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Can You Paint Plastic Running Boards?

Can You Paint Plastic Running Boards?

Running boards are an essential part of the truck that helps you get inside the vehicle. Many people paint these plastic running boards to make them look good.

Can You Paint Plastic Running Boards? You can paint plastic running boards by using epoxy, polyurethane, or acrylic paints. First, scrape off the faded coat and clean them with a detergent solution. Then apply wet coats and several clear coats and let them dry in the open air. It takes 30 min to 60 min and costs between $15 to $50 to paint them.

Usually, plastic boards are painted to protect them from damage and breakage. It is also essential to give your vehicle running bars a shiny look and are present outside the vehicle.

Why would you paint plastic running boards?

Plastic running boards are exposed to external environmental conditions like extreme heat, humidity, and moisture on rainy days.

They also get damaged when you put your feet on them. Your shoes’ dirt and hard soles start to scrape off the paint from the boards.

Over prolonged use, the paint on them starts fading and becomes dull.

This is because the layers of paint can no longer protect their surface from heat and moisture. To overcome this problem, you need to refresh the color on them.

As they are more exposed to the external environment, the paint is more vulnerable to damage.

In addition, plastic running boards require more attention because their color starts to fade more quickly.

What kind of paint do you use for plastic running boards?

Various types of paints are available in different formulations like spray foams or emulsions. You can choose any depending upon your preference and budget.

Most epoxy colors are used for plastic boards. This is because they are more durable and protect from humidity and dirt.

These act as a weather shield and protect the plastic from wear and tear. One disadvantage of these types of formulations is their long curing period. They take a lot of time to get dry.

Polyurethane paints are also suitable and available in both water and oil-soluble formulations.

Among them, oil-soluble gives a more smooth finish to plastic running boards. In addition, they are easy to apply and have a short curing time.

Acrylic paints are an excellent choice for plastic-based running boards. They provide greater protection against abrasion and damage.

They are usually water-soluble formulations and are easy to handle. They are generally applied in the form of spray on the boards.

How to paint the plastic running boards?

It is an easy task to paint the plastic running boards of your truck, and you can do it on your own. Just gather the right tools and materials to start the procedure.

Scrape off the faded paint

You can start the procedure by removing the boards from the vehicle. Then take a clean cloth and spread it on the table surface. Then place the boards on it to remove the faded paint.

It is better to use any sharp object to scrape off the layer of paint from the surface. 

First, apply a thin layer of any oil to soften the layer of color from the plastic boards. 

Next, use a knife and slowly scratch all the leftover paint on the surface. 

Finally, carefully scratch the surface and wear safety gloves to protect yourself from injury.

You can use sandpaper to scrape off the color. Take sandpaper and rub it gently on the surface.

It will scratch all the faded paint from the boards. Do not over rub the surface; otherwise, it will damage the plastic of the boards.

Clean the surface of the running board

After removing the old layer of color, clean the plastic running boards to remove all the dirt and filth.

To do this, take a bowl and pour some water into it. Then add a mild detergent to make a soapy solution. Then take a sponge to rub the bars.

First, wipe off all the excess dirt with the help of a clean cloth. Then dip the sponge in the soap solution and rub it on the surface of the running bar.

You can use any tiny brush to remove stains from the bars.

You can also use rubbing alcohol to wipe out all the filth from them. When clean, use freshwater to wipe out detergent from their surface.

Dip a clean cloth in fresh water and remove the soapy solution from them. After this, let them dry in the open air. Do not use a dryer for drying as it can melt the plastic.

Apply primer

It is essential to provide a base for coating color on the boards. They give an even surface and fill all the gaps on the running bars.

You will need fewer coats of color after applying primer. 

It also improves the adhesion power of the colored layer with the plastic surface. You can apply the coat of paint smoothly after using it.

Just like paints, the primer is also available in different formulations. For example, you can use a liquid or water-based primer to brush on the surface.

Spray primers are convenient to apply on the boards. The spray cans are also equipped with an applicator to coat the surface with a thin layer of primer.

Point the nozzle of the applicator on the upper surface of the boards. Then gently spray it on it.

Next, spray it on the lower surface and sides of the bars to coat the primer. Then let the running boards dry in the open air. It will take a few hours to get completely dry.

Apply wet coat

After applying the primer, you can start painting the plastic boards. First of all, select the type of color you want to use for refreshing the faded color.

You can choose the paint color depending upon your vehicle model. For plastic running boards, oil-based paints are preferred. You can use both liquid or spray formulations to give a glossy touch to them.

To coat liquid-based formula, use a soft brush to apply several coats of paint on them.

Carefully dip the brush in the paint and apply it smoothly on all sides of the boards. It is a messy procedure so protect your clothes and hands.

To use spray for painting, direct the nozzle on the boards and apply 3 to 5 coats of the color.

You have to do it quickly to apply even coats of paint on them. Then keep it in a safe place and let it dry in the open air. It will take approximately 20 to 24 hours to dry.

Apply clear coats

After applying wet coats, you should apply clear coats. But before applying clear coats, give your running board rest for 2 to 3 days.

When the previous coats are cured, apply several coats of color as a clear coat. It will give a shiny gloss to your plastic boards and protect them from UV rays.

Clear coats are essential for getting an even surface of the bars. In addition, it will prevent fading of the color by protecting it against sunlight and humidity.

After applying these coats, leave them for drying in the open air. It takes between 20 to 24 hours to get completely dry. Then attach these boards to their respective place on your vehicle.

Time required and cost of applying paint on plastic running boards

The spray paints require less time than liquid brushes in colors.

On average, it takes 20 to 30 minutes to apply wet coats on the plastic running boards. Then clear coats take 20 to 40 minutes. Finally, both coats take about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

It has a long curing time that takes 3 to 4 days to completely dry. The time also depends upon your skills and efficiency.

If you are a beginner, you will take more time to paint it.

Then the cost of painting them varies from $15 to $50, and it depends upon the type of formulation you are using for covering them.

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