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Interior Refreshening Project


New member
Feb 13, 2018
Western Massachusetts
I am new here and new to the Volvo community and though I see a lot of overall vehicle restoration projects I do not see a lot of sub component restoration threads, so I will document the interior refreshing of my 1991 240.

My plan calls for:

- Removing the carpets, cleaning them and re-dying them.
- Replacing the broken down seat foam on the driver's seat.
- Recovering the front and back seats in leather from Lseat.com
- Recover the rear parcel shelf with matching leather to the seats.
- Replace my tired door panels.
- Replace all the interior plastic trim pieces.
- Re-color the plastic trim pieces to match the leather and door panels.
- Give the headliner a good cleaning using a magic eraser.
The first order of business was removing the carpets and giving them a good cleaning at my local car wash. They are now hanging out to dry before re-dying them.


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I settled on SEM Color Coat 15173 in Camel for my interior color. This couldn't be a more perfect color match for the Lseat.com S0013 Beige leather upholstery kit. It is also a very close match to the OEM brown of the door panels. Others may like a lighter tan, but I like the darker hue in the dark blue car.

The first picture is of a piece of interior trim sprayed with the SEM Camel against the leather swatch of the upholstery kit. The second pic is how the SEM Camel compares to the OEM trim piece.


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I initially had some custom colors mixed for my trim pieces, but as the parts dried they dried a lighter color and didn't match the door panel vinyl so well and the color had a bit of a greenish tint to it. The SEM Camel is a true brown and again, matches the door panels extremely well.
Cool... I'll be watching this thread. I'm going to do a blue to black interior switcheroo between my two wagons. The rear black carpet, spare tire cover, etc is faded so I'll be curious to see your dying process.

It was an amazing difference when I removed and washed the seat covers on one of my previous 240s.
FWIW you can shove the carpets in one of those oversize washing machines at your local laundromat. Try not to gag as the water turns different shades of black.
The SEM Camel matched the OEM color of the door panels very closely. I painted the interior trim pieces and I am pretty happy with how things turned out. If I were to do it again I would be interested in trying SEM's Palomino which is a bit lighter, but I am not sure I want to continue to mess with things.

I feel I may be too picky. I looked at the interior of my other car that is blue and the carpet, seat fabric, seat vinyl, and plastic interior trim pieces are all a different shade of blue.

I don't want to try going lighter and then have everything be much lighter than the leather that is on its way.


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The carpets are a whole different animal. Using the same SEM Camel the carpet took the color differently than the plastic pieces and turned out a much darker more bronze kinda color. I think it will go nicely with the leather that will be a darker color than the original cloth interior. My wife says she compares the color to a woman that has used too much fake tanning spray "Magda in Something About Mary comes to mind". "IF" I were to do this again, and I may of I find a good used carpet, I feel I wild use Camel on the plastic parts, but go with the lighter SEM Palomino for the carpets. I bet this would be a closer match to the lighter original color.


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SEM Shadow Blue is a perfect match for the Volvo blue carpets. washed, dried, vacuumed and re-dyed the ones out of my 1990 240.


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Good stuff.

I like that you’re showing comparisons and giving color info.

Looking forward to the next installment!
A trip to the pick and pull yesterday resulted in finding a very pristine, not picked over, 1992 240. Needless to say I grabbed a bunch of parts. Two of these were the rear side trim panels. Surprisingly they are not all brittle like others I have come across.

A note on these, they can be had new from Volvo as I just ordered a set before finding these in the salvage yard.

Panel, Left 3131788-3, Tasca Volvo on-line price $69.24, local Volvo dealer price $126.22
Panel, Right 1294673-7, Tasca Volvo on-line price $76.57, local Volvo dealer price $139.58

The ones I picked were black, but that is fine as I painted them so everything matches. They are now SEM Camel and curing in the sun.

Not being a body person this is my "painting" procedure. For the parts that will fit I run them through the dishwasher. I then wash them again by hand using dawn dish soap as that seems to be a good grease cutter. I have a stiff brush to get in all the trim "grain". After washing I let them dry thoroughly. I then put on nitrile gloves and wipe them down with rubbing alcohol. I like alcohol to remove any final traces of grease and it seems to evaporate quickly. Then multiple light coats with the recommended drying time between coats.


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The door panel handle trim pieces were another grab. These I have found are normally all cracked or the "knob" has started to deteriorate, but not these. Originally black now Camel and curing in the sun.

These too can be had new from the dealership and the prices vary GREATLY.

Guide Casing, Left, 680662, $14.28. This is in black. The tan is a lot more expensive.
Guide Casing, Right, 1246127, $3.19. This is in blue

The color doesn't matter to me where I am painting everything, so I went with the least expensive.


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Cool, I didn't have a clue that something like this can be done to make it all look nice and new again. Curious to see the end result