25 May 2020

Audi A3 B-pillar Repaint (8PA)

Today we are going to re-paint the B pillar trims on the A3. The one on the passenger side was flaking pretty badly, a common issue on A3s of this vintage.

To remove the trim, open both doors and then you'll see a plastic cover at the base of the trim.

Remove the plastic cover by pulling it back with your fingers.

Under the cover you'll find two torx head screws. Remove them and the trim will fall into your hands.

Now.. before we get painting we need to remove all of the old paint that wants to come off with the aid of some low grit sandpaper. Nearly all of the paint came off from the passenger side trim. The one on the driver's side looks a lot better.

The smoother you can get the surface at this stage the happier you'll be later.
Wipe off all the sanding dust and now we're ready to paint.

I will be using some grey primer, a can of matt black paint and some clear lacquer to finish it off.

Shake the can vigorously and apply the primer in this layers. Allow 5 to 10 minutes in between layers. The rougher the surface the more layers you'll need, but 3 or 4 should be enough.
Once you primered the trim pieces to your satisfaction let them dry for at least 2 hours.
With the primer has dry we can see that there are quite a few blemishes on the surface. If we were to apply the paint now all those blemishes will forever remain visible upon closer inspection.

So on to the next step. Wet sanding.
For this we are going to use a repurposed spray bottle, some clean water and high grit sandpaper. 1200 in this case.
Generously spray both the trim and sandpaper with water and then, by applying a very small amount of pressure, sand the primer until it's mirror smooth and even on the entire surface.
Again wipe off all the residual dust and let the moisture evaporate.
And now the moment we have all been waiting for: applying the paint.
The main problem with these cheap paint cans is that the spray pattern can be uneven and unpredictable, but for this application it will do.
Just like with the primer apply the paint in thin layers and allow to dry to the touch in between. 3 or 4 layers should do.
After about 2 hours the clear coat can go on, altough depending on the type of paint you use or finish you want, this step can be optional.

Watch the video...