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Thread: How to paint plastic seat trim pieces?

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  1. #1
    stylingZ is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    How to paint plastic seat trim pieces?


    I have had my seats re-upholstered in a light dove grey ultra leather. My seats originally came out of a vehicle and all the trim pieces are tan colored. I have never painted much of anything let alone plastic trim. Just exactly what is the procedure that needs to be done so the trim will come out looking "show quality" like my seats & interior?

    Do the trim pieces need to be washed with detergent to remove grease/wax or use a wax & grease remover? Does the aforementioned need to be done prior to sanding or just prior to painting? I am not sure if all the sanding will remove all the wax & grease which may have gotten down inside the plastic?

    What grit of sand paper needs to be used from beginning to end of the sanding prior to priming? I'm wondering how much work it will be to make sure the tan color of the original trim pieces does not bleed through the light grey paint which will be used on the trim pieces? The trim pieces have been lightly scratched in a couple places and I need to make sure they look absolutely PERFECT prior to painting so the outcome will be top notch. Does it take a SPECIAL type of paint and primer for painting plastic? Thanks for the advice.

  2. #2
    astroracer's Avatar
    astroracer is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Byron, Mi.
    Car Year, Make, Model: '88 Astro Van-BAD AST

    Pick up some Krylon "Fusion" paint to match your upholstery color. Fusion is designed for plastics and works very well.
    The key is to make sure the plastic is clean. The best way to clean it is to wash it in VERY hot water with TSP mixed into it. TriSodiumPhosphate is a degreaser and is available at any hardware store. Use as hot a mixture as you can stand and scrub the parts with a scotchbrite pad. This will give you good tooth for the paint and make sure any Armorall or silicone is removed.
    Keep the parts clean and grease free and you should have no problems with the Fusion paint.
    If money is the root of all evil... Women must be the fertilizer...
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  3. #3
    G.R.'s Avatar
    G.R. is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Car Year, Make, Model: '33 Vicky, building a '48 Anglia Gasser

    astroracer is right. I've used the Krylon "Fusion" and it works great. Getting the parts clean is important and not rushing the job and applying mutiple light coats is a must. I went one step further than TSP and wiped each part with de-natured alcohol before painting and between final coats. And let the parts sit for a few days before handling

    The product wears great, my only complaint is that I wished they'd make a black in a semi-flat finish as well as the regular gloss and semi-gloss finish, also a larger color selection would be nicer. I went from a tan to a black finish
    "Breathe in... Breathe out... then move on with life. Life's too short to sweat the small stuff"

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