This will be long, but I wanted to share my interior painting story to hopefully help out the next guy trying itÖ
I read through dozens of posts on here before I started so I thought I knew the process fairly well. I started by buying black & charcoal Iggees (love them) which I would use as my base colors. I had read a lot about Krylon Fusion but when I went to a good local auto shop, they didnít carry it but told me to go with SEM instead. I later asked the paint guy at Home Depot and he said ďyou get what you pay for with SEM. Itís a completely different league.Ē SEM is custom mixed so I was able to pick out colors that seemed very close to my seats (at a cost of $23 per can). Since they were so expensive I started with one can of each. I also purchased SEM Scuff & Clean 3833, some scuff pads and SEM Solve 3837 to prep with.
I started by removing and prepping the doors which was surprisingly easy. The pins on the window cranks were annoying but came off after a few minutes with a flathead screwdriver.
I then went around the car and removed all the phillips and torx screws taking off the pieces as I went. All was great until I got to the passenger air bag cover, which is screwed in from underneath on sides of the dash.
There is no easy way to remove the dash without taking the airbag and the airbag cover off. The screws for the cover are really hard to reach and took some time. Once that was out, the rest lifted up pretty easily and I was ready to prep and paint.
The center console came out pretty easy once I realized the automatic shift lever pulls straight out with a pop and I was able to wriggle it around the gear lever.
I tried out the SEM Charcoal on the black plastic dash pieces first. It didnít spray as well as I hoped and bubbled up in spots. Then I tried the doors with the black and realized that the color I picked (dark charcoal) was lighter than I hoped. After painting two coats on both doors my whole 1st can was gone and it still needed another coat. The paint did look nice however. Frustrated, I put everything into the back of my truck and drove back to the store to buy another can-darker this time. The next day and $23 dollars later I had a fresh can and started on the dash. I didnt want to get more than one incase the color still wasnt right. I got one coat on the dash when that can went dry.
This got really annoying. I was now an hour from the paint store and sick of paying so much for paint and had a limited time window, so I went to Home Depot and got 5 cans of Krylon Fusion Satin Black for $22 total. These cans sprayed 100x better and covered everything evenly. I ended up completely painting over both shades of SEM black/charcoal (waste of $50). I wanted to get my center console in the SEM gray but ran out before I could do a second coat. Annoyed that Krylon didnít come in that color and not being able to go back to the store, I kept it as is. Itís not perfect, but most people probably wonít notice (though itíll always annoy me).
Putting everything back together was surprisingly easy considering I didnít really know what I was doing. The hardest spot was the passenger airbag cover bolts which are only accessible with a 10m wrench so it was very hard. I scraped up a few spots installing (since Krylon takes a week to full settle before being scratchproof) but I just sprayed another coat of black with it installed and it was fine again. While doing this I realized I probably could have sprayed most parts without taking them off and saved a lot of time-though I think I got a better paintjob with them removed. Like many people have said, the grab bar and door handles take forever to dry and are sticky a few days later. I donít have the paint smell that some people mention, but I also donít have a top on.
The cell phone pictures arent great, but all in all, the difference is night and day and I love it. I found a few more spots I'd like to touch up but that is easy enough. While the Krylon may not last as long as SEM, if it lasts me a few years until I either sell it or re-spray, Iíll be happy. If this is your daily and want it to last forever, you may think itís worth it to use 5 cans of SEM. It took me one full day and several hours the previous day. Itís a one man project and it teaches you a lot about how the car is put together.
Hopefully that helps someone and saves (or at least prepares you for) some swearing along the way. Now on to the next projectÖ