Plasti Dip FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions About Dipping Cars

Plasti Dip is a flexible, rubber coating that was originally used for dipping tool handles.  Recently, it has been found to be an easy alternative to painting vehicles. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Plasti Dip:

How long does Plasti Dip® last?
How well will Plasti Dip® hold up to the elements (sun, rain, snow, salt)?
Will Plasti Dip® hold up to heat and racing?
How does Plasti Dip® hold up to gasoline?
Does Plasti Dip® peel off?
How many coats of Plasti Dip® should I apply?
How should I prep my wheels or car before dipping or brushing-on?
Can I expect Plasti Dip® to work exactly the same on every surface?
Could Plasti Dip® damage the clear coat already on the surface?
How do I clean the Plasti-Dipped areas of my car?
Can I use Plasti Dip® as a clear protective bra for the front of my car?
Can I use Plasti Dip® over headlights and taillights?
Can I apply Plasti Dip® Glossifier over non-dipped areas?
How far from the surface should I hold the can as I spray Plasti Dip®?
Can Plasti Dip® protect my wheels from winter salt and snow?
Does Eastwood sell gallon sizes of Plasti Dip®?
Can Plasti Dip® be sprayed with a spray gun?
Can I even cover a black car in white Plasti Dip®?
How many gallons of Plasti Dip® is necessary to dip a car?

How long does Plasti Dip® last?

The key to making Plasti Dip® last for at least 3 years—without the need for retouching—is to make sure it's applied properly in the first place. Plasti Dip® is very durable and won't lose its bond, but two things will help determine how long it, in fact, can last. The first is the distance you hold the can from the surface as you spray. The second is the number of coats you spray on the surface. So please follow directions closely. Feel free to spray-on a refresher coat of Plasti Dip® at any time.
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How well will Plasti Dip® hold up to the elements (sun, rain, snow, salt)?
Whether it's the hot sun beating down its UV rays on your Plasti Dipped surface, or the constant battering by ice, rain or abrasive road salt, Plasti Dip® resists them all. That would explain why many users dip their car wheels into Plasti Dip® (or brush it on) before winter's worst has a chance to eat away at the metal.
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Will Plasti Dip® hold up to heat and racing?
Plasti Dip® can resist up to 200°F, and has been known to handle the heat and abuse produced at racing or rally car events. However, heat resistance really depends on how long Plasti Dip is exposed to that heat, and how you expect the coating to perform in that heat. In general, if the coating will not be subject to impacts, nor is it expected to resist abrasion or chemicals, and if it's just for a short amount of time, most Plasti Dip surfaces would be able to handle temperatures outside the listed range. Always test first.
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How does Plasti Dip® hold up to gasoline?
Since Plasti Dip® is a solvent-based coating, it does not hold up well to gasoline. Therefore, you must be careful when filling your gas tank or working with gasoline around a Plasti Dip® surface. Thinners and other solvents will also damage Plasti Dip®.
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Does Plasti Dip® peel off?
When you want it to, Plasti Dip® actually does peel off. But one reason Plasti Dip® might be hard to remove is if it was applied in too thin a coat. If the layer of Plasti Dip is too thin, it will tear into several pieces as you try to peel it off, making removal a real headache. To make removing Plasti Dip easier, add another coat (4 to 5 coats in total would be very helpful), because Plasti Dip adheres best to itself! That added strength of an additional layer lets you peel it all off in one piece. Those added layers also add durability while it's still in place.
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How many coats of Plasti Dip® should I apply?
The more, the better, both for increased durability and easier peel-off when you're ready for that. Surfaces that will be exposed to harsher conditions (like wheels and other car surfaces in snow and ice, under the harsh sun, or driving over gravel) stand to benefit from additional coats of Plasti Dip®. In any case, the suggested minimum is 4-5 coats.
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How should I prep my wheels or car before dipping or brushing-on?
You want to make sure the surface is as clean and free of grease, oil, dirt, debris or wax as possible, so we'd suggest using Eastwood PRE Paint Prep. Most items you plan on coating don't require priming because the Plasti Dip® shrinks around the item as it dries. But in extreme conditions, or when applying Plasti Dip® on a large metal surface, we recommend primer. Use Plasti Dip® Primer or a high-quality acrylic automotive-type primer. Rust-Oleum® primer is not recommended.
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Can I expect Plasti Dip® to work exactly the same on every surface?
Short answer: maybe. For most surfaces, Plasti Dip® works just as you'd expect, but there are situations where Plasti Dip might not do that. Those situations might depend on how old the car is, the condition of the clear coat used, whether the surface already has a DIY paint job. These and other factors could effect the way the Plasti Dip® bonds, peels or covers. Most of you can expect a predictable and hassle-free experience using Plasti Dip®, but you still might want to do a small test spot on the surfaces before you begin.
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Could Plasti Dip® damage the clear coat already on the surface?
For several years people have used Plasti Dip® without problems on car surfaces that have been dipped, peeled and re-dipped. But even with Plasti Dip's record of success, you should still dip a small test spot on your car first. If your car has ever been repainted, consider longer dip test periods, just to be sure. Because every paint shop uses different types and amounts of clearcoat, Plasti Dip cannot assure the exact same result on every unique paint job.
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How do I clean the Plasti-Dipped areas of my car?
All you've got to do is use some soapy water in a bucket, and a rag. Or you can use a window cleaner. Whatever you usually use to wash similar materials should work well. But when cleaning your Plasti Dip surface, stay away from thinners and solvents that can damage Plasti Dip, and certainly don't use gasoline as a cleaner on dried Plasti Dip.
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Can I use Plasti Dip® as a clear protective bra for the front of my car?
Hundreds of Plasti Dip® customers have had the smart idea of using the Original Clear Plasti Dip® as a protective bra on their vehicle. After all, no aftermarket car bra can fit as tightly as a dipped car bra! It provides the ultimate front-end protection, "matches" the vehicle color, and fits even better than a glove.
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Can I use Plasti Dip® over headlights and taillights?
In most cases, Plasti Dip peels easily off most lights. However, there seem to be a few types of headlights and taillights that don't work well with Plasti Dip. To be safe, always mask off headlights and taillights to avoid getting Plasti Dip on them.
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Can I apply Plasti Dip® Glossifier over non-dipped areas?
Glossifier can be sprayed over non-coated areas to add a glossy finish. And it also will peel off afterwards, just like regular Plasti Dip®. However, because Plasti Dip Glossifier is specially formulated to bond with the unique chemical structure of Plasti Dip coatings, it's not generally recommended for other surfaces.
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How far from the surface should I hold the can as I spray Plasti Dip®?
The recommended spray distance is 4" to 5" away from the surface...and the key is to keep the can moving!
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Can Plasti Dip® protect my wheels from winter salt and snow?
Since Plasti Dip is extremely resistant to the worst that winter can throw at it, many people actually dip their vehicle's wheels and cars specifically to help protect the original surfaces from winter snow, ice and road salt.
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Does Eastwood sell gallon sizes of Plasti Dip®?
Eastwood sells Plasti Dip® in gallons in a few colors. (We even sell a 5-gallon can of black Plasti Dip®, in case you're starting your own dipping business!) Each gallon of Plasti Dip will cover approximately 30 square feet at a 15-mil. thickness.
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Can Plasti Dip® be sprayed with a spray gun?
Yes, you can spray Plasti Dip using a variety of sprayers and spray guns, but it needs to be thinned first. We suggest using xylene, toluene or naphtha, and mix in a 1:1 ratio. See our Earlex Spray Station HV3500, the multi-purpose, turbine HVLP spray gun system designed for do-it-yourselfers.
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Can I even cover a black car in white Plasti Dip®?
Yes, but it'll take more than the usual amount of Plasti Dip® to do it. To turn your black car white, expect to go through more than three gallons of Plasti Dip. Maybe get four or five gallons, just to be sure you have enough! (You can always return a never-opened gallon.)

Here's a "tech tip": Use a "mid coat" to help with coverage when making a drastic color change (black to white, etc.). Our customers have found that using gray as that "mid coat" seems to help with the color transition, requiring fewer coats to fully hide the original color.
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How many gallons of Plasti Dip® is necessary to dip a car?
How much Plasti Dip you need depends on the project's surface area, and what you're dipping. If you're "dipping" an entire car, here are some general requirements:

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If this is the first time you're dipping a whole car, or if you're using one of the lighter colors (white, orange, yellow and so forth), get yourself an extra gallon or two. (You don't want to run out of Plasti Dip in middle of your projects, and you can always return a never-opened gallon.)

51 thoughts on “Plasti Dip FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions About Dipping Cars”

  • Lane

    I want to dip my rims black but I was going to also clear coat them I was thinking about mixing some glow in the dark powder into the clear coat. Would this work?

    Reply
    • MattM

      Hi, Yes that wouldn't be a problem, just make sure you mix it in well and shake the paint gun occasionally as you're spraying the rims to make sure the powder stays floating in the clear. Be sure to post pics when you get it done!

      Reply
  • jay

    I just sprayed my rims with flexidip "mate black". Is there a satin clear coat or a satin black flexidip on the market? I bought the spray cans at Home Depot but didn't see any clear or satin black. Please advise.

    Reply
    • MattM

      Hi Jay, we offer a satin clear Elastiwrap aerosol that is similar to what you have. Not sure about the product you have though. See our entire line here: http://www.eastwood.com/elastiwrap

      Reply
  • Daniel Rodriguez
    Daniel Rodriguez July 5, 2014 at 3:55 am

    Matt, could you please advise how to spray on wheels that have a cover over the hub and lug nuts.

    Reply
    • MattM

      Hi Daniel,

      If you're attempting to spray the wheels themselves, I would advise removing the wheel cover or hubcap before spraying. If you're spraying the wheel cover or hubcap, it may be easier to spray all 4 with them off the vehicle and on the ground or on the bench.

      Reply
  • Jake

    Will the plasti dip on on my headlights make it hard for my lights to project light

    Reply
    • MattM

      We wouldn't suggest applying any coating over top of the headlights of a car as it may decrease the final light output.

      Reply
  • Marco

    Hi, I have noticed that most times when you dip a car it usually cover most of the entirety of the car or whole segments. I was wondering if it is possible to create patterns with plasti dip on the car, or is it only to be used with whole segments? If one were to do such a thing would there be risks? Such as it being much easier to peel since it doesn't cover whole segments or if left on to long would the weather cause a noticeable difference in the parts that weren't dipped as opposed to the ones that were? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • MattM

      Hi Marco,

      Yes you can mask and tape off areas to create patterns, stripes, and other custom effects just like traditional paint!

      Reply
  • Richard Fisher
    Richard Fisher July 12, 2014 at 10:28 am

    I am very interested in plasti dipping my stock 17 inch GMC wheels (aluminum) and wondering about how much paint it would take to do this before I ordered it. thank you

    Reply
  • eddie

    guys i been dipping for 3 years now and came across several problems...
    If you plan to make your car look aggressive and you add eyebrows.. stop dont do it ... well at least for black dip. I did a customers head lights. I did aggressive eyebrows
    And i peeled the dip after 3 month and it cracked the headlights and im assuming because black attracts heat.
    Also dipped a bmw 2014 red it stained the white bmw red. This is very weird to me that it happened. If anyone knows how to remove these red stains from plasti dip email me please save me from paying a 2k paint job on this beemer.

    Reply
  • Roshan

    I have a pretty simple question about putting Glossifier on my 2012 Toyota Camry SE. My car is not dipped will the Glossifier work on my car hood? Also how many 11 oz. aerosol cans of Glossifier will I need? I am trying to protect my car hood from road hazards mostly rocks. How many coats of Glossifier should I apply to achieve this I am assuming 5 coats would be great.

    Reply
    • MattM

      Hi,

      In order to get the proper build to easily remove the product we suggest 6 coats or more of the product.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • dave

    Bmw 120i how much how many coats fluro green or fluro purple

    Reply
  • jacob

    I have a 2012 kia soul and i have put 6 11 oz spray cans and only got it half done how many can would u think i would need to get to have a good coat on my car

    Reply
    • MattM

      We'd normally suggest to buy gallons and use a paint gun or at the least a turbine style household turbine styler paint gun system if you were planning to spray an entire vehicle.

      Reply
  • Jesse

    Can I use a big electric sprayer used to paint houses with plasti dip? I believe it's some kind of wagner.

    Reply
    • MattM

      Hi Jesse,

      Yes one of those will work, although it may be a little more difficult to get the product to lay as smooth with one of those turbine style household sprayers.

      Reply
  • gary

    I get treads or very thick dust when spraying with a hvlp pressure gun at little under 2 bar presure. What do i do wrong ?

    Reply
    • MattM

      You may want to try and hold the gun closer. If you're holding the gun too far away it can cause that. Also make sure you're doing "wet" coats and not moving to fast when applying.

      Reply
  • Ryan

    Hi
    I'm getting ready to paint a 2005 Hyundai Tucson matte black. How many gallons of dip
    Should I get?
    I have access to 2 paint guns, A Wagner 570 and a Wagner 590. Which would you suggest?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • MattM

      Hi Ryan,

      We'd suggest at minimum 2-3 gallons to do the entire car. We've had better luck with consistency and spray patterns by using an HVLP paint gun.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • Ravindhar Balaraman
    Ravindhar Balaraman August 20, 2014 at 4:03 am

    Hi,
    I am Ravindhar from Chennai, India. I have opened a car detailing centre in India. I am planning to introduce this Plasti dip product in my detailing centre. I would like to know the right contact for the supplies. It woulde be great if you can help me out with this. Thanks much in advance!!

    Reply
  • Logan

    Hey matt I'm getting ready to paint my 18in rims on my 2012 grand cherokee matte black. How many 11oz spray cans should I use if I want to put 4-5 coats ion each rim?
    Thanks

    Reply
  • Logan

    Hey matt I'm getting ready to paint my 18in rims on my 2012 grand cherokee matte black by using spray cans. How many 11oz spray cans should I need?
    Thanks

    Reply
  • Fed

    I have a 97 Mercedes benz c230 which is green and i was thinking of usein a different shade of green in plasti dip so my question is would i have to primer my car or can i just spray right over it?

    Reply
    • MattM

      Hi,

      You can apply it directly over your existing paint. We just suggest giving it a good wash and wax before applying the product.

      Reply
  • Marcos Lores

    What gun or sprayer should i buy to get better results when dipping my car

    Reply
    • MattM

      For the best results we suggest a high end turbine paint sprayer or a nice HVLP spray gun. We have options for both in our online catalog at eastwood.com!

      Reply
  • Austin

    Hey I'm getting ready to plasti dip my 2000 Toyota celica , how many gallons do you think I should get?

    Reply
  • Rick Freed

    I noticed that your product is more expensive than others in gallons
    How manny gallons for a full size pick up?
    Also how many gallons of clear to mix with above?

    Reply
    • MattM

      Elastiwrap while in coast may be more expensive, it has about twice the build as Plasti-Dip so it requires half the product to coat a vehicle. Plasti-Dip would require 5-6 gallons to get optimal coverage on a full-size truck while Elastiwrap would 3-4 gallons. You can also break that up and use 2-3 gallons of your color and 1-2 gallons of clear.

      Reply
  • Fernando

    I have mb rims which are black powder coated with machined aluminum, will plasti dip stick good? I want to protect them from the winter.

    Reply
    • MattM

      Hi Fernando,

      Yes Plasti-Dip and all rubber coatings adhere to most any clean surface. Just make sure you remove any brake dust or road grime before applying the dip.

      Reply
  • Wade

    I'm concerned with the thickness have there been issues with parts fitting back together(like the window seals)? If door jams are dipped will the rubber door seals wear the dip? How much weight will be added if you put 5-6 coats on an average car? Thanks

    Reply
    • MattM

      Hi Wade,

      Yes rubber coatings have avery high build and could cause parts to fit much tighter if you take the vehicle apart that far to spray. Because this is a product made to be removed, normally we'd suggest leaving the window rubbers on and tape them up when spraying. This way you have a clean edge that breaks the dip and makes it easier to peel off down the road.

      Reply
  • Carmen

    Once I Plasti-Dip my wheels, when I get new tires mounted, will the tire machine tear up the coating and if it does can it be touched up or will I have to re-do the entire wheel to get a smooth finish

    Reply
    • MattM

      The tire machine may tear the coating depending on how careful the installer is. You can apply additional coats over imperfections, but it is difficult to 100% make it blend and not be seen, but it may be good enough for when standing 5-10 feet away.

      Reply
  • Forrest Sturlin

    Hi Matt. I have a 2002 mazda protege5, i was wondering what i would need to do to plastidip it white

    Reply
    • MattM

      We'd suggest 3-4 gallons of Plastidip or 2-3 of Eastwood Elastiwrap. You will also need a spray gun. A turbine style gun works or an HVLP spray gun if you have an air compressor.

      Hope that helps,

      Matt/EW

      Reply
  • Forrest Sturlin

    Just wanted to let you know the protege5 is yellow

    Reply

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