Bored with that boring black paint on your car? Looking for ways to spice the look of your car? Plasti Dip might just be the answer for you. But what exactly is Plasti Dip? How long does Plasti Dip last? How much is it? Don’t worry, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about Plasti Dip in this post. By the end of this post, you can make an informed decision on what’s the best way to spice the look of your car.
What’s Plasti Dip?
You might think that Plasti Dip is some sort of plastic dipping, but it’s a misnomer since it’s not plastic and you don’t dip your car in it. We don’t know, ask the brand’s founder why it’s called that. Anyway, Plasti Dip is a rubber-based liquid spray for your car. You spray it like you would spray paint from an aerosol, and then it will solidify into a rubber compound.
It comes in many colors, and there are different finishes available from metallic, pearl, to fluorescent finishes. So it’s a great way to change the look of your car. Think of it as wrapping your car in vinyl. But instead of covering a panel or a car part in vinyl, you spray it from a can instead. And the best part is that it’s easily peelable and won’t leave a trace – if installed properly, of course.
Additionally, Plasti Dip is quite durable. So, not only it will change the look of your car, but it will also protect your body panels and wheels from stone chips and other minor scratches. This will help to prolong the life of your car’s paint job.
How Much Does It Cost?
So far, sounds so good. But how much does it cost? Well, that depends on how much of your car you want to cover in Plasti Dip. If you just want to cover your wheels, then you’ll need about one can each which starts from around $11 depending on the color and finish you want to have. If you want to save money, there are wheel kits that you can purchase which are cheaper than individual cans.
But what if you want to spray the entire body? Well, for that you’re going to have to purchase their vehicle kits and it starts from around $250 for small cars to as high as $700 for larger vehicles such as trucks and full-size SUVs. The price depends on what color you choose, and you’ll get the Plasti Dip in gallons. However, you will probably need a proprietary sprayer to apply it, and they’re quite expensive. For example, the DYC sprayer adds another $178 to your basket.
In total, even the most basic color will cost you $428 if you don’t have the sprayer yet. This sounds like quite a lot, but let’s compare it to repainting and wrapping your car:
Cost Of Wrapping Your Car
The cost of wrapping your car in vinyl or repainting it will depend heavily on your car size and the quality of the job. For wrapping, the average cost in the US is between $2,000 – $4,000. But at this price point, you get a very high-quality wrapping job, and you oftentimes can get car wraps with intricate graphic designs.
However, just like applying Plasti Dip, you can wrap yourself. This brings the cost to somewhere around $300 – $1,200. But even so, Plasti Dip is mostly under $800, so using Plasti Dip is certainly the much cheaper option to change the look of your car.
While DIY wrapping is cheaper, keep in mind that wrapping your car is likely to be harder than applying Plasti Dip. Additionally, if you’re using the dry method to apply a car wrap, you’ll need someone to help you as the job requires two people. If you like to learn more about the cost breakdown of wrapping a car, you can learn more about it here.
Cost Of Repainting Your Car
Repainting your car is not as expensive as most people think it is. Repainting can be as cheap as $500, but this is for smaller vehicles and a very standard paint job. Meaning that it won’t look great, and won’t last as long as a proper paint job will. Still, if your car’s current paint job is in bad condition, and you’re looking for a cheap way to improve your car’s look, a basic paint job isn’t the worst idea.
As for a proper paint job, the cost will vary between $1,000 to $10,000. The cost will depend on the car’s size, the paint color, and how many layers of paint you’re planning to apply. A higher-level professional paint job with multiple layers and a clear coat will cost as high as $3,500.
Meanwhile, a showroom-level paint job with dozens of layers of paint will cost between $2,500 to $10,000. It’s very expensive, but the multiple layers and clear coat will ensure a long-lasting paint job. Additionally, body repairs that you may need to do before the repaint will add to the cost.
If you want to learn more about car repaints, and how to do it yourself if you’re on a budget, you can learn more here.
Plasti Dip, Wrap, Or Repaint?
Plasti Dip is the cheapest option of the three, and probably the best option for those who are budget-conscious. But are you still on the fence on which method you should go for? So far, we’ve been talking up Plasti Dip a lot, but here are the downsides you should know about:
- Color options are somewhat limited, and certainly, no intricate graphic designs like you can do with a vinyl wrap.
- Not as durable as a high-level professional paint job which can last up to 10 years.
- If you’re using the beginner kit, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get a smooth shiny finish as you can with paint. If this is what you’re after, this may be a deal-breaker. However, the PROLINE from DipYourCar can achieve this finish.
- It doesn’t hold up to gasoline, so be careful not to spill any on the surface when refueling.
So, which one should you go for? Well, if you’re just looking to improve the way your car looks, and you want a fun weekend project, we have to say Plasti Dip is the way to go. Especially if you’re the type of person that gets bored quickly with the way your car looks.
If you’re looking for something more permanent, and want it to last a long time on your car, get a professional paint job. As for wrapping, we recommend getting a wrap when you have specific designs in mind that you want. Otherwise, we recommend getting a repaint instead. This is because they’re about as expensive as a professional repaint job, and we believe that money will be better spent on a professional paint job.
How Long Does Plasti Dip Last?
So, out of the three options, Plasti Dip seems to be the cheapest. Starting at around $250 for a full-body spray, and just around $50 to change the color of your wheels. But how long will it last? It claims that it can last several years, but realistically it will last for about a year before it needs a touch-up. However, if applied correctly and maintained, it can last for about two to three years.
Another good thing about Plasti Dip is that if there are stone chips damage, touching it up is as simple as spraying the area and it’s look good as new. To summarize, while Plasti Dip is the cheapest option of all (in most scenarios anyway), it will still last quite a long time. But if you’re looking for something more permanent, a repaint or maybe even a wrap is a better idea.
How Do I Apply Plasti Dip?
So how do you apply Plasti Dip correctly? Well, let’s start with the equipment you need to have on hand:
Equipment For Applying Plasti Dip
- DYC sprayer ($178), but you can also use a spray gun and an air compressor if you have one lying around.
- Painting respirators (around $30). You can also use N95 masks when applying Plasti Dip, but respirators are still recommended.
- Safety glasses.
- Masking tape and masking paper, which you get from DYC if you purchase their vehicle kit. You can also use old newspapers.
- Plasti Dip. Smaller vehicles usually require about 3 gallons, while larger ones will need anywhere between 4 to 6 gallons.
- PreDip spray, all vehicle kits purchase from DYC comes with a free PreDip spray.
- Several clean microfiber towels.
- High-quality car shampoo.
Preparing Your Car
Once you got all the equipment, you’ll need to do some prep work. Thankfully, unlike repainting a car, it won’t require sanding and it’s relatively much simpler:
- Find a workspace for this project. Unlike repainting a car, you can do this outdoors, but we still recommend doing it inside a well-ventilated garage.
- Clean and wash your car thoroughly. The surface of the car has to be clean, and then make sure it’s completely dry.
- Apply PreDrip to your car. Spray the PreDrip onto a clean microfiber cloth, and then wipe your car with it. Take your time, and do it panel by panel. Make sure you get every single area that’s going to be sprayed, including the small areas in between the emblems.
- Afterward, mask the areas that aren’t going to be sprayed with masking tape or newspapers. This includes the lights, the windows and windscreen, the tires and wheels, emblems, and everything apart from the body panel.
- Setup the dip sprayer.
- Open the Plasti Dip gallon, and then blend the liquid first as the pigments can settle at the bottom of the gallon. Slowly stir it until the color becomes more pronounced.
- Afterward, pour the Plasti Dip into the spray gun, and make sure you use a cone filter to pour it so it doesn’t spill.
- Before you start painting, wear safety glasses, gloves, respirators, and ideally long sleeves. Make sure you have good ventilation, open the garage door slightly if necessary.
Applying Plasti Dip
- The method of spraying Plasti Dip is similar to repainting. If you’re not confident, practice first on a piece of metal or cardboard. Hold the spray gun about 6 inches from the surface, and then spray in a side-to-side motion. Only press the spray gun when you’re moving.
- Practice over, now you can start applying Plasti Dip on your car. Start with the roof and then work your way down. To spray the roof, work on one end and spray until the middle of the roof. Once you can’t reach the other side, then move to the other side to spray the Plasti Dip. Don’t worry about completely covering each panel immediately, as you will apply more layers/coats anyway.
- Afterward, work on each panel one by one, and again, spray in a side-to-side motion and only press the gun when you’re moving.
- Once the first layer is done, give it around 15 – 30 minutes to dry up.
- Repeat steps 2 to 4 until your car is completely covered. Each vehicle kit from DYC should be enough to add about 4 layers of Plasti Dip.
- If you’re applying a gloss or pearl coat onto your Plasti Dip, mix the coat and pour it into your spray gun.
- Spray along the length of the car, and wait for the coat to dry. You will typically need to apply two coats/layers.
- Remove the masking tape, and let the Plasti Dip cure. It typically takes 4 hours for Plasti Dip to cure.
The video above is a complete guide from DipYourCar on how to spray Plasti Dip on your car. It’s quite lengthy, but following the right steps is crucial in the proper application of Plasti Dip so that you can get the best result.
How To Apply Plasti Dip To Wheels
Now, how about the wheels? If you want to spray Plasti Dip onto your wheels, here’s how you do it:
- If you don’t want to take off the wheels, you’ll need to mask the brake rotors and calipers so they won’t get Plasti Dip over it. There are brake masks available from DipYourCar, and cover the rotor and caliper all the way around and make sure it doesn’t touch any of the wheel spokes.
- Mask the tires as well. You can use blue painter’s tape, but we recommend using Dip Release. If you’re using Dip Release, pour into a clean microfiber cloth and then wipe it on the tire’s sidewall. This will protect the tires from the Plasti Dip, and be sure not to get any on the wheels.
- Clean the wheels with a clean microfiber, do not use the same microfiber you used for the Dip Release.
- Afterward, shake the Plasti Dip can.
- Spray the Plasti Dip onto the wheel, but there’s no need to evenly cover it as you will be applying more coats/layers afterward.
- Wait 15 minutes for the first coat to dry up, and then reapply more coats until the wheel is completely covered. Be sure to wait 15 minutes between each coat. One can of Plasti Dip is enough for one wheel.
- Take off the brake caliper and rotor mask, and peel off the Plasti Dip you may have sprayed onto the tire’s sidewall. They should come off easily since you applied Dip Remover onto them beforehand.
The video above is another helpful guide from DipYourCar on how to spray your wheels. Make sure to wear safety glasses, gloves, and a respirator, just like you would when you spray the car’s body.
How To Remove Plasti Dip
If you accidentally sprayed on a surface you didn’t want to be sprayed, or you’re bored with your color and want to peel it off, here’s how to do it:
- If installed properly, you should be able to easily remove it by start peeling at the edges of the panel.
- Start at the corner, and then peel it off by hand. Do this panel by panel.
- Buff off any remains with a damp microfiber cloth.
- If there are stubborn patches, spray isopropyl alcohol at the edges and then rub it off with a cloth. However, immediately clean the area afterward with a microfiber cloth and a car shampoo to prevent damage to the paint.
Using WD-40 Or Paint Thinner
In some cases, Plasti Dip may be harder to remove than it usually is. Try using WD-40 or paint thinner to help the process, here’s how to do it:
- Spray WD-40 over the car, work panel by panel so don’t immediately spray it over the whole car.
- Rub the WD-40 with a microfiber cloth.
- Leave the WD-40 for 5 minutes, then gently scrub the Plasti Dip off with a microfiber cloth. It should come off easily now.
- Again, use isopropyl alcohol if there are stubborn patches and wash them off with car shampoo afterward.
If you have paint thinners laying around, here’s how you can use them:
- Do this in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves to protect yourself.
- Soak paper towels in paint thinner.
- Lay paper towels over the Plasti Dip, and work panel by panel just like any other method.
- The Plasti Dip will soak through the paper towel. Once there are spots of the color of your Plasti Dip, this means it’s now soft enough to remove.
- Use a drywall scraper to help remove it.
- Repeat the process on other panels and any remaining patches.
- Wash your car immediately with car shampoo to prevent damage to the paint job.
Questions & Answers
Plasti Dip can be an intimidating project for the inexperienced, we’ll try to answer all your questions below:
Can I Wash A Car With Plasti Dip?
Yes, you can. Ideally, you should wait for about 48 hours for the surface to completely dry before you wash your car. Additionally, you can use any type of car shampoo as well. But for better peace of mind, there are special aftercare kits specifically designed to work with Plasti Dip.
Can I Wax Plasti Dip?
Yes, you can wax Plasti Dip. But you need to be careful as some waxes can leave streaks on the surface. Turtle Wax Ice Spray is recommended, and there are ceramic coating products you can buy as well. This will help to protect your Plasti Dip surface, but not entirely necessary. Learn more about ceramic coating here.
Will It Hold Up To Heat And Racing?
Plasti Dip claims they are heat resistant up to 200°F, so those Plasti Dip wheels should be able to withstand the heat and abuse from racing.
Can I Apply Plasti Dip On A New Car Or New Paint?
Your new car’s paint may look dry, but it will take months for the paint and the protective coating to fully cure. It’s recommended that you wait for at least six months for a new car or a new paint job before applying Plasti Dip. New car paint may not withstand the application, and removing it will be very difficult. Not to mention it can damage your paint job.
Can I Apply It On Chrome Surfaces?
This will depend entirely on the chrome surface itself. Sometimes it will work just fine, but sometimes it will have adhesion issues and it won’t stick to chrome. You’ll have to try to apply it to one chrome surface first, and if it works, you can start applying it on other chrome surfaces on your car.
What’s The Difference Between Plasti Dip And Flex Seal?
You might have heard of Flex Seal, and it’s also a type of sprayable rubber. However, the compound is designed to prevent leaks and block out water, air, and moisture. It’s not really for aesthetic purposes, and more for preventing further rust and corrosion on your car.
To summarize, Plasti Dip is a sprayable rubber you can use to change the color of your wheels or your car. It will last for about three years when applied correctly and maintained properly. And because it’s effectively a layer of rubber on top of your car’s paint job, it will protect your car from minor damages such as stone chips.
The great thing is that it’s much cheaper compared to professional car wrapping or repainting. So, if you want to change the look of your car on a budget, look no further. Plasti Dip will cost around $800 at most for large vehicles such as trucks and SUVs, but you need to do the job yourself as not many autobody shops will apply it for you.
These tools have been tried and tested by our team, they are ideal for fixing your car at home.