How to paint car seats

Written by lisa east hunter
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How to paint car seats
Paint your car's interior (seat belt receptacle image by Albert Lozano from

Personalising a car with lift kits, airbrushing and window tinting has become a form of self-expression. Why limit your personalisation to the exterior or your car? The interior of your car can be painted too. Fabric spray paint is available at most automotive stores and is as easy to use as any traditional spray paint. Keep in mind that, once painted, the seats of your car can be painted a different colour or reupholstered, but they cannot be unpainted. Be sure that you are prepared for a permanent change.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vacuum
  • Low tack painter's tape
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Paper towels
  • Fabric spray paint
  • Hairdryer

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  1. 1

    Vacuum the inside of you car thoroughly to remove all the debris and crumbs from the upholstery. Use a Shop-Vac or visit a car wash and use its more powerful vacuum to get your car completely clean.

  2. 2

    Cover a piece of cardboard with paper towel. The cardboard should be about 2 feet by 2 feet in size. You will use this as your starting point for spray painting each time you stop and start the spray paint process. Set the cardboard aside.

  3. 3

    Cover any portions of the car that you don't want to paint with newspaper and low-tack painter's tape. Most upholstery paint claims to easily wash off of nonfabric surfaces. However, covering these surfaces will make cleanup a lot easier.

  4. 4

    Spray paint your car's upholstery. Work on one small, 3-foot-by-3-foot area at a time. Start the spray on the cardboard and paper towel and move the spray can in a steady back and forth motion. Continue spraying in the same area until it is completely covered. Use the cardboard and paper towel each time you stop and start your spray motion to prevent getting too much paint in one section.

  5. 5

    Use your hand to rub the paint into the upholstery. The paint will wash off skin easily. Check to make sure that the area you are working on is completely covered. Repeat spraying and rubbing process throughout the car.

  6. 6

    Dry the car's interior with a hair dryer. This step is optional but will help the upholstery to dry faster.

  7. 7

    Remove the tape and newspaper. Use rags, cotton balls and cotton swabs dipped in nail polish remover to remove any paint that has seeped onto the dash or any other areas that you did not want to paint.

Tips and warnings

  • Test your paint on a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding with the entire interior of the car. Let the paint dry for three days to make sure that the paint does not bleed and looks the way that you envisioned.

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