Painting Trim

We may earn a small commission from affiliate links and paid advertisements. Terms


Senior Member
Well I am about to paint my 89' DX Hatch, just repaint it the stock color...
I was browsing around the web and i started to see cars that looked like there side trim and bumpers were completely painted. So my question to you guys is, how do i prep my plasitic side trime to paint it??? I know this is not an appearence site. Also i have the entirely plactic/rubber/whatever they are bumpers i want them to be painted the same color as the car, so should i replace the bumpers with 4th gen painted ones, or paint my current ones???
painting plastic trim pieces can be tricky. this may sound crazy but i have used lacquer thinner to prep mine, with good results. i took the paint off about a year later cause i missed the original look. there are chemicals u can buy for prepping plastic but i hear they are like $30 a can. use auto touch-up paint. its much more durable and has a stronger bond than cheap stuff like krylon. if you use a cheap paint it will eventually chip and flake. once you've got your materials, the hardest part is doing the masking.

use three or four light coats, with about an hour between coats and only paint when its between 60 and 90 degrees with low humidity.

its not as hard as it sounds. just time consuming :)
Also some cleaners used over the years have adverse effects on painting plastics.I've seen some horrors of paint projects attributed to this.Not taking to the suface and peeling or flaking.make sure it is thourghly cleaned and prepped.
i am full on re-painting my car none of this cheap stuff with be used...i am just in debate about what to do with my bumpers and trim and i have seen some really good looking results of painted bumpers and trim.
I like everything to be the same color,at the very least the side moldings.The trim along the bottom you can get away with but those stand out.Door handles I'm iffy about could go either way.
that brings up an important point. DONT REMOVE YOUR MOLDINGS/TRIM because they will not go back on without using some type of adhesive. the clips will break and you cannot buy new clips from honda. you will have to buy whole new sets of molding. they only sell the right and left door moldings together...and prolly the front and back too. i think they were designed to break so you have to buy a new piece instead of being able to re-install the old one.
Plastic is pretty tricky your best bet would be to clean the trim then lightly wetsand with 1500 grit sandpaper this stuff is extreamly fine so you won't do any damage as long as you go lightly then as someone already suggested put a little lacquer thinner on a rag and wipe the parts down after the parts are prepped then spray at least 2 thin coats of primer use a primer that is designed to bond to the plastic, when you go to the paint shop they will be able to tell you what type. I would say probably something like epoxy primer. After that you should be able to use any paint of your choosing. The biggest part is the prep any contaminiated spot any waves in the parts any runs in the primer or paint and it's going to look worse then what you started with.