Rachel is a lifestyle write and car enthusiast who appreciates a good money-saving DIY project.
The Finished Product
The process of applying Plastidip is not overly complicated, though it is time-consuming. Once you've designated a time and place to get the work done, follow these step-by-step instructions for a super simple, yet very cool, car mod:
- Wash and dry your wheels thoroughly. The process of applying the Plastidip will take a few hours, so I recommend thoroughly washing your wheels the day before and parking the car in a garage overnight. This way, you ensure that the wheels are completely dry and the process won't feel quite as long the next day.
- Cover anything you don't want to spray. If you're working on your driveway or in a garage, lay some cardboard or cloth around the base of the tire to avoid getting overspray on the ground. Similarly, use plastic or cloth to cover fenders and protect the body of the car from overspray. I also used tape to shield the BMW logo and M sport logo on the wheels, as I didn't want those to be blacked out.
- Prep work. The Plastidip kit comes with 4 cans of Plastidip, as well as some additional products. One of these products, the Dip Release, is used to prep the tire itself before spraying the wheels. Using the included microfiber cloth, apply a small amount of Dip Release to the tire wall, being very careful to avoid the lip of the rim. The Dip Release enables you to easily peel off excess Plastidip spray from the tire wall, so you don't have to worry about covering up the tires. You'll want to avoid the lip of the rim, though, as this can compromise the sticking power of the Plastidip and lead to peeling.
- A little more prep work. After you've applied the Dip Release, you'll want to reach for the Pre-Dip Spray. This spray prepares the surface of your wheels to adhere to the Plastidip. Make sure the spray is applied to the wheels only, and not the surrounding tire.
- Start spraying. You have two options here—you can start spraying the wheels right away, or you can practice on a piece of scrap metal first. It's not hard to get the hang of spraying, but I definitely think my second wheel turned out better than my first wheel. Only do a practice run if you've purchased a spare can of Plastidip, as you may need four full cans for your wheels, depending on their size. Spray the wheels with Plastidip in short, sweeping motions. Be careful of spraying too heavily or too sparsely in any one area. Apply 4-5 coats with 15 minutes of dry time between each coat.
Plastidip has a chemical odor similar to spray paint. Only use Plastidip outdoors or in a well-ventilated garage!
Review of Plastidip Products and Process
Overall, I am very satisfied with the final product. The process was enjoyable, and the instructions were very easy to follow. Getting an even coat took some practice, but I should note that my kit did not include the spray nozzle for easy application. I would imagine that this would make the application smoother.
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The Dip Release worked like a dream. The excess Plastidip peeled off of the tire wall in one big, satisfying piece. Cleanup was very minimal, and the Plastidip that found its way onto the garage floor was easily scrubbed off.
You'll definitely want to let the wheels dry overnight. I accidentally nicked one of the wheels after 30 minutes, and it was still very wet. Touch-ups are difficult because there are so many layers of Plastidip.
Plastidip Wheel Kit
If you have some leftover Plastidip, try applying it to your grill or reflectors (if legal in your state)!
More Than Looks
The best part about having Plastidip on my wheels is that it's preserving the appearance of the wheel. When I decide to change wheels, I'll simply peel off the Plastidip and sell the wheels in their original form—free from marks and scratches.
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2018 Rachel Hezel