Thursday, June 7, 2012

Testing The Color Change

I had been reading and researching what it was going to take to convert the mustang interior from grey to black.  I had attempted to do this one time before when I had an old 76 Ford Truck, but I really didn't know what I was doing back then.  It caused some really undesireable results in spots, but it was effective.

I now know what I had done wrong those so many years ago and I am not going to make the same mistake again.  When I was looking at my interior, I noticed that the passenger side panel on the rear had been broken and needed to be fixed.

This thing I noticed came into play one time when I was at the junk yard and found a set that was in much much better condition than mine.  I snapped them up in a hurry.  The only problem is that they were red.

Ok, I told you in the last post that I want to convert to black and now I am buying red interior parts.  This is not good.  :)

Ok, back on topic.  I did a bunch of research and found out they make a paint and dye that you can use on your interior to freshen up the look of it and it will match what was there in the factory color.  Well I needed a little more than freshening up, I needed a whole color conversion.  I wonder if it would work for that?

Well, I decided to pick up a couple of cans of the paint.  (It is in a paint can, so I will continue to call it paint regardless of if it is dye or not.)  I bought a bottle of alcohol (rubbing not consumable) and came home to do some testing.

One of the things that I had read about and made a mistake about in my last conversion is that you need to make sure that your surface is very clean.  You may even need to rough it up slightly for the paint to hold.  The rough it up part I think is more for metals and some plastics but had to mention it.  If there is any dirt at all on the item that you are about to change color with, you take the risk of that dirt coming loose and your paint flaking off with it.  Trust me, I know from experience that this will indeed happen.

Anyway, I took the arm rest pads off of the panels I was going to use and decided those were going to be my test.  I mean seriously, the worst case scenerio at this point is that it doesn't work and I can continue to use my existing panels. 

As you can see these are pretty dirty.  If I were to paint them as is, it would be all messed up.

I cleaned up these items using the following:

The dawn dish soap is a great cleaning material because as the advertisement says, "It takes grease out of your way."  If there is one thing that paint does not like, it is oily substances.  The second item is the rubbing alcohol.  This is your garden variety stuff you can find at Wal-mart.  This is the second step of the cleaning process to get any other substances that may be left on the items.  It also drys very quickly.

I am going to show you pictures of this process step by step. 

Here you can see that I have one side cleaned up.  there is a huge difference between the one on the top and the one on the bottom.

The next step will be to color that cleaned up armrest and see what it looks like black.

Here is the first coat of the top arm rest.  If you thought there was a difference before, this one is even bigger.  If you look close enough you can see where the sun fading happened on the arm rest.  That is no longer there after the second and partial third coat of coloring.

You should notice that I did put cardboard down underneath it to make sure I didn't get the spay on everything.  I know this seems obvious, but sometimes you just have to be.

So this is the product I have been using.  I have had a friend tell me there is a better product from Dupli-Color, but I haven't tried it out yet. 
This is another spot where I had messed up the last time.  I had just went and bought any type of black paint and changed the color.  You need to make sure you are buying the paint for the correct type of material.  If not, it most likely won't stick.

Here both sides have been cleaned up and have their first coat put on them.  There were 2 more coats of color put on after this pic.  There were still a few spots where the red showed thru a bit.

After this I took the back quarter panel and started to clean that up.  I forgot to take a before picture of that to show you, but here is an after pic with the arm rest installed on it. 

One of the things about this panel that you need to know is that it was broken and I had used an epoxy to fix the cracked plastic. 

All in all I think the color came out just fine.  :)

Ok, now my testing is completed, I will be on my way to converting other pieces on the interior of the car.  My next post will show how the car sits right now.  If you look in the background, you can see that the back seat is pulled out and set on top of the roof and all the upholstery is off of it.

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