Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tech Tip - Revamping Your Tired Old Door Panels

Tired, sun faded or discolored door panels?
Here's how to bring them back to life for about $30 and a couple hours time. 

Start by removing the panel from the door. Then remove all the fabric parts and handles so only the actual panel remains. We used a heavy greaser, can of plastic primer and paint from autozone to cover our panel. Use gloves (latex) to touch the panel, the oils in your hands will cause painting issues called (fish eye) or tiny un-paintable bubbles. With gloves on, thoroughly wipe down the panel with the degreaser. It should have a no shiny, sort of flat sheen when ready. Basically you are removing all the cleaners, oils, and products that have been applied to the panels over the years so the paint has something to stick to. Next after panel is good and dry. Do several light coats of primer until panel is completely covered, making sure you allow plenty of dry time in between coats, so you won't get runs. Next repeat the same process as the primer for the color paint coat. The good thing about this is the paint will not loose the panel texture and if you follow these steps it will last for years and be scratch resistant.

The pads are an easy process. First degrease the surface same as the panel. Don't remove the padding from the plastic is glue to, this will serve as padding and keep the same size as original. Using a heat gun (on low) or a blow dryer heat up your material so it has stretch. Apply a generous amount of glue (in our case adhesive 77 also from Autozone)  on both the new material and the pad your attaching it to. Start from the center and workout to the edges, applying heat and stretching tight. Then flip to back apply more glue and tightly pull material around edge, pulling out any wrinkles. Then remove excess material using a razor blade or exacto knife. Last secure the new material to the plastic backing by using  1/8 or 1/4 staples. These will hold while also not going in far enough to puncture the new material on the front.

Last reassemble and put back on the door. Now you have brand new panels at a minimum cost and any color you want.

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