Can You Paint Over Plasti Dip? (Explained)

There are many benefits of using plasti dip on your car. It protects the paint and rims from salt, snow, ice, and debris. As a result, it is the ideal protective coating during winter.

Also, during summer, you can use plasti dip to protect your car as it is also heat resistant. Painting over plasti dip on the other hand is a whole different thing.

You may do it because you want to taste what a certain paint color will look like on your car. Or you may simply get bored of the plasti dip color you once had.

Irrespective of your reasons is it okay to paint over plasti dip. Sure you can paint over plasti dip and if you had applied enough coats of plasti dip, the paint may look good. But, the question, is – how long will it last?

can you paint over plasti dip
“Mah baby <3” by Joseph Stevenson, Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Does Paint Hold onto Plasti Dip?

When you visit the official website of plasti dip, they refer to this product as an air-dry specialty rubber coating.

That implies that it’s made up of rubber and it’s flexible, meaning that when it expands or contracts, the paint on top of it won’t be able to withstand those frequent changes.

Paint only sticks to surfaces that neither expand nor contract at such a fast rate as is the case with rubber.

Paint can hold on to car metal and walls for years because these materials don’t change their state as easily as rubber does. So, here is what you can expect when you paint over plasti dip.

Within the first month or two, plasti dip will hold on to your car paint perfectly well. It, however, won’t last for more than three months. It will start to crack and peel off on its own.

If plasti dip were to be there by itself, it would last for even up to two or three years. However, when you add paint to plasti dip, you add a foreign element to the formula of plasti dip.

Therefore, the bottom line is, you can paint over plasti dip, but you can be assured it won’t last for more than two months.

If you are the kind of car owner that loves to experiment, we would recommend trying to paint over plasti dip on a small surface first. And then give it some time to see how well it will hold up.

What about Latex Paint?

We have already seen that most paints can’t hold up on plasti dip. However, what about latex paints? They are known to be flexible and elastic after all.

If you have thought of using latex paint, then this is a brilliant idea. Latex paint is formulated to be very flexible and so is rubber.

That means that as the rubber expands or contracts, the latex paint will be able to accommodate these changes. And even though oil-based paints will begin flaking off in a short duration, latex paint may last a little bit longer.

But it will still crack in the long run. Not unless you drive your car in a temperature-controlled environment, painted plasti dip will come off whether you use latex or spray paint. The outcome remains the same.

Instead of Painting Over Plasti Dip, What Else Can I Do?

There are two ways you can achieve what you want without painting over plasti dip and get more pleasant results. They include;

  • You can always peel off the plasti dip and paint your car

Though not easy, this will ensure the new paint job holds on for years without you having to worry about flaking of plasti dip.

The reason why most people prefer to paint over plasti dip is that it’s a shorter way of getting a new paint job without having to undergo all the hustle of peeling off the plasti dip, sanding, and prepping the surface for a new paint job.

At the end of the day, you have to choose whether you want to paint over plasti dip and watch it flake off in a month or two.

Or, take a lot of your time and effort in removing the plasti dip, prepping the car surface and painting it to a color of your choice, and have it last for longer.

  • Buy a plasti dip color mixing kit and then apply the color that you want

This is easier than step one and you do not only get the color that you want on your car. But you also get to continue enjoying the benefits of having plasti dip on your car.

This option allows you to achieve everything that you want in a fast and easy process.

Therefore, instead of painting over plasti dip and watch it flake off in a month or two, you can always peel it off and apply fresh paint.

Alternatively, you can peel off the old plasti dip and get a plasti dip kit and apply the color of your choice.

Will Paint Make It Hard for You to Peel Plasti Dip on a Car?

Plasti dip by itself peels off very easily when applied to a car. However, when you add paint over it, especially oil-based paint, it becomes super hard to peel off.

Paint cures differently on plasti dip than it does on metal. When applied over plasti dip, the paint dries into a hard material. And it isn’t as flexible as plasti dip is.

When it’s finally time to peel it off, painted plasti dip becomes a hard material to remove from your car paint, and in the process, you may scratch your car when you decide to use strong cleaners or scrappers such as plastic razors.

If you decide to go ahead and paint over plasti dip, applying a thin layer of paint will ensure the plasti dip comes off easily. You can use this tip if you want to try out your luck with painting over plasti dip.

Does Painted Plasti Dip Look Great?

Painting is an art and how good you are at doing it determines the outcome. Painted plasti dip can look amazing when done correctly.

By correctly, we mean cleaning over the plasti dip first, drying it, applying the paint cautiously, and wet sanding the surface in between coats.

This will make it look amazing. However, if you paint it without sanding or prepping the surface, it’s not going to look great.

There are many tutorials online that can guide you through this process. Feel free to look at YouTube videos as well as advice from fellow DIY car enthusiasts on popular car forums.

How Do I Remove Painted Plasti Dip?

First, you need to know that this isn’t going to be easy. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You can remove painted plasti dip by peeling it off in large sheets. This is the easiest way.

When the layers are too thin, it’s going to be hard to peel it off, especially if it has been painted. If it is super stubborn, you can use a dip remover or WD-40.

We mostly prefer a dip remover because WD-40 can be a bit harsh on car paint. A paint thinner can also soften plasti dip making it easier for you to remove it.

Is Painted Plasti Dip Permanent?

No, it’s not. Plasti dip was meant to be peeled off and according to the manufacturer the product is designed to last for up to three years.

If you paint over plasti dip, and even if it holds up so well, it will come off eventually during the period mentioned above. So, plasti dip is not permanent. And this doesn’t change when you paint over it.

Why Do Some People Say that Plasti Dip Holds Up on Paint?

Paint does indeed hold up on plasti dip. But what these people don’t say is how long it holds up. Because of the reasons mentioned above, paint can’t hold up for more than three months on plasti dip.

You need to take note of that even before starting the process of applying a new paint job on the plasti dip. It’s also worth noting that there are alternative options that you can use.

One of them is to buy a colored plasti dip kit, or peeling off the plasti dip and applying the paint directly to the car.

N.B. Check also this article Can You Clear Coat Plasti Dip?