Rhino liner is known to create a durable protective layer on the metal. It is pretty popular amongst truck owners. And is applied mainly on the truck beds. However, can you spray rhino liner on plastic? Will it hold or peel off the next day?
We have excellent news for you if you are considering spraying rhino liner on plastic. It’s possible to spray rhino liner on plastic, and it can hold up really well. Of course, there is a ‘but’. You have to ensure the plastic surface is well-prepared.
Cars these days contain plastic on many parts. If you are protecting your truck from the elements using rhino liner, you may come across these parts and be left wondering whether you should coat them or not.
Fortunately, plastic is an excellent candidate for rhino liner. And it’s not just rhino liner. A wide range of bed liners can be sprayed on plastic.
Unlike paint, bed liners tend to be very flexible and can stick to plastic provided the surface is prepared correctly, and the liner is applied professionally.
How to Spray Rhino Liner on Plastic?
Spraying rhino liner on plastic is relatively simple. Even though a professional detailer can offer much better results, it’s a project that you can carry out in your garage. Here is how you can go about it.
Step 1 – Gather Essential Materials
You will need the rhino liner, acetone, sandpaper, and shampoo.
Step 2 – Clean the Plastic
Irrespective of where the plastic is located, it needs to be cleaned first. Cleaning the plastic is crucial as it keeps off contaminants from the surface.
If you want a professional finish, you must always work on a clean surface. You can clean the plastic with shampoo and water.
Step 3 – Wipe the Plastic with Acetone
After cleaning the plastic, what follows is letting it dry. Once it’s dry, you can wipe the plastic with a cloth dabbed in acetone.
The purpose of acetone here is to etch the surface of the plastic and roughen it up for the rhino liner to stick to. Please note that you should wipe and not soak the plastic with acetone.
This solvent can be too harsh on plastic. If you are not careful, you can damage it. Also, wipe the acetone only on plastic surfaces you wish to coat with rhino liner.
Step 4 – Lightly Sand
To ensure the surface is rough, sand it slightly. Sanding helps with the adhesion of rhino liner on plastic. Even though some people skip this step. Also, if you don’t have sandpaper, you can use steel wool.
Step 5 – Spray Rhino Liner
The plastic surface would have been adequately prepared and ready for rhino liner. Grab some and spray it on the plastic. Give it time to cure and enjoy your rhino-lined plastic surfaces.
When spraying rhino liner on plastic, you need to take a different approach instead of going with heavy coats. Spray several lighter coats. That will ensure adequate amounts of rhino liner penetrate the etched surface and adhere much stronger.
Why Spray Rhino Liner on Plastic?
There are plenty of reasons why you should spray rhino liner on plastic. First, it is a very durable material. Rhino liner coating is resistant to wear, and unlike paint, it can stay on the plastic for years without coming off.
If you often hit the offroad and are worried about the safety of plastic components on your car’s exterior, a rhino liner can offer adequate protection.
The other reason why an individual may be interested in spraying rhino liner over plastic is to achieve a uniform finish. As mentioned earlier, your car is made up of varying materials.
Even though most of it is metal, there will be some plastic here and there. Rhino liner ensures the vehicle has a uniform finish on metal and plastic components. That will boost aesthetics.
Finally, rhino liner is a cost-effective method of protecting the plastic components in your car. Plastic parts are often the first to get damaged because of exposure to UV rays, snow, dirt, and debris.
However, with rhino liner on, that will not be an issue. The longer you preserve the various parts of your car, the more you retain the resale value of your vehicle.
How Does Rhino Liner Adhere to Plastic?
If you know a thing or two about painting, you know that plastic is one of the most rigid materials to paint over. That’s because plastic has a smooth finish.
Therefore any coating applied over it should fall off easily. Secondly, plastic is vulnerable to temperature changes. It expands when it gets hot and contracts when it cools.
Paint and most coatings don’t have room for contraction and expansion. They can either peel or crack when they expand or contract. So, how is it possible for rhino liner to adhere to plastic? Allow us to lay it down for you.
First, rhino liner is quite flexible. That makes it a suitable coating for plastic. Secondly, when you wipe the plastic with acetone or scuff it with sandpaper, it creates a rough surface to which rhino liner can adhere.
Therefore, you don’t have to worry about adhesion issues. That’s how rhino liner can adhere to plastic.
Will Rhino Liner Rub Off on Plastic?
One of the main concerns associated with spraying rhino liner on plastic is that it may rub off. However, the likelihood of that happening depends on how well the rhino liner was sprayed onto the plastic.
As mentioned earlier, plastic is one of the most challenging materials to paint on. That’s because it’s smooth. Even though bed liners are more flexible than regular paint, they need to be applied on a well-prepared surface.
Rhino liner should form a semi-permanent bond on plastic as long as the surface is clean and scuffed up. It’s why we have advised on the use of acetone and sandpaper.
Provided you prepare the surface as per our instructions, rhino liner shouldn’t rub off on plastic not unless after years of protection.
Should I Spray Rhino Liner on Plastic or Take It to an Expert?
If you are having the truck bed or entire car coated in rhino liner, you can always take it to an expert.
For plastic components, however, this is a project you can get done in the comfort of your garage. Spraying rhino liner by yourself and taking it to an expert has pros and cons.
Let’s start with the DIY method. Doing it by yourself will save you a lot of money. To get a feel of how expensive lining your truck can be, request quotes for application from detailers near you. The prices will be high.
They will be much higher if you pick the best detailer in town. When you spray rhino liner yourself, you save on costs, but you need to know what you are doing.
In this scenario, you will need to prepare the plastic’s surface carefully. Also, it would be best if you sprayed the rhino liner in light coats.
Taking it to an expert also has many perks. First, you are assured of a professional finish and job. As you may have seen earlier, there are risks of spraying rhino liner on plastic.
You don’t have to worry about these risks when working with an expert. Also, you don’t use up a lot of your time. What you will use more is your money.
You have to evaluate the perks of each option. And determine which seems best. If you are new to painting and applying protective coats to your vehicle, it’s best to delegate such a project to the experts.
Will Rhino Liner Look Good on Plastic?
There are many positive attributes of rhino liner. Most people only talk about durability and protection. However, rhino liner can make the plastic components on your car look fantastic.
Rhino liner leaves behind a rugged finish that is quite pleasant to look at. If you are spraying the entire vehicle, having rhino liner on the plastic will contribute to a uniform finish. Your car will look unique.
Will Brushed Rhino Liner Stick to Plastic?
Most bed liners can be applied in the form of a spray or using a brush. If you plan on applying rhino liner on plastic using a brush, you may think that it won’t work. However, that’s not true.
Provided the plastic has been scuffed up, the rhino liner should stick perfectly fine. The only challenge with the brush application method is that it requires a lot of precision.
A spray is much easier to use. And with a spray-on bed liner, you can thin the coats, which is ideal for plastic applications. If you prefer brushes, you can also give them a try.
Should I Paint Plastic First Before Spraying Rhino Liner?
There is no reason you should paint plastic first before spraying rhino liner. The idea behind painting plastic is to give the rhino liner something to adhere to.
When you scuff up or etch the plastic surface, that should create a conducive surface for rhino liner to adhere to without the need for it to be painted. If you paint the plastic first, you will be doing double work.