Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 35 Old Jan 17th, 2019, 7:51 pm Thread Starter
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Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

Howdy again.

Can you tell I just found my password to my long-dormant account?

So my 1999 is red and while I've never really like the color, I've left it as-is on the theory that BMW will do a better job with paint than I ever will.. However over my 4 years of ownership despite being parked indoors the paint is starting to chip and flake off and I've been pondering a repaint.

I am assuming it is cheaper to get a paint-job done by a pro as opposed to trying to find enough matching panels on ebay.. Does anyone have any experience?

What about doing the job yourself? I painted a few body panels years and years ago when I took auto shop in high school. Has anyone got experience repainting their tupperware?

.Kris
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post #2 of 35 Old Jan 20th, 2019, 9:42 am
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

I enjoy painting but I generally have some error--a run, streaking (with metal-flake), some dust. IMO, You are not going to get a lot of money for a '99 and it could cost a large percent of the value to have a pro disassemble and paint which you won't recapture in a sale. Panels and shipping are just as expensive; you won't recapture their value. If you remove the panels, prep them and get a body shop to spray them, that might be worth it, if your prep is good.

If you think you would enjoy trying it, have a shot but I wouldn't buy painting equipment just to do one bike. Maybe you have a friend who has the equipment. Here is one of my paint jobs. You can't see the runs from this angle. :-)
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post #3 of 35 Old Jan 20th, 2019, 3:15 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

I repainted my LT during the winter layover. Although I am not a body repair/painter, I have built quit a few hot rods and painted them myself. The key is to take your time and be patient. I highly recommend it if you are doing it to keep the bike. If for resale, it will not be worth it. You will not get enough extra money out of it to cover the cost of the painting it. Cost of materials depends on the color you choose. Basically darker colors cost more than lighter colors. And of course metallic and pearl will add to cost. It will be a lot of work as it seemed to take as much time and work to paint the LT as to paint a complete car. I used base coat/clear coat. And cut and buffed the clear. They also now sell a sprayable clear bra that is like spraying clear coat. I painted both colors on mine too. It will be expensive to have a shop paint your LT. Mostly disassembly and assembly, but just the painting will probably be costly even if you do most of the work.
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post #4 of 35 Old Jan 20th, 2019, 7:41 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

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Originally Posted by Hooligan View Post
I repainted my LT during the winter layover. Although I am not a body repair/painter, I have built quit a few hot rods and painted them myself. The key is to take your time and be patient. I highly recommend it if you are doing it to keep the bike. If for resale, it will not be worth it. You will not get enough extra money out of it to cover the cost of the painting it. Cost of materials depends on the color you choose. Basically darker colors cost more than lighter colors. And of course metallic and pearl will add to cost. It will be a lot of work as it seemed to take as much time and work to paint the LT as to paint a complete car. I used base coat/clear coat. And cut and buffed the clear. They also now sell a sprayable clear bra that is like spraying clear coat. I painted both colors on mine too. It will be expensive to have a shop paint your LT. Mostly disassembly and assembly, but just the painting will probably be costly even if you do most of the work.
That is a sharp looking LT.

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post #5 of 35 Old Jan 20th, 2019, 10:51 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

I would buy all the Tupperware off a donor bike. Taking off the Tupperwear isn't hard, just flipping time consuming. a 2000 or so LT is worthless as a running bike, worth a lot as a parts bike.
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post #6 of 35 Old Jan 21st, 2019, 3:11 am
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

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I enjoy painting but I generally have some error--a run, streaking (with metal-flake), some dust.
"Tiger stripes" with metallics are caused by putting too much paint on at once. basecoats need to be laid in thin coats, with plenty of flash time. Spray technique with metallics is to keep the mist on the verge of "dry". Final metallic base coat is done at a greater distance and in a cross pattern. The idea is that the dry spray allows the particles to stand up for counting, rather than sink into "Tiger stripes".

Quick "Tack rag" gentle wipe once flashed and then a light mist coat of lacquer. Then you can lay a couple of good coats.

Dust problems can be minimised by not sweeping up just before spraying, building a tent as a temporary spray booth and dampening down the floor with a fine rose watering can. Wear a paper painter's overall too. Dust, runs and imperfections in the final lacquer can be polished out to a perfect shine, it's just effort.

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post #7 of 35 Old Jan 21st, 2019, 7:49 am
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

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I would buy all the Tupperware off a donor bike. Taking off the Tupperwear isn't hard, just flipping time consuming. a 2000 or so LT is worthless as a running bike, worth a lot as a parts bike.
It all depends on how you define worth. A well-maintained, regularly ridden 2000 LT would be worth a lot more to me than a 2009 that had sat in a barn for the last 8 years.

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post #8 of 35 Old Jan 21st, 2019, 12:01 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

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Here is one of my paint jobs. You can't see the runs from this angle. :-)
That is a funny looking side car

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post #9 of 35 Old Jan 21st, 2019, 12:05 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

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That is a funny looking side car
But it’s a fast sidecar.

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post #10 of 35 Old Jan 21st, 2019, 5:27 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

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It all depends on how you define worth. A well-maintained, regularly ridden 2000 LT would be worth a lot more to me than a 2009 that had sat in a barn for the last 8 years.
i AGREE..

Whatever the age is... I think that functionally the problems with LTs used are the same. Shocks, parts, brake lines, stereo glitches, expensive unavailable parts, I evaluate a 2009 and a 2000 exactly the same ( maintenance history)

I don't buy anything used anymore ... I buy the owners story... its more reliable and verifiable


p
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post #11 of 35 Old Jan 22nd, 2019, 2:16 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

Thanks for the replies everyone.

To answer a few of the questions that came up.

I would be painting it for my own use as I plan to keep the LT. I absolutely adore the bike and how it rides on long trips and while I enjoy some of the newer 2008 - 2009 features, having done all the major work on my '99 including the clutch, I know it's faults and quirks well. I know the bike itself is only work $2K - 3K at most even with nice paint and fresh parts and I've already got more than that in repairs, parts and upgrades.

I have the supplies to do the work as I do small painting work & stain on wood with a small sprayer and an air compressor. I called around for a few quotes and while most shops said they wouldn't even touch it, the two I did find were over $2,500 and that's if I bring them the panels off the bike.. so this is something I would be doing myself. As mentioned, i have thought about picking up some extra tupperware parts to "practice / test" my hand on spraying and checking the color consistency before moving on to the nicer ones already on the bike. It would also be a good opportunity to replace some of the chrome that has come off over the years and brighten the bike back up.

I'll probably take this on in the spring / summer time so have some help from the weather with temperature.

.K
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post #12 of 35 Old Jan 22nd, 2019, 2:39 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

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Thanks for the replies everyone.

To answer a few of the questions that came up.

I would be painting it for my own use as I plan to keep the LT. I absolutely adore the bike and how it rides on long trips and while I enjoy some of the newer 2008 - 2009 features, having done all the major work on my '99 including the clutch, I know it's faults and quirks well. I know the bike itself is only work $2K - 3K at most even with nice paint and fresh parts and I've already got more than that in repairs, parts and upgrades.

I have the supplies to do the work as I do small painting work & stain on wood with a small sprayer and an air compressor. I called around for a few quotes and while most shops said they wouldn't even touch it, the two I did find were over $2,500 and that's if I bring them the panels off the bike.. so this is something I would be doing myself. As mentioned, i have thought about picking up some extra tupperware parts to "practice / test" my hand on spraying and checking the color consistency before moving on to the nicer ones already on the bike. It would also be a good opportunity to replace some of the chrome that has come off over the years and brighten the bike back up.

I'll probably take this on in the spring / summer time so have some help from the weather with temperature.

.K
It sounds like you judge worth like I do, which is different than most. Most people assess value based on what they could sell the bike for. That is certainly one valid value metric. I look at value as what it would cost to replace what I have. I kept my 94 Chevy truck and snow plow for 20 years. For the last 10 years or so, I put about $1,000 each year in repairs. This for a truck that was “worth” probably less than $5,000 for the last 5 years I owned it. My wife often thought I was nuts to keep putting so much money into it each year. However, my rationale was that to replace that truck and plow would have cost me at least $600/month in truck payment. So, every two months I paid for my annual repairs to it. And it remained reliable and got the job done so I had no reason to sell it.

I am not one who has this need for something new all the time. I have more than happy to keep a vehicle a long time if it remains reliable and gets the job done. I keep my LT, not because I can’t afford a new bike, I easily can, but because I have yet to find a bike that fits my mission profile better than the LT. And I have tried all of the available options from Harleys, to Yamaha Venture Transcontinental, to Gold Wing, to K1600 GTL, GA and R1200RT. None do long distance two-up touring better than the LT. They all do various things better, but for the way my wife and I travel, the LT remains the best fit. So, I am putting another $2,000 or so into this year in preparation to ride to Alaska, even though the LT itself is “worth” less than $5,000 to a dealer on a trade and probably less than $6,000 in a private sale.

Many consider such spending to be wasted money, but the closest bike we have test ridden that could replace the LT is the GA, and that would cost me $27,000 for a bike that overall isn’t any better than the LT for our mission. Yes, the GA is more powerful, handles better (although less stable behind a semi), brakes better, is lighter and has more electronic gizmos, but it is less comfortable and provides poorer wind protection, particularly for my wife. So, for me the value equation is spend $2,000 for another year or two on the LT or $27,000 for a bike that we really don’t like any better than the LT. For me, that was a fairly easy decision even given the maintenance headaches that come with the LT. While cruising down the California coast, or across Death Valley, I wasn’t thinking about bleeding the ABS, but just enjoying the ride.
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post #13 of 35 Old Jan 22nd, 2019, 5:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

Agreed Voyager. If I looked at this or any other of my vehicles knowing I would never get back in money what I put into it, I would never buy anything. I get a ton of "value" out of the LT with the rides I take, the experience of seeing the country while riding a wonderful machine and while I've gotten stranded more than i may have with a newer bike, having the knowledge of that particular bike to fix it while underway has been a massive benefit and makes these trips more comfortable and fun for me. On a trip through Utah my shifter linkage broke and I was stuck in a campground for 2 days trying to source a part in a town with no bmw dealers.. ended up finding the part at a Napa Auto Parts after generalizing the part to it's basic form and then accepting I would need to modify both the bike and the linkage to continue on. Yes, I had to replace some other parts when i did get back home but that side-of-the-road fix worked for the rest of that 5,000 trip without any issue.

and yes, the new GA is a wonderful looking machine and I enjoyed a test ride I took last year at the Progressive motorcycle show, but the cost of the bike and the monthly fees plus higher insurance plus more complexity just doesn't add up for me.. Yes, wonderful motorcycle but anywhere I can take that I can also take my LT.

So given that this would simply be for me and not to do to try and resell.. question for all of you: if you had the opportunity to paint your bike, would you go with a stock color or maybe branch out into other BMW colors? Maybe custom colors? For me, there was a dark blue used on the mid-2000's 5 series that I really liked and I might go with that.. or maybe one of the stock LT colors, I'm not sure yet.
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post #14 of 35 Old Jan 22nd, 2019, 5:40 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

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Agreed Voyager. If I looked at this or any other of my vehicles knowing I would never get back in money what I put into it, I would never buy anything. I get a ton of "value" out of the LT with the rides I take, the experience of seeing the country while riding a wonderful machine and while I've gotten stranded more than i may have with a newer bike, having the knowledge of that particular bike to fix it while underway has been a massive benefit and makes these trips more comfortable and fun for me. On a trip through Utah my shifter linkage broke and I was stuck in a campground for 2 days trying to source a part in a town with no bmw dealers.. ended up finding the part at a Napa Auto Parts after generalizing the part to it's basic form and then accepting I would need to modify both the bike and the linkage to continue on. Yes, I had to replace some other parts when i did get back home but that side-of-the-road fix worked for the rest of that 5,000 trip without any issue.

and yes, the new GA is a wonderful looking machine and I enjoyed a test ride I took last year at the Progressive motorcycle show, but the cost of the bike and the monthly fees plus higher insurance plus more complexity just doesn't add up for me.. Yes, wonderful motorcycle but anywhere I can take that I can also take my LT.

So given that this would simply be for me and not to do to try and resell.. question for all of you: if you had the opportunity to paint your bike, would you go with a stock color or maybe branch out into other BMW colors? Maybe custom colors? For me, there was a dark blue used on the mid-2000's 5 series that I really liked and I might go with that.. or maybe one of the stock LT colors, I'm not sure yet.
Well, colors are pretty personal. I actually like the gray color of my LT and likely would not change it if a repaint was required for some reason. It looks nice when clean and even when dirty as it masks the dirt as well as any color I have owned. Having said that, I do also like the blue that you mentioned and I saw ann emerald green one time that looked really nice. Not sure the green was a factory color, but it was sharp.

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post #15 of 35 Old Jan 22nd, 2019, 8:57 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

Have you considered plastidip then at least if the colour is not what you like or the paint job is knaff it just peels off. JMTCW

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post #16 of 35 Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 10:53 am
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

I think that my solution would be to acquire a new set of panels and paint those. When happy with them, swap them over.

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post #17 of 35 Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 4:23 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

Or you could paint it so it looks like a shark, now that would be neat.
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post #18 of 35 Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 6:31 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

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Or you could paint it so it looks like a shark, now that would be neat.
Did you see the one Kirk had in a video?

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post #19 of 35 Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 6:56 pm
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Did you see the one Kirk had in a video?
Yes that was kind of what I was joking about.
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post #20 of 35 Old Feb 1st, 2019, 12:58 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

FWIW- mine is a ugly brown /grey can't tell a little colour blind (lol) i chose to wrap mine -
now i have a friend who did this as a profession and started me off - cost of materials is 300.00 and lots of time and a good heat gun - REM- don't over heat the material use Vinyl not Chrome (that stuff is a real PITA)
i'm about 1/2 way and ran out of material
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post #21 of 35 Old Feb 1st, 2019, 1:30 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

Hmm.. So the downside I have of buying a complete 2nd set of plastics is the initial cost and what do I do with my plastic parts once the painting is done..

Wrapping might be a good alternative, i just have no experience with it.. so it may be worth getting an extra panel or two to practice on and again.. extra cost.

I appreciate everyone's input. Not entirely sure which direction I will go but I think I'll do one or this other this spring in time for the summer season.

.Kris
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post #22 of 35 Old Feb 1st, 2019, 2:05 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

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FWIW- mine is a ugly brown /grey can't tell a little colour blind (lol) i chose to wrap mine -
now i have a friend who did this as a profession and started me off - cost of materials is 300.00 and lots of time and a good heat gun - REM- don't over heat the material use Vinyl not Chrome (that stuff is a real PITA)
i'm about 1/2 way and ran out of material
I originally had my LT wrapped and it looked great, BUT, the wrap in the radiator vents would not stay stuck. It kept coming loose. I had it redone a few times, but it kept coming peeling back. Guess it was a combination of sharp corners and constant heating and cooling. Anyway, I finally stripped the wrap off and painted the bike. Also, wraps have a limited life span of a few years, depending on brand. I added a picture of the bike wrapped. Hope you have good luck with your wrap. I really liked the look of the wrap.
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post #23 of 35 Old Feb 2nd, 2019, 4:13 am
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Hmm.. So the downside I have of buying a complete 2nd set of plastics is the initial cost and what do I do with my plastic parts once the painting is done..
You then can put them back on the market, either as they are or painted too. Or you could keep them and swap when you fancy a colour change? ;-)

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post #24 of 35 Old Feb 2nd, 2019, 2:06 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

Ever since I saw the black Bagger I have had a yen to paint my silver parts black. The rails only have a couple of blemishes so the smart move would be to just touch them up, but still...all black floats my boat, lol. Few cans of Krylon...
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post #25 of 35 Old Feb 2nd, 2019, 3:33 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

On my 2004 Midnight Black LT I had my silver painted black in 2010. On the side case handles I had them painted flat black to match the seat.
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post #26 of 35 Old Feb 3rd, 2019, 3:40 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

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On my 2004 Midnight Black LT I had my silver painted black in 2010. On the side case handles I had them painted flat black to match the seat.
Hey that looks petty sharp, I like it.
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post #27 of 35 Old Feb 3rd, 2019, 4:04 pm
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On my 2004 Midnight Black LT I had my silver painted black in 2010. On the side case handles I had them painted flat black to match the seat.
There it is! I need some money, lol. I should prolly leave the Krylon for the bbq . (scribbles something else on the to-do list)

(squinting) Hard to be sure, did you leave your bar covers silver?

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post #28 of 35 Old Feb 3rd, 2019, 7:13 pm
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There it is! I need some money, lol. I should prolly leave the Krylon for the bbq . (scribbles something else on the to-do list)

(squinting) Hard to be sure, did you leave your bar covers silver?
You can see the handle bar covers in the third picture they are still silver. You should be able to with a mouse click on the picture to zoom it in.

Dave Selvig
2004 Black LT
2000 Canon Red LT



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post #29 of 35 Old Feb 4th, 2019, 7:17 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

If you decide to go with Plasti-dip, I still have 6 unopened cans of hi-viz yellow that I am willing to sell for only $5, plus shipping costs.
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post #30 of 35 Old Feb 5th, 2019, 6:33 pm
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I'll take them. Just tell me the total with shipping to 24018. PayPal or check?
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post #31 of 35 Old Feb 6th, 2019, 12:13 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

Chad;
Did you apply the Plasti-Dip yourself? Is the process similar to paint?
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post #32 of 35 Old Feb 7th, 2019, 2:36 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

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Originally Posted by Ksnarf View Post
Chad;
Did you apply the Plasti-Dip yourself? Is the process similar to paint?
I applied the Plasti-dip myself. If you're going with a bright color, then you should lay down a couple of layers of white Plasti-dip first, and then build the bright color layer on top of the white.

It takes a little practice, but if you mess up really bad.....just let it dry for a couple of days and then peel it off and try again.
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post #33 of 35 Old Feb 7th, 2019, 2:38 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

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Originally Posted by Ridn3 View Post
I'll take them. Just tell me the total with shipping to 24018. PayPal or check?
I was out of town since Monday. Let me take the box over to the local Post Office and see what they charge. I will get back to you with a total. I can work with PayPal.
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post #34 of 35 Old Feb 8th, 2019, 7:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

Thanks for the info. I think I'll grab some at the store this weekend to try on one of my smaller panels and if I hate it or utterly screw it up I can take it off.

Do you know if there are any protectors or sealants against rock chips and such? I would imagine with this rubberized paint a rock chip might be a larger issue than with paint which you can just touch-up.

.Kris
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post #35 of 35 Old Feb 8th, 2019, 8:12 pm
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Re: Painting tupperware? DIY vs cost of professional

I stripped and re-dipped every year. With the florescents, they will fade to white. The black sections only needed to be redone once due to a slide across the asphalt that ripped up the Plasti-dip on the saddle bag. Once I was pleased with everything, I coated it with a clear layer to protect it from debris.

I suggest that you watch a few of the YouTube videos about the process before you get started. Keep the can moving. Keep the layers thin.
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