Black, White, and Blue Vehicle

The Best Paint For Interior Car Plastic: Get A Professional Finish In No Time

Let’s say you want to give your car interior a facelift to make it more homely; you need to pick up some paints for that. However, do note that all paints don’t qualify to paint car interior plastic. Painting your car interior can be a satisfying experience if done right, but it could go horribly wrong if not. 

The reason for the aforementioned is that most plastics are composed of chemicals that prevent regular paint from adhering to them. To keep a lid on things and get the desired result, you must understand how to paint your car interior plastic. First, you need to know that some paints are the best paint for interior car plastic.

Also, painting your car’s interior parts doesn’t cost a fortune. Doing it right begins with getting the right paint for the job. In this post, you shall learn some tips and tricks on getting the job done.

There are several options for painting interior car plastic, but some of the best paints for interior car plastic include:

  1. Krylon Fusion for Plastic: This paint is specifically designed for use on plastic surfaces and provides excellent adhesion and durability.
  1. Dupli-Color Scratch Fix All-in-1: This paint is a touch-up solution that matches the colour of most vehicle interiors and can be used on both plastic and vinyl surfaces.
  1. PlastiKote 444 Super Spray Paint: This paint is also designed for use on plastic surfaces and provides a durable, long-lasting finish.

It’s important to note that proper surface preparation and application techniques are critical to achieving a good result with any of these paints. Be sure to clean and dry the plastic surface thoroughly before painting, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying time.


Automotive interiors are composed of many plastic parts and trims. Close consideration reveals that even the chrome, brushed metal, and wood-looking parts are made of plastic. Cars come with different types of plastics, and plastics take paints or adhesives differently. That is highly critical when painting car interiors. 

Check the reverse side of every plastic to see the family of plastic each is designated. PP (polypropylene), ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), PPS (Polyphenylene Sulfide), PA (Nylon or Polyamides), and PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) are common plastic family. A case in point is car make Nissan which utilizes PP on more than 80 per cent of their interiors. Only the silver, chrome, or painted parts are made of ABS.

As mentioned earlier, plastics are oil-based, so they take paint differently from metal or fiberglass. Because they require more mechanical bonding than chemical bonding. For this reason, you must prep the surface before applying the paint since each plastic type requires a slightly different approach.

PP and PPS plastics are referred to as “self-healing” and have low friction features; that’s why they are used for door pulls, sill plates, and kick plates. They are also extremely oil saturated. Hence painting them requires extra tact because paint hardly sticks to them. Note that even with proper preparation, painting should not last as when painting an ABS part. PP parts require heavy scuffing, so the paint gets a more rugged surface area to grip.

Importantly too, if a part has been soaked over the years in Amour-All, it would be challenging for the paint to stick on them since that product absorbs into the plastic. If the painted part looks shiny, you need to clean or scrap it well. Acetone is a good solvent that will get interior detailers off the part, just apply the acetone to a clean rag and clean the shiny part.


To prep your car parts for painting, soak them in a bucket of dish soap to rid them of finger grease, fast food grease, and others accumulated over the years. After that, rinse the parts and leave them out to dry.

Next is to proceed to the all-important scuffing, which can be challenging and boring. The need for this process is to remove any shine or gloss from the plastic parts to promote adhesion. It is simple, get a scuff pad and brush the parts away until it is dull. Scuff around the edges, a bit of the underside, and every other side. After that, wipe with the recommended solution or dish soap.


Priming is also important. It is a process of applying an undercoat before painting. Priming gives the painted parts better surface adhesion, increases paint durability, and provides extra protection for the painted part. 

Examples of good primers for plastics include SEM and Dupli-Color. From their labels, you would see “Adhesion Promoter.” 

How to prime car interior plastic 

  1. Position the can like 8-10 inches close to the part you want to prime. 
  1. Apply two wets on the part for even coats. In case, you get a run in the primer, relax and allow the parts to dry before sanding it out. 
  1. Re-prime the dried parts. Ensure you do not leave any part untouched. Let the primer/promoter reach all edges and undersides of the parts. Do note that you must follow the instruction to apply the coat within the specified time window.


Dupli-Color comes with an array assortment of colors to pick from. Most of such colours will work over the adhesion promoter. Even if it is not Dupli-Color you choose, ensure spray nozzles are user-friendly such that can help produce even coats. Do get paint around the whole parts you are painting – all edges and undersides must be painted. Giving the parts you are painting an even coat will help reduce paint flaking off the edge. 

How to paint car interior plastic 

  1. Place the can 8-10 inches near the surface to be painted and spray evenly on it. 
  1. Allow the paint to stay 5-10 minutes before giving it one more coat. 
  1. Spray optimally but do not allow too much paint because too much paint can give the finish low durability.


Now that the painting is done, the next thing to do is clear-coating. Clear-coating is an automotive painting technique that requires applying clear lacquer or other synthetic liquid over the base colour to protect and promote the paint’s durability and shine.

How to clear-coat car interior plastic 

  1. First, read the instructions on the can. 
  1. Use a tack cloth to lightly wipe down the plastic you want to paint in dabbing motions. 
  1. Place the can of clear-coat 8-10 inches near and spray away. Apply an even coat at least two or three and leave no edge untouched.

Now that all is done do not rush to re-install the shiny “new” parts to the car. Remember, you must allow the painted parts to cure. Hence, leave the painted parts for a day or two, preferably in sunlight

After curing, carefully install the parts in their places. During the installation, spray a little color into the can’s cap if any part got chipped, then use a paintbrush to dab the paint onto the chip.

Tips And Tricks To Get It Right

  1. When handling the parts, ensure you put on powderless latex or vinyl gloves. 
  1. When painting, use the same brand and product line throughout the steps, e.g., priming, painting, and clear coating.
  1. Avoid painting while it is hot or humid out because the paint may not cure properly.
  1. Spend extra time cleaning and sanding.
  1. Try and repeat the process if the result is not as desired.
  1. Avoid using Armor-All or similar products on the painted parts.


With this knowledge of the best paint for interior car plastic, you can get your car’s interior done like a professional. 

From above of contemporary design auto with lowered glass and plastic steering wheel with klaxon and buttons in center near speedometer and tachometer

What do you think?

Written by webmaster_kzwort

person sitting in Mercedes-Benz driver seat

How to Fix a Heater in Your Car: Step-By-Step Guide for Beginners

black wing mirror showing road

The Best Glue For Rearview Mirrors; Get Your Mirrors Secure And Safe Again