How to Spray Paint a Car Interior

Written by lisa east hunter
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How to Spray Paint a Car Interior
Spruce up your car's interior. (Nissan 300zx interior image by MichMac from

One cup of spilt coffee can be disastrous to your car's upholstery. Getting the seats in your car reupholstered may not be in your budget. If you can afford a can of spray paint, you can have new seats in an afternoon. Keep in mind that painted upholstery won't look like new upholstery. If you aren't sure that you will like the results, consider seat covers or taking the car to a detailer to see if the stains can be removed. If you love the idea of customising your interior, grab a can of fabric paint and get to work.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Shop-vac
  • Fabric paint
  • Cardboard
  • Tape
  • Newspaper
  • Hair dryer
  • Rags
  • Nail polish remover

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  1. 1

    Vacuum the interior of the car well. Use a shop-vac or any high power vacuum. Make sure the seats are completely free of dirt. Use a utility knife to remove any stuck-on residue.

  2. 2

    Cover any areas that you don't wish to paint with tape and newspaper. Fabric paint will come off of the non-fabric portion of your car with some scrubbing, but you will save yourself a lot of time by covering these areas ahead of time.

  3. 3

    Hold a piece of cardboard in your hand. Start the spray on the cardboard and move it to the upholstery to begin spray painting your seats. Work on a three-foot-by-three-foot area. Move the spray can in a steady back and forth motion, applying the paint to all areas evenly.

  4. 4

    Rub the paint in with your bare hand. Work the paint into the fabric well so that all fibres are coated with paint. The paint will wash off your hands easily.

  5. 5

    Continue spray painting the rest of the upholstery in the same manner, until the entire interior is painted.

  6. 6

    Turn a blow dryer on its highest heat setting and point it at the seats to speed up drying time.

  7. 7

    Remove the paper and tape from the car. Dip a rag into nail polish remover and scrub off any stray paint that landed in areas that you did not wish to paint. Wet a clean rag with water to wipe away the polish residue.

Tips and warnings

  • As long as you are creating a custom interior, consider adding monograms or other designs. Visit your local craft store to find stencils that you like. Attach the stencil to the seat with tape. Cover the areas around the stencil with newspaper and spray the stencil with a complimentary paint colour. Remove the stencil and you will have a completely custom look.

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