Ever since I owned this car I’ve been wanting to do a custom auto interior. The door panels were flimsy, the dashboard is cracked and the whole thing could use a good shining up. I sat and thought about it one day when I was looking online for racing seats and decided to just paint the whole interior red.
Since I was already having to replace a few things that included taking off some of the panels, I went ahead and got started. I took out the middle panel that bolts to the center of the car and cleaned it real good to rid it of all the grease and contaminants. After this I did some light sanding to rough up the outside a little bit using 80 grit sandpaper then again with some 120 grit to give it a smooth texture. Once that was done I cleaned it again and let it dry. Then I wiped it down some more with some degreasing heavy duty cleaner such as Mean Green cleaner.
The next step was deciding on the paint to use. The interior panels were plastic so I looked at some plastic paints and then settled with some Rustoleum 2x Gloss Apple Red. I applied the paint and let it dry. I put it in front of a portable heater for a few minutes to help the curing process as well. It came out real nice and shiny and didn’t need any clear coat on top. I let it cure for about three days in the AZ heat and in my garage to make sure it was fully dry as well. Once that was all done, I got some Armor all and applied it to the surface. Even though the label on Armor All says not to use it on painted surfaces it left the panels feeling smooth and hasn’t caused any issues with the paint or anything at all. When I wiped it down I checked the towels to make sure none of the paint was coming off and none did.
I then did the same for a few more interior pieces and they’ve all came out really nice so far. Here’s some pics.
For the door panel in the picture above, it was really flimsy because the panel is actually two pieces but plastic welded together. So I took it apart to take off the vinyl and used some thinner to take off the glue left after the vinyl was removed. I then separated the two pieces and in the picture above is the bottom half of the panel. The top half is still getting worked on as I write this, I have it in my backyard fixing some cracks and imperfections here and there. The top half has the section for the door handle and window controls. By the door handle section there was a crack going across it so I tried filling it in with some fiberglass resin awhile ago and it didn’t come out how I expected so I since have put some Gorilla Glue on it, cuz that stuff holds really good, and am going to sand it smooth and start applying paint to it soon.
Doing custom auto interior on your own car is fun and even though I am not finished, I can definitely see that it’s going to look awesome. I am going to be taking the cover off the hatch area aka the cargo cover, which has real thin carpet on it and see if I can fiberglass resin over the carpet since it’s really thin, and then apply bondo and sand it smooth before painting it to match the rest of the interior. I’m still undecided on if I should do some cutouts to add some speakers in there but we’ll see. Stay tuned for more updates on the Probe Project.