by Barry Index
Rainy day missing hubcap image by Christopher Martin from Fotolia.com
Obtaining excellent painting results always depends on the previous preparation work. This is especially true for painting plastic hubcaps. Automotive spray paint is the best choice for a professional-looking finish because there is a wide range of paints made just for automotive plastics. Plus, spray paint is easy to use, and when done right the end result looks great.
Wash the plastic hubcaps well with dish soap and hot water. Dish detergent is perfect for automotive use because it is mild and acts as a degreaser. Allow the hubcaps to dry completely and remove them from the tires with a flat-head screwdriver if prying is necessary.
Sand any scratches or surface damage first with 320-grit sandpaper in gentle circular motions, then follow with 600-grit sandpaper. Sand only damaged areas. Then wet sand the scratches with 1000 to 1500 grit sandpaper. Dip the sandpaper in clean water and sand in a circular motion. Keep the area moist by wringing a wet towel over the surface while sanding. If the plastic is new, lightly scratch the plastic surface with a red scratching pad.
Shake the primer can vigorously and spray a light coat over the surface. The primer promotes paint adhesion and fills in scratches left over from sanding or scraping. Let the primer dry for 10 minutes and apply another coat. Allow primer to dry 30 minutes and wet sand entire surface with 1000-1500 grit sandpaper. Apply two more coats of primer and sand again after each coat.
Shake the spray paint can and apply a thin coat of paint. Let dry for two hours and apply another thin coat. Each layer should look even. Apply as many coats as necessary to achieve the desired darkness. Allow 30 minutes to dry before applying clear coat.
Shake clear coat vigorously and spray four coats, allowing each application to dry completely before spraying the next coat. Let the clear coat dry for a day and apply a rubbing compound to bring out the shine. Wait 30 days before waxing the hubcaps.
- Spraying multiple thin coats will result in a superior finish rather than a single thick coat.
- Avoid spraying paint in direct sunlight and high humidity. The optimal room temperature for spray painting is 70 to 80 degrees F.
Articles will need
- Dish detergent
- Sponge, bucket, hot water and towel.
- flat head screwdriver
- 320 and 600 grit sandpaper
- Wet sandpaper, 1000 to 1500 grit
- Red wear pad
- Automotive primer for plastic
- Automotive Spray Paint for Plastic
- Automotive Clear Coat
- Rubbing compound