It’s very necessary that you enquire whether you should paint your plastic running boards or not. You know, paints on plastic have a high tendency of getting worn out quickly.
Let’s answer the question — Can I Paint My Plastic Running Boards?
Can I Paint My Plastic Running Boards?
Well, the answer here is yes, you can. But there are some things to keep in mind before you start painting your plastic running boards. The problem with painted running boards is they wear out quickly, especially if you do a lot of off-road driving.
Should I Paint My Plastic Running Boards?
The underlying goal of painting your plastic running boards is to change the color and add a layer of protection. Unlike most plastics, these are exposed to the elements and can be damaged by UV rays from the sun or dirt from off-roading. Painting your plastic running boards is a great way to protect them from these conditions.
The answer as to whether you should paint your plastic running boards is yes if you want them to be both durable and attractive. However, before you begin, it’s important to know that there are some risks involved.
Risks Involved In Painting My Plastic Running Boards
The problem with painting the running boards is that they will wear out pretty quickly. They will get scratched up easily and it will show up more than if they were left black.
The other problem is that the paint might not adhere well to the plastic surface. If there are chips in the paint then dirt and moisture will collect under them and may lead to rusting.
Plastic running boards need to be painted with a special type of paint because they are constantly exposed to all types of weather conditions. Painting your boards incorrectly can actually damage your boards more than if you left them alone. To ensure that you do not damage your running boards, it is important that you understand how to paint them correctly.
There are two main types of paint that can be used for painting a plastic running board; acrylic and enamel. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages so you will need to carefully consider which one will work best for your situation before making a final decision. Acrylic is considered by many to be the best choice for most situations but there are times when it may not be the best choice for you.
If your running boards have been damaged or if they are beginning to show signs of wear and tear, then you should decide between the two options based on their quality and durability. You should also consider whether or not they will be exposed to harsh elements such as rain or snow.
Can You Wrap Running Boards?
Yes, you can wrap running boards, in fact, we recommend using 3M 1080 series gloss black for a very durable and long-lasting vinyl wrap.
The biggest benefit of wrapping running boards is to protect them from the elements and damage. Second, it’s a way to make your truck unique and stand out on the road. Running board wraps are more about protection and style than anything else.
Tip: It is advisable to remove the running boards before applying the wrap; it makes cleaning and applying the vinyl easier. The only issue we’ve seen with wrapping running boards is that they are often rubber, and the vinyl might not stick as well as other surfaces, so you may want to use an adhesive promoter to ensure proper adhesion.
Can You Paint Aluminum Running Boards?
Yes. There are numerous reasons why people would want to paint their aluminum running boards. Some get a scratch that they want to cover up, and others just want to change the color or liven them up.
The best way to paint your running boards is with a spray can, but you will need to do some prepping first.
Step 1: Cleaning the Running Boards
The first step is obviously cleaning the running boards, and it’s usually best if you use soap and water for this. After you have washed and dried them, you need to sand them down with 80 grit sandpaper.
After sanding them down, wipe them down again with soap and water and then let them dry.
Step 2: Priming the Running Boards
You need to prime the running boards before painting so that they hold the paint better. One of the best primers is Rust-Oleum Automotive Sandable Primer Spray, which comes in a 12 ounce can and only costs a few bucks on Amazon at the time of writing this article (There are 12 cans in a case).
This primer doesn’t require any sanding between coats and it dries fast, which enables you to apply up to three coats in one hour.
Step 3: Painting
How Do You Fix A Rusty Running Board?
In your case, if the running boards are already rusty, it’s too late to use a rust converter. It only works on bare metal. You need to remove all the rust and paint.
If the running board has a lot of thick, crusty rust and paint, you may need to chisel, grind or scrape away some of the old material before you can sand it down. If there is still a lot of paint, you’ll have to sand that off first. You may need an electric sander or grinder for this part of the job. Use coarse sandpaper (60-120 grit) and work it over the surface until you get down to clean metal.
Depending on how much material you had to remove, you may be able to move directly to using a finer grit sandpaper (150 grit) on the running board before painting. This will help give it a smooth finish. Otherwise, wipe the board down with acetone or lacquer thinner and let it dry completely before applying primer and paint.
How To Repair Plastic Running Boards
You can repair your cracked, scuffed, and scratched plastic running boards. It’s a multi-step process that does require some mechanical inclination and elbow grease, but the savings over replacing the running boards will make it worthwhile.
The first thing you need to do is remove the running boards from the vehicle. To do this, you’ll need some basic hand tools and an electric or air-powered impact wrench. You’ll be looking for at least 10 bolts holding the running board to the vehicle frame. Once you’ve removed all of these bolts, you can take the running boards off of the vehicle and begin to assess how bad they are.
You may find that one or more of the mounting brackets are rusted through. These should be replaced with new ones along with any other hardware like pins or bushings that are rusted or worn out.
Once you have removed all of this hardware, clean it up using steel wool (if it is rust) and a wire brush (if it is not). You should then use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges on the plastic itself. Use a paint stripper to remove any old paint from the brackets, etc., then wash everything down with soap and water and let it dry completely before moving on to painting.
Can I Paint My Plastic Running Boards – Conclusion
Most plastic running boards are painted, even though they were originally manufactured in solid colors. While the paint might be peeling to some degree, you can often restore the boards’ original color by stripping the old paint and respraying them. The process isn’t terribly complicated, but it’s not exactly a walk in the park either.
The bottom line: yes, you can paint your plastic running boards. But if you’re worried about the job being too hard, don’t sweat it. Your local body shop or insurance company can do this for you as part of collision repair work on your car.
Thanks for reading.
Joe lives and breathes cars and trucks. After many years working in the Auto industry, he decided that it is only right to share his knowledge with the public. As a qualified expert in trucks and cars, he started working for Truckile.com and is the main editor and publisher.