How to prep plastic for paint

What's the best method to prep the plastic for paint (fusion)? Should I sand it? Should I sand inbetween coats, and if so, with what grit? Also, what should I use to clean it before I paint and/or in between coats. Thanks all...

Scuff it with 400 grit (it will take off the gloss but not leave scratches that will show through), wipe down thoroughly with Windex or denatured alcohol and you're pretty much set. Use light coats of Fusion and don't sand between coats since it's not necessary and you'll have to wait a good day or two for it to be set up enough to safely sand.

Here's what I did, I just got done doing the side panels in black. Right now, they look okay, the paint didn't smooth out like I wanted.

First, I washed the hell out of them with dish washing soap. Then with 350 grit wet paper, I did a wet sand to rough up the surface a little. I then laid down one coat, not complete coverage. Let that dried, then put on another coat for solid coverage. Then I did another wet sand to get out some imperfections, wash, dry then lay on another coat or two. Let dry, then dumped some Meguiars on them and buffed them out. I did that to give them some protection since the paint dried and was kind of tacky. If I could find my wax, I would have put on a coat of wax. For the record, the left panel came out just a tad better than the right panel.

I think next time, I'll lay down some primer and attempt to so how good of a finish I can get out of a paint job. I'll be doing the radiator scoops sometime in the near future.

I think those items would be the only safe ones to paint, while it's not that expensive to buy the fenders.

are you sure you should wax so quickly? any car i've ever had painted, the body guy said wait a couple of months for wax. just wondering.

The first thing that I would do is clean with a really aggressive solvent like Acetone, MEK, or lacquer thinner. Then lightly sand and clean again. After painting it needs to cure. This takes heat and time. The hotter and longer the better.

are you sure you should wax so quickly? any car i've ever had painted, the body guy said wait a couple of months for wax. just wondering.

I just go off of how dry I think the paint is. On the right panel, it had sat for a day before I put anything on it, while the left panel sat for about half a day. So far everything is looking good, although the right panel has warped a little, probably due to the 3M adhesive I used to glue on the replacement foil.

I look at it this way. If it doesn't work, it's just paint and I've learned something. If it works, then I'll use the same process again. :thumbsup:

I'd wash whatever it is with soap & water to get the dirt off, then go over it with a wax & grease remover, scuff it with a green scotchbrite pad until the gloss goes away, wash & clean again with wax & grease remover, then paint.

It's important to use wax & grease remover before you ever touch the part with sandpaper or scotchbrite, otherwise you'll literally sand it into the part. Important to go over it again before you paint because the oils off your skin (hands) will affect adhesion.

Thinking about it for a moment, green scotchbrite might even be too coarse for the soft plastic, something like a 600 wet dry paper (used wet) might be a better choice.

The first thing that I would do is clean with a really aggressive solvent like Acetone, MEK, or lacquer thinner. Then lightly sand and clean again. After painting it needs to cure. This takes heat and time. The hotter and longer the better.

yuppers! I agree!

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