When you want to change the look of your car or truck, Plasti Dip is a non-permanent option that comes in a variety of colors and finishes and is typically cheaper than both painting and vinyl wrapping. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to research and do the work correctly, you can purchase the materials and apply Plasti Dip to your own car. However, if you want the best possible results and you are willing to pay a bit more, you can also get a professional Plasti Dip application at a specialty shop. See below for more about how much it costs to Plasti Dip a car, where to buy Plasti Dip, and how to apply it yourself.
How Much Does It Cost to Plasti Dip a Car or Truck?
Plasti Dip is incredibly popular with car and truck enthusiasts. It is both flexible and durable, it comes in many colors and custom shades, and it is both repairable and removable. Additionally, Plasti Dip is relatively inexpensive, whether applied by a professional or done as a DIY project.
Cost for Professional Plasti Dip Application
We contacted auto shops in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, and Texas to get pricing information for Plasti Dip application. We found that prices vary widely depending on the shop location, the car, and the desired color(s) and finish. We spoke with the company Dip My Ryde — based in Aurora, CO — that specializes in automotive Plasti Dip, and we were given an approximate quote of around $1,500 to $2,500 for a full dip of a mid-size car. Other quotes we received fell within this general range. Additionally, Pro Wash Auto Spa in Columbia, MD lists approximate Plasti Dip pricing on its website:
- Whole-car Plasti Dip:
- Compact: Starting at $1,100
- Sedan: Starting at $1,300
- SUV: Starting at $1,500
- Oversized: Starting at $1,800
- Wheels: $350
- Bumpers: $175
- Roof: $300
- Hood: $300
- Window trim: $250
- Front grill: $200
As mentioned above, keep in mind that exact prices will vary depending on the shop, the color/finish of the Plasti Dip, and any enhancers or additional work you desire. Most companies will provide you with a free quote, so you can shop around for the best price. 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.”
Cost for DIY Plasti Dip Application
If you have the time and are willing to put in the effort to learn how to apply Plasti Dip yourself, then a DIY option can save you a bit of money. 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 Plus Kit from DipYourCar.com
- Price: About $650
- Car size: Medium
- Color/finish: Shadow Black Satin
- Plasti Dip: All gallons (and/or color pearls) needed for the car size and desired color
- Applicator: DipSprayer system and Quick-connect hose
- Other tools and cleaning supplies: Dip washer, gallon blender, pre-dip spray, protective (topcoat) spray, microfiber towel, window decals, tape, cone filters, dip guard, and various spare parts
Prices will vary depending on your chosen color and finish, as well as the size of your car. Other retailers may also offer customizable kits with or without sprayers.
If you want to purchase all of the items separately, a single gallon of Plasti Dip with no supplies or accessories costs about $65, and one aerosol spray is about $6 to $10. This means that for a whole-car dip (as detailed below) in a basic color and finish, the Plasti Dip needed for a single coat will cost around $200 to $400 for gallon containers.
If you need to purchase a sprayer, this will cost around $170. This does not include the other equipment you may need, such as cleaning supplies, a protective coating, masking tape, etc. You can get a basic accessory pack for around $30 at DipYourCar.com.
For Plasti Dip aerosol cans, which can cover about five to six square feet per can, you can look up the exterior square footage for your vehicle’s make and model online. As a general guide, a mid-size car has about 250 exterior square feet, and a large SUV has about 300 square feet (not including glass areas). Therefore, to cover a whole car with Plasti Dip aerosol cans, you can expect to pay around $300 to $600 for a single coat.
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 sizes, using a matte black dip kit from DipYourCar.com as a reference point:
- Subcompact cars (Mini Cooper, Fiat 500): Three gallons
- Compact cars (Honda Fit, Mazda MX-5): Three to four gallons
- Full-size cars (BMW 5 Series, Chrysler 300): Four gallons
- Mid-size 2-door cars (Honda Accord, Ford Focus): Four gallons
- Mid-size 4-door cars (Toyota Camry, Nissan Maxima): Four to five gallons
- Minivans/small SUVs (Toyota Rav4, Honda Odyssey): Five to six gallons
- Standard SUVs (Ford Explorer, Chevy TrailBlazer): Six gallons
- Large SUVs (Chevy Tahoe or Suburban): Six gallons or more
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.
Where to Buy Plasti Dip
You can find a list of Plasti Dip retailers at the Plasti Dip website, but the following stores typically have Plasti Dip products in stock:
- Ace Hardware
- Advance Auto Parts
- Pep Boys
- Summit Racing Equipment
- The Home Depot
Stores That Sell Similar Products
The following stores do not sell name-brand Plasti Dip, but they do sell similar peelable paint products:
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 main ways to apply Plasti Dip: a spray gun or an aerosol can. Regardless of which option you choose, you should take the following steps.
First, for safety’s sake, choose a worksite that provides adequate ventilation. Then, use tape to mask off the areas you don’t want to coat. You can do a whole-car dip by masking only the windows, because the dip easily peels off of headlights and taillights.
Make sure all the surfaces you want to dip are free of grease, dirt, oily residue, wax, and loose rust. You should apply Plasti Dip to a smooth, unbroken finish, and keep in mind that Plasti Dip will peel if you don’t apply it properly.
The best way to apply Plasti Dip is with an electric turbine style spray system or a spray gun. Start by mixing the product well (or shaking the aerosol can). 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 at least four hours of curing time.
For specific, step-by-step instructions, you can consult the extensive catalog of videos and tutorials at DipYourCar.com.
Plasti Dip Primer Application
If your vehicle has a deteriorated finish, or if you just want 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 — the Plasti Dip website also has instructions for primer application. 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.
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 six square feet. Single cans of Plasti Dip enhancer range in price from around $15 to $45, depending on the finish.
Plasti Dip Restrictions
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 [VOCs]), and it costs about $10 more per gallon than regular Plasti Dip. Produced by the global Adhesive and Sealant Council, Adhesives.org provides a portal through which you can access each state’s ever-changing VOC regulations. If you live in a state like California, which has strict regulations, you may want to contact local authorities to find out if you can purchase and use regular Plasti Dip in your state.
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 (do not expect a like-new quality outcome) to $7,500 for a high-quality job (as we’ve previously reported). You can paint your car yourself for much cheaper, but you will need to purchase the paint and supplies, strip and sand existing paint, mask unpainted areas, prime, paint, and cut/buff. 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.