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How-to paint your own plastics DIY

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  • How-to paint your own plastics DIY

    Ok. Here we go.

    I grew tired of looking at a faded top compartment on my 06 maya gold rxp. I bought the ski new in 06 and I noticed it starting to discolor after only a few days of owning it. Over the last couple of years, I have continually buffed it and used Plast-x and the color came back but then faded/discolored again. I finally became fed up and decided to do some research and try to paint it the same color as the rest of the hood. I also decided to remove the warning decal and paint the glove box as well. While I was at it, I did the same items on the Mrs' apple green rxp as well. Here is how I did it:

    *Keep in mind that this project is intended for the average person who does not own a paint gun and etc. Everything is going to be done using spraypaint and basic supplies that can be purchased anywhere.

    This should be done in a temperate location like in your basement. Do not attempt to do it outside. Be smart about getting the proper ventilation and etc. This stuff is obviously not good to inhale and etc. That goes without saying.

    These are the materials you will need:

    From left to right:
    One alcohol wipe - cheap at walmart
    One scotch-brite pad (not pictured)- cheap at walmart
    One can of urethane primer specifically for plastics - $18
    One can of adhesion promoter for plastic/vinyl surfaces - $12
    One can of urethane paint to match your ski - $23
    One can of urethane clearcoat - $18

    The seadoo paint codes are a P.I.T.A to acquire. I dont know if thats the case for other manufacturers as well. After asking around, searching, and calling several dealers, one was able to get me a maya gold paint code but when I went to a paint shop that supplies paint to body shops it did not come up in their system. I went home, got both skis, returned, and had them scan my hood, make the paint, and put it in a spray can for me.

    I bought all of the aforementioned items at the same shop. I was told not to use rustoleum-type primers from home depot because they have oil in them that might reject a urethane paint. I have also used home depot clearcoat in the past and got poor results so this time I bought all professional grade products as recommended by my [reputable] paint shop.

    Here is a picture of one of the plastic sets. I bought these from a member parting out an rxp. I did these first before trying it on mine in case I made a mess. As you can see, they have the typical fading. The top lid is in particularly rough shape.

    Step 1: First, you must scuff the plastic GOOD. If you have any fine scratches anywhere on the hood, continue scuffing until it is nice and smooth. If you have anything deep, use a FINE sandpaper but be careful not to start chewing up the plastic. Scuff it in a circular motion and apply enough pressure to smooth out whatever imperfections you have in the hood. If the hood is fairly smooth already, just do a light scuffing.

    When you are done, youll look something like this:

    Step 2:
    When you are done scuffing, use the alcohol wipe to wipe off any of the plastic-dust that you scuffed off. Wipe off the excess alcohol with a paper towel and let the rest evaporate

    Step 3: Spray on the adhesion promoter. You only need one coat. Spray evenly from about six inches away in a back and forth motion. Do not let the adhesion promoter dry completely. You will want to move on to step 4 while the plastic still has a wet-look/texture.

    Step 4: Begin to primer the plastics while the adhesion promoter is still wet. Spray from about six inches away and in a back and forth motion. Drop your hand about an inch each time so that you overlap the paint you laid down in the previous stroke. You should do no less than two coats. Wait approximately 2-3 minutes between coats.

    *If you are repainting the same color or a very similar color, you may not need to primer.

    The first coat is just a covering:

    The second coat fills in a bit more:

    The third coat looks like this:

    Step 5:
    If you do this in your basement, as did I, it is very likely that you will get some dirt and debris in the primer coat. Wait about 15 minutes (or however much time it states on the can is necessary before sanding). Once the necessary amont of time has passed, you must scuff the primer coat with the same scotch-brite pad you used earlier. Again, scuff until it is nice and smooth. Try not to scuff through any of the primer. If you do, you may end up with uneven spots in your paint or waves.

    Step 6:
    Wipe off any of the primer dust you scuffed off with alcohol again. Then dry it again with a paper towel.

    Step 7:
    Now its time to paint. Lay the paint down the same way you laid down the primer. Use nice even back and forth motions and drop your hand about an inch each time to overlap the paint you just laid down. I suggest that you do a minimum of three coats here and wait approximately 3 minutes or so in between coats. Do NOT rush. If you spray too much too fast, it will run and you will have a mess. Take your time. Youve made it this far. As eager as you are to see the finished product, patience is key.

    Here is a look at what the plastics looked like after three coats:

    Step 8:
    You should wait approximately 8-10 minutes and then begin laying down your clearcoat. Apply the clearcoat with the same technique as the previous coats. Wait approximately 2 minutes in between coats. I recommend three coats. This way, If you have to buff it when youre done, you can buff into the first layer and not hurt the paint.

    Step 9:
    Let the plastics sit overnight. Do not touch or handle them for 24hrs. Im sure that they are fully cured in a few hours but I prefer just to let it be until the following day.

    This is what my finished product looked like:

    Step 10:
    It is very likely that you got some debris or dust/dirt in your clearcoat before it dried. If so, do not panic. Go to the store and buy some wetsand paper. If you have imperfections in your clearcoat like dimples or runs, you will need 1000 grit and then 2000 grit to follow up. If its only dust, you will just need 2000 grit. 3M makes a wetsanding pad that is even easier to use than paper. I highly recommend using one.
    If you have never wetsanded before- dont worry, its easy. Get a bucket of water with dawn dish soap take your hand and dip it in the bucket and then soap up the surface of the plastic with your hand. Dip the wetsand pad/paper in the bucket and start sanding by applying a bit of pressure and a quick back and forth motion. Keep dipping the wetsand pad/paper in the bucket if it starts to dry off. Once you have gone over the entire surface once wipe it down with a terrycloth towel. If your clearcoat looks hazy, dont panic! You did it right. Follow up now with a light polishing compound and buff it by hand or with an orbital buffer at a LOW speed and a FOAM pad. Your shine will come right back.
    DO not buff it too hard, too fast, or press down on the same spot for too long, or the friction and heat will cause your beautiful paint job will lift right up. TRUST me. Ive made this mistake before!

    Now Reinstall the parts onto your ski and enjoy!

    This technique should work on all types of PWC hard plastics including hoods, plastic grab bars, etc.

    I hope this was helpful to others. It was surprisingly easy to do. If you follow these steps and dont rush you should be happy with the results. They key to success is in the prep work. If you keep everything clean and smooth throughout the process and apply the paint evenly, you will end up with nice results. Remember, DO NOT rush. You will only end up having to re-do it.
    Last edited by caliburst; 09-23-2009, 07:59 PM.
    Latest Project:


  • #2
    Nice write-up..
    4-Tec Jetmate
    2004 MSX 1500SC
    T-45 GPRXP
    1995 785 Three Seat Triple

    Click Here>>>>>> Greenhulks Store
    save 10% off of most performance products coupon code is greenhulk
    search here


    • #3
      those came out great bro!!


      • #4
        Thats a great job and write up.......looks great! Im going to send you my 2006 rxt hood to be painted completly black. Lol
        2006 RXT Lets find out my mph............
        "SHARK RACING"


        • #5
          Great job and awesome results, especially for $100
          I Wanna Go Faaaaaaaaaast!


          • #6
            Keep in mind that I bought this stuff from a paint shop. IF you can find prep products and clearcoat that are intended for urethane paint somewhere else you could save money from what I paid. I bought professional grade stuff from a shop that supplies body shops. Im sure you could do it cheaper if you search around.
            $100 was with two cans of paint also.
            Latest Project:



            • #7
              Originally posted by Tiburon1264
              Thats a great job and write up.......looks great! Im going to send you my 2006 rxt hood to be painted completly black. Lol

              Buy a scratched up beat up hood cheap and get to work!
              Its easier than you think.

              You will need to do a fine sanding to get into the paint first and then smooth the surface with scotch brite if the plastics are already painted.
              Latest Project:



              • #8
                looks good! nice write up. did you repaint the one i sold you? i need to figure out what to do with the hood on my conversion, i might try painting it.
                2011 Sea Doo RXT-X 260
                2008 Sea Doo GTI SE 155
                1987 Kawasaki 650SX
                2000 GPRXP - Gone...

                Ask me about Amsoil!!


                • #9
                  That looks awesome. I got a second pair of GPR Cowling I've been debating on painting all year......
                  ÔÇ£You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy.ÔÇØ - Charles Manson


                  • #10
                    A very nice project with outstanding results.Great job.
                    Now you have givin me a few ideas for the 150.Thanks.
                    04' Ultra 150 (Mine)
                    Tau Ceti Flame Arrestors

                    07 VX 110 (Hers)


                    • #11
                      I had some leftover paint so I decided to start painting random stuff. I thought this was a nice touch. Its the valve cover insert. I could have taken the time to tape off the lettering so it stayed black but I was too lazy.

                      Latest Project:



                      • #12
                        Nice work. The engine cover looks great!
                        I know few people see it but when they do... its cool.
                        Attached Files
                        '13 RXT
                        '06 GPR
                        '00/'08 YamaDoo 1500X
                        Handlebar Inserts http://www.greenhulk.net/showthread.php?t=233636


                        • #13
                          Top Notch...........


                          • #14
                            Nice Job
                            2000 Stock GPRXP ~ 83.6 / 7900 rpm
                            2006 Stock RXP ~ 67.7 mph
                            2000 Stage II GP1200R ~ 76.7 / 7400 rpm (retired motor 2007 for conversion build)

                            Pics ~Pics & Mods~ / Keep the 2-Strokes Alive !

                            Buy your Performance Parts at @ www.4tecperformance.com


                            • #15
                              I love the painted head covers. Did mine last year, but it was a little easier and cheaper since i have an aluminum head cover on my 15F. And Duplicolor Engine Enamel is only like $8 plus the cost of prep supplies.
                              Attached Files
                              06' STX15F-FF Exhaust, Custom Intake, R&D Intake Grate, R&D Rideplate, 2 Deg. Wedge, Mirror Blockoffs,Wet Pump Mod, 14/21, Valve Blockoffs, UMI Steering and Bars, Fly Throttle, ODI's.