A club member contacted me recently about recolouring interior trim items. He had found a set of original door linings for a MK 2, which were in reasonable order but were the wrong colour for his car. Could I advise him if it was possible to change the colour?
My advice was yes it is possible to change the colour. There are however a number of considerations. Are the original backing boards in good order because it is a waste of time and effort to start off with a crook sub structure, New material for backing boards is quite cheap and obtainable at Daleys auto trim supplies just south of Archerfield aerodrome on the road leading into the speedway. New boards can be cut and the old door linings transferred onto the new bases,
I also advised him of the need to clean the old door lining up so that there is no grease or oil on the vinyl. Jaguar did not use leather on the door trims. It is just English vinyl known as "Alamba". Proprietary detergents will do the cleaning trick. The vinyl should also be wiped down with "prepsol" to get rid of silicon that was pretty common in interior treatments a few years ago.
The decision should then be made whether to use "vinyl" paint or automotive lacquer. Vinyl paint is available in basic spray packs and does a good job but has a limited colour range unless you can find a paint manufacturer willing to mix it for you. Automotive lacquer is more easily mixed and matched to the colour of your desire but there are two problems. It is shiny and does tend to be less flexible. These problems can treated by adding appropriate amounts of "flattener" to get rid of the gloss and "flex aid" which stops the lacquer from going rock hard.
The trick I have learned when using automotive lacquer is to etch the vinyl with a rag soaked in thinners just prior to coating.. Immediately after wiping it down and while the vinyl is still "tacky", spray on one thin coat of colour lacquer. The next coat should also be sprayed as soon as possible after the first coat has tacked off. It is important that not too much paint build up takes place, as the "grain" of the original vinyl will be lost in the paint build up.
Whilst not being concourse this system is relatively cheap and the results can be very good in restoring door linings, arm rests, under dash cover plates and front kickboards to a sanitary serviceable condition. Old faded vinyl can also be treated this way.