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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 08-18-2013, 03:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Decatur, GA
Posts: 2
My Ride: '04 330Ci ZHP
Refinishing Black Cube Trim to Metallic

I recently bought a 2004 330Ci ZHP with black cube interior trim. The trim had a lot of rash (see pics), and I didn't really like the look of the black on black on black interior anyway, so I decided to change to a metallic trim look. After looking at a number of expensive options, a friend suggested I just try to paint the existing trim. If that didn't work, I could just spend the bucks to replace it. The trim appears to be a thick aluminum foil that is embossed with the cube pattern and then anodized black. Most of the scratches appeared superficial: just in the anodizing and not extending into the embossed metal. So I thought refinishing these just might work.

I followed the instructions in http://www.e46fanatics.com/howto/how...hp?howto_id=25 Removing the dash pieces takes some patience. I cracked the tab on the driver's side dash trim piece and repaired it with some plastic adhesive. Good thing it is not structural. I also replaced all the orange dash trim inserts. Most of them were damaged from previous work.

Doors: In removing the armrest from the doors, I did not find any torque markings on the six screws as described in the link above. I just guesstimated. Once removed from the door, taking apart the door armrests is kind of scary. You have to pull really hard to remove the leather inserts. I was sure they were going to break, but they did eventually just pull out. In separating the armrest halves, I did break a tab, but the halves went back together OK. I don't think I was patient enough.

Refinishing: I did not strip or sand anything, because I was afraid of damaging the embossed pattern. I did wear gloves and use rubbing alcohol to wipe down all the surfaces to be painted, in order to remove fingerprints and other contamination. I used two coats of Krylon Brushed Metallic Satin Nickel and three coats of Krylon Acrylic Gloss Clear. For the dash pieces I only used the nickel and not the clear. I felt that the embossing popped a little better without the clear coat (see the close up pic), but for the door handles and console pieces I wanted a little more durability, so I i used the clear coat there.

I really like the results. The previous damage is not noticeable at all and I think the metallic finish is a big improvement over the black. See the attached before and after pics. All for about $20.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:28 PM   #2
E46 Coupe
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,930
My Ride: Rules1 & 2: S T F U!
Came out really good!
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