking for my V-Strom I went to a place outside of Nashville to look at a wrecked bike with only 180 miles on it. The guy had a huge shop and restored Harleys. After a careful examination of the bike I decided it was beyond my ability to restore but during the process they gave me all kinds of information of how they did their restores. One of the things I remember was how they painted their bikes plastics (as the DL650 needed everything painted and glued).

They sanded the plastic, primed it with Krylon, then used automotive paint. They said the Krylon bonded and allowed them to use custom automotive paint with a flex agent with no peeling. Just passing on what I was told but the guy was restoring a LOT of Harleys. He had at least 10 there in various stages of restoration and a warehouse of parts.

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post #4 of 16 Old 04-28-2012, 03:18 PM
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painting plastic

have done a lot of plastic painting and what i have found that works best is going to sound crazy.Take the plastic smear hand sanitizer on it and light it,yep i said light it up let it burn for about 15 to 20 seconds.then take the hand sanitizer wipe down real good.There is a video on you tube where they use a torch...but there is coating on the plastic that will resist paint and flames remove that and the alchol in the hand sanitizer cleans it off....good luck
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-28-2012, 04:26 PM
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I saw a guy on youtube do this...Plastidip on a KLR - YouTube
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-28-2012, 04:42 PM
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I had some left side damage to the upper body piece and just sanded and primer and gave it a blast of rattle can black. It already was painted, why would you need to flame off mold residual if it has paint on it?
I've rattle canned fairings and plastic bits before. No sweat.
Now if you want professional results......
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-28-2012, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
It already was painted, why would you need to flame off mold residual if it has paint on it?
You don't. It's the cowl and front fender I'm interested in painting, and I don't think they already have any type of paint coat.

Quote:
I saw a guy on youtube do this...Plastidip on a KLR - YouTube
I used something like that -- rubberized undercoating spray -- on the aluminum bash plate. I like the black look better, and to some extent it silences the pinging of stones off the plate while riding in gravel. The coating I used IS paintable, and I have considered that. But once that pebbly finish is on, it's on for good.

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post #8 of 16 Old 04-30-2012, 11:41 AM
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Painting plastic

I have an 07 Wee i blue. I purchased the colored inserts for the OEM luggage in the wrong color because they were cheap. I ordered color matched rattle can online in a single stage color. I first washed the pieces with warm soapy water to remove any wax or grease. I then gave them a light scuffing with a scotch brite pad and sprayed them with Bulldog adhesion promoter. This is critical because this stuff is made just for this. I then primed them with a rattle can. (I bought the primer and the clear coat from the automotive spray paint section at Pep Boys) I sprayed four coats of color and four coats of clear, waited a week and then buffed them out. I would challenge anyone to inspect them and tell me they don't match perfectly or look as if they weren't done by a professional. Turned out awesome. You just need to be thorough and patient to get the results that will make you happy and proud. Good luck.
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-30-2012, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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I purchased the colored inserts for the OEM luggage in the wrong color because they were cheap.
Me, too, and painted them with no problem just like the other painted pieces. It's the UNPAINTED plastics that I'm asking about. Different animal altogether.

But I think I have some good info here to give it a shot.

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post #10 of 16 Old 04-30-2012, 04:13 PM
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Clean It, Paint It

I know there's a lot you can do to make sure you get good adhesion, but I've almost always had good luck with just washing the part, wipe thoroughly with rubbing alcohol, and painting with an automotive type rattle cans. Nothing fancy and the paint stays on.

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