Door Molding and Beltlines
Ever had your car's door scratched by another vehicle door inside a crowded parking lot? The damage may just be a alight scratch, but repainting a panel can cost you hundreds of dollars and your precious time. So to prevent other car doors or nearby objects from scratching your vehicle's door panels, equip each panel with a strip of door molding.
Basically, this molding is a decorative yet functional trim or strip of automotive-grade rubber or plastic that's installed on your car door's exterior panel. It can be attached to either the upper, middle, or lower part of a door panel. You can also have the molding painted to match your car's exterior. If you're thinking installing one on your vehicle, check out these how-to instructions:
- Masking tape or painter's tape
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Clean rug
Step 1: Prep the door panels.
Grab a clean rug and wipe the panels on which you want to attach the door molding to. Keep on wiping until there are no dust or grime left. This is to make sure that the molding strips will adhere properly to the panels' surface.
Step 2: Align the door molding in place.
Before you stick the trim molding in place, get a ruler or measuring tape to measure these distances: the distance between the bottom or upper part of the door and the trim, and the distance between the front and rear molding trims. Taking note of these measurements will help you make sure that each trim is attached on a atraight line.
Step 3: Mark the molding's location with the painter's tape.
Once you've taken the measurements, mark them with a painter's tape. The tape will then serve as a guide when sticking the trim in place.
Step 4: Temporarily attach the door molding.
Using some painter's tape, attach the molding in place, following the marked measurements you've done earlier. Do the necessary adjustments until the molding is properly aligned.
Step 5: Install the molding.
The molding strip comes with an automotive-grade tape at the back. So peel off the plastic backing and stick the trim in place. Once the molding is permanently attached, remove the painter's tape. Keep on pressing the molding in place to get a water-tight seal.
Step 6: Clean the trim.
Using a clean rug dipped in alcohol, clean the newly attached molding trim, making sure that no adhesive residue is left on its surface.
Tips to keep in mind:
- To make trim cleaning easier, opt for a door molding kit that already comes with wet wipes dipped in alcohol.
- Have someone help you when getting the measurements because laying out a trim in place can get tricky, especially if it's a long one.
- If you want trims that will blend perfectly with your car's exterior, opt for a paint-ready kit since pre-painted trims may not match your car's original paint color. With a paint-ready kit, you just need the right paint color and a brush to get you started.