How To Paint Car Interior Trim Pieces? (step-by-step)

How To Paint Car Interior Trim Pieces? (step-by-step)

Trim pieces can significantly increase the aesthetics of the car interior. Most of the trims come painted in black or grey, which is most times dull. To give your car interior a bright look and a customized appearance, painting the trims is a nice project.

The good thing about these trims is that they are removable. Car trims are attached by riveted screws, clips, fasteners, or fitted by pressure.

Painting car interior trim pieces

So, you can remove them and re-paint them to your taste. Like any other painting job, you will need to be patient to have an excellent result.

Your focus may be on the door, window, and areas around the dashboard. But you can go as far as painting your car seats. Whatever the extent of the rebranding you have in mind, you will need the following tools and materials.

Materials For Painting Trim Pieces

Trim pieces are plastics, and so you will need materials that may not be needed for a random painting job. Below is a list of requirements:

  • Gloves
  • Nose Mask
  • Screwdriver
  • Newspaper and masking tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Plastic primer
  • Aerosol paint of choice
  • Clearcoat
  • Paint spray gun
  • Towel
  • Water

With these necessary materials, you can proceed to give your car trims are new dazzling look.

Steps In Painting Your Trim Pieces

The obvious initial step is to remove the trim pieces from the car interior. Since they are plastics, you will need to be careful in removing them to avoid breaking. You may need to consult your car manual on the best way to remove the trims.

For the parts you may want to paint without removing, you need to cover areas around them with newspapers and tape. You will need to be meticulous to keep the spray paint from getting on other parts.

Once you have successfully removed them, you need to prepare them for the painting. Plastics need to be made receptive to paints, unlike metal surfaces. So the next step is preparation for the painting.

Step #1: Preparation For Painting

To get the trim surfaces ready for painting, you will need to remove the coat they are originally covered with. The sandpaper is the first tool at this stage. You may choose to wet the sandpaper or use it dry. Carefully sand off the coat and any blemish on the plastic surface until it is smooth.

Then wash off the sanded surface with soapy water. Dry the wash water with a clean towel. Wait for the trims to be completely dry before proceeding to the next step. Once dry, apply the plastic primer or adhesion promoter.

You should engage your gloves and face mask at this point. This is to prevent the fumes of the paint from getting into your respiratory system and your skin. You don’t want to have a stylish interior at the expense of your health.

The plastic primer makes the plastic surfaces more receptive to the paint. It also prevents the paint from peeling and flaking after drying. Let the primer dry for about 40 minutes. If the primer surface is not smooth, you can gently sand it with wet sandpaper until smooth.

Step #2: Painting

With the trim pieces well primed, you can use the spray gun to apply your aerosol paint. Gently spray about 2-3 layers of the paint on the pieces. Ensure to shake the paint well before spraying.

It is crucial to work in a well-ventilated environment. The vapor from aerosol paints can be detrimental to health if inhaled. That is why your gloves and face mask are necessary.

How to paint car interior trim pieces

To get a smooth and even distribution, you can gently sand the surface after about an hour of application. Wet the sandpaper and gently use it to smoothen out the paint. This removes every bubble and causes an even spread of the paint.

Be careful while sanding not to remove the paint layers altogether. You can apply two more layers of paint after the wet sanding. Then leave the trims to dry for another hour.

Step #3: Apply A Clear Coat

To achieve a smooth, shiny consistency of painted trim, you should apply a clear coat. Shake the clear coat well before the application. Spray about 2 to 3 layers of the clear coat on the painted trims.

It is vital to ensure the paint is considerably dry before spraying the clear coat. Leave the trims to dry for about another hour. Then wipe the surface smooth with a towel.

Step #4: Let It Dry Then Polish

You have been patient all through the way till now. So you need to let the trim pieces dry. Leave the trims for about 4 hours to dry well. To have a lush shine, you can apply car wax to polish the newly painted surfaces.

Then you can proceed to fix the trims back to their original places. Just like when removing them, ensure care is taken not to break them. Apply another layer of polish to appreciate the beauty of your work.

Time For A Test Drive?

With the amazing new look, I am sure you are eager to go for a test drive. Not just so soon, take a little time to clear your workstation. Ensure that all the trims are well fitted in place. For those with screw or clips, make sure they are well replaced.

Now you can take your new baby out to feel the sun again. Having your car interior covered in your color feels like home. There is a sense of comfortability and class that comes with it. It is best felt than described.

It really does not cost much than a few hours to get your car looking like you desire. Just get the aerosol paint of your choice, the plastic primer, the spray gun, clear coat, and the others are not far-fetched. With a few bucks, your car is just amazing.