Painting a Car Interior Requires Proper Preparation

Posted on December 09 2021

Painting a Car Interior Requires Proper Preparation

 Dash before repair with ColorBond LVP Refinisher

Painting a car interior seems like a pretty straight forward task, right? Just clean off the leather, vinyl or plastic surface with your favorite spray cleaner, mask off what you don’t want painted, and start spraying? There is more to painting a car interior than that, however. As with all paint jobs, the result is only as good as the preparation. Most cleaners don’t adequately remove dirt, oil, grime and other scum for best paint adhesion, and they often leave residue that doesn’t allow paint to bond properly. Speaking of adhesion, even with a good cleaning paint often won’t bond properly to hard interior plastics like PPO & TPO; an adhesion promoter should be applied first.

Paint applied to dashboard is peeling

ColorBond offers products that have been specially formulated to prepare leather vinyl and plastic when painting a car interior. As the product names suggest, Prep Cleaner is for cleaning before paint application and Adhesion Promoter is for ensuring the best paint bond to hard plastics.

ColorBond Prep Cleaner is a liquid non-solvent, aqueous-based cleaner that removes dirt, grime and oil from leather, vinyl and plastic when painting a car interior. It also removes compounds and releasing agents that compromise most interior paint jobs. Plus, it doesn’t leave residue that can interfere with paint bonding. Prep Cleaner is applied with a clean, tack free cloth and dries within 5 minutes.

With proper preparation car interior paint can remain strongly adhered

ColorBond customer Chris Hollerback used Windex to clean the interior of his 1995 Ford F-150 before painting. He thought the surfaces were as clean as could be. He then tried ColorBond Prep Cleaner and was surprised by how much cleaner they became, getting dirt out of all the fine creases in the leather-like grain pattern of the plastic. You can see the story about his painting project here.

The application of paint to Polypropylene, Polyphenylene oxide (PPO) and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) plastics is difficult because of the poor adhesion of most coatings to plastics. ColorBond Adhesion Promoter was created to improve the bond between paint and today’s auto plastics like PPO & TPO. It acts as a primer, or tie coat between the plastic surface and the paint and keeps it from flaking, cracking, and peeling. ColorBond Adhesion Promoter is sprayed on the surface after cleaning. A blow dryer or heat gun set at 140-250° is then used to apply heat for about 10 minutes to dry and thoroughly bond the Adhesion Promoter to the plastic. Paint can then be applied.

Proper preparation is key when painting a car interior. ColorBond provides products to prepare and paint your car interior for a beautiful, durable and long-lasting result. You can find more information on these products here.

Reviewed by: Malcolm Johnson

Reviewed by: Malcolm Johnson

Malcolm Johnson founded and operated ColorBond Paint since 1996. He has over 30 years of experience in the automotive painting industry. ColorBond Paint specializes in leather, vinyl, and plastic specific aerosol paint that is OEM approved for automotive manufacturers.

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