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Old 04-10-2009, 11:38 PM   #1
Drives: black sand lb
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 8,970
DIY Change Your Interior Light Grey Panels to Black

To continue my "No Cost" to "Low Cost" of DIY's, I'd like to share one for changing the interior light grey panels of the standard Yaris to black. These panels are located on the doors, visors, rear quarter panel area, etc. The Sport Edition comes with black panels already in place, and can put a huge dent in your wallet if you buy the pieces from the dealer. Here is a low cost way to change the color to black and only takes about 20 minutes to complete after you have removed the items from your car. The best part is, there is no paint involved and no vinyl to screw up. Here's how it works.

I had this idea stuffed so far down my memory lane, they changed the lane to a highway and sold my house. When I was teenager, I use to build RC cars and race them. When I would buy parts that were made of plastic, they usually came in white only. In order to make the parts last without painting them, we dyed the parts using RIT fabric dye. This dye can be found at any grocery store, usually in the household cleaner sections.

Now onto how it works. This DIY was put together based on the knowledge I had for RC cars only. The material used for those parts was usually a nylon type, but dying the parts would work the same way. I chose to do a small part just for your viewing pleasure. Large scale parts such as the panels in the rear of the car will be discussed and you will be instructed on how to tackle these after the DIY.

Items you need to gather before starting:

~ 1 package of RIT Fabric Dye -Black
~ Part/parts to be dyed
~ 1 old pot to dye part/parts in
~ Plastic spoon or old spoon
~ 1 old pair of tongs or do like I did and use a hanger I had leftover from the drycleaner
~ Paper towels
~ The "A-OK" to move forward from your wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend/mother/father and the list could go on for days. Just make sure your don't ruin the good stuff in the process

Step one -- Remove the part/parts you intend to dye:

I chose to dye a small part for the DIY so that it was easier to work with and show how easy it is. The visor cover was a great small part for this job

Step two -- Chose a old pot that you won't get in trouble for using to dye your parts. I chose to use a 2 quart pot that I had laying in the back of the cabinet and will never use again unless Charles is coming over for dinner

Step three -- Now that you have everything ready to go, you need to fill your pot with water and bring it to a boil. Make sure not to overfill the pot as we do not want the pot to boil over.

Step four -- After you have brought the water to a boil, empty the contents of the package into the boiling water. You may need to lower the heat, but still to a boil in order not to boil over. I only used about a 1/4 of the package, which is plenty enough for these two parts. It would last about 50 parts in the long run, so a package can go a long way. Use your plastic spoon or old spoon to stir in the powder.

Step five -- Place the items in the boiling water. Use your tongs or homemade tongs like the ones below to place them in the water and to check them during the process. The longer you allow them to boil, the darker the color will become. Check on them after 2 minutes to see how the color is coming along. You may not notice it right away, but after about 10 minutes in the boiling water, the part/parts have pretty much turned the desired black we are looking for, close enough to match with the rest of the interior trim.

Step six -- Remove your parts from the boiling water and place on a paper towel. Turn off the boiling water and proceed to run your parts under cold water. Without going into details of how and why this should be done, here is the Cliff Notes version.....Molecules -- heating something makes them expand and cooling them makes them contract. It's better for the plastic and the dye, lol.

Step seven -- Your part/parts have undergone the nip/tuck of all DIY's at a low cost, and looks awesome.

Step eight -- Take your newly dyed part/parts back out to your car and see the dramatic difference you've been able to create with just a few bucks, rather that spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars to buy new interior pieces. This photo shows you just how well the dye takes to the plastic.

Well, there you go! Now, how do you tackle the larger pieces you might ask? First I might mention that if you are going to proceed with this DIY, you want all your pieces to be consistant in color from the same batch of dye. For all my pieces, I am using a large burner from my home brewing station to boil water in an Aluminum trash Can. The trash can and burner are within a very small budget. My burner cost me about 25 bucks and runs on Propane. Used ones could go for less, but the point is it's cheap, you just have to look for them on the internet and classifieds. get about 6 boxes of Dye and follow the DIY above. The longer you boil them, the better the color, but at the same time, you do not want to warp your pieces, so constant checking and turning is a must. You need to do this in a well lite area outside and make sure no children are around. If you've ever deep fried a turkey, the same precautions apply here. Safety first! In about 10 to 20 minutes, you have a complete new color matched interior. You may choose to do other colors from RIT as well, just remember that it might not turn out the exact color you want in the end so test a small part such as the one above in the DIY to make sure the part is to your liking. Good luck and please be safe in doing any of this.

Last edited by KCALB SIRAY; 08-24-2009 at 10:33 AM.
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