Painting and Repairing Polycarbonate Hoods

Most of his information will also be useful for ABS plastic

Please note:  Some of this information conflicts with the technical data sheets from most if not all of the paint manufacturers.  My goal is to find methods that work easiest for the home user without purchasing a bunch of product to use on one small project.  My findings however do not overrule the manufacturers recommendations and my methods are to be used with the knowledge that you are shortcutting the proper way, and your findings may be different.


I have personally seen a lot of posts with questions about painting Polycarbonate hoods.  Many have said it cannot be done.  I have personally painted them without any issues using the manufacturers recommendations but I also realize that not everyone wants to spend an additional $50-$100.00 for the products to do it correctly.  So I have started some testing and will be adding to this information as my testing is concluded.  Another Thanks to Goose for supplying the pieces of a junk hood for me to use.  I will also be doing some testing on some repair procedures and some buffing procedures in the future.

First Test.  Paint without any adhesion promoters

The procedure that I used.  I washed the item with hot soapy water.  I cleaned the piece with wax and grease remover.  I then sanded with 400 grit sandpaper on a DA (dual action sander).  Please note, using a coarser grit can actually HURT your adhesion when sanding plastics!  I then blew the piece off and cleaned again with a wax and grease remover.  I then sprayed the same paint that I am selling on this piece.  Please note, different paints may give you different results.  The paint sat for about 8 days and I scribed the paint with about 1/8 inch lines with a razor blade.  Now I did the tape test, no adhesion failure.  If there had been adhesion failure the small boxes would have let go because the adhesion to the plastic was less than the adhesion of the tape.  I am going to leave this piece set for a few more weeks and then get very rough with it.  Please remember full adhesion does not occur for about 30-60 days.  This was at 8 days.  So I am pretty confident that my paint will stick to a Ski-Doo Polycarbonate hood with the same very simple procedure.   Adding hardener to the paint will aid the adhesion even further!  Here is a picture.

polycarbonate plastic paint test

Some notes on plastics.  While I am confident that this procedure will work on all Polycarbonate and ABS hoods used by many manufactures including Ski-Doo, Scorpion, Johnson, Evinrude, John Deere, Rupp, Skiroule and others, most plastics are a blend and these blends can differ between manufacturers and even batches for the same manufacturer.  This means that the results could end up being different, please verify before doing a whole hood and not being happy with the results.  One of the problems with plastics is the mold release agent used to remove from the mold.  My personal feeling is that a 30 year old hood has had this "burnt off" with age on the surface, which helps us on a old hood.  I would recommend using the manufacture method on a new piece.

Since this test "passed" without the use of special sealers or adhesion promoters, I am not sure I will continue with those tests.  If you would like to see that information also, let me know and I may do it at some point in time.  I hope this helps you out!