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topic 18082

Painting a Car Interior


I am painting my car interior like vents and the console. But when I paint it it starts to wrinkle and messes up the paint why is this happening?

Kevin Hilderbrand
- Laurel, Delaware, US


I'll assume you are trying to restore a vehicle to a like new finish. You're painting the interior, that's problem #1. Paints for automotive use are not designed to be used on vinyls and plastics. Take a glance at Vinyl Dye [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] products. These are what you want to work with. They are semi flexible in their applied nature. They coat VERY evenly, and they give your interior that like-new finish with a long lasting color.

Clean all products properly, if you feel the need, check and see if they have a primer to apply before using the product. I have used it on various types of plastics w/o having to prep anything, and have had incredibly good results with it. Good luck.

Also 1 last tip. To get the most consistent finish, apply it (it's in spray cans) VERY lightly, in many many steps. The stuff dries very fast, so you can be spraying on new coats about every 10-15 minutes w/o any problem. I suggest do a round of 8-10 applications on a surface, keep it nice and thin on application and you should end up with a brand new appearance on that interior in no time at all.

Matthew Stiltner
plating company - Toledo, Ohio


The best way to paint the interior is to first pop out all of the pieces that you want to paint. After this, take a high grit sandpaper [linked by editor to product info at Rockler], like 220 grit and sand down the pieces until they are smooth. Then, you take a can of spray primer and spray the entire thing. Let the primer dry and then spray the piece with a regular gloss spray paint. Apply multiple coats of this. After it dries, spray it with 2 layers of clear coat and let dry. Voila! You're done :-D

Jessica Root
- Midland, Michigan


Hey man, I had the exact same problem except I was using the vinyl paint, it bubbled up and peeled on me... I cleaned all of the parts first and applied a primer first... HELP

Mike Willoughby
- Charleston, West Virginia, USA


OK. Where to start first. I have a small hatchback and I have taken out the dash all and all the panels (which was the hardest bit). I think I went over the top with the preparation but it came up ace. I cleaned every little square inch with mineral turpentine, then used "motospray- flexi prime" which is clear and not expensive. follow instructions on can. And with the vinyl spray colour of your choice, spray VERY light even coats. By the time I'd lined all the panels up I needed, once I sprayed them all with light coats I was ready to paint the next coat. so about 3 hours later I had a great semi-gloss finish. I left the panels in my shed for a couple of days with the door closed. It gets very warm in there, so it kind of acted as a kiln. I then applied a high-gloss clear lacquer and left that for a while. DO NOT TRY TO CUT TIME, AS IT WILL BE NOT WORTH YOUR WHILE. As I know from experience. if you do try to cut corners, you will end up chipping the paint, and then you can't just touch it up, you will have to strip the whole interior panel off and do it again and again. I have seen a light coat of fiberglass sanded back and painted in the same way. this gives a very high gloss smooth finish. HAVE FUN!

Ashley [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- perth, W.A, Australia

July 3, 2008

Trying to paint the inside of my 1987 Camaro RS. In the back of the car on the sides there are these plastic coverings that are faded and chipped... what is the best method to go about trying to restore them myself? What type of products (names) and methods should I use? Price in not an issue... great quality is more important... Thanks...

Felix Lopez
- Virginia, USA

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