Fender flare refinishing
I received an email earlier today from George in Chicago about my flare home refinish job last summer while having my D90 repainted, and realized that I told several people here that I'd follow-up later. I guess here it is, using my email response. Hope it helps someone!
- Original email -
> Hello Chris,
> can you tell me a bit about your prep and paint on your flares? I wanted to buy a new set from UK but its looking doubtful in terms of shipping...I've got one of the early 110s with body color flares and wondered if it would look decent painting them flat black...just curious for your experiences...
- Reply -
I had really great luck refinishing my stock NAS flares, and the cost was almost zip. (Mine are the stock NAS flat black ones, though, and were not painted when I started, so I'm not sure how my method will take to your painted ones.) As they're prone to, when I started, they were pretty grayed out and had minor pitting from time as expected. Replacing them would have been ridiculously expensive, and replacements were gloss black from the UK anyway, something that I thought would look dumb on my truck.
I removed the flares and cleaned and degreased them thoroughly, using a good plastic cleaner and finally naphtha. (Careful what solvent/mineral spirits you use, as some will dissolve or scar the plastic, so try anything you might use on the back side first to check for reaction. Naphtha was safe in my experience.) I also then used a Scotchbrite pad to scuff up the surface a little and give the paint a tooth to better adhere to.
I then used a "Rustoleum Textured Plastic" paint in flat black sold at either Home Depot or Lowes, I can't remember which, but the spray can has a picture of a plastic lawn chair on it if that helps. The finish is a sort of light texture, grittier than a satin finish, but not by much. The finish also helps fill in minor scratches or "glitter-like" pitting like mine had and all the stock NAS ones get with time as the plastic surface oxydizes and breaks down in sunlight.
I carefully laid on three light but thorough coats, and when done, they looked as good as new. They still look great, with no degradation in the finish, nearly ten months since I painted them. I park the truck outside in all sorts of weather (and I live right on the Chesapeake Bay), and have put probably five thousand miles on the car since doing it as well. I'm happy with how they came out, and probably have about eight bucks in total cost.
I think Defenders look best and tougher with the flares in flat black myself, and as an added bonus, should they get scuffed up on trails, they're easily repaired! (Unlike body-colored painted ones.)
Good luck with the project, and let me know if you have any other questions or problems.
I'll also post this email on the D-90 Forum, in case anyone else was wondering but afraid to screw up theirs.
Have a good night,
'86 D110 3-door
'97 D90SW - SOLD SEP '14
'94 D90ST - SOLD MAY '13
D90s sold while assigned overseas. You're welcome America!
'06 Range Rover Sport Supercharged
'8X FankenRover D100