How to Get Paint Off ATV Plastics

Whether you simply want a new look for your quad or it’s got some nasty-looking paint on it, sometimes a new paint job is in order. Before you can paint an ATV, you have to get the old paint off. Many people feel this is impossible on the plastic parts of the ATV, but all it requires is the use of paint strippers that are safe for plastic. Read this post to learn how to get paint off ATV plastic.

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Preparing For Removing Spray Paint from ATV Plastic

Some projects can be stopped midway if you forgot something. Removing paint isn’t one of them. You need to have everything you need before you start and have it readily available.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Paint stripper that is safe for plastic such as Permatex
  • Gloves
  • Safety googles
  • A scrub brush or scrubbing pad(or putty knife in a pinch)
  • Power washer, water hose, or rags
  • Warm, soapy water

Make sure to work outside or in a well-ventilated area.

Washing The ATV

The first step in how to get spray paint off ATV plastic is to wash it. This will remove dirt, debris, and substances that could make paint removal more difficult. It also just needs to be done anyway.

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Removing The Plastic Parts

It will be very hard to remove paint from the plastic without accidentally removing paint from other parts of your ATV if you don’t isolate the parts you want to work with. Take all of the plastic parts that you want to paint off of the ATV and lay them somewhere you don’t mind getting messed up.

Removing Paint from ATV Plastic

This is the central part of how to get paint off ATVs. Put on the gloves and safety goggles. Apply the paint stripper to a small, unseen portion of the frame to be 100% sure it won’t damage your plastic. You can dilute it with water down to as little as 20% paint stripper for extra protection. Wait the amount of time the paint stripper specifies to see if it removes the paint. If you’ve diluted too much, you can more add paint stripper until it removes the paint. Apply it to a small portion and wait again. When it removes the paint, give the entire surface a thin coating of paint stripper.

Getting Paint Stripper and Paint Off the Plastic

You should then have loosened paint all over your plastic. If some of it doesn’t want to come off, you can use the scrub brush or pad to scrub it off. You can pressure wash this off, wash it off with a water hose, or wipe it off with rags. After you’ve wiped it off with the rags, you should probably still wash the surface to make sure no solvent is left behind.

This is generally considered the best way to get paint off ATV plastic because it is easy, effective, and safe for your plastic.

How to Remove Spray Paint from ATV Plastic with Scratches

ATVs get beat up a lot, so your plastic probably has scratches and dents in it that can make paint removal more difficult.

Tackle this by scrubbing the scratches or rough parts of dents. Follow the direction of the scratch or damage so you can get in the recessed area and thoroughly clean out the paint.

You will probably want to fill in or smooth out this damaged spot before you apply your new paint or it will show through the paint.

Other Ways to Get Spray Paint Off An ATV

Off-roaders have tried many ways to remove paint from plastic ATV fenders.

Acetone and elbow grease has worked for a number of people.

You could also remove fusion paint with sandpaper, but you’d need to wax the plastic afterward to restore its smooth surface.

Soda blasters can remove the paint from ATV plastic. If you go this route, definitely remove the plastic from the ATV. The plastic may be rough afterward and will need to have some plastic restorer added to it. Even with the restorer, the plastic may still look rough enough that you can only use the darkest colors.

Lacquer thinner can work, but it is quite dangerous so use with care.

Heat guns can be used at medium heat, but you will need something sharp like a putty knife to scrape the paint off.

Brake fluid and oven cleaner have also been used. These will need to sit longer than paint stripper to work.

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