Bringing the color back to sun faded plastics

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by markk53, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    My KLX has some pretty bad sun fade on side covers. I am about to do some new graphics, but the fade will be some issue.

    I am aware of Krylon's Fusion paint, so I don't need that suggestion. I am looking for a method besides painting.

    I have wondered if anyone has ever used heat to bring back color - does it work and what is used?

    The other possibility is some sort of buffing. Anyone done that?

    I'm open to hearing about anything, but paint. I already know about paint and don't need information about that. Don't take it that I rule it out, I just don't need the information.
    #1
  2. kruzuki

    kruzuki Gear in the Machine

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    The problem with fading is that the sun has actually bleached out the color from plastics so the color is gone; you can't really 'bring it back'. Paint or replace plastics, they're not that expensive.
    #2
  3. Racerman27410

    Racerman27410 Been here awhile

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    sand off the oxidized top layer of the plastic using fine grit sandpaper.

    propane torch...... dont hold it too close or in one spot too long!

    the plastic will shine like new money!

    a heat gun will probably give the same effect with less risk of melting the plastic.
    KOokaloo! :norton

    Frank
    #3
  4. GordMounce

    GordMounce Been here awhile

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    Maybe mine weren't too far gone, but on my old KLR there was a lot of bleaching in the green plastic. It looked really dated. But it actually came back to good as new with a bit of Armor All. I was as surprised as anyone.... Anyway, worth a shot.

    If that fails - I agree, painting infused plastic with Krylon looks like shit. Might as well just replace the pieces. They're cheap enough.
    #4
  5. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

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    I've used a heat gun to experiment on my KLR's faded plastics. It does bring back some color and shine.
    #5
  6. crazybrit

    crazybrit Defying any self identifying Super Moderator

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    This is what I used on my 08 KLR also. Don't use too much heat, move the gun around constantly and don't touch the plastic until it's totally cooled. Obviously make sure it's thouroughly clean before you start.

    The blue coloured plastics on mine had been whitened by some cleaning agent the previous owner used. Was almost perfect after.
    #6
  7. Jack D

    Jack D Been here awhile

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    I had a faded green KLR that also had white streaks where the plastic had been stressed. I used a heat gun on the white streaks to restore SOME of the green color. You must be careful as it appeared to me that the green would not return util the plastic was on the verge of liquifying. The only thing I found that helped to restore the fading was Sumner 210. This is a cleaner/protector for windshields. I bought mine through Tulsa Windshields. I could not find it locally but that is normal in New Mexico.
    #7
  8. jonpcovington

    jonpcovington Long timer

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    I have had some success with drenching the plastic in Bel-Ray 6-in-1. It also softens dashes and seats. seems to restore some of the volatiles to plastic that UV bleaches out. Spray it on and let it sit, spray again, etc.
    #8
  9. NOTAR_520

    NOTAR_520 Been here awhile

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    Before you break out the heat gun or Propane torch,

    Linseed oil and mineral spirits in a 50/50 mix, apply twice then armor all. It's worked great for me on sunfaded red plastic on a KLR. If needed, you can use a green scratch pad LIGHTLY to remove any old polish or treatment.
    #9
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  10. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    You obviously don't know about KLX650C plastic - unobtainable new and very rare used. That's why the question. Like I said, I know I can paint it as last ditch. So I'm reading on...

    But thanks for the input. I do appreciate it and am not dissing you by any stretch. I only wish I could use your "replace" suggestion. I may on the fenders, but even then I am limited to black, white, and green for the KLX, that's what has been made for the 300, which is a bolt on. I've thought about doing the black, having red/black combination, because I'd like to have the Maier MX style rear fender over the "broken leg" look of Kawasaki's rear fenders... Just looks old and clunky.

    Again, thanks for the input.

    Respectively,
    klx678
    #10
  11. crazybrit

    crazybrit Defying any self identifying Super Moderator

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    Hmmn. Belray Oil, linseed oil and mineral spirits. Lots of good ideas to try here. :thumb
    #11
  12. LILBIT

    LILBIT Ride you must.

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    Being how hard it is to get replacements try the heat gun in a hidden spot first. It works pretty good but if you get a spot too hot it will leave a mark,blister. The second you see the gloss show up move the gun fast.
    2000 grit sand paper and plastic buffing compound should work great but i haven't tried it. You have to polish plastic at a super low speed or it will blister. I'd start with 600 and get the big uglies off before going to a finer paper.
    #12
  13. fixer

    fixer KLR-riding cheap bastard

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    i've seen people dye gray rifle stocks black with Rit fabric dye.

    dunno about other colors... but black dye should cover up almost any other color.. it's cheap, won't flake, simple to do... i'd use a Rubbermaid or Sterlite tote to dye the plastics in.
    #13
  14. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto Supporter

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    Dang, that's an interesting suggestion, fixer. Wish I'd heard it before I spent several days painting mine black. I'd like to see some images of dyed plastic though.
    #14
  15. deadbird

    deadbird Very Large Bird

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    Use "pro honda spray cleaner and polish".
    I have also gotten good results covering the plastic part with a paper towel soaked in the stuff to marinate the part.
    #15
  16. Clointy McFlofton

    Clointy McFlofton n00b

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    I'm coming in very late on this, but I want to thank NOTAR_520 for the linseed oil & mineral spirits tip he proferred 12 years ago! My KLR650 (see avatar) had turned light pink over the years and his suggestion really improved the look. Not totally back to stock, but looking really good nonetheless. Much appreciated!

    #16
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  17. AloneInTheHills

    AloneInTheHills Been here awhile

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    Check this video (half way in). Dry wall sander and a buffing wheel...

    #17
  18. MOTOS and TACOS

    MOTOS and TACOS Adventurer

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    I used the Sand, heat gun, and polish method on my baked KLR. Doesn't look quite like a new bike but they turned out pretty damn good and they were very, very bad.
    KIMG0024.jpg
    KIMG0079.jpg
    KIMG0068.jpg
    #18
  19. Clointy McFlofton

    Clointy McFlofton n00b

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    Wow, yours was even worse than mine and looks great! Nice to see the before and after.
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  20. Gibster

    Gibster high desert roamer

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    Used Pledge furniture polish on a KLR. Worked good and lasted quite a while. There is these wipes too, but no experience with them. IMG-1230.jpg
    #20