Painting rear interior panels (93 convertible)

hello_newman

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Jun 21, 2018
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Have a 93 LX 5.0 convertible, has the white (non-feature car) interior, which is now pretty dingy. Thinking of getting new grey door panels, and changing out the white interior one step at a time. The rear panels (where the rear speakers are housed) are in pretty good shape, but I'm a little worried about rattle canning them grey. The OEM finish seems to be some type of real thin vinyl, different than any of the other interior panels. If anyone has ever changed the color of these, has the paint/dye laid down and held up ok? What type of paint did you use? Anything to watch out for before I dig in? Any input appreciated.
 
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JKWilson61

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I have a '91 LX convertible with a white interior. I can't comment on dyeing the rear interior panels because I'm in the process of repairing and recovering mine. They are covered with a unique vinyl but I wouldn't call it thin. It's actually a very flexible foam rubber based vinyl that is applied over the panel. I have one panel stripped so far for recovering and was surprised by the type of vinyl covering. I don't even know what the proper name would be for this type of vinyl. I ordered several yards of matching white upholstery vinyl from TMI in order to recover mine (so it would match with my new seat upholstery).

The panels are plastic and get pretty damaged. When I stripped the vinyl I found it was actually stabilizing the panel in some spots that had pretty significant cracks. Once the vinyl was off it was pretty apparent where the cracks were. If you have yours removed to dye (or recover), I recommend close examination for damage. Repairs can be made from the back side with care and not disturb the vinyl.

One last thing about the white interior. If there are no tears or damage to any of the pieces, that dinginess can actually clean up really well. My rear interior panels had damage to the vinyl. The seats are leather sport seats and the leather was totally shot. With all of that I really didn't want to have to drop $500+ on a new set of door panels too. Fortunately there was no damage to them. I used some Greased Lightning cleaner mixed with some Oxi-Clean spray and a soft fingernail brush. With some light scrubbing they looked brand new within about 20 minutes of work.
 
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hello_newman

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Thanks for all the input. Nice to know that if I’m not happy with how the dyeing comes out, I can always strip off the vinyl and start again fresh. My white door panels did come pretty clean, look much fresher/brighter than the rear panels. But they are just tweaked and I think I’m over white interior.
 

billison

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I’ve used the “dye” before and it works great on vinyl. Just make sure you’re spraying on a warmer day. Held up to abuse just fine. Carpet and fabric are harder to dye though
 

JKWilson61

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Jul 27, 2018
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Summerville, SC
If you want to dye your stuff I just came across something that may help. It seems that SEM Color Coat in Presidio Gray (15163) is an almost exact match for 92/93 Opal Gray. Here is SEM's description of their Color Coat line:

"Color Coat™ is a specialty flexible coating formulated to restore or change the color of most vinyl surfaces, flexible and rigid plastics, carpet and velour. Color Coat is not a dye, but a fade resistant flexible and permanent coating. "

In addition to online shops (Amazon, Ebay, etc), you can find it at your local paint supply houses and at O'Reillys Auto Parts. Personally, I wouldn't dye the armrest bases or pads. I'd find a set of gray ones to use. The white stuff is pretty hard to find...trust me! LOL
 

hello_newman

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Jun 21, 2018
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Thanks for the heads up. Spending some garage time today, I go back and forth on the white. Today, it’s not bothering me as much. I know those rear panels are made out of “unobtanium”, so I would really hate to mess them up. Have had some luck doing a few pieces with the Duplicolor vinyl and fabric “medium gray”. It’s not TOO far from the opal gray. I will look into your suggestion if I go forward with the color change, thanks for that. . Does anyone make repro arm rest bases?

QUOTE="JKWilson61, post: 9175714, member: 222364"]
If you want to dye your stuff I just came across something that may help. It seems that SEM Color Coat in Presidio Gray (15163) is an almost exact match for 92/93 Opal Gray. Here is SEM's description of their Color Coat line:

"Color Coat™ is a specialty flexible coating formulated to restore or change the color of most vinyl surfaces, flexible and rigid plastics, carpet and velour. Color Coat is not a dye, but a fade resistant flexible and permanent coating. "

In addition to online shops (Amazon, Ebay, etc), you can find it at your local paint supply houses and at O'Reillys Auto Parts. Personally, I wouldn't dye the armrest bases or pads. I'd find a set of gray ones to use. The white stuff is pretty hard to find...trust me! LOL
[/QUOTE]
 

hello_newman

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Jun 21, 2018
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Madera, CA
Finished my interior de-whiting/re-do, at least until I have an appetite to take something apart again. Re-dyed my rear panels with SEM Presidio, dead on for Opal Grey as suggested above. Also did the door panel arm rests with that product. Pulling the rear panels out and reinstalling is pretty stressful knowing how fragile and almost irreplaceable they are. Also, I would like to have a talk with the guy who designed how the rear seat back attaches, what a PITA that is. Found a smokin deal at LMR on the Acme door panels, and got the matching Acme seat covers through Rock Auto (were much cheaper than LMR for those). Had an upholstery shop install the seat covers. Will dye my center console and arm rest eventually, but I’ve had enough for a while. Thanks for all the advice I got here.
 

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hello_newman

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Old white interior for comparison.
 

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