Anyone paint the engine cover grills? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone paint the engine cover grills?

I hate the dull plastic look of the grills, so I tried to plastidip them, but the plastidip won't stick to them. I'm a bit nervous about trying to paint them now, because that'll be a real mess if paint won't stick to them either.

So, anyone successfully paint them? What did you use?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 12:11 PM
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check out this thread, you'll see plenty of samples

2011 Persian Blue Elise RS
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 01:51 PM
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The only right way to refinish those plastic grilles.

SEM 39103 Flexible Bumper Coater

'05 Lotus Elise - Saffron Yellow | Sport Pack | Touring Pack | REV400 - 5.6 lbs/hp | ACT HDSS Clutch | DMC Header | Sport Cat | Larini SE Exhaust | Monolites/R888R | BWR Double-Adjustable Shocks | shiftR111/LETSLA/SSC Cables | Shorai Lithium-Iron Battery
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 03:13 PM
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@PeteB37 - Paint will stick to the plastic just fine. Prep before painting should include degreasing, then remove any flashing, fill defects with spot putty* and give everything a light sanding with 400 - 600 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper.

Most paint lines include an “adhesion promoter” specifically designed for plastics - it does just what it sounds like. Consumer lines include Rustoleum and Duplicolor. A body shop might use Dow or 3M products. Adhesion promoters are usually clear and should be the first coating on bare plastic. From there you can use a typical primer to fill any tiny imperfections and establish whatever base color you want.

A body shop would normally follow the adhesion promoter and primer with a color coat and a clear top coat. The clear coat adds resistance to abrasion and ultraviolet light. If you’re using a rattle can, you can apply a color coat that already has the sheen you want (flat, satin or gloss). You could go a step further and also apply a clear top coat (with the sheen you want) for a little more resistance to weather.

The catalyzed paint applied by a body shop (color plus clear coat) will be the most durable and last the longest in engine heat and sunlight. If you set up a job just for your part, it would probably cost $250 or so. You might find a body shop willing to work with you at a lower cost if you want a common color like black. I’d ask if you can do the prep then let them spray your part the next time they mix up some black.


* If the spot putty won’t stick to the particular type of plastic, adhesion promoter should be applied first. Then continue with filling, sanding and finally apply a second coat of adhesion promoter.

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Last edited by Glen; 11-23-2018 at 03:21 PM. Reason: add note about spot putty adhesion
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