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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 06-30-2016, 06:11 PM   #1
Silence*
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Alberta, Canada
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My Ride: '01 325i
DIY: Prep & paint hard rubber interior parts

Got a couple replies and PM's asking me about how I went about prepping and painting the surfaces covered in the hard rubber areas of my interior. So figured I make my first DIY detailing my process as to how I went about it. It can be a pretty timely process, but once its done its nice to have a smooth looking and feeling console.

Tools Needed:
- Razor blades
- Masking tape
- Rubber gloves
- Various grits of sandpaper between 180 - 600 & Gray scotch pad
- Surface cleaner (something with some alcohol or wax remover will work)
- 2 cans of Primer (I used Dupli-color Filler Primer)
- 2 cans of Paint & Clear coat of your choosing
- Optional: Some kind of paint thinner or stripper and rags

Step 1) Remove parts

Remove all the parts from your car you want to paint. For me that involved taking out the cup & coin holders, shifter trim, center console and the sunglasses & ashtray. If you don't know how to do that, there are a few detailed DIY's on the forums & Youtube. Also take the time to remove any parts you don't want to paint (Ie. Heated seat switches, cup holder springs etc...). Of note: I used a razor blade to pick the little silver trims out of the sunglasses/ashtray doors. Just pry up from one end and work your way slowly to the other.

Step 2) Removing rubber coating

Start getting rid of the hard rubber on the parts. The best way I found to do this is scrape about 90% off with a razor blade before sanding it. You'll be able to tell where the plastic is underneath it by the feel. Don't worry too much about scratching the plastic as we can eliminate those with sanding and priming. Once you've got most of the rubber off grab some 180 grit sandpaper and start removing any excess rubber left over. Or you can use thinner on a rag and wipe it off as well.

Another way of doing this is by using some kind of paint thinner or stripper. Pour some onto a rag and then wipe it onto the surfaces and let it soak in. The rubber should start to crinkle after a couple minutes and then use either a dry rag or a razor to scrape it off. DO NOT leave or soak parts in thinner though as some can destroy the plastic underneath it.

This piece was a spare ashtray I used for testing.

Begining:


Parts should end up looking like this:



Step 3) Masking, Sanding & Priming

Once you have something that looks like the picture above, you can move on to masking off any area's you don't want to prime/paint. For me I ran masking along the inside edges of the ashtray, sunglasses holder and cupholder's below the ridge. I also stuffed the inside of the sunglasses holder with paper and ran tape across the inside of the ashtray to minimize overspray (I don't have any clear pictures of the masking sadly). Once you've masked everything, grab some 240 or 320 grit to smooth out the surfaces and double check to make sure you've removed all the rubber. Once that's done its a good idea to take a towel and spray a bit of surface cleaner on it and wipe everything down before primer.

Here's how your parts should look like after this:



Once you start priming always use light coats to avoid runs. Don't try to fill any cracks or deep scratches right away either, it'll take a few coats of primer and sanding between them to smooth it all out. Also allow around 5 - 10 mins between coats and at least 20 mins before you sand it, and use 400 Grit to sand the primer down.

First coat of primer after sanding:


Rinse and repeat priming and sanding it all until your happy with how smooth it looks. I found the Dupli-color filler primer to fill deep scratches within about 3 coats with sanding in between each one. I also decided to use the filler primer as my base coat for paint so once I layed down my final coat I did not re-sand it, and made sure everything was covered so no black plastic was showing.

Final coat of primer:


Step 4) Final prep & Paint

Once you have the final base coat of primer ready to go, its best to set up a stand or something you can use to hold your parts while painting and letting them dry. I used a couple spare rolls of tape to elevate the center console, the rest I either sprayed on the bench or by holding it with my hand and spraying it in the air.



Now comes the final prep before paint. With the primer dry, I used a grey scotch pad to lightly scuff everything, then cleaned the surface with surface gleaner/degreaser and a lint free towel. Its best to do this with rubber gloves on so that no oils or anything from your hands gets on the cleaned surface that can contaminate or react with the paint. Then grab your paint and start with a light coat over everything. Always spray edge to edge, and never start in the middle. Hold the can (or spray gun) about 6-8 inches away. Wait 10 mins between coats. Your next coats can get progressively heavier until your happy with the color and coverage of it. Ideally you want the entire surface evenly coated.

If you do get a run in the paint do not continue painting it, wait until its fully cured then scuff out the run and continue on.

Here's how mine looked after 3 coats of paint:


After that I let it cure for about 30 mins before I sprayed everything with clear coat. Same concept as painting, start with 2 light coats, wait 5 - 10 mins between coats, and on the final coat of clear I'd lay down a heavier coat for added protection.

Same thing, if you do get a run in the clear do not continue painting it, wait until its fully cured then scuff out the run and continue on.

Step 5) Let it cure & Re-install

Once everything is cleared its best to let it all cure at least a day before re-installing them in the car. If you have access to a heat lamp you can let it sit over top it all to speed up the curing process - I did this and put my car back together about 4 hours after fully cured. Just make sure the heat lamp is about a foot or two away depending on how hot it gets, and don't leave it under there too long or else you can risk bubbling the paint. Also don't touch anything for obvious reasons lol.

Then remove all your masking tape, put everything back together and in the car and enjoy your new console!


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Old 06-30-2016, 08:36 PM   #2
YoitsTmac
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Great write up, any paint/clear coat brand you recommend? I'm refinishing in boring black
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:39 AM   #3
Gus-CO
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A 2K clear coat would work best. It's more resistant than a 1 part, specially where you will be handling all the time. Brand won't really matter that much. SprayMax or Eastwood are great.

Use a respirator or apply in a very well ventilated area, this thing is nasty.
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:19 PM   #4
YoitsTmac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus-CO View Post
A 2K clear coat would work best. It's more resistant than a 1 part, specially where you will be handling all the time. Brand won't really matter that much. SprayMax or Eastwood are great.

Use a respirator or apply in a very well ventilated area, this thing is nasty.
I painted my bumper trim, so I know all to well about the fumes. I just remembered I have a matt clear coat, which I want to get closer to stock look, unless you tell me otherwise. And I'll go look for those brands today!

Edit: recommend a store for low prices? Home Depot or should I be heading elsewhere?

Last edited by YoitsTmac; 07-01-2016 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:29 PM   #5
Gus-CO
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I think for a durable finish you're doing it right using a matte clear coat. SprayMax has it.

However, there will be differences from the stock rubberized coat... Duplicolor sells a black rubberized paint that should be a closer match to the original paint. However, I don't believe it will last long at all.

I've seen in this forum before that the stock black rubberized paint gets off with scalding hot water.... If it's true, it would be easier than scratching it off....
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:32 PM   #6
Gus-CO
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For the OP, nice job man!
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:38 PM   #7
YoitsTmac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus-CO View Post
I think for a durable finish you're doing it right using a matte clear coat. SprayMax has it.
So you agree that a matte clear is best? Not rubberized? I don't care about feel, I can handle a new feel. But I want the trim to look new.
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:55 PM   #8
Gus-CO
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Yes, I think that's the way to go..

Although personally I'd go for a satin finish. I just think a matte gets dirty too easy... There isn't a 2K satin clear coat but there is a 2K urethane satin black available:

http://www.eastwood.com/2k-aerospray...FYIJkQodQO0ONw


Either solution should look good, and be long lasting...

Last edited by Gus-CO; 07-01-2016 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:58 PM   #9
YoitsTmac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus-CO View Post
Yes, I think that's the way to go..

Although personally I'd go for a satin finish. I just think a matte gets dirty too easy... There isn't a 2K satin clear coat but there is a 2K urethane satin black available:

http://www.eastwood.com/2k-aerospray...FYIJkQodQO0ONw


Either solution should look good, and be long lasting...
Don't know paints but just looked what satin is...yeah that's nice. Will pick some of that up. Heading to Oreileys!

Last edited by YoitsTmac; 07-01-2016 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 07-01-2016, 01:02 PM   #10
Gus-CO
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I don't think O'Reilly sells 2K... not sure...

Although a 1K will look good as well, 2K paints are longer lasting.
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Old 07-01-2016, 01:04 PM   #11
YoitsTmac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus-CO View Post
I don't think O'Reilly sells 2K... not sure...

Although a 1K will look good as well, 2K paints are longer lasting.
Satin black....so this is my color too? I can prime then this and be done? Forgive my ignorance
edit 2: then where do I go!!

Last edited by YoitsTmac; 07-01-2016 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 07-01-2016, 01:15 PM   #12
Gus-CO
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satin is the shine
black is the color
1K is a 1 part paint
2K is a 2 part paint (when on a spray can you hit the bottom to break the seal and mixture the two parts before spraying. after seal is broken you have 24h to use it...


both 1K and 2K look great. 2K is a more chemical resistant paint. Its fume also more dangerous, so usually at least here in Colorado you can only buy 2K stuff at professional auto paint supplies. They usually don't stock spray cans though... For that I have alwasy used online stores..

Don't get me wrong, if you want to do it today go for it and get whatever you can buy. It's probably last longer than you'll have the car anyway.. I'm just a little crazy about that thing probably..
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Old 07-01-2016, 01:20 PM   #13
YoitsTmac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus-CO View Post
satin is the shine
black is the color
1K is a 1 part paint
2K is a 2 part paint (when on a spray can you hit the bottom to break the seal and mixture the two parts before spraying. after seal is broken you have 24h to use it...


both 1K and 2K look great. 2K is a more chemical resistant paint. Its fume also more dangerous, so usually at least here in Colorado you can only buy 2K stuff at professional auto paint supplies. They usually don't stock spray cans though... For that I have alwasy used online stores..

Don't get me wrong, if you want to do it today go for it and get whatever you can buy. It's probably last longer than you'll have the car anyway.. I'm just a little crazy about that thing probably..
Alright. If that's the case I'm going 1K. My thought is it'll look better than what is there right now anyway, and I'd rather spend less on a small piece (only doing glasses holder). Not to mention its safer (I have very little air circulation outside. I paint and run inside). But since it comes with the shine and the color..that's awesome!
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Old 07-03-2016, 11:49 PM   #14
Silence*
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I used Dupli-color 'Bahama Blue Metallic' paint for mine (GM Color, spray bomb), and then for the center console since I was rushed for time I just used some spray bomb clear I had at work. The rest of the trim I used actual automotive clear coat our painter uses on cars (I work in a bodyshop). There is a slight difference in the finishes but I don't mind it. I have thought about doing a satin finish on the center console bits if I re-do them or change the color again. If I were to use a slightly darker blue and a matte clear coat I could easily match the color used in the new F32 4 series trim.

As a bonus, here's a shot of a piece of trim I painted on Thursday for a friends Evo. I used his exterior color (Titanium grey) that he had mixed at an auto parts store in a spray can, and Dupli-color Matte clear coat which we found at Canadian Tire. I've yet to see it all installed as I had to head out of town for the weekend.

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Last edited by Silence*; 07-03-2016 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 07-10-2016, 03:09 PM   #15
YoitsTmac
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Thanks for the help guys. I didn't go with the paint you guys recommended. I don't have a Walmart near me and I stopped at one. Everything was so much cheaper I couldn't say no. Considering I got everything for less than the price of the paint you guys recommended. I still got a satin black. It's a little too dark but it looks so much better that I couldn't care about the match.
edit: yeah, I dropped that middle piece a bit


Last edited by YoitsTmac; 07-10-2016 at 03:10 PM.
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