I wanted to add wood to the flip-up cup holder cover for the rx300. I added walnut veneer to the flip-up cup holder cover and added white LED's to the little 'arms' and blacked out the inside.
Here are some pictures and details in case any of you guys wanted to do the same
So here we are:
The first step was cleaning and sanding the cover
This is the thin layer of veneer i will be using
And believe it or not, i've found the best bonding agent to make the veneer bond to the plastic is you guessed it, superglue. It melts and bonds to the plastic and absorbs into the veneer to make an air-tight bond.
I used a foam brush to spread the glue on the plastic, then layed the veneer over that, and pressed and held in place with C-clamps. Baked in the oven at $100 degrees for 1/2 hour to dry the glue.
After some sanding
Not pictured, i spray painted the belly and sides of the panel with krylon's flat black. Notice on the wood panels in the rx interior, the sides and trim are black. I then stained the wood with a mix of two stains. After the stain has been applied.
Then it's time for the stain to dry completely. If there is liquid stain or moisture left in the wood, the first coat of clearcoat will not bond, and bubbles will form. I baked in the oven at 100 degrees for 4 hours. Let air-dry overnight. The following evening, it was time for the first coat of clear. I used duponts two part clear (same stuff used on car finishes).
As you can see the first coat of clear still shows the 'grain' of the wood. Certain parts of the grain absorb better than others, which result in the un-even finish. I let the clear air-dry and baked for 30 mins at 140 degrees.
When the first coat of clear was dry, i wet sanded with 600 grit sandpaper to remove some of the 'bumps' and un-even surfaces. After wetsanding:
I repeated the process of more coats of clear, wet sanding, more clear, until all of the 'grain' was filled in and the surface as flat as i could get it. It took about 10 coats to get the best finish. After the last coat of clear, i wet sanded with 1500grit and buffed and polished with 3M scratch remover followed by Mequiar's ScratchX to get the best shine.
Then it was time for the LED mods. I used two 5mm white LED's i got from Hong Kong. Wired them up with resistors and ran the wires in the little arms. In the pics they appear blue, but they are true white. Just my camera.
Then you can wire the + and - to the ashtray light. It will dim with everything else too
The whole process took around 2 weeks. The hard part is waiting for the paint to cure between each coat. The more coats you add, the better the finish will come.
I hope you guys like the pics