Painting grills - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Painting grills

I have a Midnight GXP and will be painting my front grilles and fog light grilles as I don't really like the darker color and want to match the silver of the windshield surround. I read in an old post that the silver is the same as the body color for the Cool model. I would just like to confirm before purchasing paint. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 12:41 PM
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The Silver for the windshield frame, tulip panel, and the rest of the frame should be the same as the Cool body color.



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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 07:46 PM
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Good luck painting the grilles. They're powder coated and don't take an overcoat well - at least not in my experience.

I have a cool silver 2006 NA and had mine painted black - twice at a professional body shop. First go round one stated peeling inside the honeycomb within days.

Second time I left both grilles at the shop so they could be painted and properly cured.

That time they lasted a couple months, then piece by piece started peeling.

Now nine months later they need repainting.

Funny thing about it is if I just let them go the grilles would just return to their original color.

If you were in my neighborhood we'd see about hooking up and swapping out our grilles, but I'm not sure a GXP grille will fit a NA 2.4.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 08:46 PM
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Mine are painted. They have been painted for ten years. No problems. Your painter needs to add the compound that makes the paint flexible or they can peel.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 10:09 PM
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Rob, I'll mention that before the next paint job - which is coming up soon.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Mine are painted. They have been painted for ten years. No problems. Your painter needs to add the compound that makes the paint flexible or they can peel.
Thank Rob. Wasn't aware of this and probably prevented a disaster on my part.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 07:59 AM
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You should check with your paint shop, or the paint manufacturer if you are doing it yourself, to see what the spec sheets say. I have been told that flex additives have not been needed for several years, but that you don't want to add any hardener when painting plastic parts (especially bumpers). An adhesion promoter is usually needed for bare plastic, but I wonder if it would also help on powder coat.

I don't know if the powder coating on the grills has a slip agent, but if it does you will have to sand the surface lightly to remove it. I suspect it doesn't since Rob was apparently able to get good results without sanding. In any case, washing with a tetrasodium pyrophosphate solution to strip off any surface oxidation can help with parts that have been exposed to sunlight for very long.

But the most important thing is to check the paint manufacturer's spec sheets because they should give you the exact process.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 09:08 AM
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Mine was painted a long time ago and processes have changed.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 01:14 PM
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Just to clarify here, the OP apparently has black (GXP) grills that he wants to paint silver. The Black grills are not powder coated, or coated with anything, they are just plain black plastic.

The NA (silver) grills are certainly coated with something very resilient and slippery. I doubt it's a powder coat thought or the grills would probably melt in the heat finishing process. But yes, painting the silver grills is an exercise in frustration. I have a set that I got for cutting down to use the honeycomb in a pairt of Norm's inset grill frames. Tried to strip them with Easy-Off... no go. Tried to paint them black... peeled immediately. Next step (when I get round to it) it to use a friend's sandblaster to get the silver off.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 05:20 PM
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The "plain black" grills are likely ABS and, as Soup said, should readily accept paint. They could possibly be polycarbonate (better impact resistance for rocks flying up) and that material should also accept paint fairly well.

Rob's mention of the additive would be important if the paint is not going to grow and shrink with temp changes like the plastic will. As he stated, changes in paint chemistry may have made this unnecessary nowadays.

Soup's also right in that there is no way in hell a plastic substrate is powder coated. Powder coating works by electrically charging the substrate to a different polarity than the powder so it "sticks" to it and then it is baked on. Most plastic are not conductive and the ones that are would be way to [email protected]#$# expensive to mold into a grill.

The "silver" appears to be an electroless plating on a matte surface but it could also be vacuum metalized. Soup says the oven cleaner didn't touch it so it's not likely plated. Vac metalization is good for a fairly hard surface finish and would be more suited to the matte finish.

Sand blasting the silver is likely the only way to go. Unless you have a couple of weeks and the muscle tone to sand all that surface by hand . . .

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Last edited by chickenwire; 04-16-2019 at 05:21 PM. Reason: crappy spelling and grammer
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 08:16 AM
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painted my silver grills black several years ago with Rustoleum Gloss Black For Plastic. It is a rattle can paint especially for plastics and has held up really well. Not even chipped.

Bill.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomatoSoup View Post
Just to clarify here, the OP apparently has black (GXP) grills that he wants to paint silver. The Black grills are not powder coated, or coated with anything, they are just plain black plastic.

The NA (silver) grills are certainly coated with something very resilient and slippery. I doubt it's a powder coat thought or the grills would probably melt in the heat finishing process. But yes, painting the silver grills is an exercise in frustration. I have a set that I got for cutting down to use the honeycomb in a pairt of Norm's inset grill frames. Tried to strip them with Easy-Off... no go. Tried to paint them black... peeled immediately. Next step (when I get round to it) it to use a friend's sandblaster to get the silver off.
The challenge with media blasting is as soon as the surface comes off you are deforming the plastic under the surface. Its pretty tricky. Maybe get a set of black ones and paint them?

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