Monday, September 10, 2012

Tired of Your Interior Color? Quick Fix!!

A lot of the time, we deal with interior color simply because the idea and cost of changing it seems overwhelming and somewhat costly. While this is true for custom pieces that contain expensive material like suede and fine leathers, there are simple and cost effective ways to add a nice custom look at a reasonable price. This ranger had a worn out old blue interior, which while structurally intact was badly faded from years of sun abuse and harsh chemical being used on them. This is how to bring it back to life using about $15 in paint from a local hardware store (Lowes in this case) and a little wrench time, giving us a custom look with out the hefty price tag of a interior shop.

Start by marking all your wire using a duct tape or painter tape so you know what goes where. While not necessary, removing the seats will make the process a little easier in most cases, because there is more room to work. And, there maybe bolts holding the dash to the firewall underneath the dash on the floor boards. Carefully unbolt the dash these can be pretty fragile from years of sun abuse, rushing can lead to cracks and tears you don't want. Most dashes will have 4-6 bolts holding them on, use can see a Haynes manual for the locations most of the time.

With the dash removed and latex glove on, thoroughly wipe down the areas being painted with a strong degreaser. This will remove all the oils and grease built up on the surface from years of use and products. it may take several wipes downs to remove all the excessive oil. When done the surface should have a flat shine to it, if you see gloss continue to clean.
Once clean the painting process can begin, its a two step treatment to do correctly. First make sure you have plastic paint. Normal paint WILL NOT work. With a plastic primer/adhesion promoter, coat the surface you are painting, by first spraying the crevices and edges (do not load up, instead make a pass let dry and repeat) after begin on the large flat surfaces, try to go in a continuous line from one side to the other instead of short burst. This will give you a smoother look in the end and again don't try and load the paint. Do several passes each time allow paint to dry between. Once primed the piece should have some gloss to it and be tacky to the touch. When apply the color again make sure its plastic paint and again follow same procedure as the primer. Several light coats with plenty of dry time starting with the edges and crevices, working into the large areas.

Once the final coat is applied, you should have a nice looking piece like this. If you see areas where the paint seems to have small bubble or not adhering (also called fish eye) don't worry, simply use a very very light grit sand paper or brillow pad and lightly go over the affected area to scuff it up a bit, wipe down the degreaser again, and follow the steps listed above. When satisfied you can leave as is or apply a clear coat if you want a deeper gloss or a frosted/flat look. 

Last simply reinstall the dash in the same order you removed. You now have a new custom colored interior on a budget  price tag. No need to worry, thanks to plastic paint. The dash is scratch resistance and flexible so it won't flake or peel from sun or use. While you can you cleaners and protectant on it. I recommend just using a microfiber cloth and a quick detailer for a deep long lasting shine. Follow the link below to view the brand I use.


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