How to Paint Discolored Chevy Avalanche Sail Panels




Introduction: How to Paint Discolored Chevy Avalanche Sail Panels

This instructable will show you how to prep and paint your discolored sail panel cladding to give your vehicle a better look.

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Step 1: Removal of Cladding (triangular Pieces)

Remove the cladding (triangular pieces) you cannot possibly sand (smooth) and paint them without removing them, I just bought a spare set off of eBay for $200 dollars any year will fit any other year. The ones on mine are actually 2002.

Step 2: Cladding Removed

This is what it will look like once you have removed the cladding sail panel pieces.

Step 3: Smoothing Part One

With the Random Orbital use a 80 grit open face sand paper to get it almost smooth (do not go all the way flat). You will have little strings (looks like hair) on the cladding so don't worry about it.

Step 4: Smoothing Part Two

With the sander use 100 grit sand paper to finish smoothing the cladding and get rid of the hairs.

Step 5: Clean Dust Off of Cladding Piece

Clean the pieces with a Tack rag and move them to a clean area or clean up the current area.

Step 6: Plastic Leather Prep Cleaner

Spray the piece with a Plastic/Leather Prep cleaner.

Step 7: Plastic Adhesion Promoter

Apply the plastic adhesion promoter but it on thick as you can without it running, follow the directions on the can for drying time. (Some Brands of promoter says apply primer or paint within 20 minutes, some say to let it dry).

Step 8: Sealing of Cladding

What the promoter does is melt the outer skin of the cladding and also seals it. The discoloration on the cladding actually comes from within the cladding so sealing it is very important.

Step 9: Applying the Primer

Apply the Primer if you use a Hi build sandable primer it will fill in the pin holes in the cladding (and yes you will have them, no way around it.) Let it dry By the way play attention to what the can says drying time is taking into account your temperature and humidity levels. I let mine sit overnight.

Step 10: Sanding of Primer Part One

Lightly sand the first coat of primer with 100 grit using a sanding blocks. You will be taking a lot of it off but you have to fill the pin holes in.

Step 11: Sanding of Primer Part Two

Prime again with the Hi build primer and let it dry. After it is dry, sand with 200 grit sandpaper and this time just try to get it smooth, the pin holes should be filled by now. Remember the primer will shrink somewhat when it dries so where the pin holes are may be low.

Step 12: Sanding of Primer Part Three

Prime again with the Hi Build primer and let it dry. This time lightly sand with a 320 grit sandpaper, it should be getting shiny now.

Step 13: Wet Sanding

Change to a 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper and wet sand it, after this it will be shiny and ready for paint. When wet sanding make sure to clean the sandpaper frequently.

Step 14: Painting Stage

I purchased 10 cans of Dupli-Color Paint use this because it best color matched my Metallic Pewter paint and very carefully put 6 coats of paint on the pieces. DO NOT SAND the paint. You must match the metallic pattern on your truck or it won’t look right.

Step 15: Clearing Stage

Bought a gallon of clear coat paint and I used a HVLP paint gun to shoot three coats of clear on the pieces. Be careful you have to put on a heavy coat, but not enough to make it run. Use a mask and try to protect the area I used plastic to enclose an area.

Step 16: Color Wet Sanding

Once they are dry start with an 800 wet/dry sandpaper and wet sand, then 1000 wet/dry sandpaper, finally use 2000 wet/dry sandpaper. Optional, you can use 3000 wet/dry sandpaper if you can find it.

Step 17: Final Stage

Use a polishing compound on them and this is how it will come out.

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    4 Discussions


    8 months ago

    Probably an obvious answer-but want to make sure.....Can someone tell me what to use if the plastic is originally black, instead of silver? Would I just use black paint instead of silver? Thanks in advance. :-)


    Reply 8 months ago

    Just use a good black satin or glass
    Kylon for plastic works great


    Question 1 year ago on Step 17

    What to do after removing plastic cladding permanently how do I make it look like the rest of the truck with out clamps still in the.. how will something like cost me to do?

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Looks nice. I really want to learn how to repair and modify my car like this. Being able to work on my own stuff makes me feel like I really own it.