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For this installment of our new video series called "The Workshop Online," I’ve decided to do something quick, easy and enjoyable. You see, all my cars don’t have window tint installed. This is my personal preference because I don’t want to sacrifice any nighttime visibility. Also, cars, old or new, look so much better without tint--at least in my opinion. There’s a drawback to having a killer look, though. Your interior takes even more beating from the sun without the added UV protection of a quality tint.
Fixing up faded or beaten-up interior trim is very easy. It’s also a great way to learn basic painting skills. Just remember that it’s all about preparing the surface to be painted properly. Do not rush through a project like this. When in doubt, consult a professional.
All you need is some vinyl dye spray paint, masking tape, some newspaper, tools for taking apart the interior, safety gear, a degreaser, and a dust-free environment.
Before you take the interior apart, study the parts very well. Never use force, as you may end up damaging hard-to-find interior bits. If you tinker with your car, taking it apart is a natural thing to do. Think of your car as a puzzle that has a logical way of being put together, or taken apart.
The parts that needed refreshing in my car were the door handles and the power-window control housings. I removed the door cards first, after carefully unplugging the window controls from the wiring harness. Again, don't use force at all. I then disassembled the pieces to make sure I didn't get any paint on any of the electronic switches, as overspray could cause major problems.
I degreased the parts to be painted using some alcohol. You may use tougher stuff, of course, but be sure to test it on a small area first. Once the surface is prepared, spray on a very light coat. Wait 10 minutes for it to dry, and then apply another light coat. Repeat until you are happy with the coverage. Remember: Many light coats is better than a single runny coat.
Assemble the pieces and let them cure for a day or two. Avoid parking under the harsh sun to keep these parts looking fresh. Don't be scared to take on simple painting jobs like this. With proper preparation and masking, you can paint anything. Be tasteful and follow the painting instructions. Until the next time!