How to Paint Interior Plastic Auto Parts

Updated April 17, 2017

Interior parts of a car are mostly plastic and can become faded over time. Painting these parts can make them look like new again. You can even change the interior colour by painting the plastic parts a different colour, but all plastic parts can be painted.

Clean all of the interior plastic parts that are to be painted. Clean them with Sem soap and a grey scuff pad (see Additional Resources). This removes all dirt, debris and build-up from cleaning products used in the past. Repeat this step until the plastic is dull and no water beads off.

Rub Sem plastic and leather prep on the plastic areas that are to be painted. Rinse the prep off with water and wipe with a clean rag.

Apply Sem sand-free product instead of sanding the interior of the car. You could also use 800 grit sandpaper to sand all of the pieces that are to be painted. Sanding the interior parts causes dust to cover the interior of the car and is hard to remove.

Place masking tape and paper over areas that are not to be painted to protect the interior of the car. A sheet or tarp can be used to cover the seats.

Paint all of the plastic parts with Sem paint. This paint is flexible and works well on plastic parts. Regular automotive or spray paint will crack and peel. Hold the can of paint eight inches away from the surface and apply three thin coats. Allow the paint to dry completely before touching.


If overspray gets on the windshield or windows, use a straight razor blade to scrape it off.


Never spray-paint without wearing a painter's mask.

Things You'll Need

  • Sem soap
  • Gray scuff pad
  • Water
  • Sem plastic and leather prep
  • Rag
  • Sem sand-free product
  • Masking tape and paper
  • Sem paint
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About the Author

Since 1997 Jenny Carver has served as editor and freelance writer for many offline and online publications including,, "Hoof Beat News," "Import Tuner" and others. Carver owns a custom automotive shop where she has been doing paint and body work, custom interior work and engine building for over 11 years.