Not all coatings have enough effect on the oxidized look of UV-damaged plastic. Most dressing restore the look better, but don’t offer the protection of a coating. Combining these 2 seems illogical and difficult, but it isn’t.
Why combine a dressing and coating
A dressing has a very positive effect on the looks of worn and UV-damaged plastic surfaces. Unfortunately it doesn’t offer much protection and the durability isn’t very good either. Most coatings do offer a lot of protection, but they don’t have as much effect on the worn look like a dressing does.
A coating should be applied to a clean surface, otherwise it might not bond properly. A dressing isn’t really the perfect clean surface that a coating needs. Basically, this would mean that these 2 can’t be combined. By saturating the surface first, you can get the improved and restored look with the protection of a coating.
How to combine a dressing and a coating
Combining these products isn’t really difficult, but you need time.
- Firtsly you need to clean the surface you want to treat. Wash it and brush it with a soft brush and some APC
- When it’s dry, apply the dressing liberally. It might not look good, but the point is that the surface get saturated with dressing
- Leave it for a few day to soak in. If you feel like the dressing is absorbed, or if it has rained off. Re-apply it liberally
- After roughly a week, wash the surface with normal car shampoo, you should see that the plastic still looks fairly good, even though you just washed it
- Spray some IPA on a cloth, and wipe off the surface
- You will still have cleaned the surface, but the surface of the plastic will be so saturated that it will still look better then before
- Apply the coating like normal
- Apply a second coat after 24 hours
The coating might not last as long as it could, but the next time you apply it, it will last longer. The surface will be saturated enough to retain its improved look for a while. It might not be perfect, but you achieved a balance between the look of a dressing and the protection of a coating. After applying, the surface should just be washable like normal.
Tips and tricks that might help even more
Here are a few things that might help even more.
- Spraying the area with a liquid SiO2 spray-sealant before applying the coating can improve bonding
- You can heat up the surface with a hair dryer and let the dressing soak in quicker
- If you have practiced on scrap panel, you can use a heat gun to restore the plastic
- A waterbased dressing will have less negative effect on the coating
- There are several different coatings, some are designed for a glossy look and other for a more satin look
- If you don’t feel confident with 2 layers, you can apply a third layer
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