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17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally took the plunge last night.
While there's a lot of write-ups on this, here's what I did as I used a few twists I didn't find anywhere else, which I think made it easier and more efficient.

  • Cotton swabs
  • Toothpicks
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towels
  • Microfiber towel
  • 12x7 Plastic drape cloth (or contractor trash bags)
  • Painters tape
Step 1: Cleaning Prep
1) Clean the badges and grill with water and paper towels
2) Use cotton swabs with a small amount of rubbing alcohol to clean around, inside, and in between the letters, and the grill
I took a lot of time with this, prep is essential to quality and longevity.

Step 2: Emblem tape prep:
1) Use painters tape to make squares around the emblem areas, a few inches back from the emblems.
2) Tape plastic drape cloth over the back of car
3) Cut square holes in the drape cloth around each emblem area, cutting right in the middle of the blue painter tape squares you made above.
(I found this easier and faster to protect from overspray rather than doing by sections, by just covering the whole rear, and then cutting holes where needed to get to the emblem areas.)


4) Tape your squares again, ensuring the plastic is now taped down to the car, which seals everything off from over spray.


Step 3: Grill tape prep
1) Tape around the grill area, a few inches back from the chrome lining. This is only to give you a guide to follow.
2) Cover whole front with plastic drape cloth (I used a contractor trash bag cut to be open and flat, because I didn't have enough drape cloth)
3) Cut a hole in the drape cloth around the whole grill, following the painters tape lines you just made, so that you expose the grill area.
4) Tape off the exposed grill area that you don't want to paint, and seal the plastic sheet to the car (or in my case, the black trash bag)
I took a lot of time with this, sliding the tape between the groove by the chrome trip and then folding it over, about 1"-3" pieces at a time.

Step 4: Radiator prep: ***Ensure your car is sufficiently cooled off for several hours before doing this or it could melt.
I haven't seen this solution anywhere, but the back of the grill is not easily accessible, and you want to protect your radiator from over spray.
1) Take the plastic drape cloth you have left, cut into 2 sections and open it up all the way.
2) In the center grill section, feed it into your grill a little at a time to fill up the area behind your grill and protector the radiator.
There are only 2 spots you need to feed it in as part of the grill slots are actually covered already, but once fed in it will expand to cover the exposed radiator & other parts.
Feed one drape sheet into the center section just below and to the left of the Subaru logo, and feed the other plastic sheeting just below and to the right of the Subaru logo.
3) Shine a flashlight in to ensure the radiator and parts are no longer exposed and sufficiently covered. You can see it behind the grill below.


Step 4: Spray
1) I did a very light dusting for the first coat, about 4-6" away with short spurts back and forth with 50% overlap in sprays.
2) Let dry 10 minutes.
3) I did each following coat from different angles, and did not lay it on thick in any one coat, as I didn't want runs.
In total I did 4 coats on the emblems, and 5 coats on the grill, each waiting 10 minutes to dry between coats.
4) After the last coat, I let dry for 1 hour.

Step 5: Peel away
1) Carefully remove the tape and plastic drape cloth. I used scissors to cut the plasti-dip from the tape as it pulled up, so I could remove the plastic and tape completely and get it out of the way, before I peeled off the excess plasti-dip.
2) Remove the rest of the tape you put down, which leaves you with nothing but your car and plasti-dip.
3) For the grill, I carefully peeled the tape down, then pulled it out of the groove.
There was zero further work needed for the grill. It looked great right away.



4) For the emblems, I used a toothpick to poke around each letter as I pulled to give the dip a nudge to let loose.

Step 6: Emblem clean up
Use a toothpick to poke with little small jabs in the middle, around, and in between the letters to roll the plasti-dip up and get it out.


I was worried I'd forget to do this part, and end up with a radiator with a plastic sheet melted to it, or an overheated car, so I left a reminder on the ground to ensure I didn't forget.
1) Stick your fingers in between your grill slots, grab the drape cloth, and pull it out a little at a time, working it back and forth to get it out.
Sure enough, it had plasti-dip on it, so if you don't choose to protect behind the grill, I'm confident your radiator will get plasti-dip overspray on it.
This method was quick, doesn't require removing the grill or any parts.

And that was it.

More final results:



2011 Outback Limited 2.5
287 Posts
Nice!! I May have to Try that this summer!

2017 Outback Premium, 2020 Outback XT Limited
35 Posts
The plasti-dip doesn’t stick to the painted surfaces? I didn’t realize that. I kept thinking how am I going to do all that masking accurately.

2021 Touring XT Abyss Blue Pearl
636 Posts
The plasti-dip doesn’t stick to the painted surfaces? I didn’t realize that. I kept thinking how am I going to do all that masking accurately.
Peels away and stays on the badge letters. Pick the middle out of the letters with a toothpick. Below the doors I just masked the letter box and sprayed without any peeling. Masking taped the Pleiades cluster and sprayed and it peeled away from everything but the chrome ring around the cluster. Mutsuraboshi are the only chrome shining on the car out of the black front and back
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