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My ATV Plastics Camo Project

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My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby FireCloud » Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:37 pm

Dry sanded down with 80 grit twice to buff out damage, then 120 grit, then 220 grit using corner cat sander. Removed all decals. Cleaned well and let dry. Here is a photo after this stage.

uploadfromtaptalk1324870544798.jpg


Applied hi-build primer to cover, then wet sanded with 220 grit by hand. Some minor high spots and other blemishes remained but since this is a 14 year old workhourse ATV, and not a show bike, I moved on to the next step. Here is the first section after wet sanding.

uploadfromtaptalk1324870580533.jpg


Sprayed on 2/3 of one rattlecan of flat Desert Kakki camo paint as a base coat. After drying, here is what it looked like.

uploadfromtaptalk1324870658381.jpg
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby FireCloud » Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:00 pm

The fun part is applying the camo patterns. For this project I used a hedge bush branch, a sycamore tree twig, a medium sized sycamore leaf, three grass blades, a cluster of young oak leaves, and a rusty sawblade as stencils. With three additional rattlecans of flat camo paint, I sprayed on various patterns with the various colors (olive drab, woods brown, and flat black.) Drying time between colors must be allowed. If you mess up an area, simply respray with the base coat and do over. Graffiti artist experience is helpful with this stage of the project.

Here are photos of the gas tank cover plastic after application of the camo patterns. All that remains is to clear coat the entire surface with a flat or matte finish coating.

- 004.jpg


- 005.jpg


- 006.jpg
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby STILLHUNTER » Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:12 pm

:ylsuper: Looks durn good!!! I have always wanted to do a old truck like that are somin !
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby FireCloud » Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:35 pm

STILLHUNTER wrote::ylsuper: Looks durn good!!! I have always wanted to do a old truck like that are somin !



Get your old truck sanded, primed, and ready and I will come help you do the camo. It's fun doing the camo part but the other parts are just sheer work.
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby STILLHUNTER » Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:40 pm

FireCloud wrote:
STILLHUNTER wrote::ylsuper: Looks durn good!!! I have always wanted to do a old truck like that are somin !



Get your old truck sanded, primed, and ready and I will come help you do the camo. It's fun doing the camo part but the other parts are just sheer work.


Going to get a new truck soon and keep my yota as my hunting/fishing/and off road stuff truck! I have been in the driver's set for about 11 years and its time to change!
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby leepurvis » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:00 am

looks good, FC.
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby glenn » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:54 am

That looks great. I wish I had the patience to do that to some of my stuff. Ok, I have the patience, just too lazy, but it does look good. :ylsuper:
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby FireCloud » Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:40 pm

Glenn, I have been stuck inside the house for four full days in a row fighting the flu while it has been raining and cold outside. I cannot sleep 24 hours each day so I just turned up the five burner heater in my enclosed garage, set up my work light, made a stand to hold the plastic out of two 5 gallon paint cans stacked, and sat on another paint can to run the corner cat sander.

I have a very good paint repirator face mask which I wore during the full operation so as to avoid any inhalation of sanding dust or paint fumes. And I turned the heater off, opened all the windows and doors, etc. when doing the actual spray paint job. I just shut the area off over night to let things dry between coats.

I have three pieces of plastic to do. The gas tank cover, the front fender, and the rear fender, which I am doing in that order from smallest to largest. I can be cleaning one part while something else dries, etc. so the project progresses fairly straightforward.

There is nothing hard to do especially if you have good sanding equipment, like an orbital sander, a corner cat or mouse sander, and a detailed sander such as a Dremel tool. (I don't have all those; just saying!) The sanders do the hard parts. It took me probably three to four hours to do the five sandings (four dry; one wet) on the gas tank cover. It took maybe another hour for cleaning the plastic of grime and of sanding residue and to apply the base coat. Perhaps another hour or two for applying the various camo color coats and the clear coat. Altogether the labor time to do the gas tank cover has been about 7 hours total for the finished product.

The paints, sanding paper, and other miscellaneous shop supplies needed should cost about $100 to $120 for the entire project. I'll need 4 packs of the various sandpaper grits (80, 120, 220, & 400), 4 cans of the hi-build primer, 4 cans of the Desert Khakki base coat paint, 1 can of each of the three camo colors (Olive Drab, Woods Brown, and Flat Black), and 4 cans of the clear coat.

My painting labor will likely require 25 to 30 total hours of shop time and the dollar cost will be not over $120 for the materials. For me, it's a fun project to do that will produce the results I want on my ATV. You can, however, buy a full set of camo decals that squeegee on for about the same as the materials costs and the labor time is much less, although there is still a fair amount of cleaning, prep, and decal installation labor required. I just chose to do it the old fashioned way because the end result is unique.
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby dustygoodson » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:19 pm

looking good
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby FireCloud » Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:23 pm

The clear coat has been applied, allowed to dry, and washed down to remove accumlated dust. The underside has been cleaned but left with the original factory red paint job. Here is the gas tank cover ready to remount on the ATV.

uploadfromtaptalk1324948971202.jpg


With the easy part behind me, I now tackied the harder parts, starting with removing the mud flaps and the headlight box attached to the front fender to get it ready to sand. Because of so much grime built up, I am going to pressure wash both fenders. Hand cleaning this is impossible!

Here is the front view of the front fender before sanding.

uploadfromtaptalk1324949023042.jpg


And here is the rear view.

uploadfromtaptalk1324949058854.jpg
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby glenn » Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:48 pm

FireCloud, I guess after spending 20 something years sandblasting and painting things for a living, sanding by hand just gets to me. I have the hand sanders, mouse and DA sanders. I guess I'm like a mechanic that doesn't want to work on his own car.

From my experience you are doing everything the right way. Too many people try to skip steps like cleaning, sanding, or priming. I will ask though if you considerd the flex of the plastic when choosing your paint and primer? Typically a latex is more plyable than an oil based, or especially an epoxy. The stiffer the paint the more likely it is to crack and peel.

Your photos are an excellent tutorial for anyone wanting to give it a try. Thanks for sharing your information.
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby RSB » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:28 pm

Looks good!! :ylsuper:
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby FireCloud » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:00 pm

Glenn, I can understand and appreciate that very much. I grew up loading furniture in a family moving business for 13 years and can do it quite well. But I don't "volunteer" to move anything for anyone. Got all I wanted of that line of work!

I have been concerned about the flex stress of the plastic on the paint job I am doing. And I am aware that I need to be using paints that have a flex additive mixed in such as are done with automotive paints. I'm not sure if there are any spray paints available that have the required flex additives already included. If you know of any, please share that with me. I'd like to use them, even if it means doing the gas tank cover over.

If not, then I will just apply these and see how they hold up. If they give me trouble peeling or cracking due to flex stress, then I may have to strip down everything and do it over at some future time. At least the basic sanding and other prep work to grind out blemishes will have already been done.

I'm not one for taking short cuts. I believe in doing whatever I do to the best of my ability. So that means sanding correctly until I achieve a decent level of finish by sanding and resanding with progressive grades up to 320 to 400 grit. I'm willing to accept a certain level of imperfections such as slight high or low spots showing up here and there simply because this is not a "show bike" but only a workhorse ATV. But I still want to do things correctly in the proper manner and welcome any tips or advice you can give me. I listen and pay attention to those who have the knowledge to teach me something!

There is a section of "crosshatched" plastic that is on the top of the front and rear fenders that I don't know how I am going to get sanded. Frankly, I think the only way to do it would be to sandblast the factory paint off but I don't have the resources to do that. Any suggestions for that area would be very helpful.

For what it is worth, after 14 years, the original factory paint job has held up fairly well. One small area on the underside of the front fender near the headlight box has a lot of peeling paint. But all the other paint has adhered very well. I think heat from the lights may have affected that area more than flex stress. Most of the paint has simply faded from UV exposure and the weather or chipped off from impact damage against brush.

The beauty of a camo paint job is that small scratches or other things that need repair can be touched up readily without being noticed very much.

The hi-build primer I used by Rust-o-leum was a pleasure to work with. It wet hand sanded very easily. I would not want to hand sand a large project but these pieces are not all that big so it's not that bad really. The fenders will be tougher because there is the crosshatched area and more crevices and recessed areas that will be hard to reach by hand. I'll get it done somehow! Patience and persistence go a long ways and I have a lot of both. Time is the one things I don't have as much of however so I just have to do what I can when I can.

I was not too happy with the clear coat I used and was wondering if you have a really good clear coat product you can recommend.
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby glenn » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:44 pm

Pretty much everything I used was purchased by the 5 gallon bucket. The paint that comes to mind is called elastomeric. It is a very rubbery paint used often on old painted brick to prevent leaking. It will both seal and flex, but I doubt it is available in a spray can. I would suggest you either go to, or call a Sherwin Williams or similar paint store and pick their brains. Usually the manager, or assitant manager will be very knowlegable and be happy to help advise you.

Actually it may be better to go to an automotive paint store. They will have paints designed for the rubber bumpers. It can be bought in very small quantities. Also if you don't have a cup type paint sprayer, they make an aerosol sprayer for use with automotive paint. It is usually a glass jar about 4 ounces with an aerosol tube that screws onto it. You can get additional tubes without buying the jar. This is the way I would try to go. It would be more expensive, but I don't think it would be outrageous.
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby jv » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:47 am

FireCloud it looks great, I hope you don't forget where you park it and lose it once you finish the job.

Great job.
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby brewer03 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:26 pm

looks dang good FC
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby FireCloud » Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:03 pm

I'm not able to work on it right now. Just been too sick and having to do "real job" work with whatever time and energy I can muster.

The flu is over with now but the end results have left me worse than where I was before it hit. Going to see the doctor very soon because things are not better...they are worse... and let him tell me the bad news I have not been wanting to hear.
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby glenn » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:45 pm

That doesn't sound good. Go to the doctor and do what he tells you and it might surprise you how much better you will feel. I hope everything works out and you get to feeling better soon.
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby brewer03 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:11 pm

We will be praying for you FC
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby 1010 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:01 am

prayer sent. enjoy reading this thread.
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby FireCloud » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:20 pm

My regular doctor is a "private" doctor and, as such, works pretty much when he wants to and takes only patients he wants to see. He's a good doctor but not availble this week as his office is closed for the holidays until January 3. His answering machine message says "If you have an emergency, hang up and call 911." Ya gotta love it!!

So I went to the local MEA clinic today and saw a doctor who handled some of my car wreck workers comp stuff last year for me. Better news than I expected. At least my chest is clear he says. Everything is basically in my ears, head, throat, etc. but lots of infection there. Got 20 antibiotic pills to eat over the next 10 days so hopefully that will help.

The warmer weather this weekend should help some too. Got to get well so I can go back to work after the holiday.

I should get some time to work on the camo project this weekend so maybe I can finish it up and get the ATV parts back on the bike.
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby huntall » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:02 pm

Looks great! :2TU:
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby jbullard1 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:35 pm

I see a project in the near future with my cabin doors
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Re: My ATV Plastics Camo Project

Postby STILLHUNTER » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:00 pm

:ylsuper: :ylsuper: JB Get ya self some camo duct tape!!! :ylsuper: :ylsuper:
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