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 Heatgun to bring back color
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blake711
Advanced Modder



Skiatook
OK
USA

2622 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2010 :  19:36:58  Show Profile
Ok there has been a lot of talk about using a heatgun to restore color lately. I threw together a little video about it tonight. I haven't messed with it a lot so any pointers from your pros IE gambler and others please chime in.

Sorry photos aren't the best sun was going down and reds are hard to shoot. So not the best light for this but you still get the idea.




Before


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after


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complexity is the enemy of reliability

Edited by - blake711 on 08/06/2010 19:39:11

Dongskie
Journeyman Modder


Manila
Philippines



380 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2010 :  21:05:45  Show Profile  Visit Dongskie's Homepage  Click to see Dongskie's MSN Messenger address  Send Dongskie a Yahoo! Message
Looks promising...

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the gambler
Senior Modder

Jacksonville
Florida
USA



1437 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2010 :  04:24:05  Show Profile
you have to just keep playing with it some plastics it works better on than others.

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unit2cpd
Journeyman Modder

Clinton
Indiana
USA



188 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2010 :  04:34:20  Show Profile
So basicly the chalky color is just water in the plastic and the heat gun pulls it out. Does it maker it easier to paint and clean after. IS there anything to watch out for while putting the heat on the plastic.

Man this sure is fun to do!!!
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dozer
Expert Modder

Milton
Ontario
Canada



789 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2010 :  04:43:13  Show Profile
that's amazing. I need a heat gun. I noticed the vette didn't stay shiny. does it get better if you do it twice. and is it uniform or blotchy. did you do the hood of the vette to

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Think outside the sphere that the box is floating in.
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blake711
Advanced Modder

Skiatook
OK
USA



2622 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2010 :  05:33:27  Show Profile
No the hood was from another vehicle. The pictures aren't the greatest as I said it was getting dark and it was overcast so the light was hard to get the white balance right. If you look at the left side of the vette photo I did a spot on the fender and it shows its color much better.

I haven't played with it a lot. What I have found is the worse it looks the better the heatgun works. So the white on the vette has more color come back than something that just has some mild fading.

I will play with it some more. I don't know if its best to just wash it and start heating or if you should try and polish it or sand it a little bit first or if that makes it worst. I mainly posted that to try and get some input from other folks with more experience doing it.

One other note. I don't know if that is moisture or not being sucked out of the plastic or if its some type of chemical reaction. No idea that was just a guess. Maybe someone with more plastic experience can comment on that.

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Edited by - blake711 on 08/07/2010 05:43:26
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HobbyMasters
Senior Modder

Red Bank
NJ
USA



1349 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2010 :  08:20:34  Show Profile  Visit HobbyMasters's Homepage
The white in the plastic is UV damage to the outermost layer of molecules. I would imagine that when u r heating the plastic it is melting that layer of molecules in with the next layer, like warming a patty of butter. It brings some of the non-damaged molecules to the top.

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jparthum
Senior Modder

(77627) Nederland
Texas
USA



2272 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2010 :  13:52:55  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by AlanP

The white in the plastic is UV damage to the outermost layer of molecules. I would imagine that when u r heating the plastic it is melting that layer of molecules in with the next layer, like warming a patty of butter. It brings some of the non-damaged molecules to the top.


That theory seems to fit with what I was finding when trying to use petroleums to restore color...



It seemed like the outer-most 'layer' had lost it's color and become opaque. The petroleum (particularly brake fluid) seemed to saturate that top layer and make it clear, so the underlying color then showed through. The problem with petroleums though, is that when they dry out, the faded look returns.


Great video Blake!

I haven't even taken my heat gun out of the box yet , but seeing a little bit of the technique in action will help me get started. One of the methods I planned to try is a combination of brake fluid and heat, but if I get good enough results with just heat, then that obviously won't be necessary.




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blake711
Advanced Modder

Skiatook
OK
USA



2622 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2010 :  12:42:37  Show Profile
I wanted to follow up on this. I did some more testing and forgot to post about it till someone mentioned this thread in another.

I played with a couple of junk vehicles before trashing them. What I found was that the liquid that comes to the surface is not water/moisture it is actually the plastic melting I used a scraper and was able to move it and watch it harden in a small pile. So when you heat it to a certain point the plastic appears to start melting and then when it cools it leaves the smoother sometimes shinier surface.

I also have come to the conclusion that while it does bring back color it does its best job on more faded surfaces and ones that have some chalk to them.

Another thing I found is the best results come if you can get a whole piece all hot and get the whole thing with the shiny sweating look then let it cool all at once. If you heat and cool small areas then you can see the difference in the finish more easily than if you can let it all cool at once. This is of course easier on smaller parts.

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Taz11
Advanced Modder

Bloomsbury (08804)
NJ



3739 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2010 :  14:12:57  Show Profile
Great tips Blake. I've been toying with this too and can support your findings. I also noticed that it does not bring back a factory shine, just the color. The finish is improved, but not restored fully.

Drive it like you stole it!........out of somebody's garbage!
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blake711
Advanced Modder

Skiatook
OK
USA



2622 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2010 :  14:21:30  Show Profile
Yeah I think its best use is with silver or chrome colors. Or for taking items that are chalky getting them smooth again and making prep for painting easier.

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HobbyMasters
Senior Modder

Red Bank
NJ
USA



1349 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2010 :  14:42:56  Show Profile  Visit HobbyMasters's Homepage
I just tried it on an old Red Jeep hood that Taz left here It works great and absolutely works by melting the worn layer with the layer on top. Unfortunately Taz failed to clean the hood thoroughly before he left it with me so the dirt is kinda cooked in too. Shame on you!

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Saving the world one Power Wheels at a time.
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Taz11
Advanced Modder

Bloomsbury (08804)
NJ



3739 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2010 :  14:53:34  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by AlanP

I just tried it on an old Red Jeep hood that Taz left here It works great and absolutely works by melting the worn layer with the layer on top. Unfortunately Taz failed to clean the hood thoroughly before he left it with me so the dirt is kinda cooked in too. Shame on you!



Now what is my daughter going to use for Driveway chalk?! I guess she will have to use the tailgate.

Drive it like you stole it!........out of somebody's garbage!
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blake711
Advanced Modder

Skiatook
OK
USA



2622 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2010 :  15:15:34  Show Profile
LOL driveway chalk. I hate that stuff my kids have a giant tub of that crap. Its always everywhere and my son thinks its great to color everything in my garage with it. I guarantee if they were outside today when I get home my driveway will look like a gang shootout happened from all the body outlines they have drawn of each other.

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chozian
Expert Modder

Meridianville
AL (35759)
USA



631 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2010 :  15:30:14  Show Profile  Visit chozian's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by blake711

Ok there has been a lot of talk about using a heatgun to restore color lately. I threw together a little video about it tonight. I haven't messed with it a lot so any pointers from your pros IE gambler and others please chime in.

Sorry photos aren't the best sun was going down and reds are hard to shoot. So not the best light for this but you still get the idea.




Awesome! Thanks so much for posting this. I'm definitely going to try this out.


Chris Hozian

"We may one day have both fame and fortune, and learn that neither is basic for true success and complete happiness." ~The New Era, August 1989, pages 4-5.

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dozer
Expert Modder

Milton
Ontario
Canada



789 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2010 :  04:33:53  Show Profile
I tried it with a small soldering torch to see how it works. I got the idea but it was hard to control

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Think outside the sphere that the box is floating in.
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badcomp
Journeyman Modder

Andover
Kansas
USA



433 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2010 :  06:15:10  Show Profile
I have also played around with this. I primairly use it to fix stress spots on newer not faded vehicles. On my gator the bed has some white spots from the kids pulling on the bedsides. It works pretty well to hide those spots. You can think of the white spots as micro fractures or cracks in the outer finish of the plastic. With the heat they melt back together and for the most part go away.
I used it on a whole vehicles once. I decided it was just easier to paint it in the long run.
I was thinking that spraying a petroleum product on the hot melted finish might build in some shine to the finished product. I havent had the time to test my theory or research products to use. Perhaps an aerosol product designed for fiberglass or something. The only problems I see right off the bat is a uniform finsih as you can only heat up so much surface area at a time. Just a thought.
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blake711
Advanced Modder

Skiatook
OK
USA



2622 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2010 :  07:34:10  Show Profile
Badcomp - all great points and I forgot to mention the use on stress spots on nice looking vehicles. I had same issue on a couple quads I moved by picking up behind the seat. Its great for darkening up those white spots when stressing the plastic.

I agree also the uniform finish is hard on anything that is very large.

As for the petroleum I am sure you know this but I would be very cautious as it will be flammable at some temp. So I have avoided attempting anything like that. Make sure to have the appropriate Fire Extinguisher near by because water will only make it worse.

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complexity is the enemy of reliability

Edited by - blake711 on 08/22/2010 07:58:23
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Hamiltondeer
Journeyman Modder

Palatine
IL
USA



154 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2010 :  20:34:58  Show Profile
Can someone try this on a windshield and see what happens? Will it clean it up or smog it?
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PW warehouse
Senior Modder

Central
IN
USA



1712 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2010 :  07:49:32  Show Profile
I have also repaired a few stress blemishs with the heat gun. Seems to work great,but you would think the plastic would weaken in that area some.


Edited by - PW warehouse on 08/22/2010 08:26:35
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scotth1129
New Member

ludington
michigan
USA

1 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2010 :  08:09:53  Show Profile
u can also use steel wool to bring back the color then lightly go over it with a torch or heat gun. I work with plastics at my job and we use a torch to remove scratches from our plastic.just gradually wave the torch over the discolored plastic after u use the steel wool.
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Divinar
Moderator

San Jose 95123
CA
USA



3057 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2010 :  09:49:39  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Hamiltondeer

Can someone try this on a windshield and see what happens? Will it clean it up or smog it?



I ruined a corner of my good gator windshield.

Also, don't use Goo-Gone on the clear plastic, it melts it.


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ms1120
Senior Modder

M-Town
Georgia
USA



1464 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2010 :  00:29:54  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Dongskie

Looks promising...


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