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2014 Super White Rolla S
219 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How to paint the interior trim accent pieces in your 2014+ Corolla.

Hey guys, here is a somewhat quick little guide on how to paint those ugly blue pieces of trim on the interior red (or whatever color you want). In my pursuit to get rid of anything on my car is blue for my hate of the color, this was the first thing on the list. I did this mod a few weeks ago and am just finally getting around to writing this up.

Some people have said in the past that they just masked it off and painted but I didn't really feel comfortable doing that, also mentioned using pin-striping. Reason being that on the doors, the paint actually follows into the door behind another piece, that would be very hard to get under that and make it blend nicely.

About the mod.

Difficulty: 6/10
Time: 6-10 Hours
Cost: Less than 30 USD
Risk: High (mod is permanent, there is no going back)
Special tools? No

So what you will need are:

Plastic trim pry tools.
These will be used to remove the trim pieces and door panels without damaging them, you may optionally use any other hard flat object like a flathead, although those will probably bend the plastic.

Phillips head screwdriver or drill.
This will be used to unscrew the door panels and other related screws.

Drill bit
This will be used to drill out the pieces of plastic that are fused together, more on this later, you may optionally use a lighter or something like a soldering iron to melt the plastic.

Lighter/Soldering Iron.
See drill bit.

Any paint, primer and other painting materials you will need.

Sandpaper (250~ grit, 1500~ grit)
Used for paint prep and stuff. This is optional and the red scotch probably will do.

Red or blue scotch brite, I used red.
Used to smooth out imperfections in paint and to remove the gloss on the blue paint.

Masking tape
Mask off areas that shouldn't be painted. I used the creme color, I tried the blue but it wouldn't stick very well.

Hot glue/gun
for glueing pieces that we melted off back on. You can try other things but this worked awesome for me. Better if you have a high heat one that gets the glue nice and runny.

Wire cutters
There are optional but can be useful when trying to remove the plastic melted joined, just cut the heck out of them if you have to.

First thing is first, the teardown. You will need to remove all four door panels, the left dash trim piece, and the right dash trim piece.

The doors are pretty simple, there is a small screw underneath a cover where the handle is to open the door, use a small screwdriver or pick to pop the cover open and unscrew.

Next you will want to remove the 'leather insert. The pry upward and are held in with plastic clips. I found that all of the clips came out nice but the back ones sometimes got caught, there are small tabs that hold the panel in and if it won't come out you can try brute force or release the tabs with something, I used a 90 pick tool because the tabs face the outside towards the car.

Next you will need to remove the plastic piece that runs vertically up the door, where the handle is to close it. Start from the small cutout on the bottom and work your way up releasing the clips. After that is off, unscrew the two large phillips inside.

Remove the tweeter covers by just pulling towards you, there is one small white clip holding them in, I chose to let them dangle but just be careful not to shut the door on them.

Remove the electrical panel where the door locks and window controls are by prying up starting at the back where the leather insert was and work your way to the front, then slide it backwards as it tucks under the front. The back ones just pry up, remove screws beneath. Unplug the harnesses by releasing the tabs. The front ones were kind of a pain you have to push the tab then slide up a lock before it will come out.

Now that everything is off, to remove the actual door panel, you need to start from the bottom and pull it out, you can try getting your fingers under it or use a pry tool to get it started, it should pop out, it may be very hard, just make sure you have all of the screws out. After it is out you will need to remove any plugs and the pulleys for the handle and lock. To remove those there is a small tab that hold it to the door, just pull that outward and then move the pulley until the ball releases from the lock and handle. Green is the handle and white is the lock.

Now the tricky part. We need to remove the grey and blue trim for painting. There are a few screws that hold it on as well as some joints that are melted together, remove and of the silver screws that appear to be attached to the trim, as well as any in the surrounding area that may give you more room when they are out. To remove the melted pieces you have a couple options, I did the first half by melting them with a lighter while pulling outward at the same time. You should feel when it is out. keep going until the whole piece comes out. If you want to go with the drilling route, which I think is better. find a bit that is slightly larger than the joint. Drill until the two pieces are not bonded together, be careful and it is pretty violent when it does release. On the front you will have to trim away some of the fabric insulation. You can cut it or rip it. I then just burned it off haha. You can also remove the door lock mechanism by prying on the four tabs if that is in your way.
The front doors are way harder than the back, so try the back first and get your technique down. One key part of any modding is to start where it will be the least visible if you mess up, so do that.

The Blue part of the trim is just lightly glued to the silver, just gently pry on it, and it should pop off.

Rinse and repeat for all of the doors.

The dash is easy, for the left side by the wheel, just pry towards the driver's seat. The black trim, grey, blue, the vent and the vinyl are all one peice, do not try to pry the gray piece off of the rest.

The trim part should pop off of the vent part pretty easily, just slide it and release any of the plastic tabs.
To remove the grey piece from the black, you will need to gently pull on the grey piece away from the front of the black while holding a lighter to the joints that are pointed to, it should only take a second or two of heat for them to pop out. Next mask off everything that isn't blue for overspray protection.

The right side of the dash is the same story, pry towards you and it should come off, all around the radio, the black and grey trim, and all they way to the right side vent.
Unplug the panic button and airbag light.

Separate the two pieces by releasing any plastic clips between them.

Use the same technique about for removing the grey piece, pry on it while melting the plastic welds.

Mask it like before, anything that you don't want painted, also mask off the back, I didn't and go overspray into the taped area. The paint did come off though.

Paint Prep
If your trim has any deep scuffs or dents you will want to sand them down with something like 150-300, then something higher like 600. Take your red scotch and rub it on all of the blue areas until all of the shininess is gone. This removes the gloss coat and allows our new paint to stick, THIS IS THE POINT OF NO RETURN. After you are happy with that, start painting, I did about 3 coats of my red and scotched in between making sure to let them dry for an hour or so. After scotching clean them and dry them with cleaner, I used glass cleaner. You don't need to scotch the whole thing, just any imperfections. Paint until you are happy and wait an hour or two to let it dry. Then apply your clear coat, using your 1500 grit to remove any imperfections, you could use the scotch pad but I didn't. After you are done LET THEM DRY FOR AT LEAST 6 HOURS. Even overnight. I was impatient and let them dry for two, see the picture below. :( If you want them to be matte, don't use a clear coat. I did because I think it looks better and I wanted extra protection.

Didn't wait for paint to dry long enough. :[

After you have waited sufficiently you have to put it all back together.
For the dash pieces, you will want to trim and of the plastic that we melted off so the grey time sits flush, you can use a razor blade, melt it or whatever you want. I just used a blade. When it sits flush, use hot glue wherever you can to secure it back into place. Do the same for the left and right side and throw them back in.
Sorry forgot picture, pretty straightforward though.
Do the same for the door panels. Use your hot glue to glue the newly painted pieces back onto the grey ones. They are keyed so you cant mess it up. Clean up the plastic so that it sits flush, I used the drill and reamed the holes a little bigger. I also used some wire cutters to cut off the studs. Put the screws in first then use your hot glue generously to glue the pieces together.

Here you can see the hot glue on the studs and the hot glue on the trim pieces.

After those are ready reverse the steps to put the door panels back on, inspect the doors for any of the small white clips, they need to be on the door panel, not the door. Use a clip removal tool or pliers to pull them off the door and put them on the panel.

Once you are all put back together enjoy your amazing new interior.

If you have any questions feel free to ask away, I basically live on this forums so I should be quick to respond.

List of all of my DIY's:

How to upgrade your front door speakers.

How to install a QI wireless charger hidden inside the dash cubby.

How to paint the interior trim accent pieces.

How to install the OEM Mudguards.

2016 Corolla S.E.
460 Posts
wow, that is a LOT of work! Well done. I dont think i would even take that much of my poor car apart, its brand new... But wow, good job and very descriptive!

2017 Golf GTI S
571 Posts
This is super helpful! I don't think I'm going to be painting the strips in my car, but I like that there is a handy guide to remove all the trim. It's a lot simpler to remove than my truck ever was!

738 Posts
Scotch Painters Tape, and a can of Krylon. Open the windows for ventilation. You should be good.
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