HOW TO: Paint Interior Trim and other Misc Panels
Hey everyone! I decided to write up a How To on painting your interior pieces! I see threads all the time asking how to do it what to use etc... so I decided to take the liberty to share some knowlage (and sound alittle funny).mabye give some of you the insight to make you want to tackle a bigger more extensive project...GOOD LUCK
Thanks for reading and enjoy
Some things to think about...
IM NOT CLAIMING MY WAY IS THE ONLY WAY OR EVEN THE"RIGHT"WAY. BUT IS THE WAY I WOULD PERSONALLY DO IT AND WOULD ADVISE OTHERS TO DO. I HAVE GRADUATED COLLEGE FOR COLLISION REPAIR AND REFINISHING,TAKEN CUSTOM PAINTS CLASSES AND CURRENTLY AM A PAINTER AND A BODY SHOP. I TAKE NO RESPONSIBLITY FOR ANY DAMAGED PARTS OR MISUSED PRODUCTS THIS HOW TO IS ONLY A GUIDELINE OR AN INSTRUCTIONAL TUTORIAL USED TO HELP YOU ACHIVE A BETTER MORE DESIRABLE LOOK FOR YOUR VEHICLES INTERIOR. I AM IN NO WAY GUARANTEEING SATISFACTION. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Before any painting is done, first you should decide what you want to do. Do you want to redo your entire interior? Do you want to only do your trim panels? What color(s) do you want to use? Two-Tone? Body color match? Do you want the finished product to be smooth? Textured? Matte? Shiny? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before starting a project like this.
PREP! PREP! PREP!
Before any paint project begins you have to prep whatever it is that you are going to work on. Always have clean hands and a clean workspace for maximum satisfaction (HA).Before you begin I would recommend that any pieces you choose to paint be removed from the car. I would not advise painting INSIDE your car at any time mainly due to the hassel of overspray, masking, taping and fumes etc... So follow one of the many how to's to remove whatever piece(s) you want to paint.
Some Things You Will Need
*note: if you use a scuff pad I would also recommend a "scuff soap" of some sort. Usually can be found online or some local stores (kinda looks like a wierd mud paste heh)but this is not really a MUST.
- Hot/Soapy water (dish soap will be fine or car wash soap)
- Prep Solvent if applicable (vinly cleaner, wax and grease remover etc..)
- Grey 3M scuff pad(s) and/or 500-800 grit wet/dry Sandpaper
- 1000-2000 grit wet sand paper
- Masking Tape and/or Masking Paper (depends on your project)
- Rubber Gloves
- Primer (if necessary)
1.Start by removing any thing you dont want to paint i.e. window cranks, door handles etc...(if applicable). Next,(if applicable) very thoroughly wash the piece/panel with prep solvent. I wouldnt recommend SOAKING the panel. Put some solvent on a CLEAN rag/towel (one that you dont mind not using not a dish towel or anything you plan to use later) and wash it into the panel give it alittle scrubbing. I'd say do this a good 2-3 times.
*note* Becareful! Some prep solvents out there can be VERY aggresive always use rubber gloves and most importantly make sure that the prep solvent you use isn't strong enough to melt the plastic! Try alittle dab on the back of the panel if it starts to smear or leave fingerprints STOP IMMEDIATLY! this means the product is to aggressive!
If the prep solvent isnt in your budget or you don't have access to it DONT WORRY ... hot soapy water will do just fine.
2.Next, after you clean off the panel with the prep solvent, it's then time to soap it up. Get your sponge and hot soapy water and wash the part similarly to using the prep solvent. Also do this 2-3 times, then rinse the part with CLEAN water.
3.Now it's time to sand! Some people may tell you it's best to let the sandpaper sit in water 15 minutes before using it... I dont really see a difference. Next sand or scuff the panel until it looks dull. If using the scuff pad and sand soap put a little sand soap on the scuff pad and dip it in water and scrub the panel till its dull. You wont be able to tell if its dull if its wet so dry a spot of that you sanded and see how it looks. It may look kinda white and scratched up that's good!
If using the scuff soap DO NOT LET IT DRY ON THE PANEL this will cause problems! It will be fine as long as it's wet. As soon as your done RINSE THE PART THOROUGHLY. Get all the sand soap off (or sand drip from wet sanding). Then REPEAT STEP 2.
Once this is completed be sure to dry the piece of VERY WELL! If you have access or have an air compressor blow of all the water, all the nooks crannys and even the back of the piece... WATER+PAINT= PROBLEMS! heh if you have to towel dry it then blow dry the remaining water.worst case scenario, let the piece sit out in the sun till it dries
FOR TRIM PANEL PIECES:
I'd recommend doing the wash prep then sand the pieces with 1000 grit sandpaper. Try not to sand ALL the way throught the stock paint (paint sticks better to paint) if you sand through no big deal just try not to. Depending on what type of paint your using (i.e. Spray paint, automotive paint etc..) id say for spray painting if you dont have access to an adhesion promoter specific to your paint (in my case i used DuPont Automotive Paint, i used DuPont 222 Mid coat adhesion promoter on my trim pieces then just painted over it...) but if you dont have an adhesion promoter id recommed using a primer. 2 coats of primer should be PLENTY wait 5 -15 minutes in between coats if its dull then go to the next coat... let the primer sit for about 30 minutes or so before sanding the primer. sand with 600-800 grit wet sandpaper till its smooth and dull no orange peel..if you sand through the primer, re-apply primer and re-sand. once sanded re wash and dry.
First you have to choose whether you want to use spray paint or automotive paint or whatever you want to use. If you choose spray paint, I would recommend something with a FAN spray tip not the round spray kind (if you can) it just helps with even coverage and easier to spray in my opinion. Some people i've seen have been partial to the KRYLON FUSION paint for plastics, this is fine if that is your route, i've never used the stuff personally but if it works it works I dont know how durable it is.. On my Interior pieces, the green trim pieces I used DuPont Automotive Paint, The Black I used SEM COLOR COAT Spray Paint (Color = SATIN BLACK #15243), the white I used SEM COLOR COAT as well (Color = White #15313) SEM makes Great Products. They also have a SAND FREE ADHESION PROMOTER that works well with the COLOR COAT system. Make sure you double check the color if it says something like BLACK GLOSS or RED GLOSS etc... its going to come out shiny without clear... id say picking a normal color then adding clear usually works better.
(see SEM Products - Home Site
Now that you have decided what paint to use ill just go and tell you the spray can route cause if your using automotive paint for cars... you probably already know what your doing heh
1.Shake the can VERY WELL for a good 2-3 minutes!!! yea it seems long but well worth it!!
If you primed your part skip to step 3 if you use an adhesion promoter use step 2
2.If using the SEM SAND FREE like i did on my Glove box and Under Steering wheel panel. Shake as well and spray a medium wet coat on the part spray about 6-12 inches away (depending on how fast or slow you move) if its to dry move closer and/or slow down if its to wet back off and/or speed up ... use your judgement...SEM says if using SAND FREE spray a light coat of your color coat while the SAND FREE is still wet so it sinks in nice... If your not using these products SKIP THIS STEP!
3 If you had primed your part this is your next step and forget step two. Spray your paint about 6-8 inches from the part (depending on how fast or slow you move) if its to dry move closer and/or slow down if its to wet back off and/or speed up ... use your judgement. you want to apply a medium wet coat of paint. too wet and not only will it take a while to dry but may run. id recommend spraying past the part and letting go of the trigger then back and so on... if you just hold the trigger you can build up the paint in an unwanted area and may be to wet or not be even. id say use a 50% overlap like when you cut grass hah. For larger parts re-shake the can alittle if spraying longer than a minute at a time. wait about 15-20 minutes between coats. Id say apply paint till it looks covered then add one more! heh I dont think youll need anything more than 4 coats. *note* if your going from the light grey to a dark color it will be much easier to cover... if going from black to a light color it will be much harder and take more paint ... use your judgement!
*also consider the color your using..for example Reds tend to bleed its a very transparent color so it takes more red to cover than say a black.
if along the lines you have a problem such as a run or dirt in your paint feel free to take some time to sand it out! You can nib out dirt specks with 1000 grit or if you get a run sand with 500-800 grit with a block (just ensures its ALL OUT) but make sure the paint is dry enough to sand first! and then re apply paint. On textured parts you dont really have to worry about dirt heh
once paint is completed depending on your preferance you can move on to clear/matted clear or stop...
my interior pieces with the exception of my green trim pieces are all matte I applied no clear cause I used a "vinyl" paint. its flexible and durable
but if youd like proceed to the next step! CLEAR!
CLEAR COAT APPLICATION
This is the most important part of the process (other than the prep) despite what people may say.. clearing isnt easy... You may want to do a test spray just to get the feel first...Also if you didnt use a fan spray for color THIS IS ONE PLACE YOU ABSOLUTLY SHOULD!
you do not have to sand your base color before clear Unless its been more than 8 hours since you based your part.
When applying the clear coat, generally you want to be closer than when you sprayed color but since spray cans are unpredictable be safe and stay back about the same distance! This time you want to use a 75% overlap to ensure coverage and proper shine...
You want to apply a FULL WET COAT ... but be careful!! to wet you get runs to dry it will look rough and not shine right! you dont want the clear to "pool up" you want it to flow out nicly!
Be sure to watch how the clear goes on as you are spraying and adjust accordingly!
2-3 coats will be plenty of clear...you want to wait anywhere between 5-15 minutes between coats depending on temperature and the type of clear... some clears set up fast some take a while. the way to find out is basically to touch it... DONT TOUCH THE PIECE touch a spot you sprayed past onto paper or something unnoticeable if the clear feels wet and slippery its TO WET to add more clear it will run! The good rule of thumb is this..."STICKY BUT NOT STRINGY". you want to be able to touch the clear and it just be sticky .., if you touch it and it pulls up little strings of the clear its still to wet... but means its drying! keep checking till your not pulling up strings anymore...then add more clear... if you wait too long and the clear dries fully to the touch then you have to sand and re clear or else the clear wont stick!! IT WILL PEEL!
*note* when applying a Matted Clear coat apply the exact same way! it will look shiny as you spray it on wet but as it dries it dulls down to a dull finish!
TAKE YOUR TIME AND DO NOT RUSH IT! i cant stress it enough! once you start rushing you run into problems!
after your clear sets up for a day or so feel free to wet sand with 2000 to get out dirt specks and smooth out finish go over it with a rubbing compound and buff it back to shine!
its always recommended that you do not use wax or surface cleaners such as armor all and similar products on painted surfaces for a minimum of 3 months! if done properly you wont have to at all!! haha...
I wish you all the best of luck!! Feel free to PM me questions or post on here i check frequently and will do my best to answer your questions the best i can! send me pictures of your progress and eve your problems! love to help!
im sure i forgot something in here haha but overall i think this is a good little how to, which should put you in the right direction!