Faded Upper Door Panel Color Restoration w/Heatgun Video - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Faded Upper Door Panel Color Restoration w/Heatgun Video

Ran across this tonight on FB, figured some of you sun lovers may find it interesting. Just to add someone commented that it worked for about a month and suggest using interior paint for a longer lasting solution.

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Mr & Mrs ChopTop's 09 Fastback & 06 Vert Mods thread:https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...session-75468/ Original join date; Oct 2005 under LowLife handle.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 05:35 AM
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I've been thinking about trying this - saw it a few weeks ago. The tops of my door panels could use a little help!

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 06:25 AM
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I have seen mixed reviews about this process.

The price is certainly right, but it will last at best 1-2 years and some say it is harder to do each time, eventually not working at all. Curiously, another review said that it was easier every time. In any case, there seems to be a risk that the plastic is permanently damaged and is made more brittle by the heat, which makes sense to me.

Eastwood sells a product called Plastic Resurfacer Matte Black Aerosol that is just under $30 and is supposed to cover 5 sq ft. If the literature is to be believed it has passed the ASTM UV resistance test for 7+ years of exposure without fading. Also, for what its worth, it was a Popular Mechanics Editor's Choice award winner at the 2014 SEMA show. I haven't used it yet, but have a can and will be pulling the door panels this winter to see what it does.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnWR View Post

The price is certainly right, but it will last at best 1-2 years and some say it is harder to do each time, eventually not working at all. Curiously, another review said that it was easier every time. In any case, there seems to be a risk that the plastic is permanently damaged and is made more brittle by the heat, which makes sense to me.

Eastwood sells a product called Plastic Resurfacer Matte Black Aerosol .
The "chalkiness" is the surface plastic breaking down under the UV rays of the sun. The heat gun is basically just melting this surface material back down and allowing the blackness of the lower levels to be visible through it. After repeated attempts, this surface layer will be thick enough that you won't be able to "see through" it.

The heat will not make the plastic more brittle unless you're heating it enough to burn it. So, as with most things, "smoke=bad". The brittleness experienced is continued attack of UV rays progressing deeper into the parent material.

I'm intrigued by the Eastwood product. Ironically, carbon black is a very good UV stabilizer and it's the pigment usually used to color plastics black. But, as you see, the sun can wreak havoc on plastics!

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 10:06 AM
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Tried this a few years ago on my 1979 Chevy C10 and it made a big difference (70's plastic). I think that if you take care of it once you've gone through heating it up, you won't need to do it again. I would recommend removing the panel before you try it.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 11:42 AM
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I tried this on a spare (scrap) piece of our plastic when trying to see if it would remove scratches. Didn't really work on the scratches (though it improves them a bit), but I did find you have to be VERY careful not to overheat, as it will soften the surface and make it glossy (or glossier). Possibly not an issue if you do it evenly all over, but do not do this just in spots.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TomatoSoup View Post
I tried this on a spare (scrap) piece of our plastic when trying to see if it would remove scratches. Didn't really work on the scratches (though it improves them a bit), but I did find you have to be VERY careful not to overheat, as it will soften the surface and make it glossy (or glossier). Possibly not an issue if you do it evenly all over, but do not do this just in spots.
Unfortunately none of the normal restoration products will remove scratches in a textured part.The only thing I have seen that helps at all is a vinyl repair product that includes a filler and texture cards so that you can fill the scratch and then apply a pattern to the surface using one of the included cards while curing the resin with an iron. It isn't perfect, but it can at least make damage less noticeable.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 02:21 PM
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my steel/sand door panels, look to be turning yeller up there,Im not sure abolut trying a heat gun to them. if somebody else tryes it to this color and it work I may give it a try. ....other than that they look about like new.I gotta get some winder tint for the winders. this plastic degrading/&fadeing has always plagued gm productrs...and some others too.for no good reason.( other than being cheep) Ive seen different "plastic"interrior sprays over the years...to me they all looked like hammered dog ****....possiably eastwood got it right...or not. I wood think a good dye would work better than paint.as dye penetrates better and drys much better too....or not. Im not a fan of shiney&dull spots, witch heat gun can do...opperator can doo...I wonder if a good cleaning to remove all armor-all type products would help before heat gunning it.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 02:39 PM
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....possiably eastwood got it right...or not. I wood think a good dye would work better than paint.as dye penetrates better and drys much better too.....
The Eastwood product is a dye.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 04:40 PM
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The Eastwood product is a dye.
John - I read about the product on their website. I don't think it is technically a "dye" as those require absorption into the material. It does, apparently, behave like a dye in that they're using a solvent to "reflow" the plastic surface. That means the solvent is partially melting the plastic surface, allowing the pigment to penetrate into it and then hardening after the solvent flashes off. So it's like paint that "digs deep" - a pretty cool and obviously effective approach.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 07:50 PM
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John - I read about the product on their website. I don't think it is technically a "dye" as those require absorption into the material. It does, apparently, behave like a dye in that they're using a solvent to "reflow" the plastic surface. That means the solvent is partially melting the plastic surface, allowing the pigment to penetrate into it and then hardening after the solvent flashes off. So it's like paint that "digs deep" - a pretty cool and obviously effective approach.
I'm sure you are correct. When I called it a dye I was simply quoting from their FAQs.
Quote:
This is not a paint. This product is more of a dye to re dye a surface.
Quote:
This product is more of a dye to bring back the original coloring to the surface- it does not do any filling.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 11:21 AM
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I have what looks like chalky fading just on the top of the passenger side only for some reason. I suspect it was from a paintless dent repair guy because it was exactly where he slid his tools down inside the door. So it doesn't look like a scrape, but its irregular shape and fade makes me think its partly sun fade. I just don't know it could be just one side unless it's because I usually rest my arm there when I'm driving, effectively covering the drivers side.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 12:34 PM
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I kinda doubt eastwood has it in the steel version......( that might be a lot to ask for) I wonder how long the heat gun approach wood last.... on another note door panel related issue....I took my solstice in for the air bag recall today.....got the car back with nice greasy/oily hand prints on leather...and outer door and seat leather.... you can not fix stupid!!!!.I should of looked it over at the dealer when I picked it up... they also took my $58. for not being able to program the 2 remotes I got off flebay.....I wonder if they even tried.... so...other than gm remotes whoo has ones that work or should I find somebody else to program them...???
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
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I have what looks like chalky fading just on the top of the passenger side only for some reason. I suspect it was from a paintless dent repair guy because it was exactly where he slid his tools down inside the door. So it doesn't look like a scrape, but its irregular shape and fade makes me think its partly sun fade. I just don't know it could be just one side unless it's because I usually rest my arm there when I'm driving, effectively covering the drivers side.
I think you nailed it. If you are only in the sun top down and moving and your arm is on the panel, that's shading it. Another thing to consider is your seating position, outer mirror position, and sun location. If you regularly park in the same location relative to the sun position, the mirrors can concentrate the UV onto certain locations of the car.

My generation of F150 has had some complaints of the "shark fin" at the front of the doors by the mirrors melting and warping. I believe it's a combination of molding conditions along with the concentrated heat of the sun reflection.

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