Tech Article Title Author Date
Painting Interior Trim (shifter trim plate) Kenny (turbo dremel) 2004

Tools/accessories needed:

  • Flexible surface primer ($6)
  • Spray paint (paint code LY7W for light metallic silver) ($20)
  • Clear coat ($5)
  • *I picked up the first three from levine auto supply in Connecticut via
    their website!*
  • kitchen sponge with scrubby side
  • isopropyl rubbing alcohol
  • very fine-grit sandpaper (i used 2000 grit wet/dry, found at pep boys)
  • masking tape (for manual transmission plate)
  • vaseline or electrical tape (for tip plate)

Remove the plate from the car - it's clipped in, so just pull straight up from "front" of the plate (near the e-brake). If you have a manual transmission, remove the shift knob by unscrewing, then remove the plate. After this, remove the shift boot and its surrounding piece by pressing its clips towards the center of the shift boot (from the bottom of the plate) and it should come right off. Thanks Yippers for the heads-up ;-)

Clean the thing off. Mine had some pretty nasty sh!t on it.

Remove the paint. This is the hardest and most manual process. You have to remove that rubberized paint... I used a few paper towels and some rubbing alcohol to strip it down to the plastic, then I went to town with the scrubby side of the sponge. The scrubby side won't harm the plastic underneath, and even if it does leave minor surface scratches, the wet-dry sandpaper can easily take care of that. Scrub ALL of it off, and if you are not sure if it is gone from certain parts, it's time to wet-dry sand. I used the rubbing alcohol as a minor lubricant, but don't use too much otherwise the scrubber isn't abrasive enough to remove the paint.

Wet-dry sand the entire area. This ensures that the rubberized paint is gone. I didn't completely remove the rubberized paint, and god did my first spray of primer look AWFUL. So make sure you get it all off!! Will save lots of time later on.

Dry the area, and then mask off the chrome trim ring (manual) or the rubber trim ring (tip). I used vaseline on the rubber trim ring.. hopefully the results will be satisfactory ;-)

Once you're satisfied with your masking job, it's time to prime. I recommend spraying somewhere with a LOT of ventilation. But do NOT spray anywhere NEAR your car, or any other item of value that has a finish to it. The primer/paint/clear coat sucks its way onto that stuff. I put two to three light, even coats of primer on, waiting 20 minutes between coats.

Paint. I used four to five coats of base coat, waiting about 20-30 minutes in between sprays. Wet-sand any overspray and allow to dry before spraying again.

Clear coat. I used three to four coats of clear coat, with 20-30 min utes between coats. Nice, even light coats are better than one heavy coat.

Let it dry, and that's it.

All done