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Old 03-20-2012, 07:24 AM   #1
Wayne195
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Default How to Restore Faded Plastic

I have a few pieces of plastic on my Honda 5013 that are seriously faded and 'whited'. I tried to sand it off, but with very little success. It looks especially bad now that I have repainted the rest of the tractor and the plastic pieces look a sick shade of pink.

Does anyone know how to restore the plastic to it's original color?
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

If light sanding won't work, a few of us down in the WB section have used Krylon Fusion for Plastic spray paint. Seems to cover well. You may want to give that a try.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

I'm not sure how to, but I'll be paying attention to any help offered here. Both of my red Honda riders are faded with a whitish look to them.

Im guessing that plastic paint is the only option however.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

Wayne--within the last 2 or 3 years there was a good thread about restoring plastic down in the WalkBehind section. Some of the guys were using Scotchbrite pads and some really had good luck with the Fusion plastic paints. Do a search down there and see if you don't find a process that will work for you.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

I have been told that the auto parts stores have a product that will restore the plastic on cars. However, I have no personal experience with it.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

Quote:
Originally Posted by LilysDad View Post
I have been told that the auto parts stores have a product that will restore the plastic on cars. However, I have no personal experience with it.
It's a cream conditioner by Mothers, called "Back to Black". I've used it on my Jeep's trim, and some other mowers plastics. It works, but only temporarily. Fuel tank? Nope. Not at all.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

I wonder if that stuff used to restore plastic head lights would work ?

I have some Mothers plastic cleaner, and also some plastic polish. From back in the days when I was anal about keeping my truck looking like new.

Might have to dig it out and try it for the halibut.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

The ATV guys are using a heat gun and carefully bringing the part up in temp until the oxides burn off. The plastic is really in a plastic state so EXTREME care must be used. Manufacturers of rotationally molded stuff such as kayaks and similar large items "flame polish" using a large gas fired torch.

To prevent the fading you need to find a product that provides some degree of UV blocking.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

I guess it depends on the plasic. For example, on the John Deere, Toro, and Cub Cadet plastic hoods, I've had good luck "polishing" them with Meguiar's #6 cleaner wax. They come out looking like new.

On our Starcraft pop-up tent trailer, the tan ABS nose, tail, and fenders had turned almost off-white. I used laquer thinner on a clean, lint free rag, and wiped the ABS down, litterally remelting the surface back to it's tan color.

Mequiar's makes a plastic cleaner, and a plastic polish, but I don't know if the results would be permanent. I've use them as a "team" to clean plastic automotive headlights, but within a few months, the lights were back to faded.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

How well does the Krylon plastic paint last? I've always been a little skeptical about painting plastic, but I just might use that method this time since I'm not going to be keeping the tractor.

I did get a pretty good job on two of the pieces with the sanding method because they didn't have a bunch of nooks and cranny's that can't be sanded easily. After I had them sanded I put a clearcoat paint on the enrich the color.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

The black dash on our JD 111 was almost a grey color from fading/oxidizing. I used some John Deere paint reducer in a detail gun and sprayed the black plastic dash. I srayed several coats and let it sit. Turned out great.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

I did this plastic Hood a year ago and still looks great. I sprayed it with rattle can clear. I just cleaned it and shot it. Don't ask what kind in name brand it was just something laying around. I did not get to the back side and a guy just bought it as is.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

What about the use of a heat gun to slightly melt the plastic the items are make of but you would have to be careful and not get it very hot-better than using a torch. I have used a torch in the past to clear the edges of plexiglass which work like a charm but you again have to take it slow and not to much heat.

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Old 03-20-2012, 07:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

I just painted a plastic shroud for my LB. Turned out real nice. I scuffed up the shroud, cleaned with TSP (tri sodium phospate...wear gloves!), used a product made by SEM that is a plastic adhesion promoter (got that at an auto body supply store), and then sprayed it with the Krylon fusion for Plastic paint. Looks good, but I have yet to see how long it will last. The paint seemed to take really well, and it was able to cover the fuel-discolored parts of the shroud. I think the TSP is very important for cleaning a project like this for painting.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:12 AM   #15
Wayne195
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Default Re: How to Restore Faded Plastic

Thanks for all the good input, gents. I needed some other things at the hardware store anyway so I did end up getting the plastic paint. I would like to experiment with some of the other suggestions though just to get an idea what the best way is if I ever run into faded plastic again.
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