All about car painting with liquid rubber
Liquid rubber for cars, plastidip (from Plasti Dip TM ), liquid vinyl, rubber paint – all these names are the special coating, which is a kind of alternative to traditional automotive enamels and vinyl films. And as usual, simultaneously with the appearance of liquid rubber for car painting in our market a lot of disputes and discussions.
Some motorists think that it is not worth spending money on the car painting with liquid rubber, because this coating flees very quickly and the cost of materials is not so low. Their opponents argue that the liquid rubber, if you follow the technology of application, on the contrary – a very durable thing, and that people apply it even to the wheels.
Below we have collected all the information about the liquid rubber for cars, the pros and cons of such coating, described the technology of painting, and also added an interesting video with feedback from car owners after six months of operation of the car covered with rubber paint.
For those readers who are new to our site, perhaps the following materials will be of interest:
And now let’s find out what exactly is liquid rubber, and what properties and characteristics it has.
What is liquid rubber?
Liquid rubber for cars is an innovative coating for protection of the paint coating (shortly called “lacquer coating”) of the car, and changing its appearance and style. In fact, liquid rubber is a paint based on rubber, which can be applied directly to the car body, or to individual elements of the body or wheels.
Painting a car with liquid rubber allows achieving high protective, anti-shock and anti-slip properties of the painted elements surface. Such coating is highly waterproof and elastic, resistant to temperature changes and UV radiation, and if necessary, it is easy enough to remove.
Rubber paint can have both a matte texture and a glossy texture. It does not have a very wide palette of colors, but by mixing the available ones, you can achieve many different shades.
Liquid rubber also comes in the following types:
Thermal rubber paint has the ability to change color with changes in body temperature and the environment.
In the Russian market are widely represented compositions of liquid rubber for cars under the following brand names:
- Plasti Dip (USA);
- Rubber Paint (Russia-China);
- Dip Team (Russia).
Especially popular among car enthusiasts are the products of the first two manufacturers. In addition, the liquid rubber Rubber Paint already has positive reviews, probably no less than Plasti Dip, while it costs less.
You can buy liquid rubber for cars both in small spray cans with a sprayer and in canisters (for applying with a spray gun). Naturally, spray cans will cost more, but for painting body parts or wheels and a lot of liquid rubber and do not need (see chart below). Moreover, even an inexperienced car enthusiast will be able to use a spray can.
Pluses and minuses of car painting with liquid rubber
Liquid rubber for cars was developed as an alternative to vinyl film and car paints. Rubber paint combines the advantages of these two approaches to car styling.
The advantages of liquid rubber include the following properties:
- Painting with liquid rubber gives the car a very spectacular, expensive and aggressive appearance, making the car stand out in the flow of traffic;
- Even the most complex body elements are painted with such compound without any difficulties (unlike vinyl film), and there is no need to dismantle the car completely;
- When applying rubber paint to the body have less stringent requirements to the room to work than when painting cars auto enamel;
- The liquid rubber can be applied directly over the top of the paint coating, and there is no need to sand and prime the car;
- Rubber paint is easy enough to remove from painted surfaces, thereby returning the original appearance of your car.
Disadvantages of liquid rubber can be considered:
- Short service life – up to a maximum of two years. But, according to many motorists, liquid rubber is removed from the body in an average of 6-12 months;
- Unlike the same vinyl film, the rubber coating can not have a pattern or be volumetric;
- After removal, liquid rubber may leave traces on the varnish, which can hardly be removed without a deep polishing of the car body.
It is worth remembering that the car painted with liquid rubber must be used and washed with special care. Weak spots are the edges of the detail, if you pick them up, there will be a defect and it will be impossible to stop. All the subtleties of car wash negotiate in advance.
Technology of car body coating with liquid rubber
For painting a car with liquid rubber you will need the following materials and equipment:
- Liquid rubber (thick, in canisters);
- Liquid rubber solvent;
- Painting tape, polyethylene, cardboard (to protect unpainted areas of the body);
- Sprayer and compressor, or a regular electric paint gun;
- A knife to remove the remains of the excess coating.
Painting a car with liquid rubber occurs in three stages:
- Preparing the car for the application of the rubber coating.
- Preparation of the paint and sprayer.
- Applying liquid rubber on the car.
Let us consider in detail each stage of car painting with liquid rubber paint, and a bit lower everything will be shown in detail in the video tutorial.
Preparing a car for liquid rubber painting
Before painting the car with liquid rubber, the car should be thoroughly washed and dried (our instruction: how to wash the car correctly), then, the painted surface should be degreased, remove traces of dirt, wax and other substances and protective coatings.
Next, all areas that are not to be painted should be closed to prevent the liquid rubber from getting on them:
- Grilles, bumpers, air intakes, etc. are covered with cardboard or taped with painter’s tape;
- Headlights and rear lights can be not covered, as liquid rubber is easily removed from them as one whole piece after drying;
- It is better to remove the license plate mounting frames altogether;
- Cover the rubber window seals with painter’s tape, and it is better to cover the windows with plastic wrap;
- Don’t forget to also cover the wheels if you don’t want to paint them the same color as the car.
If you are going to paint and rims, then take care of a reliable protection against getting rubber paint on the elements of the brake system and the brake discs in particular.
Despite the fact that you can paint the car with liquid rubber without disassembly, we strongly recommend removing and painting separately such elements as door handles, spoilers, deflectors, etc.
Preparation of liquid rubber and sprayer for painting
Since the base material of liquid rubber is very thick, to obtain an even layer of paint on the surface of the car body, it is necessary to dilute it to the desired consistency with a special solvent, recommended by the liquid rubber manufacturer.
Depending on the manufacturer, liquid rubber can be diluted with solvent in the ratio of 1:1 (PlastiDip) or 1:2 (RubberPaint). In any case, read the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations on each bottle of liquid rubber.
The diluted rubber paint should be poured into the sprayer through a standard mesh filter. This is to ensure that coarse particles in the process of painting do not prevent the paint from spraying evenly.
It is better to fill the atomizer with the ready solution of liquid rubber to half or 2/3 of the volume. The paint should not be poured to the edges.
After filling the sprayer with liquid rubber, it is necessary to set it properly. To do this, it is necessary to set the minimum paint flow rate and test it on any convenient surface. Increasing or decreasing the flow, achieve an even layer of paint without blemishes.
Applying liquid rubber on the car
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations when applying liquid rubber. Also remember to protect the respiratory system as the work must be performed with a respirator and in a well ventilated room.
- The temperature of the room where you are painting must be at least +18°C. Also avoid drafts and direct sunlight.
- The sprayer should be held at a distance of 13-16 cm perpendicular to the surface to be painted. Paint should be applied smoothly (without sudden movements) in 2-3 layers. Do not try to paint the entire surface of the car at once.
- The first layer should be very thin, so that subsequent coats will adhere firmly to the car. Pay special attention to the ends, bends and edges. And do not worry about the fact that the first layer did not paint the surface evenly and completely, the transparency of 50% – this is the norm!
- After applying each layer of liquid rubber, let them dry at least 10-15 minutes.
- The second layer of liquid rubber is applied similarly to the first, but more slowly and thoroughly. After it is applied, the transparency of the rubber coating will be at about 70%, and you will still see the stripes and transitions through it.
- After the second coat dries, you can proceed with the third, fourth, etc. The number of coats will depend on the desired result: the more saturated color you want to get, the more layers of rubber paint you need for that.
- So that your car can be easily released from the liquid rubber over time, the manufacturers recommend applying at least 10-12 coats on the car body.
- After applying all coats, the coating should dry for at least one hour.
- When the material dries, you can carefully remove the masking tape and the liquid rubber from the parts that should not have it (headlights, locks, etc.). As long as the rubber paint is not completely dry, it comes off very well.
- Finally the liquid rubber will harden only in 12-24 hours, and it is better to leave the car in the box while it dries.
Video instruction on how to paint a car with liquid rubber
After you paint your car with liquid rubber you must not wash it for three days, and it will be possible to use brushes and automatic car washes for at least one month! Also avoid fuel leaks around the filler neck, as rubber coating is gasoline-phobic.
Approximate consumption of liquid rubber for painting
Below you will find the tables with the approximate consumption of Plasti Dip when painting cars. The tables show the consumption of both finished paint in aerosols and concentrate in cans for quality car painting. Also pay attention to the notes under each table.
Consumption of liquid rubber in spray cans
|Operation||Liquid Rubber Consumption|
|Paint for wheel rims||radius 13-14″||2 aerosols|
|17-18″ radius||3 to 4 sprays|
|19-20″ radius||4-5 aerosols|
|Hood painting||1,5-2 spray|
|Trunk lid painting|
* The consumption of liquid rubber in aerosol is calculated by the following principle:
- The consumption of liquid rubber for each layer is 50-80 gr./m 2 .
- One aerosol contains 400 grams of liquid rubber.
- Each element is painted in 6-9 layers.
Consumption of liquid rubber concentrate for car painting
|Vehicle classes and types||Consumption of liquid rubber concentrate|
|Classes A, B||microcars||3-5 liters|
|Classes C, D||small cars||5-7 liters|
|Classes E, S, F||executive cars and crossovers||9-12 liters|
* Note that the table shows the consumption of liquid rubber concentrate, which must be diluted with solvent before painting.
Also note that if you paint the car in bright saturated colors (for example, bright green or dazzling white), the consumption of liquid rubber may double.
How to paint with liquid rubber, and its advantage!
Looking for new design possibilities for your car? Want to give it an interesting appearance? Try painting it with so-called liquid rubber. The coating of liquid rubber is a substance on a rubber multifacture basis, which has:
high impact properties; resistance to temperature extremes; water resistance; elasticity; resistance to ultraviolet radiation; protective and anti-slip properties.
Liquid rubber is non-toxic and perfectly tolerates various acids, bases and salts. More and more often, car owners are using liquid rubber for coloring. And this is not surprising, as this coating is able to instantly transform the appearance of the car.
The material has several advantages.
Liquid Rubber can be applied by spraying, without disassembling the car completely. There is no need to sand and prime the car. The material can be applied to any type of coating (chrome, plastic, enamel). It is possible to apply on the painted and damaged surface, the defect can be painted with a new layer
The whole car is painted in 12 hours. Drying time of the paint is 30-60 minutes. Liquid rubber can be applied and removed without leaving traces on the paintwork. The material is removed in one layer, leaving the surface of the car clean. You can paint with such substance the whole car as well as any of its parts. The liquid rubber can protect your car from corrosion, scratches and scuffs. Liquid rubber is the ideal material for creativity:
the work and paint are not too expensive; you can paint the car yourself; after painting, it is easy to return the car to its former color. Advantages over film (vinyl): Unlike film, this coating after removal will not leave traces on the surface of the car. On corners and complex shaped objects, it forms a strong and dense layer. After the second coat is applied, the liquid rubber becomes a homogeneous monolith. Even the thinnest and smallest details can be painted with such a dyeing substance.
Painting: step by step instructions To qualitatively paint a car with liquid rubber, you should carefully prepare for the work. Before painting the car must be washed, removing wax, grease, dirt, etc. You can also blow gaps and crevices, dry the base. It is necessary to cover those areas that are not to be painted. To protect the engine and radiator from the paint material, you need to place sheets of cardboard behind the radiator grille. The same is done with the bumper grills and similar parts. Rear and front headlights are usually not covered, as Liquid Rubber is easy to remove once the substance has cured. When painting the rims, remember to cover the brake discs and other parts of the braking system. If the wheel rims will not be painted, cover the wheel completely. License plate frames are removed. All windows and windows of the car cover the perimeter seals and glue with painter’s tape. The same is done with the windows of the rear view mirrors. It is necessary to prepare the paint and sprayer in advance. Be sure to remember about safety precautions. For carrying out the work, arm yourself with respiratory protection and find a well-ventilated room.
Spraying process During work, fix the brush so that the spraying angle does not change. Spray Liquid Rubbers should be sprayed perpendicularly to the plane of the car parts, keeping the same distance to it. Remember that if the distance is too long, the painted surface will be rough. If it is too small, it may cause drips. Ideally the sprayer should be 13-16 centimeters from the surface of the car.
The painting itself is not complicated. The main thing is not to rush and do everything smoothly. First you need to take the atomizer and, fixing the brush, press the trigger. After applying the paint material to the desired area, release the trigger, then, pressing it again, paint in the opposite direction. You will need to apply two or three layers of the substance.
Sequence of car painting: it is better to start painting car parts from the rear pillar, moving smoothly to the roof; after that you can paint the left pillar, then the trunk lid, and then the rear and bumper; next, paint the left wing to the front door, then back; then move on to the front door; then paint the front fender and the front lights; it is better to start painting the hood from the left side to the middle, and then from the right side to the middle; next, paint the taillights and the grille; then move on to paint the right front fender, the doors and finish with the rear fender. Thanks to such order of carrying out works it is possible to avoid “a paint dusting”. The first layer should be very thin, almost transparent. Have you applied it and noticed the badly painted areas? Do not worry! They will be covered with the next layers. The first step is creating the base. The first layer is left to dry for 40 minutes. The second layer should be applied more slowly following the same algorithm. At this stage, pay more attention to edges, curves, lines, handles and other small details. After applying this layer, there may be unpainted streaks in some places. Opacity should be approximately 70%. Next layers are applied in the same manner. Painted surface dries about 60 minutes. Once it is completely dry, you can remove the tape and excess liquid rubber. When finished, you should let the coating cure for 12-24 hours.
Liquid rubber retains its elasticity at temperature fluctuations from -35 to +94 degrees Celsius. During severe frosts, the coating will not crack, and it will not become more malleable in extreme heat. Apply this material at room temperature (18-20 degrees), avoiding strong winds, direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations. Practical advices All runs can be easily cleaned with a towel; to carefully remove paint material from small parts or edges you can use a knife or flat screwdriver; the gloss should be applied close to the surface, slowly and carefully; to increase the adhesive properties of the material, the painted surface can be treated with primer
That’s what I wanted to bring to your attention, if anyone is interested ask questions!