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How To Paint Your Lower Air Dam

The following information contains instructions on how to paint your lower air dam on your truck for a better look and style. The How-To was performed on a 99 F150 4x4. This is a very easy job to do and it can drastically change the looks of your truck. Read the instructions completely and carefully before you begin.

This tech article was originally posted at FordF150.net. It is primarily intended for Ford trucks but the processes most likely also apply to other vehicles.

Materials Needed:

Instructions

Heres a pic of what I used. You can use a different Clear Coat spray just make sure it’s for outdoor use.

Photo of Krylon Fusion paint & lacquer spray

First what you’ll have to do is get under your truck and remove the bolts holding the lower air dam on. On my 99 4x4 I had about 12 8mm size bolts. 4 on the left side 4 in the middle and 4 on the right. 4x2 models may be different but I assume it’s the same situation.

Please make sure your able to remove it carefully before attempting to do this. Also it’s a bit tricky to get the middle 4 bolts you will have to remove a rubbery sheet that blows air up into your radiator to get to them. It’s held in place by 3 push fasteners.

Photos showing the lower air dam bolts

They are relatively easy to find. They are the only bolts holding the valence up find them all and it’ll come right out.

Photo of the air dam, removed from the Ford F150
Removed and ready for cleaning.

Next step is an easy one. According to the instructions on the new Krylon Fusion paint for plastic. All you’ll need to do is wash the area really well. So now that you’ve removed the valance you’ll need to start scrubbing. Get a hard sponge or brush and use some heavy duty soap and some hot water and wash it up spotless. Get every nook you can and make sure there isn’t one particle of dirt or road grime. I didn’t bother to clean the back of mine.

Then it’s time for the painting. Find yourself a clean and really well ventilated area and start putting light even coats all over. Make sure it’s even and start off light. I put roughly about 10 coats!. I used up both cans of black paint and I used up both cans of clear coat. I waited about 1min between each coat the instructions on the can say about 30 sec. If you sprayed an area too much wait till it dries completely before putting another coat. You may be satisfied with less paint however I chose at the end to finish it all up.

Photo of the air dam after two coats of paint
This pic was taken on the second coat

Remember to use a well ventilated area. Here she is all dried up outside after all the coats of black paint. Ready to start with the clear coat:

Photo of the painted air dam, before clear coating

Then finally I waited about 2 hours after the last coat was dry to start with the clear coat. Again according to the directions on the Fusion it takes 15 min or less to dry. 1 hour to handle and 7 days to be fully chip resistant. So again start with the clear coat and apply thin even coats waiting bout 30sec in between coats. On the last few layers of Clear coat you’ll want to make them the heaviest and thickest. That’s what gives it that shine. Now I kick myself for not applying thick enough coats.

Instructions on the can say it dries to the touch in 12 min and can be handled in 30 min. I waited again another 1 1/2 hours before I started messing with it. Make sure you got all areas and everything is dried. I couldn’t get mine to match the trucks shine or darkness as good as I wanted. But then again it’s a whole lot better then the nasty gray plastic it comes from the factory with and it only cost me about 20 dollars to do.

Photo of the finished air dam
The pic doesn’t do it justice it’s a bit shinier and nicer looking in person.

Here's a before photo, for comparison:

Photo before the air dam was painted

I get compliments all the time on how well it came out. That’s it your done! Enjoy your new look and feel free to ask me any questions you want. Good Luck.

This article has been generously donated by Javi Guerra.