How-To Plasti Dip Your Ford Mustang

Posted by on January 26, 2012 - more

What you will Need

  • Plasti Dip (and lots of it)
  • 1” Painters Tape (1 roll)
  • 2” Painters Tape (2 Rolls)
  • Painters Paper (3 rolls)
  • Utility Knife Blades (2 Blades, no knife)
  • Tools to remove parts

Resources
Follow the Plasti Dip thread on our forums

1. Wash the car
Take your time, do it right, remember this is going to be what the first layer of Plasti Dip adheres to. Get some good soap, some water, and a good amount of elbow time invested.

2. Dismantle (See the bottom for How-To’s on removing these parts)
Remove any parts that would be easier to paint while off the car. The list of parts that I removed, are as follows:

  • Hood
  • Hood Scoop
  • Trunk
  • Front Bumper
  • Rear Bumper
  • P.S. – Remove the Lights for easier Painting. (i.e.; Fog lights, Head lights, and Tail lights.)

3. Tape Off
It is that Lovely time where you have to mask off everything that you don’t want to get any Plasti Dip on. These were the areas that I taped off:

  • Windshield
  • Cowl
  • Rubber trim around the window baselines
  • Convertible Top
  • Engine
  • Wheels
  • Wheel Wells

4. Start Painting
However you want to get the ball rolling just plan out your attack first. My method was I wanted to start with the Body itself because then I can get an idea of how it is going to look, and I can just add the parts that I paint as I get them finished.

5. Flashlight Test
This is a fun trick that takes some getting used to, but it in the end you will appreciate all the small time spent on making sure your countless hours are worth the struggle. Simply take an LED Flashlight, and get about an inch or two away from the paint, and look to see if you get any reflection. Because Plasti Dip is a flat plastic finish, you shouldn’t be able to see any clear coat from your original paint. My method to correct this would be print a picture of a mustang from the Top view, both side views, front, and rear. Make sure it is a pretty decent size, and draw a circle on the picture where you need to do some touch-up.

6. Re-Assemble
Put the hood, trunk, and two bumpers back on the car at this point. For Stripes See Step 7, if you are not striping your car, skip straight to step 8.

7. Stripes
Tape Off: Take your time and find the center of your car. The most true statement about something like this is “measure twice, cut once” well… you get the idea. You do not want to be excited to remove the tape to find that your center was off, nothing more depressing. So for this I will explain as If it were 12” stripes.

7.1 Finding Center
Make sure when you find your center you determine how thick of a gap you want between your stripes, I chose 2” for this example, makes the math a lot easier. Once you have found true center, tape off the line from bumper, to bumper so you have your starting point. (Remember; take your time on this step, and it only makes things easier in the long run.)

7.2 Measure Your Stripes
Tear off a few small pieces of painters tape, and as you are taking your 12” from center, apply the tape on the INSIDE of your outer edges of the stripe. (I will explain why on the next step) Do this about every foot or so, again from bumper to bumper. Repeat for both sides.

7.3 Taping Off
Now the reason why you wanted the small pieces to be on the INSIDE of the outer edges of the stripes are so you can now simply take the roll of painters tape, and just drag and apply as you go along, making sure to line up with your tape marks. (When people put the tape pieces on the outside of that 12”s you have to take each piece off before going any further. This only makes is easier.) Again go from bumper to bumper and use for both sides.

7.4 Masking Off
Now that the tape is down, Mask off the entire car. I know this may sound excessive but the last thing you want is for your two colors to have any, and I mean any type of overspray. I cannot begin to tell you how many people skip this step and they paint within the areas they have masked off, but then later they can see the overspray. Just do yourselves the favor and mask off the entire car at this point. Remember again, patience is everything when you do something to this magnitude of size.

7.5 Paint Your Stripes
Start from the top and work your way down, so in a Coupe, you will start from the roof, from a convertible, start from the cowl, and work your way down to the front bumper, then from the trunk by the rear window, to the rear bumper.

7.5-A Technique
When painting something as easy as a 12” stripe start by going from left to right for your first coat, then just go diagonal top left to lower right, then diagonal from top right to lower left. (i.e.; –, \, /.) Also never stop spraying in an area of the stripe, ever! Always take your sprays beyond the tape line, and then stop.

7.6 Cutting at the Line
Take your time with this one as it is the Make or Break point of your stripes. You need a sharp blade, and you are going to have to cut along the tape line from the length of the entire car “Four” times. I HIGHLY recommend going to a local Wal-mart and getting a Miners Light. (The kind that straps to your forehead) This way you can get close to your lines, and not have to fear the shadow that your cutting hand will cast.

7.7 Removing the Mask/Taped Area
You can go at your own pace when removing the masked off areas, but when it gets to the tape that will have the edges of your stripes, Take. Your. Time. Slowly start from your highest point again, either the roof, the cowl, or the trunk, and find your staring point. Slowly start to peel back the tape and come off at a 45 degree angle. If at any point you see where the Plasti dip is catching, STOP, get your blade, and cut it free. Finish this part and your getting close to the home stretch.

8. Removing Masked Areas
Now it is time to remove all of the other Masked off areas. Remember, CUT WHERE NEEDED along the lines that will show your clean edges with a blade. Anything else can simply just be removed.

9. Finished
Step back and look at the marvel that you have created. Hopefully at this point you are worn out, yet in love with the results. Take your time and do a meticulous one over of the car trying to see if there is anything that needs to be touched up, but hopefully all was well in the whole TAKING YOUR TIME aspect of all of the steps above.

How To Remove Parts

Hood
Step 1 – Remove the Hood Bolts
Locate the two bolts that connect the hood to the rest of the car at the hinge. You’ll find one on each side of the hood. Remove the top bolt from each hinge using a wrench.

Step 2 – With Assistance, Remove the Second Bolt
Have someone else hold each side of the hood up while you remove the second bolt. Take the bolt out of the hinge carefully and be sure to catch the hinge as it slides away from the hood. The other people holding the hood will have to also be careful that the hood doesn’t scrape the rest of the car or come into contact with any parts of the engine

Step 3 – Remove the Prop Rod and the Hood
Finally, you can remove the prop rod that attaches the hood to the remainder of the car. Gently lift the hood up over the top part of the car and set it down in a safe location. Keep the bolts and hinges along with the hood for reattachment.

Hood Scoop
Simply remove the bolts that have your scoop attached to your hood, lift and remove

Front Bumper

Step 1 – Clean Off the Grille
Before you can remove the bumper of the car, it’s important to detach any parts of the grille from the remainder of the car first. Open up the hood of the car, if you haven’t yet removed it, and carefully detach any wires that are connecting the engine to the grille or the bumper. Make sure that the vehicle is powered off first.

Step 2 – Remove the Bumper Bolts
Underneath the bumper of the car, you’ll find four distinct bolts that attach the bumper to the remaining part of the car frame. Use a wrench to carefully remove these bolts and set them aside. It’s helpful to have a second person to spot you and hold the bumper in place as you do this.

Step 3 – Remove the Bumper
Gently pull the bumper away from the vehicle and lift it off of the frame of the car. Set the bumper and the bolts aside separately in a safe place for reattachment. Do not bend the bumper with too much pressure as you pull it off from the vehicle to separate it, as this could cause damage to the bumper.

Trunk

Step 1
Open the trunk and locate the wires that run to the third brake light. Follow with your hands where they go until you reach a plug. Remove the plug and make sure the wiring is free.

Step 2
Next locate the bolts holding the trunk onto the hinges. Break them loose until you can unthread them the rest of the way with your fingers. Again get someone to help you because you will need to remove the trunk struts and then remove the bolts and take the trunk to a safe spot.

Rear Bumper

Step 1
Open the trunk take out the lining on the sides and near the taillights, you will have some bolts the come through. Take those nuts off, and then on the bottom side you will have plastic clips to remove.

Step 2
At the fender well you will also have some phillips head screws and the only way to get them out without taking the tire off is with a very short stubby phillips head screw driver.

YouTube Video
Hood, and Front Bumper – Click Me

Again do this at your own risk, I am not liable for any fault you may have when doing this to your own vehicle. Thanks!

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  • Anonymous

    Not my type of thing, but very interesting article nonetheless.
    I had no idea that Plasti-Dip had expanded its line up to include products for a project of this magnitude.
    Thanks for the info!

  • Dion Evans

    How many gallons of Plasti-Dip did you use? I am interested in tackling this project as well. Thanks!!!

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