Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Plastic restore

There are a few methods that I have seen out there of restoring plastic, I have chosen to use the fusion clear coat as part of my method of choice.  Most of the methods include sanding and putting a clear of some type over the top to bring back the shine.  So that is what I am doing.  I have two front fenders to work with and I am going to start with the one that is in worse shape.  Although I think they are pretty close to being the same on the front side one of them has some rash on the back side where it was rubbing the frame.  In this photo you can see that the fender is a little dull and you can see some of the scratches in it.  I am going to start with a 120 grit emery cloth to knock down the deeper scratches and take the edges off.  The idea is to not press too hard so that you don't make more deep gashes while you are trying to clean up the ones that are already there.

Here is the fender after the 120 grit and one coat of clear.  At this point or after letting it dry for a couple hours in front of the wood stove, I will sand it again with 400 grit wet paper. 
Click on the images and you can see them enlarged.

After sanding with the 400 I realized that the jump from 120 to 400 was a bit much so it took a little longer to get the desired results with the 400 so on the next one I will do a smaller area with the 120 just on the spots that are already rough then go to a 320 to scuff the lighter scratches.

Here it is after finishing with the 400 grit, ready for another coat of clear.  Then after the clear is applied

Here at the 400 grit clear it already looks pretty good in the photo but up close you can see some sanding lines.  It is totally not necessary to be so anal about that but I am going farther.

Here after the clear dries over the 400 grit I sanded with 600 to farther remove scratches and yet another coat of clear will go on after that. Once that coat of clear is dried I will make the decision as to whether I want to go to 1000 grit paper for the super gloss coat. 

While the clear is drying on the first fender I started at the 600 grit stage I went to work on the rear fender and the other front fender.  I did as I had figured on the first one with the 120 grit I only used it to clean up spots then used the 320 to scuff out light scratches. The rear fender had some pretty deep gashes in it and they cleaned up decent with the paper and a razor blade to get some build up out of the scratches.  The blade also helps take off loose pieces of plastic that can take a very long time to sand down.  The deep scars that you can see in the rear fender will never come out but with a bit more work it will look pretty good. In this photo it is the first coat of clear at the 320 stage and already looks pretty nice. To the right is the other front fender also at the 320 stage.

I will post more on this when these parts dry and I can sand and paint again.

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