How to Paint Car Trim

by Alibaster Smith

Your car's trim may fade as it gets older; however, you can revitalize it by repainting it. Painting trim is not like painting most other surfaces. This is because on most vehicles, the trim is made of plastic. Since most paint won't naturally stick to plastic, you must adhere to a specialized (but not difficult) process for applying paint to your trim.

Step 1

Remove the trim from your vehicle using a screwdriver. Typically, trim is held in place with plastic rivets that can be popped out with a screwdriver.

Step 2

Lay the trim pieces out on a newspaper.

Step 3

Spray the trim pieces with the plastic primer. This is a special type of primer that bonds to the plastic and creates an adhesive surface for the paint to stick on. You may have to coat the trim several times to get good coverage. Wait for the primer to dry between sprays.

Step 4

Spray your choice of paint over the trim. Let it dry.

Step 5

Wet-sand the paint to smooth it out and remove any orange peel or rough spots. To do this, soak the 1,200-grit sandpaper in water and gently sand the painted surface. Be careful not to sand off the paint or you will have to repaint that area and wet-sand it again. When you are done, dry the trim with a cloth towel.

Step 6

Spray another coat of paint over the surface of the trim. Repeat the process in step 5.

Step 7

Spray a third coat of paint on the trim and repeat the process in step 5. Dry it with a clean cloth towel and reinstall the trim in your vehicle.

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