Instructables

Pimp my 350Z armrest

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Picture of Pimp my 350Z armrest
Apparently the 2007 Nissan 350Z suffers from an armrest ailment: The paint scratches off very easily. Other than that, the car is perfect. Here's what I did to improve the look.
 
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Step 1: What I used

Picture of What I used
Exacto blade
Vinyl and Fabric spray paint (matte black)
Painter's tape
Sanding block
Plastic bag (for masking the parts I didn't want to paint)
One smokin' 2007 350Z

Step 2: What it looked like before

Picture of What it looked like before
The center part wasn't quite as bad as in the photo (I scraped it some before I started shooting the pictures), but it was pretty rugged. The edges around the white area are indicative of what was going on prior to the makeover.

Step 3: Getting down to the base

Picture of Getting down to the base
I initially thought that underneath the original matte black finish was a solid gray base, but I was wrong. Apparently the gray is just a primer (and not a very good one, at that). I think I'd have gone with a black primer, but that's just me. I guess if it's gray, it lets you know pretty quickly that the matte black finish is coming off. Anyway, as I was scraping away at the original finish (which comes off like a pliable nail polish, for those of you who nervously scrape off your nail polish), I scraped through the gray into another black, which seems to be a solid base. The process of getting through the gray added an hour to the project. The gray is a little harder to get off than the outer black. I scraped it carefully with an Exacto blade. I knew that I was going to sand it a little, but I was still as careful as I could be not to nick into the base.
It would be much easier to remove the door panel and unscrew the arm rest from the back.
Dr. P (author)  Honda Enoch1 year ago
Wait, that's not a bad idea! Do an Instructable on that.
Fine When the rain stops here this weekend. I'll do it. Will be my first.
Dr. P (author)  Honda Enoch1 year ago
Great! I'll test it out on the passenger side armrest. Keep it simple for me. Oh, and if you can tell me how to replace the tire pressure sensor (the light blinks and then stays on--tire place says it's a bad sensor), that could be your second!
1) I am a Honda man, but the arm rest will be basically the same.

2) I worked for 5 years in a tire shop, but never once had to replace a tire sensor. I recommend taking the car to a tire shop that has the reader for the sensor. Let them check/reset it. If you ran the car with low pressure it will trip the sensor. If it is a bad sensor then they can replace it. Sorry I can't help more on that.

Will work on the arm rest instruction today.
Dr. P (author)  Honda Enoch1 year ago
Hey, just speaking language I understand (I don't understand cars; I just love them) helps! Looking forward to a long series of your Instructables!
P.S. Took me about 15 mins to remove, while taking photos and replace. But as I said in the write up, I have been doing this for 15 years. Each car is different.
Dr. P (author)  Honda Enoch1 year ago
It will go into my file of life skill tricks!
Here you go. Enjoy. :)

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-remove-your-cars-door-arm-rest/
Dr. P (author)  Honda Enoch1 year ago
Hahahaha! Yeah, no. I think that would involve putting things back together. But there's another armrest that needs work, so if you're in the neighborhood...
sunshiine1 year ago
Big difference! Thanks for sharing!
sunshiine