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I plastidipped my rims and wing mirrors - pics

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by y2kcurran, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. y2kcurran
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    y2kcurran Member

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    [Jul 11, 2014]
    So after a while of deliberation about what color to go for I finally decided to have a go at plastidipping my rims and thought i'd share the experience in case there are any of you thinking of doing the same. The rims were on the car when I bought it and all of them had curbing and one or two had pretty bad corrosion with lacquer peeling as you can see below.

    [​IMG]

    I looked through a lot of tutorial videos on youtube and images on forums etc to try decide what color i'd go for. In the end I decided to go for a few coats of matt black followed by the pearlizer plastdip enhancer, this should give a nice aluminium finish. I was hoping to only use one or two coats of pearlizer to give a darker metallic shade but it didn't work out as easy as that... The UK plastidip website wouldn't post to Northern Ireland due to restrictions on the postage of pressurized cans but I found a Ebay seller who could post them via a courier service.

    I cleaned the rims using Dodo juice - Basics of bling, then I clayed them with Bilt Hamber regular and finally gave them a rub with some degreaser. I did the same to the wing mirror covers. I also used bin liners to protect the braking mechanism from getting any dip on them.

    There are many different opinions online about how many cans you need and how many coats you should use. I went middle of the line and bought three cans of matt black and two cans of the pearlizer. This was PLENTY to do my four 18" rims and two wing mirrors using four coats (getting heavier each time) of black and three to four of the pearlizer. One thing I will say is that you should only really use each can until there is about a quarter left, as the pressure in the can drops during use and the last quarter of the can doesn't spray out in a nice even fashion like at the start so it is liable to spit blobs of plastidip out leaving bubbles and drips on your finish.

    So here is a rim after one coat, all you want is a nice light dusting to provide a base for subsequent coats.

    [​IMG]

    Second coat:

    [​IMG]


    Fourth coat:

    [​IMG]

    This is how the car looked matt black:

    [​IMG]

    Although the finish was lovely and I was tempted to leave them black, i've never been a huge fan of black rims (unless on a red or white car) so I decided to plough on with the pearlizer. Now this stuff goes on quite differently than the regular dip, it almost seems like a fine glitter suspended in the solvent, you can see this clearly when you spray it on a piece of cardboard for example. Therefore you have to be very careful when applying it because if you spray one area heavier than another which is very easily done with a rattle can you tend to get more of this "glitter" concentrated on that section and I found it quite hard to even out. This is why I had to apply more coats than I initially intended and ended up with a brighter colored finish than I would have preferred, it's growing on me though.

    This as after the first coat of pearlizer:

    [​IMG]

    Then after three or four coats:

    [​IMG]

    Here is the final product, minus one wing mirror which at the time was still drying off.

    [​IMG]


    The total process took me about six hours, I had a day off so was happy enough to take my time and have plenty of cups of tea/snacks while waiting for each coat to dry. I generally left 15-20 minutes between coats depending how heavy it was. To be honest the final shade wasn't exactly what I was after, on a smaller area you can get a mean dark metallic shade with light coats of pearlizer but like I said earlier larger areas show up inconsistencies in the shade meaning you need to apply more...unless a more skilled hand could do a better job!

    Feel free to share opinions/ask questions.

    Darren.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
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  3. Sandra
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    Sandra MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jul 11, 2014]
    Thats a good write up Darren. I love the wheels, they totally transform the car. A job well done Darren. :anbet:
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  4. Mr. B
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    Mr. B English...not so good

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    [Jul 11, 2014]
    Top job mate, looks good, anymore pictures? How many cans did you use?
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  5. y2kcurran
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    y2kcurran Member

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    [Jul 11, 2014]
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  6. Sandra
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    Sandra MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jul 11, 2014]
    I may get to see it in Belfast if i make it over for the meet and you are able to make it Darren. :) x
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  7. gogz s3
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    gogz s3 Active Member

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    [Jul 11, 2014]
    What a difference, good job pal.
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  8. BEII NJA
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    BEII NJA New Member

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    [Jul 11, 2014]
    Do you have a close up of the wing mirrors. Been thinking of doing them black since I got my car. Looks really good from what I can see.
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  9. y2kcurran
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    y2kcurran Member

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    [Jul 11, 2014]
    It has been too miserable outside today to get pics and I've a 12 hour shift tomorrow but I'll throw some up when I get a chance. The pearlizer can be tricky to get a completely even shade but if you're going with black they should turn out really well. They will be matt with a slight texture to them which I think is quite nice, you can go over it with glossifier if you want them smooth and with a bit of shine either.
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  10. Kclouden
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    Kclouden New Member

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    [Jul 12, 2014]
    Good write up pal, before I ask this question please note that I'm a novice when it comes to cars, so this might sound like a stupid question but it's not, to me anyway.

    How did you paint your wing mirrors, in place ? Removed covers ? Or removed entire wing mirror unit ?

    My car is akoya silver so I was thinking of ordering gun metal grey plasti dip for the wing mirrors.

    Also was the overspray easy to come off your tyres ?
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  11. y2kcurran
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    y2kcurran Member

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    [Jul 12, 2014]
    Hey man, no worries i'm a bit of a novice myself but trying to learn as I go along. I took the wing mirror covers off the car. If you do a google search you will find some info on how to take them off, however the info I found was a bit lacking in detail so here is what I did:

    - Using the mirror control inside the car, centre the glass and face it downwards as far as it will go.
    - Use a heat gun/hair dryer to blow warm air inside the mirror unit, warming the plastic clips inside makes them more pliable and lowers the risk of cracking your glass upon removal.
    - Place a couple of fingers from each hand behind the top of the glass and pull out and down with even pressure, the glass should just clip off.
    - Remove the two connectors which power the heating element inside the glass (take note of where each colored wire connects for later). Place the glass somewhere safe.
    - Remove the two screws under the wing mirror on the outside.
    - Place two thumbs inside the unit and push down while using fingers to pull the rim of the cover upwards, there are a few plastic clips which should pop apart.
    - Then firmly hold the cover and pull it directly upwards, with a bit of work this should disengage the cover from the rest of the unit.
    - Then you should have the cover in your hand ready for prep and dip!

    The overspray on the tyres came satisfyingly off, kind of like removing a scab haha. After a good few coats it should be thick enough to pull off as one piece, anything left over buffs off easily with a microfibre cloth.

    Hope that makes sense and good luck!
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  12. sebbie
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    sebbie Member

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    [Jul 12, 2014]
    Great write up, fantastic job on wheels too!

    Did you actually buy matt black plastidip? Or is it just the black colour. Looking at doing this myself!
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  13. Kclouden
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    Kclouden New Member

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    [Jul 13, 2014]
    Y2kcurrun I am very grateful mate, I'm off to buy my plastidip on Monday. Cheers again
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  14. TonyH38
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    TonyH38 Active Member

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    [Jul 13, 2014]
    Looks good, well done.
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  15. RS3dan
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    RS3dan Member

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    [Jul 13, 2014]
    Great write up, looks good! I've got a can of black plastidip waiting for my mesh grill to arrive for the crashbar - was thinking of doing the wing mirrors in black aswell but having seen your I may get some pearliser aswell and go alu - little bit worries regards cracking te glass or clips though! How fragile are they/likely is this?
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  16. london jay
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    london jay Member

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    [Jul 13, 2014]
    Great job mate. Motor looks spot on
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  17. y2kcurran
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    y2kcurran Member

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    [Jul 15, 2014]
    @Sebbie - Yea it was just the black plastidip I got, here's a closer image of the pearlizer in action. You might notice that the finish isn't completely even. I found the pearlizer quite difficult to use, although I have pretty much zero experience in spray painting anything so maybe I should have held the can a bit further away than 5-6 inches...live and learn I guess, It'll do for now.

    [​IMG]

    @Kclouden: No problem mate, get pics up of your work when you're done!

    @RS3dan: I think applying the heat is an important step just to make everything that bit more forgiving once you start applying pressure. I've taken mine off several times now without incident, i'd say the first time is the most likely to do any damage so just apply heat and be careful. I have cracked the glass on my mothers Avensis before when putting the glass back on but just use the heel of your hand to push it back on with even pressure and you should be fine.

    Here's a few more pics.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the positive comments btw!
    #16
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