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Old 10-18-2013, 08:54 AM   #1
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Painting a Radiator Cover

OK, my FRPP valve covers and manifold cover arrived yesterday. My plan is to paint/clear-coat the manifold cover to match my exterior (Sonic Blue). It was also suggested that I paint the radiator cover to match.

So, my question is, how would one go about painting a textured surface like the radiator cover, without it looking cheap or coming out looking terrible? If it get's messed up, replacing it isn't any trouble. I just don't want it to look bad.

This is the look I'm going for, overall.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:21 AM   #2
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hopefully someone can answer your question but I wanted to say that under you hood is looking awesome!!
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:05 AM   #3
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Agreed ^
Can't answer your question but that is a sick engine bay
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:27 AM   #4
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hopefully someone can answer your question but I wanted to say that under you hood is looking awesome!!
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Agreed ^
Can't answer your question but that is a sick engine bay
Thanks guys, but that's not my car. It's what I'm working towards, though. In a year, or less, mine will look like that!
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:41 AM   #5
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Thanks guys, but that's not my car. It's what I'm working towards, though. In a year, or less, mine will look like that!
gotta start somewhere. even if its a picture for inspiration haha
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:53 AM   #6
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gotta start somewhere. even if its a picture for inspiration haha
That's my thought. I love how clean it looks. Not too flashy. Not gaudy. Just fresh & bright. Mine isn't far off, except I don't have a CAI yet.

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Old 10-18-2013, 11:54 AM   #7
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i just did mine in color match...and then clear coated it...been over 6 months and still looking good to me.

car was dirty in the picture lol so the cover looked really bright compared to the rest. but now that its all shined up it blends well.

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Old 10-18-2013, 11:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Fader View Post
OK, my FRPP valve covers and manifold cover arrived yesterday. My plan is to paint/clear-coat the manifold cover to match my exterior (Sonic Blue). It was also suggested that I paint the radiator cover to match. So, my question is, how would one go about painting a textured surface like the radiator cover, without it looking cheap or coming out looking terrible? If it get's messed up, replacing it isn't any trouble. I just don't want it to look bad. This is the look I'm going for, overall.
Well I went the cheap way out and used spray paint. You have to sand it down alittle, prime it, paint it, clear coat it and you should be good. Click image for larger version

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ID:	133001 I forgot to sand so it may look a little rough, but I used 3 coats of primer, 3 coats of paint and 4 coats of clear coat. I got all the stuff from wal mart it it came out ok. I'm no professional either. I'm going to eventually redo it to make it look better. And if you still use the hood prop, it may or will scratch the paint, I suggest getting hood struts
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:05 PM   #9
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Well I went the cheap way out and used spray paint. You have to sand it down alittle, prime it, paint it, clear coat it and you should be good. Attachment 133001 I forgot to sand so it may look a little rough, but I used 3 coats of primer, 3 coats of paint and 4 coats of clear coat. I got all the stuff from wal mart it it came out ok. I'm no professional either. I'm going to eventually redo it to make it look better. And if you still use the hood prop, it may or will scratch the paint, I suggest getting hood struts
When you say sanding it, do I need to sand the plastic smooth before I prime it? That's my concern about textured plastic. I could easily do it, but it could be time consuming, and I'd hate for it to come out un-even.

Thanks!!
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:39 AM   #10
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When you say sanding it, do I need to sand the plastic smooth before I prime it? That's my concern about textured plastic. I could easily do it, but it could be time consuming, and I'd hate for it to come out un-even.

Thanks!!
You will need to use some gritty sand paper and knock that texture down unless you want to see it through the paint. You also need filling/etching primer and some patience. You need to layer up the primer to fill in any dips or blemishes. Block sand the primer as smooth as you can without the plastic showing through anywhere and paint it. If you want to stay away from that dull hazy look like in the pics above and want it to be show quality appearance you will need to color sand it before you clear it AND wet sand the clear after you clear it. The clear will need to be thick so that way you can get any mistakes(which come with spray canning it) out and then polish it out. After you polish it, then wax/seal it and let it cure in the sun for a day or so after before you put it on. That's the process I use and I have painted multiple dashes and trim pieces.
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:52 AM   #11
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You will need to use some gritty sand paper and knock that texture down unless you want to see it through the paint. You also need filling/etching primer and some patience. You need to layer up the primer to fill in any dips or blemishes. Block sand the primer as smooth as you can without the plastic showing through anywhere and paint it. If you want to stay away from that dull hazy look like in the pics above and want it to be show quality appearance you will need to color sand it before you clear it AND wet sand the clear after you clear it. The clear will need to be thick so that way you can get any mistakes(which come with spray canning it) out and then polish it out. After you polish it, then wax/seal it and let it cure in the sun for a day or so after before you put it on. That's the process I use and I have painted multiple dashes and trim pieces.
Oh hell, that's a LOT more work than I want to do. I'll go with a brushed-aluminum panel, instead.
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