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How to give your car an interior makeover.

Why not give your cars interior a complete makeover?

You don't have to put up with the hard wearing manufacturer fabrics and plastic surfaces.

With a little imagination and forethought you can create something truly original and stunning and get a car interior that suits your taste.

Hand stitched leather can look really nice, we found this unusual example where a leather cord has been used on the outer edge stitching. It reminded us of muscle car steering wheels from the 70's and is a good hard wearing solution if you want a new look for your car seats.

Interior plastics can look very boring but there is nothing stopping you from giving these a makeover using various paint finishes.

Generally many car plastics have a textured surface and are not great at holding paint. You could always get a vacuum molded panel to fit and then paint this.

When painting interior plastics you need to follow these tips...

Plan your car makeover carefully and stick to a couple of colors and a simple theme!
  • Prepare the surface thoroughly, ensure it is clean, and smooth. You will have to have a slight key (misted scratching) on the surface for the paint to adhere to otherwise it will peel off.
  • Build up the paint in very thin coats letting it dry in between coats, this gives a smoother finish and is much more hard wearing.
  • Apply a clearcoat to the top to seal the paint and protect it against chips.
  • On car plastics there are always areas of high wear, usually around the door handles and sills, it is advisable to put more paint in these areas to compensate.

When you are painting car plastics there is nothing stopping you from going with a paint effect and when done right this can look absolutely stunning.

All interior surfaces can be covered with leather and this looks really nice, but beware of light colors as it can stain very easily and looks worn more quickly than darker colors.

The dashboard is another area ripe for a make over. Some people prefer a very simple uncluttered look, the car below was finished to an extremely high standard.

The entire central console comprises a black plastic area, which lights up with various screens and useful dials when the car is switched on.

Personally I'm not a fan of the aircraft style steering wheel but style is always a question of taste. It certainly finishes off the clean look of this interior though.

Keeping to just two colors is the golden rule of car interior makeovers, the car below uses a very striking black and red leather theme. (Great work from D-Class as always!)

Whilst you are doing a makover you get a chance to change the seats to much better looking carbon fiber ones, which gives more rear passenger leg room as well and saves weight, although it is questionably as to whether they are anywhere near as comfortable as the standard seats.

The steering wheel is also a common makover candidate and there are usually lots of aftermarket steering wheels around although if your car is equipped with an airbag it is not legal in some territories and countries to remove it.

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