Second Generation Camaro Owners Group - Painting Interior Trim

Often times it's necessary to paint or dye your interior trim pieces, either to freshen them up or when you're replacing your trim and it's not available in a certain color. If you take your time and do this right, the panel will look brand new for years to come.

Materials used in order of usage
Materials used in order of usage

Interior trim falls under 2 major catagories, each is treated differently.
You have flexible, plush vinyl (seat covers, door panels). Vinyl GETS DYED.
And you have almost everything else - either "plastic" or steel. These get painted with interior lacquer paint.


The parts your painting must BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAN. Otherwise the paint won't stick to it. This means you need to remove dirt, dust, FINGERPRINTS.... I use SEM soap.

Then the part is cleaned with a degreaser or paint prep. This eliminates any traces of mold release residue or fingerprints.

Next, you coat the piece with an "adhesion promoter". Vinyl takes one type of promoter, and "plastic" can use 2 different types. Regular adhesion promoter, or "sand-free" adhesion promoter. Since you can't sand vinyl trim (without ruining it), you use the sand-free stuff. This will allow the paint to penetrate the panel and stick to it.

Lastly, you put the top coat on. The 1st coat is normally applied when the adhesion promoter is still wet. You put several LIGHT COATS of paint on. Putting a heavy coat of paint will cause it to run.

Vinyl seat covers and the like can be top-coated with a tack-free top coat to eliminate the "tacky" or sticky feeling after the part has been dyed.

new GM panel comes in dark blue
Painting sail panel

Last updated: 8/30/2012
Author: MadMike Maciolek

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