I recently plasti-dipped my side mirror caps on my new MINI. I posted pics in various places online and several people asked “What’s Plasti Dip?”
So, PlastiDip is “an air-dry rubber coating”. Originally used to cover tool handles by dipping them in the substance. Then people started dipping their car tire rims, then other parts of the car. PlastiDip now comes in cans, so you can spray it on almost anything. Why is it so great? Because it peels off. Decide you hate the color? Peel it off. Spray the wrong part of your car? Peel it off. It’s getting old and needs to be redone? Peel it off. Want to go back to your original paint? Peel it off. It’s also a great way to protect your paint. Some people dip their entire vehicles, either because it’s cheaper and more temporary than paint or to protect their vehicles from salt and sand during winter snow. Some people, like me, dip parts of their vehicle for a quick, easy way to create an accent color.
The next question is “How Hard Was It?” or “How Did You Do That?” The answers are not hard at all, and I’ll show you…
If you can remove the car part you want to spray, that’s the easiest and best. If, like me, you can’t remove the car part (in this case, a stubborn mirror cap that I was afraid I would snap off the tabs that hold it on), mask, mask, mask. While plasti-dip is super easy to peel off when it’s in thick layers, a fine mist that blows onto your car is much harder to clean up. You can still clean it up, it will just take a lot of elbow grease.
So I masked off the entire sides of the vehicle. The plastic drop cloth is taped to the mirror. You can have exposed bits that ultimately won’t have plastidip on them because of how easy it peels. Again, the drop cloth was just for overspray.
Then I followed the instructions on the can and did my first coat. This coat should only be a 50% coverage coat. You’re trying to give the following layers something to stick to. It’s MUCH better to do many thin layers, than a few gloppy ones. If it runs and drips, you can’t fix it. (Short of waiting for it to dry, peeling it off, and starting over).
I let each coat dry. Dry time varies by temperature and humidity, but again, letting each coat dry helps avoid glop and drips.
Five coats is what people seem to recommend as far as complete coverage as well as being able to peel it off. So that’s what I did. I let everything dry and then began removing the tape and drop cloth. Next I peeled away the dip from the places I didn’t want it, like the small pathway light that shines out of the bottom of the mirror. You may want a toothpick or something that won’t scratch the paint underneath to pick off pieces you want to peel.
Finished product! I asked my son what he thought and his verdict was “it doesn’t look like you did it”. : – ) I call that a success!
I practiced on my license plate holder. Then I did the mirrors. Since then I’ve applied vinyl stripes to the boot and bonnet, subsequently didn’t like that they didn’t match, so I dipped them, too! When I dipped the stripes I was far less diligent in my masking off so I had a lot of overspray. Just use a dry microfiber cloth and elbow grease to wipe them off. One more note about dipping vinyl stripes, they are way more “slippery” than your car, so be really careful with those layers. I had some drippage on my boot stripes. Oh! And, if you’re going to mask off, meaning use tape to create a hard line, then you want to remove the tape while the last layer is still wet! If you remove it once it’s dry, it’ll try to pull up the entire dipped area.
To recap: super easy to do and super easy to remove if you want to!