How to Paint ATV Plastic

Written by jenny carver
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Painting an ATV is different than painting a car, because ATVs are made of plastic rather than sheet metal. Most older ATVs are easily recognisable because of their faded paint condition, since many people don't know how to correctly paint ATV plastic. Spraying a can of paint on the ATV plastic may look good when applied, but the paint will probably crack within a month. To keep your ATV looking like new, learn how to paint ATV plastic so that it won't crack, peel or fade.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Soap/water
  • Scuff Magic
  • Lint-free towel
  • Red scuff pad
  • Sandpaper (180 and 320 grit)
  • Super Clean Plastic Cleaner
  • Plastic Magic
  • High-build primer
  • Sealer
  • Automotive paint
  • Automotive clear coat paint

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  1. 1

    Remove the plastic parts that are to be painted from the ATV. If the parts cannot be removed, tape off any pieces that you don't want covered in paint. Clean the plastic parts with soap and water. Allow them to dry completely.

  2. 2

    Sand the ATV plastic with 180-grit sandpaper until it is smooth. Use Scuff Magic and a red scuff pad to scrub the entire surface of the plastic. Sand again with 180-grit sandpaper.

  3. 3

    Clean the plastic with Super Clean Plastic Cleaner by spraying it directly on the plastic and then wiping it off with a lint-free towel. This removes any debris, dust or oil from the surface of the plastic.

  4. 4

    Apply two coats of Plastic Magic, which seals the plastic and helps primer stick to the surface. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next coat.

  5. 5

    Spray the high-build primer on the surface of the ATV plastic. Allow it to dry and then sand it gently with 320-grit sandpaper until smooth.

  6. 6

    Apply the sealer to the ATV plastic and then allow it to dry completely. Spray three coats of paint on the surface, allowing each to dry before applying the next coat. Cover with two coats of clear coat and allow it to dry completely before moving the ATV.

Tips and warnings

  • A dual-action hand sander can be used in all of the sanding steps to save time.
  • Don't sand or spray primer or paint without using a face mask specified for painting.

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