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Ok so this is my first ever DIY that I have posted, if it's been a DIY prior to this then I apologize I am certainly not trying to steal anyone's thunder, so-to-speak... so this is going to be a slow and steady because that's what you have to be with painting anything and as always the "prep" stages are the most important, time-consuming, and meticulous part of the entire process...I couldn't have done this without the help of fellow E46Fanatic "TitaniumSilver" aka Mark :bow:...bare with me and as always I take full responsibility for my car as you should take responsibility for your own car as well...with that being said, let's kick it!!!:excited:

Parts List

1) OEM Interior Trim...redundant I know...

PIC_0021.JPG

Materials List: Lowe's or (insert generic parts/remodeling store name here)

1) Multi-pack of Sandpaper (x2)
2) A sandable, sprayable primer...I went with the "1-2-3 Bulls Eye", why not?
3) A 2-pack of 3M Finishing Sanding pads
4) A cleaning solution of some type, I used "Simple Green" diluted (1-1) and one of my daughter's old wash cloths, very soft and a microfiber material
5) A spray paint color of your choice...I chose to get the $7.80 - "Metallic Charcoal" it's about as close to my OEM Steel Grey(Code 400) as I was going to get without paying about ~$25 + shipping for a can...
6) I opted also for the trigger attachment that converts any spray can into a spray gun style with the trigger, definitely recommend this unless your just $$$ with a spray can, okay moving on...

pads and sand papers.JPG
cleaner, paint, primer with trigger.JPG


Step 1) Clean the entire piece, I did the trim piece that goes around the headlight switch first...after a good cleaning, wearing nitrile gloves, I began to sand it down I first used some 120 and realized how deep that could go and then backed off to the 220, small circles is my technique so far, after a good layer or so, I cleaned again and then went at it with the 320, after about a minute or two I cleaned and went to 400...

Step 2) We're ready for first coat of primer...I sprayed this piece without the trigger attachment:thumbdwn:, FAIL:ben:, I then cleaned and sanded it all the way back down to no primer left at all, then I promptly added the trigger and second time around felt much better...

primer light switch piece.JPG

Step 3) I let this dry for about 6-8 hours because I had friends over and we worked on their cars, 2002 S4 and 2007 A4, which I beat by the way, it's cold here now so I used a fan(lowest setting) to speed things up a little...

after primer, needs 400-800-1000 sand.JPG

Step 4) Now we need to sand it down again and another coat of primer, I started with the 400 grit and followed the same basic procedure as step 1 except starting at 400 grit and going up until the 1000 grit was used...also I used the 3M pads to clean all final dust off of the trim piece after the last round with the sand paper and cleaning...

Before sanding and 2nd coat of primer...
after primer, needs 400-800-1000 sand.JPG

After sanding and 2nd coat of primer...
after sanding.JPG

Step 5) After about a 2-3 hour drying time, excessive I know, but I'm nervous too friends...I gave a little light sanding with the 1000 grit and then followed up with the 3M pad, and now we're ready for the first coat of color...here goes nothin!!!

first color coat.JPG

first coat close up color.JPG

It's drying now as I type this monster DIY up...I will post again tomorrow with pics and updates, hopefully all goes well with the fan tonight and a second coat will be applied tomorrow...later fellow Fanatics!!!:thumbsup:

Thanks for reading!!!:thanks:

-Travis
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Round 2 of color on the light switch piece...

So I got up today and went to check on my first piece of trim...not too shabby looking but I'm slightly particular, so I gave a it a cleaning, and hit it up with the 800 and 1000 grit, and then a brush over with the 3M pad...clean again, dry it off and spray a 2nd coat, what you think??? It's getting there nicely:woot:, a 3rd coat tonight after work and then I'm going to pick up a clear coat at Lowe's on my way home today...Have a good one!:thumbsup:

-Travis

lt. switch second coat color1.JPG
lt switch second coat color2.JPG
light switch second coat color3.JPG
 

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decent write up. you are doing the paint procedure by the book. I recommend matte clear, from Krylon, 4 coats on my self made kidneys stood up to a years worth of rocks, powerwashings, bugs, and cleaning chemicals with no problem. I usually let things dry overnight after the final coat.
 

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decent write up. you are doing the paint procedure by the book. I recommend matte clear, from Krylon, 4 coats on my self made kidneys stood up to a years worth of rocks, powerwashings, bugs, and cleaning chemicals with no problem. I usually let things dry overnight after the final coat.
Thank you very much Mvrk...I'm trying to be as patient as possible and to do things the right way, that way if something doesn't look right I can blame the system and not me for cutting corners. Also thanks for the advice on which clear coat to pick up, I racked my brain today and I didn't like the selection at a local hardware place I went to today, I will try Lowe's or HD tomorrow afternoon...Thanks again...

-Travis
 

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Got new 8000k bulbs last night...sorry for the delay...

Okay so back on track I got a 3rd coat on last night, pretty happy with the results thus far it dried out overnight, here are a few pic of the piece as of this morning...

whole trim piece 3rd coat1.jpg
close up of trim piece 3rd coat1.jpg
close up of lt switch trim piece 3rd coat2.jpg

So I'm going this afternoon to pick up a clear coat from either Lowe's or HD and hopefully after the 4th coat I'm going to lay down this morning has dried I will clear the whole thing tonight, I'm expecting to put on 3 coats of clear so 3 nights of waiting:thumbdwn: but then I should see results that make you go...:drool:

Here's some pics of my new 8000k bulbs installed...

IMG_20101018_211128.jpg
IMG_20101018_211250.jpg
IMG_20101018_211301.jpg

Have a good one, Fanatics!!!

-Travis
 

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I will judge after the clear coat. And i have no clue why you are waiting 3 days for 3 coats, an hour between each coat will suffice, otherwise you're just wasting time.
 

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I will judge after the clear coat. And i have no clue why you are waiting 3 days for 3 coats, an hour between each coat will suffice, otherwise you're just wasting time.
right I think he misunderstood what I said. I usually do coats every 30 min or so and I would do say 3-4 coats. and then let it dry overnight w/o touching it. then it will be perfect in the morning. if you have time I would 2000 grit wetsand b/w paint and clear.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I will judge after the clear coat. And i have no clue why you are waiting 3 days for 3 coats, an hour between each coat will suffice, otherwise you're just wasting time.
I'm just nervous and making sure that I don't F it up that's all...However, I can't to be judged...

Looks great
could do something diff.?
maybe white?
just my 2 cents

White? I guess because it's on black leather but I don't think that white and black interior looks good on SG exterior, I did think about red/black interior but with the whole, don't do IR dye on the leather, I figured that would not work out too well...Thanks though
 

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Doesn't look very smooth to me. I'm not sure if this is the look you're going for, but if you're going for smooth and shiny, it's way too textured.
 

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Doesn't look very smooth to me. I'm not sure if this is the look you're going for, but if you're going for smooth and shiny, it's way too textured.
Not really sure what look I'm going for, just the color combo, if I hate it later I'm going to take it to a body shop and have them "fix" it and make OEM feeling...here's goes nothing, time for a second clear coat...:thumbsup:
 

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Not really sure what look I'm going for, just the color combo, if I hate it later I'm going to take it to a body shop and have them "fix" it and make OEM feeling...here's goes nothing, time for a second clear coat...:thumbsup:
Hey - Good Going Travis. You're doing good. Patience is the key to a nice job!

One of the things that I learned as I was doing this was that pictures don't do the actual job justice! What your eye sees in a three dimensional world are the subtle perceptions of depth, color, and texture. Because of the perception coming from a three dimentional view, which looks pleasing to the eye, things like depth are completely lost on film or bit mapped two dimensional images. Metal flake trasnfers to this media as bumps, light spots surround by dark spots. I completely undestand what you see and what everyone will comment on.

That said also look at this aspect of it. Sometimes you don't succeed the first time. You'll never learn anything from it if you give up. You have sandpaper, paint, and time. Given those three you will get the look you are after. With patience comes experience. With experience, every job will look better than the previous one.

There are a couple things to look out for that you need to control, especially since this time of year it's getting cold around here. Paint, and the clear coat especially, is influenced by temperature not just cold but going from warm to cold, and humidity. If you're painting a surface that has been cooler than 65 degrees, bring it up to at least that temperature before painting it. If the temperature falls below 65 degrees while you're painting it the clear coat can develop some clouding. Paint that is curing below 65 degrees will take longer to cure also, which may force you to adjust the time it takes between coats so that you don't raise the previous surface. With urethane enamels there is a window of opportunity when you can apply a new coat and if you miss it then you should wait, depending on the paint between 2 and 7 days, while the paint gasses off, before you should apply another coat. If you apply too soon after you miss that window of opportunity there is the possibility that tiny, tiny, gas bubbles will appear in the paint.

Anyway, good job and contribution to the community! :thumbup:
 

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Hey - Good Going Travis. You're doing good. Patience is the key to a nice job!

One of the things that I learned as I was doing this was that pictures don't do the actual job justice! What your eye sees in a three dimensional world are the subtle perceptions of depth, color, and texture. Because of the perception coming from a three dimentional view, which looks pleasing to the eye, things like depth are completely lost on film or bit mapped two dimensional images. Metal flake trasnfers to this media as bumps, light spots surround by dark spots. I completely undestand what you see and what everyone will comment on.

That said also look at this aspect of it. Sometimes you don't succeed the first time. You'll never learn anything from it if you give up. You have sandpaper, paint, and time. Given those three you will get the look you are after. With patience comes experience. With experience, every job will look better than the previous one.

There are a couple things to look out for that you need to control, especially since this time of year it's getting cold around here. Paint, and the clear coat especially, is influenced by temperature not just cold but going from warm to cold, and humidity. If you're painting a surface that has been cooler than 65 degrees, bring it up to at least that temperature before painting it. If the temperature falls below 65 degrees while you're painting it the clear coat can develop some clouding. Paint that is curing below 65 degrees will take longer to cure also, which may force you to adjust the time it takes between coats so that you don't raise the previous surface. With urethane enamels there is a window of opportunity when you can apply a new coat and if you miss it then you should wait, depending on the paint between 2 and 7 days, while the paint gasses off, before you should apply another coat. If you apply too soon after you miss that window of opportunity there is the possibility that tiny, tiny, gas bubbles will appear in the paint.

Anyway, good job and contribution to the community! :thumbup:
Thanks a ton Mark, always nice to get encouraged and ensured that I'm not failing...yet, hahaha, could you send me pics of one of your trim pieces??? Thanks again

-Travis
 

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Final Coat of Clear and Installed!!!

So I hit it up with 4 coats of clear last night, with about 20-25 minutes between coats and then the last coat sat overnight...still smells but anyways...

final coat lt switch.jpg
final coat lt switch2.jpg
final coat lt switch3.jpg


INSTALLED!!!:excited:

installed 1.jpg
installed2.jpg
installed3.jpg

This was the look that I was going for, it is a little textured, but with the metallic paint it plays off very well...I'm happy with the results thus far I will start the door pieces next and then the dash...:thumbsup:

-Travis
 
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