Short Answer: It can cost up to $1,000 to have a professional fully coat a large vehicle in Plasti Dip, while DIY costs can be much cheaper — as little as $110 to $330 — depending on how much you need to spend on supplies. Besides Plasti Dip, painting and vinyl wrapping are other popular options for transforming the look of a car. However, Plasti Dip is cheaper than both vinyl and paint. If you want to Plasti Dip just your wheels, the cost is even lower. For more about the costs of Plasti Dip, as well as where to buy it and how much you will need for your car, see below.
How Much Does It Cost to Plasti Dip a Car or Truck?
Plasti Dip is incredibly popular with car and truck enthusiasts. Beyond how it looks, Plasti Dip offers several other great advantages. It is both flexible and durable, it comes in many colors and custom shades, and it is both repairable and removable.
Above all else, Plasti Dip is inexpensive, whether applied by a professional (close to $1,000 for a large SUV) or done as a DIY project. If it is your first time using Plasti Dip, consider purchasing a full kit to get started. Then, once you have the necessary supplies, you can reuse many of them for future projects. Kits are available through several retailers. Below is an example of what a kit might include:
- Plasti Dip Pro Kit from DipYourCar.com
- Price: $600
- Plasti Dip: Four gallons
- Topcoat: Two gallons
- Tint: 100 grams
- Applicator: DipSprayer system and Quick-connect hose
- Other tools and cleaning supplies: Dip washer, gallon blender, pre-dip spray, microfiber towel, window decals, tape, cone filters, dip guard, and various spare parts
Other retailers may also offer customizable kits with or without sprayers. Purchasing just a gallon of Plasti Dip with no supplies or accessories runs about $55, and one aerosol spray can cost about $10.
How Much Plasti Dip Do You Need to Cover an Entire Car?
The amount of Plasti Dip needed to cover an entire vehicle depends on several factors, including the size of the vehicle, the number of coats applied, and the application method. Below is an estimate of the number of gallons of Plasti Dip needed for different car models:
- Subcompact cars (Mini Cooper, Fiat 500): Two gallons
- Compact cars (Honda Fit, Mazda MX-5): Two to three gallons
- Full-size cars (BMW 5 Series, Chrysler 300): Four gallons
- Large SUVs (Chevy Tahoe or Suburban): Five to six gallons
- Mid-size 2-door cars (Honda Accord, Ford Focus): Three gallons
- Mid-size 4-door cars (Toyota Camry, Nissan Maxima): Three to four gallons
- Minivans/small SUVs (Toyota Rav4, Honda Odyssey): Four to five gallons
- Standard SUVs (Ford Explorer, Chevy TrailBlazer): Five gallons
For just dip alone, it will cost anywhere from about $110 for a subcompact to $330 for a large SUV.
How Much Plasti Dip Do You Need for Wheels?
Some people choose to remove the wheels from their car or truck prior to applying Plasti Dip, while others apply it without taking off the wheels. The important thing is to mask off the areas not to be coated, including the brakes.
The amount of Plasti Dip it takes to cover your rims depends on the wheel size and the number of coats applied. Generally, you’ll need about one aerosol can per wheel or one gallon applied with a spray gun for all four. Depending on wheel size and where you buy the product, the total cost for the Plasti Dip for wheels should be below $75. Note, however, that since wheels get beat up a lot with road grime (especially in the winter), Plasti Dip on the wheels doesn’t last as long as higher up on the vehicle, and you may need to reapply more often
If you prefer a different, more durable type of coating for your wheels, we have the cost breakdown for powder coating wheels and rims.
Where to Buy Plasti Dip
You can find Plasti Dip products at the Plasti Dip website or at various other retailers, including:
- Ace Hardware
- Advance Auto Parts
- Pep Boys
- Summit Racing Equipment
- The Home Depot
In certain regions, stores only carry something called Plasti Dip 50. This formulation is a 50-state compliant product (with low levels of volatile organic compounds), and it costs about $10 more per gallon. Regular Plasti Dip Spray cannot be used or sold for personal or professional use in Arizona, California, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. Sales for professional use are also prohibited in Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, and Utah. Individuals living in these states may be able to use Plasti Dip Spray 50, which can be used and sold in all areas except in certain parts of California including El Dorado, Colusa, and Glenn counties, as well as the Bay area.
To find a shop that will apply Plasti Dip to your car, you can start with a Google search of “auto shops that Plasti Dip near me.” Of course, keep state restrictions in mind when searching for a shop or buying your own Plasti Dip.
How to Apply Plasti Dip
Contrary to its name, the Plasti Dip process has nothing to do with “dipping” a car into anything. There are two ways to apply Plasti Dip: a spray gun or an aerosol can. Masking areas to keep the dip off is a good practice. However, whole-car “dips” may be done by masking only the windows, because the dip easily peels off headlights and taillights. Additionally, a microfiber cloth makes easy work of removing any overspray. Note that Plasti Dip will peel if you don’t apply it properly.
First, for safety’s sake, choose a worksite that provides adequate ventilation. Start by mixing the product well. Then, make sure all surfaces are free of grease, dirt, oily residue, wax, and loose rust. The idea is to apply Plasti Dip to a smooth, unbroken finish.
If a vehicle has a deteriorated finish, or for a more permanent application, the Plasti Dip Primer provides for better color adhesion to the surface. The primer comes in an aerosol can and dries in about an hour. Keep in mind that while dips applied over the primer can be removed, it takes a lot more effort than jobs done without primer. Additionally, once it has dried, the primer cannot be removed from the car’s surface.
The best way to apply Plasti Dip is with an electric turbine style spray system or a spray gun. When applying, keep the spray gun 10 to 12 inches away from the surface and allow each coat to dry 10 to 30 minutes before applying the next coat. Allow for four hours of curing time. For more detailed information, DipYourCar.com provides a comprehensive FAQ section with tips about how to properly apply Plasti Dip.
How to Make Custom Plasti Dip Colors
Plasti Dip comes premixed in a broad spectrum of colors, and you can create your own color by mixing different colors or even layer colors one on top of the other.
After applying colored Plasti Dip, you can customize the look even more with a high-gloss topcoat. You can also purchase a variety of Plasti Dip enhancers to get your desired finish, from metalized to pearlized. The enhancer products come in 11-ounce aerosol cans. After thoroughly shaking the can, apply it with overlapping strokes until the surface appears wet and even. Allow eight hours to dry. The number of coats needed depends upon the product, and each can will cover about five to 10 square feet. Single cans of Plasti Dip enhancer range in price from around $15 to $45, depending on the finish.
Other Options for Changing the Color of Your Vehicle
Whether you want to cover an entire car or truck, or just the rims/wheels, keep the following in mind when determining whether to use Plasti Dip or a different type of coating:
- DIY skill level
- Equipment required
- Temporary or permanent change
Painting is an alternative option to Plasti Dip, and typical professional auto painting costs run anywhere from $400 for a very basic paint job to $7,500 for a high-quality job. You can paint your car yourself for much cheaper, but you will need to purchase the paint and supplies, strip and sand existing pain, mask unpainted areas, prime, paint, and buffer. It is worth doing as much research as possible to make sure you are doing the best possible work.
Another option is vinyl wrapping, and this is typically best left to professionals who can achieve a perfectly smooth, crease-free application. Wraps can last several years, but the cost to wrap a car is comparable to that of a quality paint job.
Plasti Dip offers an affordable, durable, and easily removable car or truck alternative to repainting or getting a vinyl wrap. When it comes time to change things up again, remove the Plasti Dip using a pressure washer, mineral spirits, or even sandpaper if necessary. If you’re not too aggressive with the clean-up, your paint will be the same as it was before you started the Plasti Dip process.