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Full Version: Painting Interior Plastic?
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I couldn't find a forum this exactly fits into. I figure it goes best with insulation because it is a question or how much of the interior I want to take apart to do the job properly. 

I have a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan that I will be picking up tomorrow. I want to start my build by painting the interior, pretty much everything below the windows and in between the windows in the back. That is all beige, which is definitely not my color. The front is a dark grey and beige. I intend to keep the dark grey and only paint the beige. I have researched it and found out how to clean and prepare the plastic. It is definitely recommended to remove the plastic pieces before painting. I definitely want to do that in the front because I don't want to harm the nice dark grey dashboard. I plan on taking apart and painting everything below the dashboard red. I may use vinyl coating on the front window frame so I don't have to take it apart or risk damaging the dashboard with paint splatter.

 But I am wondering if it is worth it in the back. I might just tape the windows off well and go for it after I thoroughly wash and prime all the surfaces. Paint can be scraped off windows and I plan on pulling up the carpet anyways. I don't have to worry about the back seats since they will be removed immediately. Anyone have experience with this or tips? 

Pictures taken by the dealer are attached for reference. The back will be painted a light aqua, front will be dark grey and red. I plan on making breezy white curtains as well as reflectix blackout curtains. Front seats will be recovered in red velvet. Ceiling will be covered in patterned fabric. I have another photo of color scheme attached. Let me know what you think!
Welcome to the forums...……

Plastic trim is difficult to remove and replace without damage......Painting adds another level

Perhaps a small brush and plenty of masking with an artistic treatment In-Situ
You are going through the "nesting phase" where every interior decorating decision feels super important.

It is a very small space and your visual pathways will be quite limited. Blankets, pillows and window coverings and maybe some seat covers will provide more than sufficient color in that very small area. As to the plastic in the front, you won't even see it when you are in the rear. That coupled with the fact that when you are inside you are likely to be reading a book or looking at a computer screen, looking at a project you are trying to get done instead of staring at the walls. Because it is such a tiny space you will want to be outside instead of inside. Take a deep breath, slow down, keep it simple and as uncluttered feeling as possible or you will feel overwhelmed by too much visual input. Make the colored items things that you can switch and change now and again. There is a balance between totally blah and way too busy so take it slow because you can always add things but making changes such as painting take a lot more effort to undo if you get surface failure on the paint.
In terms of asking is it worth it... Do you realize you will lower the resale value of the vehicle by trying to paint the interior yourself when you don't have the kind of professional skills you need? Not even the skills to remove the plastic trim pieces? Plus the colors you are choosing are not going to be something that many buyers will want.

Many of the people who begin the nomadic life in minivans find they want to sell that vehicle and move into something more comfortable within a year or two years time. When/if you do that you will be wanting to get top dollar out of it.
they sell special paint/dye at auto part stores. follow the directions to the tee and you will have good results. it is not even worth it if you don't follow the instructions, as it will not last and will look terrible. highdesertranger
Maki2, All valid and good points, thank you!

I plan on riding out this nesting stage as long as I can because I want to make my home as nice as possible. I am transitioning from homelessness and want this to feel like a home. Resale concerns are good points. I know making these modifications would mean it could only be sold as a camper. I could probably repaint it in more neutral colors if I try to sell again.

I know I won't be spending a whole lot of time in the van, but my choices are mainly about 1) what I want to look at on long road trips and 2) the kind of space I want to fall asleep in. I like cozy, cluttery looking spaces. The pictures are just reference. I have seen some vans on Pinterest that look very cluttery and boho while being very functional and actually minimalist. It is all about the choice of colors and textiles. I have lots of options to add color without knick knacks and excessive throw pillows. It will be difficult in a minivan, so we shall see how it turns out!
I agree with maki2. Byt the time you get all your stuff loaded in the van there won't be much of the interior showing.

If I were in your position, I'd forget about paint, pull the panels off, and cover them with a fabric or fabrics you like.